October-November 2010 | By Alice Lin and Jane Leung Larson
On October 20, a 21-member Committee of 100 delegation to Taipei led by David D. Ho met with senior Taiwan officials, including President Ma Ying-jeou, to discuss the current status of cross-strait relations and how the Committee can play a role as a resource and channel for dialogue among the leaders of the U.S., China and Taiwan. The Taipei delegation follows a series of meetings with American government officials in Washington, D.C. and with a delegation to Beijing in early December.
Ho, in an interview, said, “It is palpable that the leaders in Taiwan would like to continue to further the relationship with the mainland. We in the delegation all felt that Taiwan’s status has been elevated over the past couple of years, and it is seriously attempting to have greater exchange with the mainland. President Ma in particular emphasized people to people exchanges. In that role, C-100 could really be helpful as a bridge for trilateral “people-to-people” meetings to discuss specific areas of joint interest where our members have expertise, such as business, high tech, or bio-tech.”
“Taiwan seemed more vibrant to all of us, and perhaps it’s largely based on improved relations with the mainland. Direct transport, greater exchange of tourists, more cultural exchange, and now ECFA promises to further intertwine the two in trade.” Ho said that in a few months the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will establish bilateral trade between Taiwan and the mainland. “Importantly it sets a precedent for Taiwan to sign similar bilateral trade agreements with other countries such as Singapore, which has not been possible before because they feared repercussions from the mainland.”
The Committee also met with Premier Wu Den-yih, Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy C.T. Yang, Mayor of Taipei Hau Lung-bin, and National Security Council Secretary-General Hu Wei-jen. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the delegation and Vice Minister Thomas Ping-Fu Hou presided over a welcome luncheon at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. View Premier Wu speaking to the delegation on YouTube.
Delegation members were: C-100 Governors Shirley Young and Henry Tang, David Chang, Pehong Chen, Doreen Woo Ho, Peter Liu, David Chu, Linda Tsao Yang, Lily Lee Chen, Wu-Fu Chen, Ta-Lin Hsu, Charles Kao, Howard Li, Paul Lin, Shu Li, Dominic Ng, Roger Wang, Ya-Qin Zhang, Executive Director Angie Tang, and Program Associate Alice Lin.
The October 20 meetings followed participation by C-100 members in the two day Global Views Business Forum founded by member Charles Kao [see story this issue].
Below are links to news stories in the Taiwan press about the Committee delegation:
“Taiwan Must Expand International Space and Fight Corruption: Ma,” Radio Taiwan International—“President Ma Ying-jeou says that better relations with China and the rest of the world will contribute to Taiwan's development.” Read full article here.
“Time Not Ripe for Ma-Hu Meeting: Premier,” Focus Taiwan News Channel—“Premier Wu Den-yih reiterated Wednesday that the time was not ripe for a meeting between the leaders of Taiwan and China, despite their warming ties.” Read full article here.