The government yesterday welcomed Washington’s appointment of former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) deputy director Brent Christensen as the new AIT director, praising him as being instrumental in the US’ implementation of several Taiwan-friendly initiatives.
The AIT announced in a press release yesterday morning that Christensen, a veteran US diplomat with nearly 30 years of service, is to succeed outgoing AIT Director Kin Moy.
Moy, the first US diplomat of Chinese descent to head the AIT’s Taipei office, is expected to leave next month the post he has occupied since June 2015, but the AIT has yet to release a specific date for his departure.
Photo: screen grab from the US Department of State Web site
Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) said Christensen is a senior diplomat with a solid resume and is well-versed in US-Taiwan relations.
“During his tenure as director of the US Department of State’s Office of Taiwan Coordination from 2010 to 2012 and deputy director of the AIT from 2012 to 2015, Christensen had made every possible effort to further Taiwan-US ties. He was also involved in several initiatives vital to bilateral relations,” Lin said.
Following the completion of the AIT’s new compound in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), which cost the US government US$255.6 million and serves as a significant milestone in Taiwan-US relations, Lin said he hoped to see bilateral ties and cooperation between Taiwan and US reach new heights under Christensen’s leadership.
Lin also expressed the government’s gratitude to Moy for his dedication to the development of Taiwan-US ties over the past three years.
Moy was earlier this month given the Grand Medal of Diplomacy, the highest honor Taiwan gives to an individual for diplomatic contributions.
“Recent progress in Taiwan-US relations serves as a testament to the concrete foundations that have been laid down by all of the AIT’s previous directors. We will continue to further bilateral partnership based on these foundations,” Lin said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also welcomed the appointment of Christensen, who it said has an in-depth understanding of major issues concerning Taiwan and the US, as well as the government’s policy stance.
Christensen has played a role in Washington’s implementation of several Taiwan-friendly initiatives, the ministry said, citing as examples Taiwan’s inclusion in the US’ Visa Waiver Program in 2012, the signing of a new version of the Agreement on Privileges, Exemptions and Immunities between the AIT and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US in 2013, and the establishment of the US-Taiwan Global Cooperation and Training Framework in 2015.
He has also facilitated visits by high-level US officials to Taiwan, including then-US environmental protection agency administrator Gina McCarthy in 2014 and then-US assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs Charles Rivkin in 2015, the ministry said.
“The ministry looks forward to Christensen’s inauguration and to working closely with him to further the Taiwan-US partnership based on the foundations laid down by Moy and his predecessors,” it said.
Asked when Christensen would take office, the AIT said the date would be announced in the near future.
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a