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AIT chief in Taipei for six-day visit

2015/05/11 09:54:43

AIT Chairman Raymond Burghardt (left) is greeted by President Ma Ying-jeou in the Presidntial Office in Taipei on Monday.

Taipei, May 11 (CNA) Raymond Burghardt, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), is in Taiwan on a six-day visit, during which he will call on President Ma Ying-jeou and exchange views with senior government leaders on bilateral issues, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Monday.

In a statement, MOFA expressed its sincere welcome and highlighted the progress in U.S.-Taiwan relations over the past seven years, including Washington's approval of major arms sales packages to Taiwan and Taiwan's inclusion in the U.S. visa waiver program.

Burghardt has "played an important role" in elevating U.S.-Taiwan relationship to its best state in 36 years, MOFA said in the statement.

Burghardt, who arrived on Sunday, has been AIT chairman since 2006. He was the director of the AIT office in Taipei from 1999 to 2001.

The American Institute in Taiwan was established in Washington as a non-profit institution in 1979, after the United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. It handles unofficial relations with Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Jay Chen)

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