He is perhaps the only ambassador who conducts "diplomacy" and fosters a positive image of his nation by jogging for 111 days across the Sahara Desert.
When Kevin Lin (
It should come as no surprise then that the nation's most vocal proponent of soft power -- Vice President Annette Lu (
PHOTO: LIAO CHEN-HUEI, TAIPEI TIMES
"In an age of increasing troubles and conflict, ambassadors of peace, such as those feted here today, are as important to us as ever," Lu said in a keynote speech at the ceremony.
As of yesterday, there were some 145 newly inaugurated Taiwanese Ambassadors of Peace in a global organization boasting 250,000 such "ambassadors," said Chang Bo-ya (
"If more people from more countries join [the Universal Peace Federation]," Chang told the audience, "we could make further strides in preventing war and conflict."
Established in 1999 as an NGO with "special consultative status" to the UN's Economic and Social Council, the Universal Peace Federation's primary function is to provide conflict resolution services.
Boasting thousands of politically influential supporters and "ambassadors" worldwide, the federation has been especially active in global hotspots like the Middle East, mobilizing members to facilitate dialogue between Israel and its enemies, said Chang Ching-yu (
"This is both a global and local movement," he said.
"Any global movement needs to be strong at the local level," he said. "We need to start by fostering harmonious individuals, harmonious families."
Aside from Lin, scores of doctors, goodwill volunteers and civil service workers were also feted as Ambassadors of Peace yesterday for their altruistic work at the grassroots level.
They included Chiayi City Councilor Lin Sheng-fen (
She broke the girl's fall and saved her, but suffered severe paralysis on her left side -- a lifelong injury for which Lin Sheng-fen forgave the jumper and which has spurred her to focus on protecting the rights and needs of her disabled constituents.
"I didn't die," she said as she joined the league of "peace ambassadors."
"I want to dedicate my life to bettering society," she said.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last