Arrival Statement for Raymond Burghardt Director, AIT Taipei
First, let me say how pleased I am to be back in Taiwan and to assume the position of Director of the American Institute in Taiwan's Taipei Office. I am deeply honored by this appointment, and I look forward to working with the Taiwan authorities as well as political, economic, commercial, social, and cultural entities throughout the island. This is a dynamic period in our relations, and I am excited by the opportunity to play a part in strengthening the already strong bonds that exist between the peoples of Taiwan and the United States.
My wife, Susan, will be arriving in a couple of weeks. We feel particularly fortunate in succeeding Darryl and Kathleen Johnson, who made so many outstanding contributions to U.S. -Taiwan friendship.
It's been a few years since I was last in Taiwan. At that time I was a Chinese-language student at the State Department's language school in Taichung. A great many changes have taken place in Taiwan since then. I look forward to renewing old acquaintances and making new friends as I learn about the developments that have brought about the Taiwan of today.
This is a very important time for the U.S. -Taiwan relationship. I have just come from Washington, D.C., where I met with a wide range of officials at all levels who are interested in Taiwan. I am very much impressed by the depth of the United States relationship with Taiwan.
I firmly believe there are great prospects for further enriching those relationships. That is the point I will bear in mind as I begin my calls on Taiwan's leaders in the coming weeks. I have a lot to learn and to discover about Taiwan, and I am very much looking forward to getting started on my work here.
Thank you and good evening.