Tue, Sep 13, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Speaker meets retiring AIT chairman

Staff writer, with CNA

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday met with retiring American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt, who is visiting Taiwan.

Describing Burghardt as an old friend, Su said he has interacted with Burghardt on many occasions over the past 16 years, from the time he was commissioner of Pingtung County.

Su said he hoped Burghardt would see Taiwan as his second home and continue to help Taiwan participate in international affairs after his retirement.

Burghardt said he has been involved in Taiwan’s affairs for a long time and is very happy about the progress in US-Taiwan relations over the past 10 years.

He said the bilateral ties are important, covering areas such as economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.

Washington views Taiwan with respect and has urged Beijing to treat Taiwan with respect as well, he added.

On his replacement, who has yet to be announced by Washington, Burghardt said he has known the person for a long time and described the choice as “perfect.”

Burghardt is expected to retire later this year, and James Moriarty, a former senior director for Asia at the US National Security Council during the administration of former US president George W. Bush, has reportedly been tapped as his successor.

Burghardt arrived in Taiwan on Sunday and is scheduled to stay until Thursday.

This is Burghardt’s 20th visit to Taiwan since he took office in February 2006 and his last as chairman, according to the AIT.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Burghardt has been committed to promoting Taiwan-US relations since becoming AIT chairman.

It said that Burghardt last visited Taiwan in May as a member of the US delegation to the inauguration ceremony of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

In January, he also accompanied former US deputy secretary of state William Burns on a trip to Taiwan.

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