EU programs boost ties
Two programs prepared by Taiwan’s Representative Office in the EU and Belgium for EU officials to learn Mandarin and study Taiwan have helped establish a Taiwan-EU platform for dialogue and have assisted the EU in cultivating experts on Asian affairs, the office said. This year, 24 EU officials were enrolled in the Mandarin program and the Taiwan program, both of which will take them to Taiwan in the summer to attend lectures and seminars on Mandarin and Taiwan’s politics, economic development, culture and food, the office said. The Mandarin program, in which participants attend a two-week language and culture course, began in 2007, while the one-week Taiwan program was first launched in 2008. So far, a total of 143 officials have enrolled in either the Mandarin program or the Taiwan program, said Hsu Hui-wen (徐會文), head of the culture affairs division of the Taiwan liaison office in the EU.
Taiwan wins Informatics gold
Taiwan has won one gold and two bronze medals at the 25th International Olympiad in Informatics, held from July 6 to Friday in Brisbane, Australia. Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School student Huang Kai-chi (黃凱祺) won the gold medal, while Huang’s schoolmates, Chen Li (陳立) and Huang Hsin-yuan (黃信元), won the bronze medals. They were honored at the award presentation and closing ceremony of the annual competition on Friday. This year’s International Olympiad in Informatics was attended by 290 secondary school students from more than 80 countries. Next year, the event will be held in Taipei. The Taiwanese delegation said Huang Kai-chi is a prodigy in mathematics and physics. He previously won a gold medal at last year’s International Physics Olympiad in Estonia. The delegation is scheduled to return to Taiwan on Thursday.
Delegation to visit Japan
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) is scheduled to lead a delegation of 14 legislators from across party lines on a visit to Japan from July 21 to July 25. During the trip, the delegation will visit Tokyo and Iwate Prefecture on Honshu Island, which was hit by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake in March 11, 2011, Wang said, adding that he had previously visited residents of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, which were also affected by the quake. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞), who heads a Taiwan-Japan parliamentary friendship group, said the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China has made good use of money donated by Taiwan’s general public for post-quake reconstruction work in Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. The delegation also plans to tour Japan’s nuclear power facilities, meet with Japanese officials in charge of disaster prevention and meet with Japanese lawmakers in the run-up to Japanese Senate elections scheduled for July 21, Lee said.
Immigration MOU signed
South American diplomatic ally Paraguay has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Taiwan on immigration and collaboration in fighting human trafficking yesterday, the National Immigration Agency said. The MOU was signed by National Immigration Agency Director-General Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) on June 24 in Taipei and was forwarded to Taiwan’s embassy in Paraguay, the agency said.