November 29, 2018
AIT Official Text #: OT-1843
Remarks by AIT Director Brent Christensen
Exhibition Opening in Kaohsiung – Strong Foundation, Bright Future: AIT@40
U.S.-Taiwan Relations Since 1979
November 29, 2018
(As Prepared for Delivery)
Mayor Hsu, Secretary General Li, President Cheng, distinguished guests: good morning.
As many of you know, this is my third time serving in Taiwan – and my fourth time living here. And I can assure you all that I am delighted to return this time as the Director of AIT.
I am particularly honored to help open the AIT@40 exhibition here in Kaohsiung. I would like to extend special thanks to the Kaohsiung Museum of History for co-hosting this exhibition. I would also like to thank National Sun Yat-sen University and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their support for this event, as well as for our many ongoing collaborations.
In this exhibition, AIT has brought together documents, artifacts, interviews, hundreds of photos, and even augmented and virtual reality features to tell the story of AIT’s role in forging U.S.-Taiwan relations over the past 40 years. It shows the breadth and depth of the exchanges and engagement that the U.S. and Taiwan have shared since 1979.
The U.S.-Taiwan relationship has a remarkable history, and we have come a long way together, as Taiwan developed into both a hi-tech economic powerhouse and also a highly successfully liberal democracy. As a result, we have come to share so many values, including respect for the rule of law and support for civil liberties.
This history of shared experience, economic development, and values also means we have many common interests, as reflected in the Taiwan Relations Act. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of this remarkable legislation, we will also be looking forward, focusing on how we can strengthen and broaden the relationship over the next 40 years, and build upon this strong foundation a bright future.
During my tenure as AIT Director, I will focus on four priority areas, 《四個增進》: Promote U.S.-Taiwan security cooperation; Promote the U.S.-Taiwan economic and commercial relationship; Promote Taiwan’s role in the global community; and Promote people-to-people ties.
We can point to the new $250-million AIT office in Neihu, a modern complex built explicitly to serve as home base for AIT and its activities, as an important symbol of our commitment to this partnership.
In the coming year, in each month we will highlight a different aspect of the U.S.-Taiwan partnership (e.g., digital economy, health, shared values), and explore ways to expand our cooperation.
Thank you once again to the Kaohsiung Museum of History for housing this exhibition, and for all of you for coming today to this great event.
Over the next three years, I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the many U.S.-Taiwan connections that have made this such a positive relationship for the United States, for Taiwan, and for the world.