Whether it be in artistic performances or social movements, many young Taiwanese have demonstrated their great potential to influence not only this country, but also the world.
The Central News Agency (CNA), the country's national news agency, yesterday saluted ten outstanding professionals under the age of 40, calling them "2006 Top 10 Rising Stars in Taiwan."
According to CNA, dozens of young people were nominated for the awards. A panel of judges composed of 10 university presidents decided the list of laureates, who include professors publishing articles in world-class scientific journals, researchers working on international affairs, activists promoting social justice, a dancer well-recognized in the Western world and a teenage tennis prodigy.
The winners are 16-year-old tennis player Chan Yung-jan (
Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) presented the awards yesterday, urging the recipients to expand their spheres of knowledge by trying to "know what you don't know and learn what you aren't able to do."
"If we look back on last year, I believe that the Thai migrant workers who rioted in Kaoshiung changed Taiwanese society dramatically. They are the people who have the potential to influence our society. Sadly, it seems that such an award would never be given to them," Lin Thung-hung, who has worked on labor issues for a decade, said after receiving his award.
Lin Thung-hung, who worked for the Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions, said problems caused by social injustice remained neglected in Taiwan and many people's efforts to fight for their basic rights deserve more encouragement.
Now a doctoral student at the Hong Kong University of Technology and Science, Lin Thung-hung told the Taipei Times that structural problems regarding Chinese laborers who work long hours for low wages under poor conditions in sweatshops are far more serious.
Lin Yi-ying, who is executive-general of the Hon Dao Foundation for the Elderly, said living with her grandmother at home inspired her to critically review existing welfare policies for senior people.
"From taking care of my grandmother, I know that senior citizens are actually treasures of the society," Lin Yi-ying said.
CNA Chairman Su Tzen-ping (
Lu Shih-hsiang (