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Searchlight reporter visits ROC on Taiwan

Searchlight reporter visits ROC on Taiwan

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Five media workers, drawn from countries that have diplomatic relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan (Taiwan), recently travelled to that country as part of a development cooperation programme sponsored by Taiwan.

The programme, which ran from July 20-26, saw media{{more}} personnel from Swaziland, Belize, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and Nauru and Kiribati (two small island states in South Pacific), in attendance.

The development cooperation visits are held regularly by Taiwan in an effort to increase public awareness of the magnitude of assistance extended by the Taiwanese government to its allies and for the journalists to gain a better understanding of Taiwan and its culture.

The visit was made possible through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Taiwan and the Taiwanese Embassy in SVG.

Over the course of the six days, the visiting journalists received information and insight, through a series of tours of numerous projects, funding agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

On the first day, a visit was made to the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) – the single largest donor organization to the countries with which Taiwan holds diplomatic relations. A visit was also made to the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation (NCF), a non-profit humanitarian organization, dedicated to helping patients with cleft lip and palate and craniofacial deformity receive holistic care in Taiwan and other countries.

Also on the itinerary was a visit to Taipei 101, the world’s tallest building, which stands a whopping 101 storeys above ground, with five floors underground. Taipei 101’s elevators sweep visitors from the fifth floor to the 89th-floor observatory in a mere 37 seconds – making it the fastest elevator in the world.

During a visit to the Search and Rescue Taiwan International headquarters — an NGO that does as its name says in times of natural disaster in Taiwan and other countries — journalists were amazed by the level of commitment and compassion exhibited by the Taiwanese and their willingness to volunteer for humanitarian service.

The visitors also attended a luncheon hosted by Manfred PT Peng, director general of the department of international information services, ministry of foreign affairs. During brief remarks, Peng urged the media workers to take every opportunity to enjoy the Taiwan’s culture, people and fine cuisine.

Visits were also made to the Mainland Affairs Council, which deals with relations between Taiwan and mainland China and the Workforce Development Agency, Taichung-Changhua-Nantou Regional Branch Ministry of Labour.

Other visits included those to Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps, Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Centre, Agricultural Technology Research Institute, the School of Medicine for International Students, Ping-Tung Agricultural Biotechnology Park, Lijia Green Energy Biotechnology, the Kavalan Whisky Distillery, Kingcar Orchide Green, the Lan Yang Museum, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park.

SVG established diplomatic relations with Taiwan on August 15, 1981 and over the years, SVG has benefited from a wide range of projects, including infrastructure, agriculture, medical care, education, human resources, cultural exchanges, and information technology.

With education being high on Taiwan’s list of priorities, 17 Vincentian students yesterday received scholarships to study at various universities in Taiwan, beginning this academic year.

SVG was represented at the development cooperation programme in Taiwan by SEARCHLIGHT journalist Kenara Woods.

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