AIT Director reaffirms US support for Taiwan, urges Beijing towards dialogue

Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, Brent Christensen, also announced a major event in April to commemorate the 40 year anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act

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American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen

American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Brent Christensen, gave an exclusive interview with the Central News Agency this week and emphasized that the U.S. remains resolutely opposed to China's use violence or coercion to alter the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.

In his first full length interview with Taiwanese media since taking up the post of AIT Director last August, Christensen affirmed U.S. support for Taiwan in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), and when asked about recent cross-strait affairs, he urged Beijing towards a constructive dialogue with Taipei.

The AIT Director also announced that the institute is planning a major event in April to celebrate the 40 year anniversary of the TRA.

In response to Xi Jinping’s recent address discussing Taiwan, Christensen referred to section two of the TRA, which includes the following passage.

The United States will “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States.”

Christensen re-iterated that the U.S. remains committed to its obligations under the Act, and called on China to avoid coercive measure that would endanger the Taiwanese people or the social economic structure of country.

In the CNA interview, he pointed to the regular arms sales from the U.S. as evidence that Washington continues to support the government of Taiwan, in accordance with the TRA.

The director said that during his time in Taiwan, he has made it his aim to strengthen security cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan, to enhance bilateral economic relations, and to help promote Taiwan’s position and participation in global affairs.

During the interview, Christensen also announced a large event being planned at the new AIT complex in Neihu for April, to commemorate 40 years of U.S.-Taiwan relations under the TRA, which was passed in 1979.

The AIT will host a series of workshops and seminars, as well as other related events for the occasion. There is speculation that officials from the Trump Administration and Congress may also be in attendance for the event, reports CNA.