Tue, Nov 29, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan to welcome high-ranking Obama official on Thursday

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

US Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Rajiv Shah will visit Taipei on Thursday and Friday, the highest---ranking US government official from US President Barack Obama’s administration to visit Taiwan, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said yesterday.

Shah is visiting Taiwan at the AIT’s invitation as part of his trip through Asia to celebrate the USAID-Taiwan relationship, as well as the country’s transformation into a democratic society, it said.

On Friday, Shah is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at the opening of the “American Footsteps in Taiwan” international forum at the National Central Library.

Shah will meet President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and other senior officials and business leaders while in Taiwan, the AIT said.

As USAID marks the 50th anniversary of its establishment by former US president John Kennedy in 1961, Shah is visiting Taiwan to celebrate the historic relationship between USAID and Taiwan, AIT said in a press release.

Shah was sworn in on Dec. 31, 2009, as the 16th administrator of USAID, and he leads the efforts of more than 8,000 professionals in 80 missions around the world.

Few senior serving US government officials have visited Taiwan since Obama came into office.

In September, US Assistant Commerce Secretary Suresh Kumar visited Taiwan to promote US exports. At the time, Kumar was the most senior US official to visit Taiwan in five years. Former deputy trade representative Karan Bhatia visited in 2006 to promote Washington’s trade agenda.

Additional reporting by Staff Writer

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