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酈英傑處長給台灣人民的道別信
台灣好報     2021/07/10 16:11
【記者 郭夢迪/台北 報導】
2018年接任美國在台協會台北辦事處處長,美國外交官、公使銜參贊酈英傑(William Brent Christensen),即將結束在台任期,他在離台返美前夕寫信給台灣朋友道別,酈英傑感性的說「雖然我將離開台灣,但台灣不會離開我。」結束台灣三年任期前,6月18日,酈英傑獲頒國立中山大學名譽社會科學博士;6月24日獲中華民國外交部頒贈「特種外交獎章」;6月25日總統蔡英文頒授「大綬景星勳章」。

酈英傑處長給台灣人民的道別信中英文如下:
「隨著我擔任美國在台協會處長的日子即將畫下句點,我也即將離開台灣,我想藉這個機會和大家分享,這一番歷練對我來說的意義是什麼。當我說擔任AIT處長其實是我這輩子的榮幸,也讓我得以實現長期職業生涯中的抱負與理想,這麼說一點也不為過。

我19歲時第一次離開家鄉,就是來台灣。對年輕的我來說,從那時起,台灣就成了交流與理解、探索與冒險的同義詞。台灣不僅有著讓人眼花撩亂的異鄉風情,也代表著意想不到的嶄新機會。我在這裡嘗試新奇的食物,像是水餃和臭豆腐,並且學習如何在擠滿單車和機車的大街小巷穿梭自如。一方面,我努力用我粗淺的中文,讓別人聽懂我說的話;但同時我也發現,無論走到哪裡,迎接我的都是滿滿的親切友善與熱情好客。

因此,在成為美國外交官後,能夠以台灣作為我派駐海外的第一站,真是再適合不過了。畢竟,是台灣首先點燃了我對亞洲、尤其是台灣的畢生興趣,也激發了我對跨文化理解和共享目標——也就是外交工作——的終身熱忱。此後,我也曾派駐其他地點,多數是在大中華區域,但我的台灣經歷與回憶始終常存我心。最終我能以美國駐台最高層級外交官的身分回來這裡,可說是我多年職涯的高峰。顯然,我這一生注定與台灣有著深刻的連結,或者也叫作「緣分」吧,才會讓我一次又一次不斷地回到台灣。

常有人問我,為什麼我這麼喜歡台灣。我總覺得:「答案不是很明顯嗎?」不過如果一定要我從個人與專業的角度,解釋我對台灣的喜愛與敬佩之情,我通常會提到以下幾個領域:

首先,台灣兼具活力與穩定、進步與延承、還有創新與傳統。每次回到這裡,我都對台灣社會在各個方面日新月異的進步感到驚艷不已。台灣的民主更臻成熟,經濟益加蓬勃,環境保護更受關注,藝術文化發展也生生不息。

台灣在許多最先進的科技產業上持續為全球創新樹立標竿,但與此同時,台灣的社會穩定和文化傳承依舊令人欽羨佩服。儘管生活充裕且形象良好,台灣人民卻依然謙虛樸實、平易近人。在台灣,最古老的傳統薪火相傳、歷久彌新。文化和歷史古蹟受到妥善的修復與保護;年輕人也可以學習代代相傳的書法技巧,接著再把作品秀在Instagram上。

再者,對美國來說,台灣正是共享利益與共享價值交集的典範。美台夥伴關係的重點在於確保科技發展能夠嘉惠、而非傷害我們雙方的經濟,科技突破則應被用於鞏固、而不是破壞我們的原則。美台之間自由、多元、平等及透明等共享價值,時時激勵我們努力在世界各地打造民主社會的韌性。而我們也持續尋求新的方式,為解決全球問題做出貢獻,這麼做不僅是因為能夠造福我們自己的人民,也是因為我們相信,身為21世紀敦親睦鄰的好夥伴,就是該這麼做。

最後,每當我想到台灣、以及整體美台關係,我總會想到希望、光明和成長。美台的情誼在過去40年來不斷拓展與茁壯。我相信每任處長都會同意,他們離開台灣時的美台夥伴關係,比起他們剛上任時都更上一層樓。同樣的,當我向AIT告別的那一天,我的心中將充滿肯定與成就感,因為我知道,美台夥伴關係比以往都更加深刻和強健,我也對自己能為美台關係今天亮眼的進展小有貢獻,而深感驕傲。

但是,比起這些事情,我想我更難忘的是台灣在我生命中所留下的深刻印記。我永遠會記得我在台灣度過的第一個聖誕節,還有第一個農曆新年。我永遠會記得台灣朋友的真摯與溫暖、教會同伴堅定的信仰、炎炎夏日來一碗芒果冰的沁涼、資源回收車沿街播放《給愛麗絲》的回音,還有巷弄中撲鼻而來的茉莉花香,這些都會是我畢生珍藏的美好回憶之一。我也會記得好友間的餐聚、充滿歡笑和故事的夜晚、以及一路以來我受到過的無數的善意與關懷。我更會永遠記得,是各位台灣朋友們,你們以各種不同的方式,讓我和我家人的生命更加地豐盛美好。對此,我要衷心地謝謝大家。

雖然我將離開台灣,但台灣不會離開我。」

— 美國在台協會處長 酈英傑

A Farewell Letter from AIT Director W. Brent Christensen

”As my time as AIT Director draws to a close and I prepare to leave Taiwan I want to take this opportunity to tell you what this experience has meant to me. It is not an exaggeration to say that this has been the honor of my life and the fulfillment of a career-long aspiration.

The first time I left my hometown at age 19 it was to come to Taiwan. From that early age Taiwan became synonymous for me with the ideas of exchange and understanding exploration and adventure. Taiwan represented both disorienting foreignness and unexpected opportunity as I tried new food – like shuijiaos and qiu doufu – and learned to navigate my way through streets crowded with bicycles and scooters. And struggled to make myself understood with my rudimentary Mandarin. But all the while discovering the kindness and generosity that welcomed me wherever I went.

It felt appropriate for me to serve my first tour as a U.S. diplomat in the place that first sparked in me a lifelong interest in Asia – and in Taiwan in particular – and in cross-cultural understanding and shared purpose or in other words diplomacy. After that my career took me to other places but mostly still in the China region. But the memories of my experiences in Taiwan stayed with me. And finally having the opportunity to serve as the top U.S. diplomat to Taiwan was the culmination of all the years that came before. It is clear that I have a lifelong connection to Taiwan or “yuanfen” that has led me to return again and again.

People often ask me why I have such a fondness for Taiwan. “Isn’t it obvious?!” I always think. But when forced to explain my affection for and professional fascination with Taiwan I usually come back to a few themes.

First dynamism and constancy; progress and preservation; innovation and tradition. Every time I return to Taiwan I am immediately struck by the many ways Taiwan has advanced as a society. Taiwan’s democracy grows more mature its economy more prosperous its environment more cared-for and its arts and culture more vibrant.

Taiwan’s industry continues to set the benchmark for global innovation in some of the most sophisticated technologies but at the same time Taiwan society is remarkable for its stability and cultural continuity. Taiwan’s people despite their relative wealth and stature continue to be modest and unassuming. Taiwan’s most ancient traditions are alive and well. Cultural and historic sites are restored and preserved. Young people may learn calligraphy techniques handed down for generations but then share their work on Instagram.

Second for the United States Taiwan exemplifies the intersection of shared interests and shared values. Our partnership is about making sure our economies are beneficiaries rather than casualties of technological development and ensuring that technological development advances rather than undermines our principles. Our shared values of freedom diversity equality and transparency inspire our efforts to build the resilience of democracies around the world. And we continue to find new ways to contribute to global problem solving both because it benefits our own peoples and because we share the belief that this is what it means to be a good neighbor in the 21st century.

Finally I associate Taiwan – and the broader U.S.-Taiwan relationship – with hope promise and growth. This friendship has expanded and flourished over the past 40 years; I believe every person who has done this job walked away knowing they left this partnership better than they found it. I will similarly leave AIT with a sense of accomplishment and success knowing that the U.S.-Taiwan partnership is deeper and stronger than ever and feeling immensely proud of my small role in getting us there.

But more than any of these things I will remember the ways that Taiwan has touched me personally. I will always remember my first Christmas in Taiwan – and my first Chinese New Year. I will remember the warmth of Taiwan friendship the faith of my fellow church members the taste of a mango bing on a hot summer day the echo of “Fur Elise” from the recycling truck the fragrance of jasmine blossoms in village alleyways – these are just some of the memories I will treasure. I will remember the long dinners with dear friends full of laughter and stories. And I will remember their many kindnesses. I will remember all the ways big and small that you the people of Taiwan touched my life and the lives of my family. And for that I thank you.

I may be leaving Taiwan but Taiwan will never leave me. ”

-- AIT Director William Brent Christensen

(資料來源:台灣好報)