Remarks by AIT Director Brent Christensen at TRA & AIT@40: Celebrating 40 Years of Friendship

TRA & AIT@40: Celebrating 40 Years of Friendship
AIT Official Text#: OT-1916
April 15, 2019


On behalf of the whole AIT community, I am delighted to welcome you to tonight’s event, TRA & AIT@40: Celebrating 40 Years of Friendship. This milestone is an opportunity to reflect on our impressive achievements over the past forty years, and the promising future we will build together.

I would like to begin by welcoming the Honorable President Tsai, Speaker Su, and other representatives from Taiwan’s leadership, as well as former President Ma. We owe much of our success to you and your predecessors. I would also like to thank Speaker Ryan, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and the other Members of U.S. Congress who have travelled to Taiwan to be here tonight. We are so glad you could be here to mark this important legislative milestone, and to reaffirm the bipartisan support U.S.-Taiwan cooperation enjoys in Congress.

The Taiwan Relations Act, passed April 10, 1979, ensured that while the U.S.-Taiwan relationship would be unofficial, it would not be unimportant. This remarkable legislation has served as the framework for a friendship that has benefited both the people of the United States and Taiwan and the people elsewhere around the world.

The U.S.-Taiwan partnership is one that reflects our shared interests and our shared values. Our economic and commercial relationship provides innovative technology, cultural richness, and prosperity to both of our societies. Our cooperation in promoting freedom, human rights, and rule of law demonstrates our commitment to these values both within our own democracies and internationally. Our security cooperation contributes to peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region.

But beyond the law and the institutions, it is the people-to-people ties that truly bind us. As you look at the themes we have designated for each month of the AIT@40 campaign – be it Shared Values, Trade & Investment, Education, or Immigration & Exchanges – I hope you will take pride in your own contributions to the U.S.-Taiwan partnership.

After we conduct this ceremony, I hope you will take a few moments to explore the activities we have prepared for tonight’s reception. Take a “selfie” in front of one of the featured U.S. landmarks; watch a U.S.-trained chef from Taiwan fuse our two culinary traditions into innovative dishes; enjoy the beautiful and serene art of both Chinese and English-language calligraphy; and enjoy tonight’s soundtrack, provided by a jazz band and an aboriginal a cappella troupe.

I am also excited to report that for the next three evenings, a special message of U.S.-Taiwan friendship will appear on the side of Taipei 101 to mark this important bilateral milestone.

All of us are part of the U.S.-Taiwan story, a story of friendship, of progress, of partnership and peace. I am humbled to be at the helm of AIT at this time to help carry this relationship forward, to build on this strong foundation and usher in an even brighter future. Thank you all for joining us today and for everything you have done for the U.S.-Taiwan relationship.