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AIT managing director visits Taiwan for first time

2017/10/24 10:44:18

AIT Managing Director John J. Norris Jr. (From AIT Facebook page)

Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) John J. Norris Jr., the managing director of the Washington office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), arrived in Taiwan on Monday for a six-day visit, the AIT announced on Tuesday.

During his stay in Taiwan, Norris will meet with Taiwan authorities and other leaders to exchange views on subjects of mutual interest to both the United States and Taiwan, AIT said in a statement.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) welcomed the visit of the AIT official, saying that the trip is expected to promote closer ties and exchanges between the two countries.

Norris is making his first visit to Taiwan since he assumed his post in September 2016, the ministry said in a statement of its own.

Norris retired from the Department of State in 2011 as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of minister counselor, according to the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

He entered the Foreign Service in 1975 and spent the majority of his 36-year career in the State Department working on East Asia issues.

That included a stint from 2008 to 2009 as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs (with responsibility for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mongolia), the AIT statement said.

He also served as director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs (2006-2008), consul general of the Consulate General of the United States in Guangzhou (2000-2003), and director of the Office of Taiwan Coordination (1998-2000).

Earlier in his career, Norris served at both AIT Taipei and AIT Kaohsiung, the AIT statement said.

(By Joseph Yeh)