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A nation must think before it acts.
Republic of China President Ma Ying-jeou delivered a significant speech on U.S.-Taiwan relations on April 15. President Ma’s speech provides an occasion to consider the state of, and prospects for, the bilateral relationship as well as cross-Strait relations and the implications of both for the U.S.’s relations with China in a time of possibly significant transition. A few weeks earlier, the National People’s Congress session in Beijing completed the formal transition to the Fifth Generation leadership headed by President Xi Jinping (who has been read as signaling a more muscular foreign policy) and unveiled China’s new senior foreign policy officials (including a foreign minister previously responsible for Taiwan issues). U.S. President Obama’s newly installed second-term foreign policy team faces the task of implementing the promised rebalancing or “pivot” to Asia. These developments come against the backdrop, over the last several years, of greatly improved cross-Strait relations, solid and stable U.S.-Taiwan relations, and rising tensions in Beijing’s relations with many of its neighbors.
***Read the full text of President Ma’s speech***
Ambassador Andrew J.C. Kao is Director-General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York. He has served as Director-General in the Department of Treaty and Legal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has served in India and Canada.
Jacques deLisle is Director of FPRI’s Asia Program and the Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also Professor of Political Science, Director of the Center for East Asian Studies and Deputy Directory of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China. A specialist in Chinese politics and legal reform, U.S-China relations, cross-strait relations, and China’s engagement with the international legal order, he serves regularly as an expert witness on issues of P.R.C., Hong Kong and Taiwan law and government policies. He received a J.D. at Harvard.
June Teufel Dreyer, FPRI Senior Fellow, is Professor of Political Science at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida. Formerly senior Far East Specialist at the Library of Congress, she has also served as Asia policy advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations and as a commissioner of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission established by the U.S. Congress. Dr. Dreyer is a member of the Board of Scholars of the US-China Research Institute of the University of Southern California. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Dr. Dreyer’s most recent book is China’s Political System: Modernization and Tradition (8th edition, 2012. Her current project is a book on Sino-Japanese relations, under contract to Oxford University Press.
James C. Hsiung is Professor of Politics at New York University, and author and editor of 18 books on Pacific Asian international relations, U.S. Asian relations, Chinese foreign policy, and international law. His current research interest is in sea power and the twenty-first century. At NYU, he teaches comparative politics of China and Japan, international relations of Asia, international law, and international governance.
Wojtek Wolfe, FPRI Senior Fellow, is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers-Camden University. His current research programs focus on US foreign policy, US-China relations, and energy security issues. He is the author of Winning the War of Words: Selling the War on Terror from Afghanistan to Iraq.