OT-0915E | Date: 8/28/2009
Good afternoon everybody.
I am honored and delighted to return to Taiwan as Director of the American Institute in Taiwan.
I look forward to continuing the work of my distinguished predecessors in further strengthening U.S -Taiwan relations and supporting the maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Although I last lived in Taiwan 22 years ago, I have many fond memories, including the birth of my older daughter Kate who was therefore — as I said in Washington recently — “made in Taiwan.”
It is amazing to see the enormous progress Taiwan has made in those years. Taiwan is of course an economic miracle. With virtually no natural resources other than intelligence and hard work of its people, it is now the 26th largest economy in the world.
Just after I left Taiwan, martial law was lifted and now Taiwan is a vibrant democracy. Now Taiwan is a vibrant democracy built on the foundation of a civil society of the people of Taiwan and NGOs. This is an impressive achievement that the people of Taiwan can all be proud of.
The United States is proud of the support we have given the people of Taiwan in achieving these goals. The success of our policy toward Taiwan has been built on the Taiwan Relations Act which became law 30 years ago. Our commitment to that policy is firm, and on that basis we will continue to improve our relations.
Relations between the America and Taiwan are fundamentally based on shared values as well as common interests, which will also continue to guide us.
I have much to see and to learn in Taiwan in the coming weeks and months. I will listen carefully to the people of Taiwan on how we may best continue to make progress.
I also look forward to working with you, members of the Taiwan media, and plan to hold a press conference after I have a chance to reacquaint myself with Taiwan. Thank you for your attention.