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Ma voices Taiwan's intent to buy shale gas from US

TAIPEI -- President Ma Ying-jeou proposed yesterday to buy shale gas from the United States to meet Taiwan's energy needs.

If an agreement can be reached on the issue, it would be a positive development for both sides and help reduce America's trade deficit with Taiwan, Ma told a U.S. Congressional delegation led by Edward Royce, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The production of shale gas, a type of natural gas trapped within shale formations, has grown rapidly in the United States in recent years due to improvements in drilling and extraction methods.

Taipei has shown an interest in purchasing the gas from America, but Washington reportedly has been unwilling to sell to Taiwan because the two countries have not signed a free trade agreement.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah said last year that the two sides were still trying to figure out some way to strike a deal and probably could eventually achieve a breakthrough on the matter.

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