Tag Archives: China

Emily Ma Finds Taiwan Unforgettable While at Foreign Commercial Service

Emily Ma wrote this post while interning in Taiwan during the fall of 2016. She also interned at United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) during the summer of 2016, where she was posted in Turkey for a time. After graduating with her MAIR degree, she landed a job at USCIS.

Emily Ma (3rd from left) with AIT Director, Kin Moy (4th from left) and other interns

This fall, I was able to travel to Taipei, Taiwan to intern for the American Institute in Taiwan, Commercial Section. The American Institute in Taiwan is the de-facto embassy for the United States in Taiwan, created under the Taiwan Relations Act after the United States acknowledged China’s “One-China Policy.” The functioning of AIT is no different than a typical American Embassy other than the fact that the titles of the officers are slightly different. For example, the “ambassador” is called the “director” of the Institute.

The Commercial Section is run under the Commerce Department rather than the State Department, meaning that in our lobby, we have framed pictures of President Obama and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker rather than Secretary of State John Kerry. The purpose of the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) is to provide assistance to U.S. Firms hoping to export abroad, or foreign entities looking to invest into the United States. Although there are other groups such as the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Economics section of the State Department, The FCS provides assistance to individual companies for a minimal fee. The fee is simply to allow the Commercial Section, an entity representing the U.S. government, to assist one individual company without providing assistance to all other U.S. companies (although it is available once the basic fee is paid).

As an intern, I have been able to attend meetings with both U.S. and Taiwan representatives of the public and private sector. I have assisted with several trade shows in which American companies have taken part in, and have done thorough research on the burgeoning activity in the area of smart city technology.

Taiwan itself is a beautiful island with friendly locals. Commercially, it is the gateway to Asia. Amidst the fierce competition, as firms try to enter China, many overlook Taiwan. Developed, and with close ties to China, Taiwan businesses are eager to diversify their portfolio, and are always looking for something new.

Whether it is for tourism, or business, Taiwan is definitely not a place to forget.

Global Programs in China:

SU Beijing

Summer Internships in Shanghai

Keome R. Rowe, Managing Costs to Welcoming VIPs at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing

Keome & Ambassador

Keome Rowe and Ambassador Max Sieben Baucus

Mr. Keome R. Rowe is a graduate student in the department of Public Administration and International Affairs. He will be on campus in Syracuse during the Fall Semester of 2015.

This summer I had the pleasure to serve as a Charles B. Rangel Fellow at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. Since President Obama’s “ Pivot to Asia” announcement the U.S.-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships—if not the most important. As an MPA/MAIR student I wanted to see the internal and external workings of the U.S. Mission to China from the management, political and public diplomacy section perspectives at the Embassy.

Management Section

I did a cost-benefit comparison of housing for diplomats, analyzing the conversion of landlord furnished housing to U.S. government furnished housing to judge which one had cost savings for U.S. taxpayers. This required me to do a series of interviews with diplomats, embassy staff, Chinese landlords and property management companies in Beijing to gather data. The skills I learned in public budgeting, policy implementation, Public Administration & Democracy and Public Organizations & Management came into great use. After analyzing my data, I presented my analysis and policy recommendations on cost effectiveness to the Minister Counselor for Management. Several of my recommendations will be implemented this fall! This particular project gave me the opportunity to see a specific aspect of the management section’s function at the Embassy.

Public Diplomacy Section

I teamed up with the State Department’s historian to thumb through countless pictures of past presidential bilateral meetings and create month long original content for the State Department’s social media accounts for Chinese President Xi Xinping’s first official visit to Washington later this month. This project allowed me to create original and informative content for the more than 2 million Department of State’s social media followers.

Political Section

Perhaps the most high profile project was helping the V.I.P. teams in the management and political teams prepare for the visit of National Security Advisor Susan Rice. I helped the advance team here at the Embassy and the Secret Service prepare all details for her visit. I also prepared most of the logistics and presentations for the visit AND was present for her arrival at the airport alongside Ambassador Baucus.

Conclusion

I learned that being a diplomat is never a dull moment! One day I could be conversing with Chinese landlords on property issues, visiting with members of U.S. Congress and/or officially receiving high profile foreign policy leaders!

Keome Rowe on the tarmac welcoming National Security Advisor Susan Rice

Keome Rowe on the tarmac welcoming National Security Advisor Susan Rice

To learn more about becoming a Charles B. Rangel Fellow, visit the program website.