Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Sandra Springer Oudkirk paid her first visit to the Mayor of Taichung City Lu Shiow-yen yesterday (on the 14th). From the aspects of women, they exchanged ideas on Taiwanese and U.S. culture, economy, tourism and sports. They enjoyed the talk and expressed the aspiration to jointly facilitate exchange and cooperation between Taichung and the U.S. Mayor Lu said that the U.S. World Baseball Classic (WBC) and World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) recently announced to hold the “2023 World Baseball Classic” next March in Taichung. She also highlighted that Taichung was given the title of “World Baseball Capital” by International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium conforms to international standards and invited Director Oudkirk to come to Taichung to join this grand event.
Yesterday, Major Lu, accompanied by Deputy Mayor Linghu Jung-da and directors of the Secretariat, Information Bureau, Economic Development Bureau and Cultural Affairs Bureau, welcomed Director Oudkirk’s arrival in Taichung. Major Lu mentioned that she and Director Oudkirk were both the first female leader of Taichung City (after becoming a municipality) and AIT, respectively. She expressed her wish that they could, from the unique aspects of females, promote public affairs with their delicate and warm nature; and that Taichung and the United States would cooperate in various domains in the future.
Mayor Lu said that Taichung and the United States have deep historical and cultural ties; and, upon the publication of “The footsteps of the Republic of China and the United States – The Life in Taichung under the influence of the U.S. Army culture in 1960” by the Cultural Affairs Bureau this May, she had instructed staff to gift a copy of this book to Director Oudkirk, which then lead to this meeting. They talked about the cultural, music, dietary and other deep and diverse influences brought by the U.S. Army when they were stationed in Taichung, such as the origin of rose pie, apple bread, American New Village, Meicun Road, Huamei Street, Zhongmei Street and so on.
Besides, Mayor Lu also said that Taichung has preserved many important cultural assets of the U.S. army in Taiwan, such as the “The US Air Force in CCK AFB Footprint Museum” at Ching Chuan Kang (C.C.K.) Air Base, Dayang Oil Depot (originally the oil depo of the U.S. army) in Qingshui, Combined (Joint) Logistics Command Guest House (originally known as the American Officers’ Club) in West District, and so on. The city government not only preserved these sites properly, but also revitalized and deftly used these cultural assets to demonstrate the abundant historical and cultural heritage that reflected the friendship between Taiwan and the U.S. and created a symbiosis of old and new.
Mayor Lu mentioned that Taichung has pleasant weather, beautiful scenery, historical tradition and innovative culture, making it a great tourist destination. For example, in Wufeng (District) there are the several-hundred-year-old Wufeng Lin Family Garden and youth start-up base “Guangfu New Village”. Knowing that Director Oudkirk likes to ride a bicycle, Mayor Lu has specially recommended Dongfeng Bikeway, Tanya Shen Green Bikeway and Kaomei Coastal Bikeway, which are popular attractions for domestic and foreign tourists. She also recommended a number of popular Michelin-star restaurants and traditional eateries to Director Oudkirk, welcoming her to visit Taichung frequently to enjoy the delicacy.
Mayor Lu emphasized that the enterprises, stores and high-tech factories invested by U.S. businesses are flourishing and are among the largest in scale not only in Taiwan, but also in the world. She said that this is the result of the many common values between Taiwan and the U.S. over the years and a reflection of the strong Taiwan-U.S. partnership in the global supply chain. Mayor Lu welcomes Director Oudkirk to visit these enterprises and witness the abundant achievements of U.S. businesses in their investments in Taichung.
Secretary General Yen Nai-lun expressed that Taiwan and the U.S. have intensive interactions in all sectors with fruitful results. Mayor Lu signed the Taichung-Guam Sister City Agreement with the U.S. Governor of Guam this February online. Including Guam, Taichung has a total of 18 sister cities and friendship cities in the U.S. Taichung have been cooperating with these cities to promote cultural, education, tourism, commercial exchanges and programs, showing the friendship between the people of the two countries.