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NSYSU and AIT celebrate 40 years of U.S.-Taiwan relations

National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) Sun Yat-sen America Center, together with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) jointly organized an exhibition to celebrate 40 years of U.S.-Taiwan relations since the signing of Taiwan Relations Act. The “U.S.-Taiwan Relations Since 1979” exhibition in the Sizihwan Art Gallery NSYSU includes historical documents, old photographs, and multimedia presentations, narrating the details of the close collaboration of Taiwan and the United States in industry, commerce, health and medicine, culture, and education.

NSYSU is the first stop in Southern Taiwan of the exhibition’s tour around six universities. The exhibition focuses on four major themes: “Broadening the scope for Taiwan to participate on the international stage”, “Strengthening U.S.-Taiwan economic and commercial cooperation”, “Strengthening the U.S.-Taiwan Security Relations”, and “Enhancing our people-to-people ties.” One of the highlights, the “Oral History,” shows interviews with former R.O.C. President Lee Deng-hui, former President of the Executive Yuan Hau Pei-tsun, Digital Minister Audrey Tang, and Taiwanese professional baseball pitcher Wei-Yin Chen on Taiwan-U.S. relations. “Kaohsiung Connection”, the other highlight and a special addition, demonstrated the close ties between AIT and Kaohsiung and presented AIT’s milestones in Southern Taiwan.

NSYSU University President Ying-Yao Cheng said that he believes that everybody has at least some knowledge of the historical events narrated by the exhibition, if not a personal experience of participating in them. In fact, the Sun Yat-sen America Center at NSYSU was established with the joint efforts of AIT and NSYSU in 1999 and has promoted the understanding of the U.S. in Southern Taiwan through events shown during the exhibition. Especially, the historical documents showed tremendous cooperation between both countries, and compatibility and influences between Eastern and Western cultures. President Cheng encouraged young people to visit the exhibition to gain a deeper understanding of the contemporary political situation, both in Taiwan and abroad by learning about the history of U.S.-Taiwan relations.

In his speech, Chief of American Institute in Taiwan, Kaohsiung Branch Office Matthew O'Connor pointed out that the “U.S.-Taiwan Relations Since 1979” exhibition displays the deep partnership between the two countries in a variety of fields, from science and technology to art and literature, and from education to environmental protection. The reason for this close connection is obvious: Taiwan and the USA share the same political values, rule of law, equality before the law, human rights, democratic and transparent governance, freedom of journalism, speech and religion, and appreciation of diversity. Ultimately, these shared values also include “international values”: contributing to the resolution of global problems, providing foreign and humanitarian aid, supporting other countries striving for a flourishing, more democratic governance system, and exporting solutions instead of problems.

Dr. Chih-Wen Kuo, NSYSU Vice President for International Affairs said that Sun Yat-sen America Center is stepping into its twenty-first year of operation now. During this time, the Center has organized many events, talks, and exhibitions to promote understanding of the U.S. culture among Taiwanese citizens. Also, focusing on young students, together with AIT, NSYSU organized the intercollegiate English Speech Contest for high school and university students and an open lecture of The Honorable Pat Schroeder, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, to promote cultural exchange and friendship between the two countries.
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