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David Coates

David Coates

David Coates first experienced Taiwan in 1972-3 studying Chinese at the Stanford Centre at Taiwan National University, after three years at the University of Hawaii. He lived with a Chinese family, taught English at a local cram school and walked across the central mountain chain from Puli to Hualien. After joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1974, he specialised in East Asia serving twice at the British Embassy in Peking and once as head of the Far Eastern Department in London. He returned to Taiwan in 1999 as Director General of the British Trade and Cultural Office in Taiwan after a short secondment to Unilever in Shanghai. His final posting was as Ambassador to the Côte d’Ivoire which ended early after a period of civil strife and the military-assisted evacuation of British residents, followed by the closure of the embassy. 

On retirement from the FCO in 2006 he worked for the former British Bankers’ Association as a director for financial crime, focusing on anti-money laundering, sanctions, countering terrorist financing and bribery and corruption. More recently he has written articles on financial crime for “The Money Laundering Bulletin” and a “City Diary” piece on Taipei for “The Spectator”. He has also taught a graduate course at Tamkang University, Taiwan on British and European History.