Mon, Apr 22, 2013 - Page 3 News List

American Institute in Taiwan launches outreach program

Staff writer, with CNA

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) has launched a new public outreach program that offers video responses to questions posed by the public.

The video replies to the questions would be posted on the AIT’s Facebook page, AIT Director Christopher Marut said in an introductory video.

Questions can be submitted on the AIT’s Facebook page or via e-mail, AIT said.

“This new initiative is an opportunity for you to learn more about AIT and the American officers who work here, by sending in questions for us to answer,” Marut said.

“We will identify the most frequently asked questions” and an AIT officer will post a video response on the institute’s Facebook site, he added.

AIT spokesman Mark Zimmer said that all kinds of questions would be welcome.

The initiative, called “Ask AIT,” is part of “the overall efforts to be more available and to be more open,” he said.

The main goal is to encourage Taiwanese to submit their questions and have them answered, he added.

Since the launch of the program last week, Facebook users have posed both non-policy questions, such as the AIT officers’ favorite types of Taiwanese food, and hard-hitting questions on issues like US beef product imports containing the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine.

Last year, AIT officers launched an information drive at night markets and other popular locations in Taipei to promote Taiwan’s admission to the US Visa-Waiver Program in November last year.

In February, the AIT released a video to send out greetings for the Lunar New Year holiday.

The information drive behind the visa-waiver program and the Lunar New Year message received positive feedback from the public, Zimmer said.

“We hope that ‘Ask AIT’ will be equally well received, and we look forward to receiving questions,” he added.

“Ask AIT” is similar to a program initiated by the US embassy in South Korea, Zimmer said.

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