Mon, Oct 10, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan, Israel join hands to promote Yushan, Dead Sea

Staff Writer, with CNA

Israel is working with Taiwan to promote Yushan (玉山) and the Dead Sea as two of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, Representative Simona Halperin of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei (ISECO) has said.

With Taiwan’s tallest mountain, Yushan, and the Dead Sea in Israel chosen as final contestants in this year’s competition, Simona Halperin said that officials from Israel and Taiwan have recently agreed to join forces and generate votes for the two natural landscapes via the Internet.

Late last month the two sides set up Web sites for supporters from Israel to vote for Yushan and for those from Taiwan to vote for the Dead Sea.

“We are proud of this cooperation agreement with Yushan Park, the highest mountain range in Asia outside the Himalayas, and hope that the exposure will increase the number of Chinese-speakers who’ll vote for the Dead Sea,” Israeli Tourism Ministry Director-General Noaz Bar-Nir said as he cast his ballot for the sites on Sept. 25.

Although this is the first collaborative effort for Yushan and the Dead Sea, Halperin expects fruitful results.

“The cooperation between [Yushan] the highest peak in Northeast Asia and the lowest point on the face of the earth [the Dead Sea] symbolizes how places that seem so far apart have actually a lot in common — unique gifts of nature,” she said.

Halperin paid a visit to the Yushan National Park headquarters at the foot of the mountain range to experience the breathtaking view in August. However, she could not make it to the top because of poor weather conditions.

As she plans for another trekking tour, she is also working her diplomatic skills on Facebook to gather votes and support for both Yushan and the Dead Sea.

“I encourage all my friends, colleagues and counterparts to vote for both,” she said.

Yushan and the Dead Sea are competing against 26 other sites around the world for the title. Finalists include the Grand Canyon in the US, Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania and the Amazon River in South America.

Supporters can vote via the Web site or by telephone. Voting ends on Nov. 11.

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