Remarks by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen at the Opening of AIT@40 exhibition in Taichung

AIT Director W. Brent Christensen
AIT Official Text# OT-1930
May 29, 2019

 

Remarks by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen
at the Opening of AIT@40 exhibition in Taichung
May 29, 2019

 

(As Prepared for Delivery)

Chairwoman Lin, Deputy Mayor Chen, Director Liu, distinguished guests: DaJia Hao!

It is an honor to open the AIT@40 exhibition here in Taichung today, especially during AIT@40 Immigration and Exchange Month.  In 2012, right after the library opened in this location, I was here as AIT Deputy Director to open our “Immigrants Building America” exhibition.  AIT’s partnership with the National Library of Public Information goes back even further.  In 2005 AIT opened our first American Corner in Taiwan here in Taichung at the Library.  In fact, AIT’s Chinese language school was based here in Taichung until 1979, when it moved to Taipei.

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, 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 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 how we can further strengthen and broaden the relationship over the next 40 years and beyond.  Many of you know that AIT has just moved into our new office space in Neihu.  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 National Library of Public Information 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.