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Remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-kwang at the closing ceremony for the 2023 New Southbound Policy Elite Study Program

  • Data Source:Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Date:2024-01-12

Tien, Chung-kwang

 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

 Republic of China (Taiwan)

 January 12, 2024

(As Prepared for Delivery)

Ladies and gentlemen:

Good morning!

It is an honor to be with you all for this closing ceremony of the 2023 New Southbound Policy Elite Study Program. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I congratulate the 67 participants who have finished this program. I would like to express our particular gratitude to our four partner universities: Taipei Medical University, National Taipei University of Technology, National Quemoy University, and National Pingtung University of Science and Technology. Your efforts have been instrumental in making this program a success. I would also like to express my appreciation to the representative offices of New Southbound Policy partner countries for your support.

The New Southbound Policy Elite Study Program was initiated in 2022. The program furthers our government’s commitment to strengthening people-to-people ties with New Southbound Policy countries. The inaugural program benefited 50 participants from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines and was well received.

For the second year, we have endeavored to expand our partnership with domestic universities and increase the number of students participating. Myanmar and Pakistan joined, bringing the number of participating countries to eight. This year we are particularly encouraged by the fact that some of you have decided to continue your time in Taiwan and have been admitted to masters’ programs at our partner universities. Congratulations!

Taiwan’s democracy, multiculturalism, and high-quality educational system are often mentioned by foreign students as the reasons they chose Taiwan for study abroad. The 2023 NSP study program offered students a diverse curriculum including public health, medicine, science and technology, cross-strait relations, Chinese language, agriculture, food security, and other subjects. Taiwan is a leader in these fields and we are willing to share our expertise and experiences with like-minded countries through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

In addition to academic courses, our four partner universities arranged many cultural activities. Through these, I hope you all learned of the beauty of our island and the friendliness of our people. You may also have become more aware of our vibrant civil sector, which is at the heart of our free, democratic society. We cherish our hard-won democracy. This is why we hope to connect more closely to the democratic alliance in the Indo-Pacific region and the world. This will help us to better advocate such values as freedom, equality, and human rights.

It is a great pleasure to witness fruitful exchanges between universities. Participating students are the future of your respective countries. Through the friendships you have made here, Taiwan and the nations you represent will grow closer. We are one family, and only by standing together can we address global challenges.

This program helps ensure the future success of young talented individuals across our region, while enhancing connections between Taiwan and New Southbound Policy countries. I look forward to seeing the program continue to flourish in the years ahead.

In closing, I extend my wholehearted congratulations to our graduates once again. As you embark on the next phase of your lives, I wish you all the very best and a prosperous 2024. Thank you!

As mentioned earlier, we would like to test your knowledge of Taiwan in Mandarin. Let’s begin the quiz!