Taiwan: US Envoy Pledges to Stand Side-By-Side With Taiwan
"There are real challenges out there, including, in particular, careful management of cross-strait relations with a rapidly growing and increasingly self-confident China," Stephen M. Young said upon arrival at the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport.
"This has posed new security challenges for Taiwan which the United States, under the Taiwan Relations Act, remains committed to closely cooperating on with you," he said.
Young, the former U.S. ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, flew into Taipei to take up his position as head of the Taipei Office of the Washington-based American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).
Young, who had lived in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan in 1963 when his father was stationed there as a military adviser to the army of this country, said this is his fifth time to come to Taiwan for a long stay, and each time he has to learn about the country anew because Taiwan has changed so rapidly.
The new AIT chief promised to do his best on his new job to improve the friendship between Washington and Taipei.
As a career diplomat, Young had also served in U.S. embassies in Beijing and Moscow, and was posted to Taiwan as the deputy director of AIT Taipei Office in 1999.
His most recent overseas assignment was as ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic.
Young said that he and his wife Barbara are looking forward to meeting old friends, and making some new ones. He wants to learn firsthand from them where Taiwan sees itself going in the year 2006 and beyond.
He also observed that there are some fundamentals that have not changed from his earlier visits. He is confident of rediscovering the dynamism and optimism of the Taiwan people, which has made this island one of the most vibrant places in the Asia/Pacific region.
Yang said he also looks forward to reacquainting himself with the strong democratic values that have been emerging here for nearly twenty years, and which President George W. Bush so warmly described in his Tokyo speech last November.