Andrew J.C. Kao-Ambassador Director-General of TECO

To stand out from other cultures, the Office and Ambassador Kao aim to introduce the Taiwanese culture through refined and distinguished offerings, such as the newly founded Taiwan Academy which is meant to highlight Taiwan’s achievements by promoting Chinese culture with Taiwanese characteristics – the values of peace, freedom and diversity.

Ambassador Andrew J.C. Kao is the Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York, which represents the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and functions as its biggest Consulate General here in the U.S.

Taiwan currently has thirteen TECO offices in the United States representing Taiwan’s interests, in accordance with Taiwan’s foreign policies and the Taiwan Relations Act enacted by the U.S. Congress, which gives TECOthe special status to the level that it is the de facto embassy. Currently, TECOhas been working closely with the U.S. government on attaining the bilateral extradition arrange­ment and visa-free travel for Taiwanese tourists, the latter of which Taiwanese people have enjoyed in more than 124 countries worldwide. Taiwan is one of the top ten U.S. trade countries, ranked ninth as of 2011. Academically, about 24,000 Taiwanese students are studying in the United States to further their education, while several American students are rewarded scholarships to study in Taiwan. Because of this close bond, it is believed that the Visa Waiver for Taiwanese passport holders would be mutual beneficial to both sides.

Ambassador Kao has served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan since 1979. He was appointed to his present position in July 2009, after numerous foreign service assignments in Taiwan, Houston, Kansas City, Washington, DC, Canada, Atlanta, and New Delhi over the past thirty years. Now serving at the New York City office, Ambassador Kao has taken on the task of promoting Taiwan’s culture in this international melting pot. To stand out from other cultures, the Office and Ambassador Kao aim to introduce the Taiwanese culture through refined and distinguished offerings, such as the newly founded Taiwan Academy which is meant to highlight Taiwan’s achievements by promoting Chinese culture with Taiwanese characteristics – the values of peace, freedom and diversity.

His job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs allows Ambassador Kao and his family to stay in a different country every three to six years, based on his appointment. This unusual opportunity allows him, his wife and two children to experience diverse cultures and meet local people with different traditions. However, moving from one country to another every three to six years can hardly foster a long-term relationship with their surround­ings. The transition between countries is not easy, but with his family’s consideration and support, especially from his wife, has enabled Ambassador Kao to juggle his job advancing Taiwan’s interna­tional endeavors with taking good care of his family. Now, Ambas­sador Kao’s son is working in Singapore and his daughter is studying creative writing in Missouri; both of them have continue their life experiences in different countries and cities. To get away from the work and the hustle and bustle of New York City, Ambassador Kao and his wife often visit the museums and parks in their neighborhood.

January 1, 2012 will be the 100th anniver­sary of the Republic of China (Taiwan). To celebrate this special occasion, advertisements to promote Taiwan will be shown on the bill­boards in Times Square from November 24th to December 31st, 2011. Ambassador Kao and TECO invite you to join them at Times Square on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the country’s 100th anniversary and join the New Year’s countdown! For more information, please check www.taiwanembassy.org/US/NYC.