Taiwan's representative office in the United States held a National Day celebration at the Twin Oaks Estate Wednesday, where new and incoming American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) officials make their first appearance.
More than 3,000 guests, including U.S. officials, diplomats based in Washington and overseas Taiwanese, attended the celebration marking the Oct. 10 National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
"Taiwan, Republic of China, easily a small country, but too big to ignore, with 23 million hard-working men and women, we've come a long way," said Taiwan's representative to the U.S., Stanley Kao (???).
John Norris, newly appointed managing director of the AIT's Washington Office, and James Moriarty, reported as being the likely successor to outgoing AIT Chairman Raymond Burghardt, were among the guests at the event.
"I know President Tsai (Ing-wen) (???) to be a pragmatic, level-headed leader. I'm confident that she will successfully lead Taiwan into the next chapter of its story. I'm equally confident that the United States will continue to serve as a close and trusted partner as Taiwan chooses its future path," said Moriarty.
The AIT is the agency that represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official ties.
Kao showed Moriarty products displayed by Taiwanese tech companies, and the former U.S. ambassador to Nepal and Bangladesh tried out the HTC Vive virtual reality headset to play some virtual baseball.
Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (???), who plays for the Miami Marlins, also attended the National Day celebration as a special guest and was introduced by Kao as "the pride of Taiwan."
Chen, who was visiting the compound for the first time in his five years in the U.S., said he felt quite nervous beforehand, but was happy to find out that Kao is avid baseball fan.
The representative office's New York unit also held a National Day celebration Wednesday in the Marriott Marquis hotel near the famous Times Square, which was attended by some 800 guests.
Charles Rangel, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives who attended the New York event, praised Taiwan as a free and democratic country that values human rights.
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York Director Hsu Li-wen (???), meanwhile, thanked the country's allies for speaking up in support of Taiwan's participation in international organizations during the new session of the United Nations' General Assembly that opened in September.
She added that Tsai, the country's first female president, has shown good faith and determination to maintain regional peace and to establish mutual trust and cooperation across the Taiwan Strait.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel