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AIT director meets Su, lauds DPP China efforts

The United States welcomes the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) recent engagement with mainland China, said American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Christopher J. Marut at the DPP headquarters yesterday.

Marut sat down with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang yesterday in an hourlong closed-door meeting. He afterward fielded questions from local media.

Asked how the U.S. views Frank Hsieh's recent tour of mainland China, Marut said that it's positive for the opposition party to engage across the Strait.

“We think this kind of interaction — this kind of direct communication — is very important to building understanding. We think that also contributes to long-term cross-strait stability,” said Marut, who referenced a prepared statement.

Marut, who arrived in Taiwan mid-September to take the AIT directorship, was visiting the DPP headquarters for the first time.

“As you know, I just arrived here — this is actually the beginning of my fifth week. My meeting today with the chairman was just a great opportunity to begin to get acquainted and to look forward to the future,” he said.

In the sit-down yesterday, Su was accompanied by Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), who served in former President Chen Shui-bian's administration, and by Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠), the director of the DPP's Department of International Affairs.

“The DPP hopes for close cooperation with the AIT in the future,” Liu told reporters yesterday.

Liu said that the DPP is confident about being able to strengthen and expand its ties with the U.S. government, and that the feeling is mutual.

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AIT Director Christopher J. Marut and DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang exchange a handshake after a closed-door sit-down at the DPP headquarters in Taipei, yesterday.(CNA)

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