Sandra Oudkirk will become the first female director of the American Institute in Taiwan. The US diplomacy veteran speaks Mandarin Chinese and visited Taipei in 2019 after the Solomon Islands cut diplomatic ties with Taipei for Beijing.
American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen's three-year term has ended. On July 6, the AIT announced that his successor will be US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands Sandra Oudkirk. Oudkirk has been in the US Foreign Service for 30 years, and was previously posted to Beijing and Taipei. She is the first female AIT director since it was established in 1979.
I am here today representing President Trump and Secretary Pompeo to kick-off this inaugural dialogue.
In September 2019, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati successively severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Oudkirk openly criticized China's actions and expressed her support for Taiwan during a congressional hearing.Two weeks later, she visited Taiwan as a representative of the Trump administration to take part in the inaugural Pacific Islands Dialogue. She met with President Tsai Ing-wen, and used actions to show her support for Taiwan.
Director Oudkirk has a deep understanding of the Taiwan-US relationship. She is also a long-time friend of Taiwan. Our government looks forward to seeing Director Oudkirk lead the American Institute in Taiwan's Taipei office team and continuing our close cooperation.
The US has shown support for Taiwan several times in recent times, including donating 2.5 million Moderna vaccines. The threat of China continues to loom over the US, and White House National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell said on July 6 that it's possible for the US and China to coexist peacefully, but the challenge is enormous. He offered a cautious answer when questioned about Taiwan, saying the US supports a strong unofficial relationship with Taiwan.
We support a strong unofficial relationship with Taiwan. We do not support Taiwan independence. We fully recognize, understand the sensitivities involved here. We do believe Taiwan has a right to live in peace.
Campbell also expressed his support for Taiwan's international participation, but he reiterated that the US position has always been to maintain a balance over Taiwan, as the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait has global ramifications.
美國國務院亞太副助卿 孫曉雅 (2019.10.07)表示：「我今天在此代表川普總統，與龐佩奧國務卿，啟動這次台美首度對話。」