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New AIT director looks forward to post

The China Post--The new director for the American Institute in Taiwan's (AIT) Taipei Office Christopher Marut expressed his eager anticipation to assume his new post in Taipei.

Speaking in an introductory video filmed in Washington, D.C. recently, Marut said he has many wonderful memories of Taiwan from when he was a student in the 1970s. He also worked at AIT Taipei in the late 1980s.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to return to Taiwan,” he said, adding that as the new head of the AIT, which is the de facto U.S. Embassy in Taiwan, “it is my privilege to expand America's friendship and wide-ranging relationship with Taiwan.”

The new AIT chief said Taiwan is a special place for his family since both of his children were born in Taipei.

As both himself and his wife Loretta are huge fans of the outdoors, Marut said they are eager to experience the island's mountain trails, bike paths and beautiful scenery.

The new de facto U.S. ambassador said an important part of his job will be to strengthen ties between the two cultures.

He said both Taipei and Washington share deep economic, educational, social and cultural bonds, as well as a belief in democracy and the rule of law.

"I look forward to hearing your views about local and regional issues, and your future aspirations,” he added.

According to the AIT, Marut will assume his new duties in Taipei later this month.

The senior diplomat has served for over 27 years in the U.S. Foreign Service.

He has previously served posts in Taipei, Hong Kong and Beijing.

His most recent assignment was as director of the Office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island Affairs under the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

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