William Stanton, a former director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), has been named director of National Tsing Hua University’s newly established Center for Asia Policy, the school said yesterday.
Stanton, who served as AIT director from 2009 to last year, will be Tsing Hua’s Yeh Kung-chao chair professor and the head of the Asia policy center, National Tsing Hua University president Chen Lih-juann (陳力俊) said.
Chen added that Tsing Hua University has maintained close ties with the US since it was first established in Beijing in 1909 with funding from the Boxer Rebellion indemnity returned by the US government.
“A few of Tsing Hua’s graduates and faculty members, including Hu Shih (胡適) and Yeh Kung-chao (葉公超), even served as the Republic of China’s ambassador to the US,” Chen said.
Some academics and staff from China’s Tsinghua University in Beijing, who fled to Taiwan after the Chinese Civil War, created the National Tsing Hua Institute of Nuclear Technology in Hsinchu in 1955, which later became National Tsing Hua University.
“Because of Asia’s rise as a global economic powerhouse, the university has decided to set up a new Asia studies center to strengthen domestic research on democratic development and consolidation in major Asian countries, and offer impartial policy recommendations,” Chen said.
“The center will act as a think tank and will invite outstanding diplomats and academics in relevant fields to join its research teams,” Chen said, adding that he also hoped the center would boost Taiwan’s role in regional affairs.
Chen said Stanton will contribute a lot to the new center’s operations and development because of his wealth of experience as a diplomat throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Describing the establishment of the Center for Asia Policy as a formidable task, Stanton said he saw the center emerging as a platform for policy analysis, research, dialogue and communications to help promote National Tsing Hua University’s influence in international relations.
Saying that Taiwan occupies an important strategic position in Asia, Stanton said the new Asia policy center will help strengthen interaction between Taiwan, the US and China, as well as promote Asia’s peaceful development.