AIT director visits Taiwan's indigenous affairs council

03/24/2021 08:52 PM
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CIP Minister Icyang Parod (left) and Director Brent Christensen. Photo courtesy of the CIP
CIP Minister Icyang Parod (left) and Director Brent Christensen. Photo courtesy of the CIP

Taipei, March 24 (CNA) The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director on Wednesday visited Taiwan's Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) to discuss enhancing Taiwan-U.S. exchanges in the area of indigenous affairs.

AIT Director Brent Christensen met with CIP Minister Icyang Parod at the council's Taipei headquarters for an hour, where they exchanged opinions on ways to further cooperate on the empowerment of indigenous women and at the annual Austronesian Forum, according to a CIP press release.

The meeting marks the first time an AIT director has visited the government agency in charge of indigenous affairs, CIP said.

AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

Taiwan, Guam, a U.S. territory, and the American state of Hawaii, are members of the Austronesian Forum.

The forum was founded in 2008 under the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration by Taiwan and other Austronesian countries to discuss ways to promote linguistic and cultural exchanges between Austronesian nations.

However, it was suspended after the Kuomintang (KMT) won the presidential election later that year.

After the DPP regained power in 2016, the forum was jointly reactivated by 12 countries in the Pacific region two years later on Aug. 1, -- the Indigenous Peoples' Day in Taiwan.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and Joseph Yeh)

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