Taiwanese president-elect in talks on visit to US before inauguration Taiwanese president-elect Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday he was interested in visiting the US - a highly sensitive proposal likely to test the island's relations with Washington and Beijing. But an analyst warned the popular Kuomintang politician risked turning himself into a 'troublemaker', like outgoing Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian. Following a meeting with Stephen Young, the de facto US ambassador to Taipei yesterday, Mr Ma told reporters he had discussed with Mr Young the possibility of a visit to the US before his inauguration as the island's leader on May 20. Mr Young said later it was up to Washington to decide whether such a trip was possible. Mr Ma has vowed to rebuild trust with the US, seriously hurt by Mr Chen, who has repeatedly defied America with his pro-independence rhetoric and has made moves deemed highly provocative by both Washington and Beijing during his eight years in power. Washington, which supports the 'one-China' policy, has regarded Mr Chen as a troublemaker and several times has refused to allow him to make transit stops in major US cities on his way to visit Central American allies. Mr Ma, who won a landslide victory in Saturday's presidential election, has said he would do all he could to repair mutual trust with the US and improve informal relations. Analysts said given the need to rebuild trust, it was possible Washington might agree to Mr Ma's visit. 'After all, Ma is still a private citizen. As long as he could remain low profile and avoid public appearances, it is still possible for Ma to visit the US,' said political analyst Andrew Yang Nien-dzu, secretary general of the Chinese Council for Advanced Policy Studies, a Taipei think-tank. He said it would be a significant breakthrough in terms of cross-strait and US-Taiwanese relations if Mr Ma could visit the US before his inauguration. 'It would be an indicator to future cross-strait relations. If the mainland can turn a blind eye to Ma's US visit, it means Beijing trusts Ma,' Professor Yang said, adding that cross-strait relations would fare better in such circumstances. But one pundit said it was inadvisable for Mr Ma to test Beijing's attitude by going to the US, although the KMT politician and his party are more conciliatory to Beijing compared with Mr Chen and his pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. 'It is too politically sensitive at this time for him to make such a proposal,' said Alexander Huang Chieh-cheng, professor of strategic studies and director of the Graduate Institute of American Studies at Taipei's Tamkang University. Professor Huang said it was more important for Mr Ma to engage the mainland if he was to improve cross-strait ties. 'He should avoid doing things that would make it difficult for the mainland to react,' he said. He said the No 1 priority for Mr Ma was to forge direct transport links with the mainland and gradually build trust with Beijing. He said if Mr Ma needed to talk with the US on ways to rebuild trust or to improve ties, he should find a proxy to do that instead of doing it himself. Vice-President Annette Lu Hsiu-lien said in an interview with cable news network TVBS that Mr Ma might find himself suddenly becoming a troublemaker like Mr Chen as the mainland would never yield in terms of the political sovereignty issue.