OT-0912E | Date: 6/22/2009
Legislative Yuan President Wang, National Security Council Secretary General Su, Mayor Hau, Vice Premier Chiu, Chairman Chien, AIT colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen: good morning!
Welcome to the dedication of a site of great symbolic importance! Please believe me – the financial, physical, bureaucratic, and logistical demands of a new office compound for the American Institute in Taiwan – are great. However, even greater than the physical component of this project is what this site represents.
The close ties between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan are numerous and multifaceted. They are embodied in the travel of individuals between Taiwan and the United States, trade and business relations, our cooperation in law enforcement, in educational and cultural exchange, and our shared embrace of democracy and the free market. The new AIT building that will one day stand on this site will weave together these various strands of our complex, productive, and friendly relationship. In other words, it’s not just a building, but rather a focal point of everything that is beneficial to the societies of Taiwan and the United States about our ties.
Constructing a building – whether symbolic or not – is not easy. I would like to say a few words about this process. When I returned to Taiwan over three years ago, getting to the point where I could dedicate this site was one of my top goals. It has been a challenge. Elsewhere in the world there is great demand for the construction of new American missions. Nevertheless, with the persistent dedication of many colleagues from both Taiwan and the United States, in both Taipei and in Washington, we have arrived at this point.
Moreover, just as we enjoy a partnership in so many elements of our relationship, we have benefited from the partnership and cooperation of our friends in the Taipei City Government, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Council of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Administration, and many others. I thank our friends from these various institutions and organizations who are here today. Your help has been invaluable in getting us this far. We look forward to your continued cooperation in bringing this project to completion on schedule.
I call upon you to use your imagination and envision what this site will one day be. I am very pleased with the care that the architects have taken in designing a building that will exist in harmony with the lush, hilly landscape of Taiwan which I have come to love so much during my five stays on this island.
As both the United States and Taiwan are leaders in both the science and practice of green design, I find it fitting that this building incorporates the latest environmentally friendly technology. Such technology is already an important component of the U.S.-Taiwan trade relationship and its importance to both our economies will only grow in the years to come.
The relationship between our societies is a continuum, and I feel privileged to have been an actor in this relationship at various stages of my life. There are many others here today who have played key roles in this relationship over the course of time, and will play key roles in the future. The pursuit of a new office compound for AIT mirrors the continuum of our broader relationship. My predecessors began the process that will lead to a new office compound, and my successors will complete it. I am simply happy that I had the opportunity to serve as one link in the chain. It would be my great pleasure to return to see the completed new AIT office compound in the future.
I am proud to say that on this site we will be building a 21st century complex that embodies America’s 21st century relationship with Taiwan. For everyone who will be involved in the completion of this compound I wish you harmony, safety, speed and success.
Thank you very much for your attention.