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AIT at 40: New Offices Show USA’s Commitment to Taiwan
Posted on 2019-04-09 17:13:45

ICRT x AIT: A 40 Year Story

Christensen: New AIT Facility Demonstrates US’ Staunch Commitment to Taiwan

 

April 9th, 2019

 

This year is of particular significance to Taiwan. 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of three important domestic institutions - the American Institute in Taiwan, the Taiwan Relations Act, and, of course, ICRT. However, this simultaneous occurrence is by no means a coincidence. AIT, ICRT and the TRA share a common lineage - each of them were necessary to salvage relations in the wake of severed diplomatic ties between Taiwan and the United States.

 

On April 8th, Director of the American Institute in Taiwan Brent Christensen visited ICRT and spoke with resident afternoon DJ Joey Chou. During their chat, Christensen revealed that the newly built AIT facility in Neihu would be open to the public on May 6th. The original AIT office on XinYi road in DaAn district is scheduled to close beginning May 1st. General service will be suspended between the 1st and the 6th, with only emergency services available.

 

The new AIT facility in Neihu is the first foreign government building dedicated to consular services constructed in Taiwan. Christensen himself boasted the fully-equipped $250 million facility as truly resembling an embassy. Its construction is a testament to the United States’ staunch commitment to maintaining meaningful ties with Taiwan.

 

When asked about his long career in Taiwan, Christensen praised the country’s progress toward environmentalism. The director noted that during his tenure in Taiwan air and water quality has vastly improved. 

 

Christensen has had a long storied history with Taiwan, having traveled to and from the country for well over 30 years now. He served as the deputy director at AIT between 2012 and 2015, and had previous postings in South Africa and Beijing, as well. Christensen admitted to possessing a distinct distaste for Chinese cuisine when he first arrived in Taiwan, but has since acclimated to local food.

 

Christensen’s interview is now available on the ICRT website and smartphone app under the podcast sections.

 
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