'I will always be the biggest fan of U.S.-Taiwan relations': Moy

2018/07/06 13:38:46 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
AIT Director Kin Moy

AIT Director Kin Moy

Taipei, July 6 (CNA) Kin Moy (梅健華), the United States' outgoing de facto ambassador to Taiwan, bid farewell to the local media on Friday and said he will always be "the biggest fan" of U.S.-Taiwan relations, no matter where he is posted in the future.

Asked about his plans, Moy, director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), said that when he leaves his post next week, he will return to the U.S. State Department's East Asian Bureau and await orders for his next assignment.

"So I won't have a post regarding Taiwan affairs but I'll be cheering for everyone here from the sidelines," he said. "Wherever I am, I'll always be the biggest fan of U.S.-Taiwan relations."

On July 3, Moy had joked about considering the post of National Taiwan University (NTU) president, during a ceremony at which President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) conferred on him the Order of Brilliant Star in recognition of his contribution to Taiwan-U.S. ties.

The appointment of an NTU president has been mired in controversy for months, since the Ministry of Education refused to confirm the school's nominee, former National Development Council Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), citing conflict of interest in the selection process.

Moy's position will be filled later this summer by Brent Christensen, a former AIT deputy director and a seasoned diplomat in the area of Taiwan-China relations.

The outgoing and incoming AIT directors worked together years ago at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, according to Moy, who said he has high expectations of Christensen in the new post.

"He is a real expert in our government on Taiwan affairs," Moy said. "That is really one of the main reasons he was selected. He is absolutely the right person. He is a very calm presence but one who thinks clearly about issues and is unafraid to move forward, even in times of difficulties or tensions."

Moy also said his successor is someone who can cut through distractions to quickly get to the substance of an issue.

Christensen has the imagination and creativity to find solutions and new ways of forging cooperation, Moy said.

Joking that Christensen is a better singer than he is, Moy said the new AIT director is a "combination of Bruno Mars and Frank Sinatra."

"The past three years we've spent here have been really magical and they will be for him too," Moy said.

The AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official bilateral diplomatic relations, which ended in 1979.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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