Thu, Aug 10, 2006 - Page 3 News List

AIT's new deputy director to arrive in Taipei tomorrow

CNA , WASHINGTON

Robert Wang (王曉岷), newly appointed deputy director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Taipei Office, is scheduled to arrive in Taipei tomorrow to assume his post, diplomatic sources reported on Tuesday.

The AIT's Taipei office yesterday confirmed that a deputy director would be arriving in Taiwan very soon and said a formal announcement would be issued upon his arrival.

Wang, a senior foreign service officer with more than 20 years' experience in the US State Department, was recently appointed to take over the post from David Keegan, who has been assigned to serve as a senior official with the US Embassy in New Zealand.

Wang, who holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Iowa, began his diplomatic career as an officer with the US Embassy in Japan in 1985.

His most recent post was the economics minister counselor at the US Embassy in Beijing, where he served between 2001 and last year.

His professional career has also included service in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. He has been appointed to serve as a diplomat-in-residence at UCLA for the 2005-2006 academic year.

Before joining the US diplomatic corps, Wang taught international relations at Whittier College in California from 1977 to 1984.

Wang is a Chinese-American whose father was also a diplomat, with the Nationalist government of the Republic of China.

The Wang family emigrated to the US after the Republic of China government moved its seat from China to Taiwan in 1949.

Wang, whose ancestors were Hakkas from Fujian Province, cannot speak the Hakka dialect but is fluent in Mandarin.

He has also received intensive training in Taiwanese prior to assuming his new post in Taipei.

His wife, Katherine Xiao, is also a Chinese-American.

Regarding Wang's arrival, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday expressed optimism over the prospects of a US-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement given Wang's experience in handling economic and trade issues during postings in Beijing and Singapore.

A ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity yesterday said the appointment of Wang as deputy director would be helpful "to solve the political implications" of a FTA between the two countries before bilateral trade talks could proceed to a substantive level.

Additional reporting by Chang Yun-ping

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