President Tsai Ing-wen (center), AIT Chairman James Moriarty (left), U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce (second left), William Moser (fourth left), acting director of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, and AIT Director Kin Moy prepare to unveil the institute’s new office complex June 12 in Neihu District of Taipei City. (Staff photo/Chin Hung-hao)
The American Institute in Taiwan’s new office complex was inaugurated June 12 in Taipei City’s Neihu District, marking a historic milestone in Taiwan-U.S. relations.
High-ranking dignitaries from both sides attended the celebration including President Tsai Ing-wen, Premier Lai Ching-te, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu, AIT Chairman James Moriarty, AIT Director Kin Moy and Marie Royce, U.S. assistant secretary of state for education and cultural affairs.
Other U.S. officials visiting for the event are Rep. Gregg Harper, co-chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, and William Moser, acting director of the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations.
In her address, Tsai described the occasion as a celebration of the people, history and robust connections between the two sides. “It is a reaffirmation of our shared values, interests and commitment to this vital partnership,” she said.
According to Tsai, as free and open democracies, Taiwan and the U.S. have an obligation to stand together. The friendship has never been more promising, she said, adding that the AIT’s renewed presence in Taipei heralds a brighter chapter in bilateral relations.
Echoing the president’s sentiments, Moriarty called the inauguration a momentous event and noted the wide affection in which Taiwan is held by U.S. citizens on both sides of the political aisle, at all levels of government and throughout society. “Americans deeply admire Taiwan’s achievements over the past decades in developing an advanced economy and establishing a vibrant democracy,” he said.
Reaffirming the U.S.’s abiding commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act, Moriarty said that the country will continue to advance exchanges closely binding their economies and peoples as well as support Taiwan’s ability to defend itself and make positive contributions to the international community.
Royce said the state-of-the-art facility will facilitate deeper cooperation. “It represents much more than steel and glass and concrete. The new office complex is a symbol of the strength and vibrancy of the U.S.-Taiwan partnership in the 21st century.”
Citing ongoing collaboration in areas spanning culture, technology and trade, Royce said that the close friendship produces significant mutual benefits and serves as a positive example in the international community. “Our shared convictions, values and trust form a strong foundation for cooperation across a range of issues,” she added.
According to the AIT, the US$255.6 million office spans nearly 15,000 square meters and is slated to begin operations in the third quarter of this year. (KWS-E)