The new director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) has assumed his duties, the institute said in a statement yesterday, one day after Christopher Marut arrived in Taiwan.
Marut is planning to meet with senior Taiwanese officials in the coming week, said the AIT, which represents US interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Upon his arrival late the previous evening, Marut said he looked forward to working with his colleagues in Taipei to improve US-Taiwan ties.
“It’s my privilege to extend America’s friendship and wide-ranging relationship with Taiwan,” the Connecticut-born diplomat said in a video posted on AIT’s Facebook page earlier in the week.
“An important part of my job will be to strengthen ties between our peoples. The United States and Taiwan share deep economic, educational, social and cultural bonds. We have an abiding belief in democracy and the rule of law,” he said in the video.
Marut, who studied in Taiwan in the 1970s and worked at the AIT’s Taipei Office in the late 1980s, said he is “delighted to have the opportunity to return to Taiwan.”
Having spent 27 years in foreign affairs, Marut has developed a deep understanding of Asian affairs, the AIT statement said.
His most recent assignment was as director of the Office of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Affairs in the US Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, the statement said.
Marut has also been posted at the US Consulate General in Hong Kong and at the US embassies in Beijing and Malaysia, the AIT said.
He succeeds William Stanton, who retired in July and is currently working as a teacher.