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AIT head highlights U.S.-Taiwan shared future entering 2020
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AIT Director Brent Christensen/Photo courtesy of CNA

Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen praised the strong partnership and close people-to-people ties between the United States and Taiwan as 2020 gets underway at a conference in Taipei on Friday.

Speaking at the fourth Digital Dialogues Public Forum, Christensen said the AIT's theme for 2020, "Real Friends, Real Progress," underscored the strength of the relationship.

"The U.S. and Taiwan are sincerely invested in each other's successes and in forging a shared future together. This shared future means that we strive together and thrive together," Christensen said.

He described the U.S. and Taiwan as "capable partners" with societies and economies equipped to drive global progress and tackle emerging threats and as "natural partners" in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific.

"We have converged on a commitment to democratic governance; we have converged on an economic model that views human capital as the most valuable of all; and we have converged on an international posture of striving to be a force for good in the world," he said.

Christensen stressed that the U.S.-Taiwan friendship contrasted with the cynical opportunism of certain countries that "use the cover of friendship to dominate and manipulate; promising mutual benefit but instead delivering extortion; exporting problems rather than solutions."

Meanwhile, Christensen announced the expansion of the Global Training and Cooperation Framework (GCTF), a platform founded by both countries in 2015 to bring Taiwan's expertise and leadership to the global stage.

Eleven workshops are being planned for 2020, and they will be co-hosted by a fourth partner in addition to Japan, Christensen said, citing the first workshop to be co-hosted by the Netherlands as an example.

2020 will also feature a series of events promoting the Talent Circulation Alliance (TCA), an initiative first introduced last April that aims to encourage the movement of skilled workers between Taiwan and other like-minded countries.

"While China is seeking to poach Taiwan's talent, the United States is helping Taiwan internationalize its workforce for the digital age through talent circulation," he said.

The forum, which served as a closing event for the yearlong AIT@40 campaign that began in January 2019, was co-hosted by the AIT, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Digital Minister Audrey Tang.

The Digital Dialogue is an artificial intelligence-enabled platform that allows anyone to voice opinions on the topic at hand.

When the dialogue concludes, the self-moderating discussion forum then generates a report highlighting points of convergence and divergence among participants, according to the AIT.

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