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AIT mourns death of former chairman Bellocchi

2014/11/19 11:32:52

Taipei, Nov. 19 (CNA) The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) mourned the death of Natale Bellocchi, a former chairman of the board of trustees at the U.S. representative office in the 1990s, in a statement issued Wednesday.

Bellocchi, who served as AIT chairman and managing director from 1990 to 1995, passed away Nov. 17 at the age of 88.

Bellocchi is survived by his wife, Lilan Liu, who is originally from Taiwan, and their two children.

"The American Institute in Taiwan mourns his passing and extends its condolences to his family," AIT said.

Born in New York on July 5, 1926, Bellocchi had a long and distinguished career of service to the United States, AIT said. He served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1953 and later entered the Foreign Service in 1955.

He was appointed U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Botswana in 1985, and his other posts included stints in Hong Kong, Laos, India, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

Bellocchi reportedly passed away at his home in Maryland. It was learned that his family found him in his bed Monday morning after apparently having died peacefully in his sleep.

On Tuesday, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs remembered Bellocchi for his contributions to U.S.-Taiwan relations over the past decades.

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party also paid tribute to Bellocchi, with party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen saying "our hearts go out to Ambassador Bellocchi's family in this time of sorrow."

(By Elaine Hou)