Remarks by Douglas Paal, Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, Taichung American Corner Opening
BG0507E | Date: 2005-05-07
(As Prepared for Delivery)
Minister Chen Chi-nan, Council for Cultural Affairs Mayor Jason Hu, Taichung Director Hsueh Mao-song , Taichung Library Chairman Jack McDowell, American Chamber of Commerce in Taichung Taichung library staff, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen:
It is my pleasure to be here today for the opening of the first American Corner in Taiwan. We are honored that the National Taichung Library has partnered with the American Institute in Taiwan to establish this facility in the vibrant city of Taichung in central Taiwan. We hope this American Corner will be a resource for all the people of Taichung city and the surrounding area to learn more about the United States. I am confident this project will help continue the long tradition of friendship and understanding between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan. The staff of the National Library, the Taichung government, our friends at the American Chamber of Commerce, and our own American Cultural Center staff have all been working diligently for the last 9 months to make the establishment of the first American Corner in Taiwan a success. We are very proud of what you have accomplished here today.
You may be wondering, what is an American Corner? An American Corner is many things, but most important, it's a place where visitors can learn more about American society and culture. The first American Corner opened in Russia in October 2000. Since that time, over 200 cities around the world have become part of the growing network of American Corners across the globe. The vibrant and growing city of Taichung is an ideal place for Taiwan's first American Corner.
As a resource center this American Corner has a great deal to offer. It houses an extensive book, pamphlet, and video collection covering topics as diverse as American government and business, American literature and popular fiction, as well as materials on studying and traveling in the United States. Visitors to the American Corner will also find free wireless internet access, as well as computers linked to the American Cultural Center's information resource service for the most up-to-date and accurate information on the United States in both English and Chinese. The American Corner is also outfitted with digital video conferencing ability. This allows participants in our programs to discuss topics and related issues with counterparts and experts throughout Taiwan, the United States, and the world.
The American Corner also will be a venue for live public programs featuring speakers, cultural guests and performances such as the jazz performance scheduled for later this afternoon. We have already begun to develop programs that will link Taiwan and American academics, officials, journalists, and students as well. We also plan to hold film and video screenings, library training workshops, and book discussion clubs.
The American Institute in Taiwan is committed to supporting this American Corner and cooperating with our excellent partner, the National Taichung Library. I am confident the American Corner will be a friendly and lively place for people to share ideas and build on the trust and close relationship the people of the United States and Taiwan enjoy today and for years to come. I want to thank and congratulate everyone again who has made this day possible. I understand that the Taichung American Chamber of Commerce has arranged for a great celebration outside- complete with U.S. beef and apple pie made with U.S. apples. I can hardly wait to sample it myself.
Thank you very much.