Sat, Aug 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

AIT head posts video ahead of flight to Taiwan

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Incoming American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen speaks in a video clip released by the institute yesterday.

Photo: Screen grab from the Internet

In a video announcing his pending arrival today, incoming American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen yesterday said he hopes that he could work with diverse actors to further the economic and cultural relations between Taiwan and the US during his tenure.

Greeting the AIT’s 100,000 Facebook fans in Mandarin and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), Christensen said that it is a strange turn of fate for him to be returning to the US institute for a third tour.

“The first time I came to Taiwan was in the 1970s… AIT is the destination of my first overseas positing as a diplomat. Twenty years after that, I also had the privilege of serving as the institute’s deputy director [from 2012 to 2015],” Christensen said in Mandarin.

“And now, I will be coming back to the AIT once again, as its director. What a turn of fate,” he said, adding that he and his family have been counting down the days until they can reunite with their old friends in Taiwan and make new ones.

Christensen was appointed in June. He is scheduled to address the media at 8:15pm today as he arrives at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

AIT Deputy Director Raymond Greene has been serving as acting director since Christensen’s predecessor, Kin Moy, returned to Washington on July 14 after heading the institute for three years.

In the coming months, Taiwan-US ties are due for two milestones: the AIT’s relocation to its new compound in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) and the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act.

“As AIT director, I wholeheartedly look forward to working with all of you to push for US-Taiwan friendship in the economic, cultural and private-sector domains, as well as other exchanges,” he said.

The AIT on June 12 held a dedication ceremony for its new Neihu facility, which cost Washington US$255.6 million and took nine years to build.

Moy earlier that month said that the actual relocation is likely to happen early next month.

The compound is the first facility purpose-built by a foreign representative office in Taiwan and is to bring all of the AIT’s divisions under one roof.

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