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Remarks by Director Stephen M. Young at AIT's Fourth of July Reception

OT0711E | Date: 2007-07-02

Foreign Minister Huang, Distinguished guests, AIT colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for joining us to celebrate the 231st birthday of the United States of America.   Today we reflect on the founding of our nation and on the principles of freedom and democracy that have guided it through profound changes in our society and in our world.  From the beginning, our country has been an experiment in cooperation, first of thirteen states, as represented by the thirteen stripes on our nation's flag, and now expanded to 50 states, represented by the 50 stars on the flag and the 50 state flags hanging overhead.  We think of democracy as a principle, but it actually is largely a process, one that is complex and ongoing.  We congratulate Taiwan for having embarked on its own democratic journey over 20 years ago.  We wish you well and remain strong admirers of your democratic processes.

Taiwan faces new challenges as it confronts the increasingly globalized world of the twenty-first century and manages its complex relationship with its huge neighbor across the Taiwan Strait.  But I remain optimistic about this island's future prospects, based upon the remarkable accomplishments I have been fortunate enough to witness during my five stays here over the past forty-four years.  The United States has been your steadfast partner as you have worked hard to build a prosperous society and a thriving young democracy, while looking to your security needs.    We look forward to working with you as you strive toward an even brighter future.

Mr. Minister, let me now propose a toast to the United States of America and to Taiwan, to the democratic values we share in common, and to our continuing close cooperation!

Thank you all, and cheers!

Director's Speeches