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Remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-kwang at the closing ceremony for the 2022 New Southbound Policy Elite Study Program

  • Data Source:Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Date:2023-01-06

Tien, Chung-kwang
 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 January 6, 2023
(As Delivered)

Good morning!

It is a great pleasure to host the closing ceremony for the 2022 New Southbound Policy Elite Study Program. This is a significant moment. Fifty talented trainees from our partner countries complete the program and carry their wonderful experiences toward their next journey. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I welcome all of our trainees and distinguished guests on this auspicious occasion. I also congratulate and thank you for your making this program a great success through your dedication and active engagement. 

This program has taken a new approach to strengthening people-to-people ties, particularly by focusing on the younger generation. This would not have been possible without the joint efforts of my colleagues at MOFA and three Taiwanese universities—namely, Taipei Medical University, National Taipei University of Technology, and National Quemoy University. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the comprehensive support that these partner universities—especially the Deans of international affairs—have provided. I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to the representative offices of New Southbound Policy partner countries for their long-standing cooperation and support for initiatives such as these.

For this inaugural year of the New Southbound Policy Elite Study Program, 50 outstanding fellowship recipients from six New Southbound Policy countries—India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—attended professional courses in Taiwan. Learning experiences covered such fields as biomedicine, healthcare management, semiconductor engineering, and cross-strait relations, all of which are strong areas of expertise for Taiwan. 

Taiwan’s unique geostrategic position makes it well placed for the study and teaching of cross-strait relations and international relations. I hope you all gained a better understanding of the global challenges faced by Taiwan and our role in maintaining peace and stability alongside like-minded countries throughout the Indo-Pacific. More importantly, I hope you have come to appreciate how much the Taiwanese people cherish their hard-won freedom and democracy.

In addition to the professional and academic aspects of the curriculum, our three partner universities also arranged cultural courses and Mandarin training. Through this program, Taiwanese students and those from New Southbound Policy partner countries have thus been able to deepen their understanding of one another’s cultures and build genuine connections. I hope your newfound friendships will last a lifetime and make our region an even closer community.

As a proverb says in Taiwan, it takes 10 years to grow a tree, but a hundred years to nurture a man. This implies that cultivating talent requires a long time and great effort. And a nation’s young talent grows to become an asset and drives its advancement. I believe that our New Southbound Policy partner countries value the importance of good education and share the same vision as Taiwan. By building on this program, Taiwan looks forward to expanding educational ties with even more Indo-Pacific countries in the years ahead.

In closing, I hope you all return home with beautiful memories of Taiwan. And of course, we would be delighted to welcome you back in the future. Finally, I wish everybody here a healthy and prosperous 2023. Thank you!