President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) met Brookings Institution president Strobe Talbott and former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) chairman Richard Bush at the Presidential Office yesterday, describing their visit as “significant.”
“Given that the presidential election in the US has just been completed and that the new administration will take office in January, your visit to Taiwan at this time has a very important meaning for us,” Ma said, adding that Talbott had a wealth of experience in media, diplomacy and government.
“Your work has made the Brookings Institution a leading and very important public policy research institute in the United States,” Ma said.
Ma also praised Bush's familiarity with Taiwan issues, Chinese affairs and cross-strait matters.
“Your book, Untying the Knot, has been highly praised,” Ma said. “Developments between Taiwan and mainland China [sic] in the past three years have coincided with your predictions,” he said.
Bush is director of the Brookings Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS). His two decades of public service span Congress, intelligence and the State Department, and include a tour as chairman and managing director of AIT from 1997 to 2002.
CNAPS conducts research, analysis and outreach to enhance policy development and understanding of the political, economic and security issues facing Northeast Asia.
Talbott, a specialist on US foreign relations, is a journalist associated with Time magazine and a diplomat who served as deputy secretary of state from 1994 to 2001 during the Bill Clinton administration.
He has also been involved with the America Abroad Media Advisory Board and the American Academy of Diplomacy.
Talbott and Bush are on a visit to Taiwan to attend a seminar titled “Cross-Strait Political and Economic Relations and the Next American Administration,” organized by the Epoch Foundation, a local research institute that seeks to integrate the resources of the private sector with the world's top academic institutions. It focuses its research on Taiwanese industrial and economic issues, regional economic cooperation and the region's economic outlook.