Fri, Apr 11, 2014 - Page 4 News List

AIT celebrates TRA anniversary

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

American Institute in Taiwan Director Christopher Mahut makes a speech at a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday released a video to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), with American Institute in Taiwan Director Christopher Marut saying that the law, “a cornerstone of US-Taiwan relations,” has been the foundation for relations between Taipei and Washington to grow ever deeper and stronger.

Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of the enactment of the TRA after it was approved by the US Congress and signed by then-US president Jimmy Carter on April 10, 1979, after the US severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China.

At an event held to release the video, Marut praised the partnership the US has built with Taiwan dating back to the 1950s when the US Agency for International Development provided needed assistance to Taiwan, helping the nation grow and develop in the subsequent decades.

The important relationship between the US and Taiwan “has contributed to regional prosperity and stability” and it “remains a key element of the US’ strategic rebalancing” toward the Asia-Pacific region, Marut said.

David Lee (李大維), chairman of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs, which was established as a counterpart to the AIT to deal with bilateral matters after 1979, was also invited to attend the event.

The seven-minute video features Marut and other AIT officials speaking about the TRA and the development of Taipei-Washington relations in various different spheres.

Amy Patel, deputy chief of the AIT’s political section, said the people of the US and Taiwan “are bound by our shared values and our common commitment to democracy, free markets, rule of law and human rights.”

“Taiwan’s vibrant democracy includes an energetic multiparty system, an active electorate and a free press. Taiwan’s efforts to combat human trafficking are commendable and the US appreciates the opportunity to work together to fight the trafficking of persons,” Patel says in the video.

Jason Chue, an official at the AIT’s Kaohsiung Branch, said economic and commercial ties are important to the well-being of both the US and Taiwan.

The US saw an increase in Taiwanese visitors of nearly 35 percent in the first 11 months of Taiwan’s participation in the US Visa Waiver Program, said Katie Ortiz, an official in the AIT’s consular section.

“On this 35th anniversary of the TRA, ties between the people of the US and the people of Taiwan have never been stronger. I am confident that, with the TRA as an anchor to that relationship, they will continue to grow and prosper well into the future,” Marut says at the conclusion of the video.

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