American Institute in Taiwan
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is a non-profit, private corporation established shortly after the U.S. Government changed its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing on January 1, 1979. The Taiwan Relations Act of April 10, 1979, authorized the continuation of “commercial, cultural and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan.” It also provided that “any programs, transactions, or other relations conducted or carried out by the President or any Agency of the U.S. Government with respect to Taiwan shall, in the manner and to the extent directed by the President, be conducted and carried out by or through the American Institute in Taiwan.” The Department of State, through a contract with the Institute, provides a large part of AIT’s funding and guidance in its operations. Congress, in passing the Taiwan Relations Act, also assumed an oversight role with respect to the Institute’s operations. AIT has a small Washington headquarters office (AIT/ W) located in Arlington, Virginia that acts as a liaison with its counterpart organization, the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) as well as with U.S. government agencies. AIT’s Taipei Office (AIT/T) with a total staff of over 450 people undertakes a wide range of activities representing U.S. interests, including commercial services, agricultural sales, consular services and cultural exchanges. The Institute also operates a Chinese language school and an Information Resource Center. Once AIT’s New Office Compound is completed, all of AIT’s Taipei offices will be located in the new compound in Neihu. AIT has a branch office in Kaohsiung (AIT/K) that handles local commercial promotion, consular services, information, and cultural work.
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