Top US Diplomat in Taiwan To Be Replaced

Top US Diplomat in Taiwan To Be Replaced

( – Officially, the United States has no diplomatic ties to Taiwan, but unofficially is a different story. The US is the island nation’s biggest arms supplier and has butted heads with China over its sovereignty. The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which was founded in 1979, is owned by the federal government and serves as a de facto US Embassy in the country. It’s about to get a new director.

Director Sandra Oudkirk is currently the head of the AIT. She has held the role since 2021 but is reportedly on her way out. Oudkirk will be replaced by Raymond Greene, who currently serves as the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.

Greeneā€™s appointment to the AIT will coincide with Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te, taking office, according to unnamed sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. According to a Reuters report, one of the sources said Greene is “a staunch friend of Taiwan and knows Taiwan well.”

Greene has been a career diplomat, and working at AIT will not be new for him. He was deputy head prior to his role in Japan. Essentially, he will serve as the de facto US Ambassador in Taipei. He has a lot of experience in the Indo-Pacific region, as well, having served as head of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Economic Committee, Chief of the US Embassy in Tokyo’s Political-Military Affairs, and US Consul General in Okinawa and Chengdu, China.

Greene holds the island in esteemed regard, recognizing that the US sees it as independent of China, which has, in recent years, upped its military and political pressure instead of a problematic issue in its Asian relations. China also views Lai in a negative light, as a separatist, and has refused all efforts to talk. Lai is much like Tsai Ing-wen, who is of the belief that Taiwan’s people are in charge of their future, not China.

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