The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday thanked departing Representative to the US Stanley Kao (高碩泰) for his contributions to US-Taiwan relations and welcomed Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), who is to succeed him.
The AIT released a statement thanking Kao for his service, a move it rarely makes, a day after Kao issued a farewell letter to extend his appreciation to overseas Taiwanese compatriots for their support during his time in Washington.
Kao has spent half of his career in diplomacy advancing the Taiwan-US partnership, with four postings to the US. His current tenure is to end this month.
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Taiwan-US ties could be the best they have ever been, Kao said in the letter, adding that the warm relationship of the past few years demonstrates strong mutual trust.
Reviewing diplomatic milestones of his time in the US, Kao said that a telephone conversation between President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and then-US president elect Donald Trump on Dec. 2, 2016, was one.
Over the past four years, Tsai made six successful transits through the US, nearly 100 public messages by high-ranking US officials praised Taiwan, and the US Congress has passed bills to bolster the bilateral relationship, including the Taiwan Travel Act, the 2018 Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, last year’s Taiwan Allies International Protection and the Enhancement Initiative Act and the National Defense Authorization Act for next fiscal year, he said.
“Representative Kao’s long experience working with US institutions helped drive a number of important achievements that have brought the United States and Taiwan closer together,” the AIT said.
“From successful transits by President Tsai to historic agreements to sell tanks and F-16Vs to Taiwan, together we have advanced Taiwan’s international standing and ability to defend itself,” it said.
The AIT also praised Kao’s leadership, endorsed his efforts to fight for Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Assembly and technical meetings of the WHO, and thanked him for coordinating Taiwan’s mask donations to frontline medical workers across the US amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AIT congratulated Hsiao on her appointment for “this critical role,” expressing confidence in her strong record of promoting US-Taiwan relations in the areas of security cooperation and the economy.
“We are confident that the US-Taiwan friendship will continue to flourish during her tenure,” it said.
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