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Materials used in new AIT complex pay tribute to U.S., Taiwan: AIT

2018/06/12 11:28:52

Taipei, June 12 (CNA) The new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Neihu compound was built with materials from both the United States and Taiwan to reflect American democratic values and show respect to Taiwan, an AIT officer said Tuesday.

During a press tour of the new AIT office complex, AIT Foreign Service Officer Rashad Jones said the 14,934-square-meter five-story complex, being built at a cost of US$250 million, will unify the AIT's four current locations in Taipei under one roof.

Using materials from both Taiwan and the U.S. is "an expression of the values of American democracy and a demonstration of respect for Taiwan," Jones said.

An environmentally friendly structure, the complex has a system to store rain water to be used for irrigation and uses many other new technologies to make its operations more efficient and reduce the use of water, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

Aside from these modern designs, the new AIT compound also has several small cultural touches to make its environment more hospitable to its visitors.

AIT Political Officer Toy Reid said the new building has collections of photographs, paintings, mixed media, sculptures and calligraphy from a total of eight Taiwanese and American artists on display.

He highlighted a special piece on display in the building's main lobby, a scroll by renowned Taiwanese calligrapher and scholar Fu Shen (傅申) featuring a well-known saying from the classic Confucian text Hsun Tzu (荀子).

"A journey of thousands of miles cannot be achieved except through the accumulation of each single step, just as rivers and oceans cannot form without the accumulation of small brooks and streams," the scroll reads.

Reid said the classic lines were originally written to encourage learning as a life-long process, but "Fu Shen reinterpreted this phrase to highlight the strong ties and friendship between the U.S. and Taiwan that have been built over many years."

The press tour was held ahead of a dedication ceremony that was joined by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Marie Royce, assistant secretary of educational and cultural affairs in the U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Representative Gregg Harper, among others.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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