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September 27, 2017

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AIT head Stanton to teach in Taipei following retirement

The China Post--The U.S.' outgoing de facto ambassador to Taiwan, William Stanton, yesterday announced that he will be staying in Taiwan and teach at Taipei American School following his retirement later this month, a move showing his genuine love for the island.

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Taipei Office director made the announcement at a U.S. Independence Day reception in Taipei, winning a long round of applause from some 500 guests at the ceremony, held to celebrate America's 236th birthday.

Stanton, who will end his three-year tenure as AIT head and 34-year career in the Foreign Service in July, said making his last address as AIT head at the Independence Day reception was a "bittersweet moment."

During his tenure, the 65-year-old senior U.S. diplomat said he has had the privilege to meet with great people all over Taiwan and has deeply enjoyed his time here.

"In fact, I have enjoyed living in Taiwan so much that I have decided to stay on here to teach at Taipei American School (TAS)," Stanton said in the address spoken completely in Mandarin as a way of showing his sincerity in adapting to his new home.

Speaking to media following his speech, the outgoing director said he will start his teaching job on Aug. 6.

He will be teaching subjects related to his fields of experience, leading classes on Taiwan, U.S. and China relations, as well as the U.S. government and comparative government.

Teaching Politics, English Literature

Stanton, who holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will also be teaching English literature at TAS.

Taiwan's Foreign Minister Timothy Yang, who attended the reception on behalf of the Republic of China government, said during his own remarks that he envied Stanton for his upcoming retirement.

Yang also expressed gratitude to Stanton for enhancing closer bilateral ties during his tenure.

During yesterday's address, the AIT head said that on July 4, 1776, the founding fathers of the U.S. "came together and risked their lives for freedom and the universal truth that all governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed."

The people of Taiwan know how precious freedom is and it is this fundamental shared value that brings together Americans and Taiwanese and kept the long-term friendship solid for more than six decades, he noted.

During his tenure, Stanton said he has done his best to strengthen Taiwan-U.S. ties and has seen many successes, such as Taiwan's Visa Waiver Program nomination, record-setting arms sales and senior-level visits by U.S. officials.

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