Senate Confirmation of AIT Director

Requires the President of United States to appoint the Director of the American Institute in Taiwan with the advice and consent of the Senate. The director shall have the rank and status of Ambassador at Large.

Current Status

The American Institute in Taiwan is a non-profit organization created under the auspices of the U.S. government. The Department of State, through a semi-official contract with AIT, provides guidance and some funding in AIT’s operations. Primarily staffed by employees from the State Department, it serves as a de facto embassy providing services normally provided by a United States diplomatic mission. Due to AIT’s unique status, the appointment of an American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director, the U.S. de facto Ambassador to Taiwan, has always been the Department of State’s decision.

Reasons

Lack of Congressional Oversight

Under the U.S. Constitution, it is the President’s duty to nominate ambassadors “by and with the advice of the Senate.” Given that the AIT Director performs as an ambassador on behalf of the U.S., it is therefore necessary to have the checks and balances by the Congress on such appointment. The lack of Congressional involvement is not constitutionally reasonable and could potentially harm U.S. interests without proper oversight.

Failure to Recognize Taiwan’s Statehood

When the AIT Director is not required to be confirmed by the Senate, it implies that Taiwan’s statehood is not fully recognized. FAPA believes that a democracy with a government elected by the 23 million people of Taiwan should be treated fairly and normally, and should not be left out from the category of “sovereign nations.”

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