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ROC holds event at Twin Oaks Estate in US to celebrate 101st National Day

WASHINGTON -- Taiwanese officials hosted a reception yesterday at the Twin Oaks Estate (雙橡園) in Washington, D.C. — the official residence of nine former Republic of China ambassadors to the U.S. — to mark the upcoming 101st R.O.C. National Day.

It is only the second time in the past 33 years that Taiwan has been allowed to hold National Day celebrations at Twin Oaks rather than at a hotel, and is seen as a sign of warming Taiwan-U.S. relations.

The facility ceased being used as the R.O.C. ambassador's official residence after diplomatic ties were severed in 1979 but still belongs to the Taiwan government.

Jason Yuan (袁健生), Taiwan's outgoing representative to the United States, said it was a great honor for Taiwan to be able to hold R.O.C. centennial celebrations there last year.

“I'm extremely overjoyed and excited to be able to celebrate the 10lst birthday of the R.O.C. today at Twin Oaks Estate again,” he said.

Yuan was scheduled to depart the following day for Taiwan, where he will assume his new position as secretary general of the National Security Council.

Raymond Burghardt, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official ties, said that although he had been to Twin Oaks many times, this was the first time he had attended an R.O.C. National Day celebration at the facility.

Burghardt dismissed speculation that the absence of high-ranking U.S. officials from the recent Taiwan-U.S. Defense Industry Conference was a show of Washington's displeasure with the standoff between Taiwanese coast guard vessels and their Japanese counterparts in waters near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in late September.

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Roughly 4,000 Taiwan and U.S. officials gathered at the Twin Oaks Estate (雙橡園) in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 3 in celebration of the upcoming 101st R.O.C. National Day. It has been the second time in the past 33 years when Taiwan could host a National Day celebration here instead of in a hotel. (CNA)

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