Monday, August 11, 2008

Doug Paal Returns to Taiwan

Taiwan government press entity, Central News Agency (CNA), reported on a July 27, 2008 meeting between Doug Paal and others with President Ma Ying-jeou in the Presidential Palace. Paal, a former CIA analyst and White House staffer under the George Bush administration in the early 1990s, served as AIT Director from 2002 to 2006. After he stepped down, he was quoted in one prominent U.S. journal as saying that the Pentagon had been encouraging pro-independence advocates in Taiwan.

Earlier this year, Paal joined the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as Director of its China Program in Washington and Beijing. He recently published his outline for the next president's foreign policy. While at the NSC, he worked with International Republican Institute Director Lorne Craner. Before arriving in Taipei, he was founder and president of the Asia-Pacific Policy Center.

Other U.S. attendees included Bob Ross from Harvard, Steve Goldstein from Harvard, Bob Sutter from Georgetown, Jonathon Pollack from the Naval War College, and Michael Swaine, also from Carnegie. Attendees along with President Ma were new defacto ambassador Jason Yuan, Secretary General National Security Council Su Chi, and a Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative.

Most of the Central News Agency release was pro forma. However, what's interesting was a commentary from a Now News that analyzed why CNA posted such an unusual release:


The essence of it is that the President's office may have released the contents of the meeting, and the delegation's glowing praise for the Ma administration's cross-Strait policies, as a means to head off criticism from others in Taiwan and abroad. Conservative U.S. think tanks, arms dealers, and other nefarious characters supposedly have been expressing concern over the pace of Ma's warming to China. The CNA release shows that the Ma administration can count on at least some Americans to approve of its policies.

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