Another foreign head of state for Obama to meet in person:

By expressing a readiness to meet with Cuba's Raul Castro, and also to meet with personally with the heads of Iran, Syria, and North Korea, Senator Obama seems to be promising that one of the changes his Presidency would bring is a greater willingness to engage in person with controversial foreign heads of state. Accordingly, there is another head of state with whom Obama should also promise to be willing to meet in person: Taiwan's new President Ma Ying-Jeou. Inaugurated on May 20 as Taiwan's democratically-elected President, Ma is a Harvard Law School graduate who speaks excellent English. Unlike some of the other foreign leaders whom Obama has said he would meet, Ma won a legitimate, free election, is very friendly towards the United States, is not working on a nuclear weapons program, does not militarily threaten the U.S. or its allies, and does not sponsor international terrorism. A fortiori, the case for a meeting with Ma is much stronger than the case for a meeting with Castro et al.

Ever since the Carter administration broke diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the U.S. State Department has imposed a policy against personal meetings (or even phone calls!) between high-ranking officials of the United States and Taiwan. As detailed in an American Enterprise Institute report, the State Department's ban on direct high-level U.S.-Taiwan contacts interferes with effective U.S. policy towards Taiwan, and leads to unnecessary misunderstandings.

An Obama-Ma meeting would infuriate the Chinese Communist dictatorship. However, such a meeting might help allay concerns that President Obama would be easily coerced by dictatorships, or that he might be weak in supporting U.S. allies. In any case, given that Obama has answered whether he would be willing to meet with Raul Castro, it would be reasonable for him to state whether he will meet with Ma Ying-Jeou.