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Remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-Kwang at the Seminar on Youth Leadership in the Post-COVID-19 Era

  • Data Source:Department of NGO International Affairs
  • Date:2020-12-29

Amb. Tien, Chung-kwang
 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 December 29, 2020
(As Prepared for Delivery)

Good afternoon!

I would like to thank you all for taking time from your busy schedules to attend today's Seminar on Youth Leadership in the Post-Covid-19 Era. At a time when COVID-19 is ravaging the globe, being able to get together with more than 100 other participants underscores Taiwan's remarkable success in its fight against the pandemic throughout the past year.

Because of the impact of COVID-19 across the world, overseas tours for youth ambassadors and numerous other international cooperation programs have been put on hold. International conferences and activities are being held online. Taiwan has effectively contained the spread of COVID-19 through advanced preparations and the use of technology. This has ensured that our people can lead healthy and normal lives, and our economy remains vibrant. Indeed, the Taiwan Model has earned our country the number one ranking for COVID-19 response among 75 emerging economies surveyed by US-based Bloomberg Economics.

This has been a particularly challenging year. Yet it has also been a year of resilience and international friendships for Taiwan. Taiwan has created something of a miracle in global public health—a feat made possible by the people living here, including Taiwanese nationals and our foreign friends who are here to study or work. It is an outcome of our collective efforts. Taiwan has also extended timely assistance to friendly countries, providing them with medical and essential supplies. This has raised worldwide awareness of Taiwan's compassion and concern, and carried the message that Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping far and wide across the international arena.

We have invited youth ambassadors from previous years and foreign students from Asia-Pacific allies and New Southbound Policy partner countries to join us at today's seminar. Discussions will focus on three main areas—technology and innovation, public health and medical assistance, and arts and culture. Participants will share their views on creating a new outlook and vision for the post-COVID-19 era. We hope to use this new platform to further expand the positive energy we have gained in implementing the internationally recognized Taiwan Model and in showing that Taiwan is helping.

I would like to extend my special thanks to the students from Asia-Pacific allies and New Southbound Policy partner countries who are here with us today. I understand this seminar filled its registration for 50 foreign students in just two days—or, to put that in young people's terms, a hot second. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is impressed by your enthusiasm. I have devoted more than 40 years of my life to diplomatic service, spending a third of my time stationed in the Indo-Pacific region and serving seven years as Representative to India. I have developed strong bonds with this region. The Indo-Pacific accounts for 60 percent of the world's output. For the world to shake off the effects of the pandemic, a full-scale economic recovery in the Indo-Pacific is essential. And this makes Indo-Pacific security central to global strategies. That's why this seminar has reserved time especially for students from the Indo-Pacific. I trust you are eager to engage with Taiwanese youth, join in discussions, and raise questions.

The three seminar sessions will be moderated by young leaders from Taiwanese NGOs: Ms. Emily Tsai, Cofounder of Calls over Ridges, which promotes education in remote villages in Gorkha, Nepal; Mr. Li Po-chin, President of the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations; and Mr. Kao Yi-kai, Director of Thinkers' Studio. The moderators are outstanding leaders in their respective professional fields. Having engaged in international affairs for many years, all three have rich experience and are highly creative and full of ideas. I hope their input will encourage brainstorming among the young people gathered here today.

In addition, I would like to express my gratitude to those of you who have previously served as youth ambassadors. More than 1,700 young people have taken part in the International Youth Ambassadors Exchange Program since its inception in 2009. I know a number of its alumni are now at MOFA, while many have excelled in other domains, including healthcare, education, private business, the NGO sector, and even national defense. I believe that their participation in the exchange program has given them more than wonderful memories. It has also given them strong motivation and the courage to forge ahead in their lives. I hope that wherever they go, they will continue to speak up for Taiwan and serve as our best spokespersons.

Thank you again for attending this event. I wish the seminar every success and look forward to your working with us to enhance Taiwan's diplomatic engagement. Thank you!