Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou to Attend Pope Francis's Inauguration

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Sunday March 17, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

If one reads these columns, he/she would know that after some initial good impressions I have never been that appreciative of Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou either from the standpoint of competency and/or ability as well as his over reliance on style rather than substance, so you may find it surprising that when I read that Ma was to attend the Pope's inauguration, I was pleased.

I was pleased not only that he would go there to the only country in Europe that still has diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but also that his staff had begun preparations when they saw that the former Pope resigned and a new one was to be named. It showed that they were on top of things, regardless of the fact that it could take many ballots before a new Pope was chosen.

This is all the more satisfying since Japan also recently honored Taiwan for its tsunami help etc. and of course those people in that country across the Strait protested in their usual control-freak fashion and subsequently did not send their own delegate to be in the same room.