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AIT opens for business in Neihu compound

2019/05/06 17:05:53

Image taken from AIT Facebook (facebook.com/AIT.Social.Media)

Taipei, May 6 (CNA) The de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan officially began operations at its new US$250-million Neihu compound on Monday morning after a 40-year run at its former site in downtown Taipei.

The new compound of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) in Taipei opened for business at 8 a.m., the AIT said in a Facebook post.

"We have resumed full operations, including visa services and American citizen services. And speaking of new beginnings, we issued our first consular reports of birth abroad from our new office to these two cuties this morning. Thanks for helping us make new memories!" AIT said in the post.

Taken from AIT Facebook post

"We look forward to serving American citizens and visa customers and continuing to promote the U.S.-Taiwan partnership from our new location. We have already processed passports, visas, and performed other consular services this morning," AIT said in a separate press release.

The AIT, a private entity managing U.S. relations with Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties, was formed in 1979 after Washington switched recognition from Taipei to China.

Its Taipei office had operated at its longtime home on Xinyi Road for more than 40 years until Wednesday noon. To meet growing demand, AIT rented a site in Neihu from the Taipei City government for 99 years in 2004.

The new office compound is on a 6.5-hectare hillside site within walking distance of the Neihu stop on the Taipei MRT's Brown Line.

A dedication ceremony was held on June 12, 2018 to unveil the then nearly completed 14,934-square-meter, five-story complex but the official move-in did not take place until over the past weekend.

According to the AIT, the new Neihu compound has unified all of its four former facilities in Taipei -- its main office and consular section on Xinyi Road, the commercial section and the American Center at the International Trade Center, and the Agricultural Trade Office on Anhe Road -- under one roof.

The AIT previously said its new compound was built with materials from both the U.S. and Taiwan "to reflect American democratic values and show respect to Taiwan."

CNA file photo

(By Joseph Yeh)
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