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Viable Diplomacy and Taiwan-U.S.-China Relations

UC Berkeley presents a talk by Andrew Hsia on cross-strait relations.

September 23, 2009 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Andrew Hsia, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

President Ma affirmed that the government's approach to foreign aid is strictly based on three key principles: the purpose must be legitimate, the process must be legal and the assistance must be effective and efficient.  Since assuming the presidency on May 20 of 2008, President Ma Ying-jeou has followed a modus vivendi, or "flexible" diplomatic strategy, which attempts to set aside Taipei's differences with Beijing to find a mutually beneficial equilibrium on the diplomatic front.  He is also seeking a "diplomatic truce" to end a longstanding tug-of-war with China in which both countries try to lure each other's allies to switch diplomatic allegiance by offering large sums of foreign aid. Taiwan and China have long been criticized for conducting “checkbook diplomacy”, under the thought that such a hostile competition for influence fuels corruption and political divisions of both sides’ allies.