Stanton receives permanent residency
By Joseph Yeh, The China PostThe China Post--A day after retiring as the top U.S. envoy to Taiwan, William Stanton was granted permanent residency yesterday, and pledged to continue promoting the two countries' bilateral ties as a private citizen in Taipei.
August 2, 2012, 12:06 am TWN
Stanton said at the event that while he was not able to announce Taiwan's official inclusion in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program in his term as the AIT director as he had hoped, he personally believes it will occur within the year.
During a ceremony held at the Ministry of the Interior's (MOI) National Immigration Agency, Station, ex-director at the American Institute in Taiwan's (AIT) Taipei Office, said he was honored and excited to be granted the privilege.
“I would like to thank Taiwan and Minister of Interior Lee (Hung-yuan) for giving me this honor,” Stanton told at the ceremony.
Stanton, 65, who ended his three-year tenure as AIT head and 34-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service on Tuesday, said he is now officially a private citizen and a “small potato,” a new position he is eager to embrace.
“Aside from my teaching job in the Taipei American School (TAS), I will also do my best for closer Taiwan-U.S. relations in the future as a small potato,” he said.
Making his address completely in Mandarin as a way of showing his sincerity in adapting to his adopted home, Stanton said he has done his best to strengthen Taiwan-U.S. ties for the past three years 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.
He gave himself a grade of A-minus when asked by media about his performance at the AIT, the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan in the absence of official ties.
The former director said he will start his teaching job at TAS on Aug. 6. He will be teaching politics and English literature.
During the ceremony, Interior Minister Lee, who handed the certificate to the former U.S. envoy, said Stanton was awarded the permanent residency to show Taiwan's gratitude for his significant contributions to Taiwan-US ties.
Stanton was only recently awarded the Order of Brilliant Star by President Ma Ying-jeou for his contribution to bilateral relations.
The MOI usually grants permanent residency to foreigners who spent at least 183 days a year in Taiwan for five consecutive years.
However, it also rewards permanent residency to exceptional foreigners who have made significant contributions in the areas of culture, arts, technology, sports and other fields.
4th Foreign Representative to Receive Permanent Residency
Stanton is the fourth foreign representative who has chosen to stay in Taiwan after retiring and was granted permanent residency.
Henrik Bystrom of Sweden, Menno Goedhart of the Netherlands and Francisco Ricardo Santana of El Salvador have all chosen to reside in Taiwan after leaving their posts and being granted permanent residency, according to the MOI.