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Remarks by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen at the Opening of AIT@40 exhibition in Hualien
November 21, 2019

AIT@40 in Hualien
AIT@40 in Hualien

November 21, 2019

Remarks by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen
at the Opening of AIT@40 exhibition in Hualien
November 21, 2019 

 (As Prepared for Delivery)

Chairwoman Lin, Magistrate Hsu, Legislator Hsiao, distinguished guests: DaJia Hao!

It is an honor to open the AIT@40 exhibition here in Hualien today, the first stop of our exhibition in Eastern Taiwan.

In 1979, the U.S. Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act and established the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).  In this exhibition, AIT has brought together documents, artifacts, interviews, hundreds of photos, as well as an augmented  virtual reality feature to tell the story of AIT’s role in forging U.S.-Taiwan relations over the past 40 years.  From Taiwan increasing numbers of Taiwan students going to the United States, the growing U.S.-Taiwan collaboration in science and technology, to the newly launched Talent Circulation Alliance – we are proud of the strong and vibrant cooperation between our people.

November is AIT@40 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Month.  This morning, I observed the innovation use of unmanned vehicles in agriculture, visited National Dong Hwa University, and had a lunch with several Fulbright alumni and English Teaching Assistants in Hualien. It is amazing to see how people here are using their ingenuity and passion to create new opportunities for innovation in Hualien. AIT’s Digital Mobile American Corner, parked right outside, is another example of the work the Taiwan and the United States are doing together to promote innovation.

The transformation of Taiwan, and of this relationship over the past 40 years has been remarkable.  As we celebrate this important anniversary, we are also looking forward and focusing on even more ways to strengthen and broaden the U.S.-Taiwan relationship over the next 40 years and beyond.  Many of you know that AIT has moved into our new office space in Neihu this year.  This new $255-million facility is an important symbol of our long-term commitment to this partnership.  It is a modern complex built to serve as home base for AIT as we work to 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.

In closing, I would like to thank the Hualien County Government for co-hosting this exhibition.  I would also like to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Sun Yat-sen University for their support of this project, as well as for our many ongoing collaborations.  Thank you for joining us today.  Please enjoy the exhibition.