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New Australian envoy to Taiwan takes office

11/27/2023 05:53 PM
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Taipei, Nov. 27 (CNA) Robert Fergusson, Australia's new representative to Taiwan, said he was looking forward to deepening bilateral relations during his tenure after he officially took up his post in Taipei on Monday.

In an Australian Office in Taipei tweet, Fergusson said he was "excited" to start as Australia's representative in Taiwan.

"Australia and Taiwan enjoy a strong, stable and long-standing trade and investment relationship, and close cultural and people-to-people links," he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"I look forward to meeting with the many Taiwanese and Australians who engage across our business, education, research, and cultural sectors and to discussing how we can expand these links further," the message read.

According to the Australian Office in Taipei, the de facto Australian embassy in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties, Fergusson is a senior career officer of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Before taking up the post as Australian representative to Taiwan, Fergusson most recently served as an assistant secretary at DFAT's Indonesia Branch in the Office of South-East Asia.

His previous roles included assistant secretary to the Cabinet Ministerial and Parliamentary Branch (2020-2021) and senior adviser to the foreign minister on North Asia and South-East Asia (2013-2016).

He has additional experience working on Pacific, counter-terrorism and security issues, the office said in its bio of the new office head.

Fergusson has also served as Australia's ambassador to Chile and Ecuador (2017-2020), counselor (political strategic) in Beijing (2009-2012), consul at the Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong (2001-2004), and second economic secretary at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta (1996-1998), the office said.

Prior to joining DFAT, Fergusson was a commercial lawyer based in Sydney.

The Australian Office in Taipei had been temporarily headed by acting head Lachlan Crews since August, who filled the opening after the departure of former representative Jenny Bloomfield in July.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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