Sun, May 13, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Ex-Obama chief of staff to attend inauguration

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and William Lowther  /  Staff reporters in Taipei and Washington

Former White House chief of staff William Daley will lead a delegation representing US President Barack Obama’s administration to attend the inauguration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced yesterday.

Daley, who retired in January, served as White House chief of staff for a year.

He also served as US secretary of commerce from 1997 to 2000 under then-US president Bill Clinton.

The delegation will include former US deputy secretary of state James Steinberg, who stepped down from his post on July 1 last year. Steinberg is now a professor of social sciences and dean of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, the AIT said.

The AIT said that Anne-Marie Slaughter, a professor of public and international affairs at Princeton University, would also be part of the delegation.

Slaughter previously served as director of policy planning at the US Department of State from 2009 to last year and dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 2002 to 2009.

Also joining the delegation will be AIT Chairman Raymond Burghardt and former AIT chairman Richard Bush, who is now a senior fellow at US think tank Brookings Institution and director of its Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, the AIT said.

The delegation will arrive in Taiwan on Friday for a four-day visit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press statement.

The ministry expressed a warm welcome to the “heavyweight delegation” sent by Obama to congratulate Ma on his re-election, which it said was a reflection of the “closely cordial relationship between the two countries” and a reflection that “our government has won acclaim and support from” Washington.

The selection of Daley to lead delegation reaffirmed the US’ commitment to deepen its bilateral partnership with Taiwan, the ministry said, adding the move was “meaningful” in terms of advancing high-level exchanges between Taiwan and the US.

Meanwhile, US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, will lead a US congressional delegation to the inauguration. Among the members of this group will be lawmakers Alcee Hastings, Thaddeous McCotter, Brad Miller, Jim Gerlach and Dan Burton.

While in Taiwan members of both delegations are expected to speak with members of the Ma administration and leaders of the Democratic Progressive Party, high on the agenda for these talks will almost certainly be the recent White House letter indicating that the Obama administration is now giving “serious consideration” to selling F-16C/D jets to Taiwan.

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