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Chief of the Kaohsiung Branch of American Institute in Taiwan Matthew O’Connor gives a talk on U.S.-Taiwan Relations

(Provided by the Office of International Affairs) Chief of American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Kaohsiung Branch Office, Matthew O’Connor, was invited by the Sun Yat-sen America Center, Office of International Affairs, to give a talk on U.S.-Taiwan Relations as part of the General Education Talk Series-Philosophy in Higher Education. Last year in 2019, AIT celebrated its 40th anniversary of promoting exchanges between Taiwan and the USA. AIT not only offers services for American citizens but also processes visa applications for Taiwan citizens and provides information on studying in the USA. Also, AIT actively connects businesses between the two countries, advances cooperation in national defense, and hosts exhibitions and talks to strengthen bilateral relations.

Chief O’Connor mentioned that Taiwan Relations Act, established in 1979, is the basis for non-diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the USA and that there are four major areas to strengthen: economic and commercial cooperation, security relations, people-to-people ties, and Taiwan’s international participation. Taiwan and the USA have been working together all along; the examples include the recent export of agricultural products (such as guava) to the USA, and the arms sales to Taiwan – an effort to strengthen the defense capability of Taiwan. Specifically, Chief O’Connor pointed out that Taiwan’s remarkable efforts and performance in recent years in disaster relief, environmental protection, and public health have attracted significant international attention.

The Chief encouraged the students to apply for the internship program at AIT, both in Taipei and Kaohsiung. The internship is a great opportunity for students to gain practical experience and will be very helpful in the future when looking for a job. “Actually, the percentage of NSYSU students among interns is very high at AIT/K”, said Mr. O’Connor. The students can check out the information on the official FB fan page and take this chance to apply.

After the talk, a Q&A session was hosted by Dr. Ian Tsung-Yen Chen of the NSYSU Institute of Political Science. Students submitted questions anonymously using Slido, an online platform. They asked about a wide array of topics: fake news, China-Taiwan relations, the competitiveness of the US students, and recent events reported on the news, such as the situation in Hong Kong and racism in the USA. Chief O’Connor praised the students for their enthusiastic and abundant questions. Mr. O’Connor said that he would be back to the USA this summer and he would always remember the enthusiasm of NSYSU students and the beautiful campus of the University. In addition, he appreciated the Director of Sun Yat-sen America Center Dr. Chih-Wen Kuo and Executive Secretary Vivian Chung for their support over the years.

(Edited by Public Affairs Division)
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