New AIT complex shows U.S. commitment to Taiwan: congressman

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The American congressman Gregg Harper noted that new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) compound is a symbol of America's commitment to Taiwan. (Photo courtesy of NOWnews)

Taipei, June 11 (CNA) The United States government’s US$255 million investment in its new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) compound is a symbol of its commitment to Taiwan, a visiting American congressman said Monday.

“The opening tomorrow of the new AIT headquarters shows how important our relationship is to the U.S.,” Gregg Harper (R-MS) told reporters in Taipei.

The new compound, built at an estimated cost of US$255 million, further shows that the U.S.’ commitment is strong and will continue, he added.

The United States government invested US$255 millionin its new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). (Photo courtesy of NOWnews)

Harper is visiting Taiwan mainly for Tuesday’s dedication ceremony for the AIT’s new office complex in Taipei’s Neihu District, which is also expected to be attended by Marie Royce, assistant secretary of educational and cultural affairs in the U.S. Department of State, and AIT Chairman James Moriarty, according to Taiwan’s foreign ministry.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Royce are scheduled to give speeches at the ceremony.

Commenting on U.S.-Taiwan relations, Harper said that as the co-chair of the U.S. Congressional Taiwan Caucus, he can assure people in Taiwan that “in Washington D.C., our commitment is as strong or stronger than ever, and will continue that way in the future.”

For instance, he said, in the U.S. Congress, Republicans and Democrats do not always get along, but “we recently passed the Taiwan Travel Act unanimously. That doesn’t happen very often.”

With the passage of the Taiwan Travel Act, Harper said, he foresees more visits to Taiwan by high-level U.S. officials.

The Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages exchange of visits by senior government officials of both sides, was signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump in March.

(By Joseph Yeh)