Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Taiwan's New President
The Man of the Moment is Ma Ying-jeou (left), the newly elected president of Taiwan. One of the central issues in the Taiwanese presidential election was the question of China. An NYU and Harvard-educated lawyer, Ma rejects calls for Taiwanese independence. Instead, he advocates greater rapprochement with the mainland, and he has “offered a mechanism and some thoughts on a formula for achieving a peace agreement” with China. One aspect of that rapprochement is for the two countries to establish greater trade and economic ties. Taiwan’s economy is sluggish at the moment, and President Chen Shui-bian's anti-China rhetoric held little sway with the cash-strapped Taiwanese. Can trade lead to a lasting peace between Taiwan and China?