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Taiwan's envoy to US meets with new AIT director to discuss bilateral ties

Both diplomats ready to advance 'positive momentum' of Taiwan-US relations

Newly appointed AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk (left) and Hsiao Bi-khim (Twitter, TECRO photo)

Newly appointed AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk (left) and Hsiao Bi-khim (Twitter, TECRO photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taipei Economic and Culture Representative Office (TECRO) said Friday (July 9) the new director of the American Institute in Taiwan’s (AIT) Taipei office, Sandra Oudkirk, met with Taiwan's envoy to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim (美琴) to discuss the progress of Taiwan-U.S. relations.

TECRO revealed on Twitter the two had talked about different ways to “build on the positive momentum of the Taiwan-U.S. relationship,” adding that it is eager to work with Oudkirk to advance bilateral relations.

AIT announced on July 6 that Oudkirk will replace Brent Christensen as director of the Taipei office this summer, making her the first female director since the de facto embassy’s establishment in 1979, CNA reported. The new director has been a diplomat for 30 years and is currently the senior official for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and deputy assistant secretary for Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.

Christensen has served as AIT-Taipei director for three years.

During his tenure, bilateral relations reached an unprecedented level. Taipei and Washington organized the first Pacific Islands Dialogue, the Taiwan-U.S. Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, and signed a memorandum of understanding on coast guard cooperation. The State Department also issued new guidelines for bilateral exchanges.