Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou said July 18 that Taiwan-U.S. cultural and educational relations are as important as bilateral military and economic ties.
“In general, the focus of Taiwan-U.S. relations has been on military sales and trade issues, but education and culture are also essential elements,” Ma said.
He made the comments while receiving Dawn L. McCall, coordinator of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs, at the Presidential Office in Taipei City.
McCall paid visits earlier in the day to the American Institute in Taiwan’s Taipei Office as well as the American Corner in the central city of Taichung as part of efforts to boost education and cultural ties between the two nations.
Ma expressed the hope that McCall’s visit would help enhance understanding of AIT’s efforts in this regard and increase local participation in activities organized by the institute.
The president noted that AIT established an American Resource Center seven years ago to provide more comprehensive information to residents interested in relations between Taipei and Washington.
In past years, he pointed out, the U.S. Information Service Library was of enormous assistance to Taiwan students planning to pursue higher education in the U.S.
Ma also stressed the importance of visits to Taiwan by high-level U.S. officials, including in the last year Rajiv Shah, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Daniel Poneman, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.
“These high-level official visits between the two sides are extremely helpful in terms of advancing bilateral relations,” he said.