Taiwanese vegetable vendor awarded as a Hero in the 2010 TIME 100

Chen Shu-chu 陳樹菊, 61, sells vegetable in a stall in the Central Market in Taitung County, one of the counties on the east coast of the island. She was selected as a heroes of philanthropy from Asia by the Forbes magazine in March, 2010. Despite her modest income, she has donated nearly NT$10 million (US$320,000) to various charitable causes, including $32,000 for a children’s fund, $144,000 to help build a library at a school she attended and another $32,000 for the local orphanage, where she also gives financial support to three children. When asked what her motivation was, she simply answered, “every time I help someone, I sleep well at night” and “I feel happy when I give money to someone who needs it  When selected as a Hero in the 2010 TIME 100, she had set her mind on not attending the award ceremony, thinking only about getting her normal life back and her vegetable stall. It was only after the President of the ROC called her personally did she finally agree to attend. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued her a passport within an hour, paid for her plane ticket and spending in the US, and even send people from the Taipei Economic Cultural Representative Office in New York to accompany her during the trip. Meanwhile, the American Institute in Taiwan issued her a visa the next morning, all just to send her to New York in time for the award ceremony and recognition she deserves. With all these special treatment, Chen feels flattered and remains her humble self. It has been reported that because of her, the amount of small donations to charities in Taiwan have tripled for the past day.

Link to the TIME article about Chen.

Expo 2010 – Taiwan Pavilion

Taiwan Pavilion Shanghai Expo 2010

The Expo 2010 is expected to be opened on May 1st, 2010 in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. For the first time in 40 years, Taiwan is able to participate and present our culture, technology, and scenery to the world. The last time Taiwan attended the Expo was in Osaka, Japan in 1970, one year before its seat in the United Nations was replaced by the PRC. As the government elected in 2008 took a controversial China-friendly approach in making policies, the PRC has so far responded in kind. Nevertheless, Taiwan is excited to show case what it has to offer through the Taiwan pavilion, the core concept of which being “Mountain, Water, & Lantern of the Heart”. Shape like a lantern we release to pray for peace, the pavilion will appear differently in day and at night. At the center of the pavilion is a giant sphere known as “heart of Taiwan” and is entirely covered with LED screens. If you will be visiting Shanghai and the Expo 2010, please stop by the Taiwan Pavilion and enjoy the authentic Taiwanese hospitality!

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Taiwan’s Susan Boyle

Millions have watched him sing on YouTube. All the sudden the world’s attention turned to Lin Yu Chun 林育羣, 24, who successfully sang Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you” on Taiwan’s talent show “Avenue to Stardom”. And now as a rising star, he hopes to pursue his dream as a singer, hopefully with his family’s support.

Chinese? Japanese? Korean? Nope, We are TAIWANESE!

中國人?日本人?韓國人?不對!我們是臺灣人!

Kinesisk? Japansk? Koreansk? NEI! Vi er TAIWANSK!

!صينية؟ يابانية؟ كورية؟ لا! نحن تايوانية

When filling up the US Census form, section 9 (or question 5 if you are like me living in a college dorm) asks for: “What is Person 1’s race?” And of course Taiwanese is not listed as an option, as in the 2000 Census, only 800 Taiwanese people were counted in San Francisco County, and the entire United States of American consists only of 144,795 Taiwanese people, a way way way off the chart low underestimate. So this year in the 2010 Census, we are going to identify ourselves as “Other Asians”, and write in “TAIWANESE”. Maybe next time, we won’t be counted as “Other Asians”.

For more videos and information, please visit http://taiwaneseamerican.org/census2010/

International Organizations

Despite the People’s Republic of China’s obstruction, Taiwan has managed to either stay or become members of many important international organizations. Even though the ROC’s seat in many international organizations was replaced by the PRC after 1971, through countless efforts, Taiwan is able to have its voice heard somewhere in the international society.

World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization (WTO) was created in 1994, world trade was mostly regulated under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), first signed by 23 countries (including the Republic of China) in 1948. However, when the Nationalists lost the civil war and retreated to Taiwan in 1949, the ROC government declared to withdraw from GATT due to political and economic instability. 16 years later in 1965, ROC re-entered GATT as an observer. This did not last long as in 1971 ROC lost its seat in the UN. GATT followed UN’s decision and revoked ROC’s status as an observer. After 30 years of development, Taiwan had become one of the world’s most successful economics, and its application to be a member of the WTO was accepted in 2001. Taiwan became the 144th member of the WTO on 1 January 2002, under the name of “Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu 台澎金馬個別關稅領域” (abbreviated as “Chinese Taipei”).

The People’s Republic of China became the 143rd member of WTO on 11 December 2001. Continue reading “International Organizations”

Foreign Missions in Taiwan

Below is a list of foreign missions, diplomatic, commercial, or otherwise, in Taiwan, in English alphabetical order of country name by region. States that don’t officially recognize the Republic of China (Taiwan) as a country don’t have embassies in Taiwan, but many of them operate de facto embassies or trade offices that do everything an embassy would do in other countries, just without the official diplomatic status (but Taiwan’s government treats them as if they are official embassies anyway). Not all offices listed below have the authority to grant entry visa into their respective country. For contact information of foreign missions, visit Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

States that recognize the Republic of China:

貝里斯大使館 Embassy of Belize
布吉納法索駐中華民國大使館 Ambassade du Burkina Faso
多明尼加共和國大使館 Embajada de la República Dominicana
薩爾瓦多共和國駐中華民國大使館 Embajada de El Salvador
瓜地馬拉共和國駐中華民國大使館 Embajada de Guatemala
海地共和國大使館 Embassy of the Republic of Haiti
教廷駐華大使館 Nuntiatura Apostolica In Sinis (Holy See)
宏都拉斯共和國大使館 Embassy of the Republic of Honduras
馬紹爾群島共和國大使館 Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
諾魯共和國大使館 Embassy of the Republic of Nauru
尼加拉瓜共和國大使館 Embajada de la República de Nicaragua
帛琉共和國大使館 Embassy of the Republic of Palau
巴拿馬共和國駐中華民國大使館 Embajada de Panamá
巴拉圭駐中華民國大使館 Embajada del Paraguay
索羅門群島駐中華民國大使館 Embassy of the Solomon Islands
聖克里斯多福及尼維斯大使館 Embassy of Saint Kitts and Nevis
聖露西亞大使館 Embassy of Saint Lucia
史瓦濟蘭王國大使館 Embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland
吐瓦魯國駐華大使館 Embassy of Tuvalu

Continue reading “Foreign Missions in Taiwan”