Otter receives medal from Foreign Affairs ministry

Staff writer, with CNA

Thu, Apr 25, 2013 - Page 3

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) on Tuesday conferred a medal on Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter in recognition of his efforts to enhance US-Taiwan relations.

“I am highly honored and delighted to present on behalf of the government of the Republic of China the Friend of Foreign Service Medal to Governor Otter” in acknowledgment of his efforts to advance Taiwan-US ties, Lin said.

The governor attaches great importance to developing bilateral ties, Lin said.

He cited as an example Otter’s endorsement of resolutions passed by the Idaho legislature in support of Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations in areas such as trade and public health.

Taiwan is a member of the WTO and has been participating in the World Health Assembly as an observer for the past few years. The nation is now seeking participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Since 2011, Taiwan has been Idaho’s second-largest export market, thanks to Otter’s efforts, Lin said.

“We deeply appreciate Governor Otter’s many endeavors to advance Taiwan-Idaho relations and Taiwan-United States relations,” Lin said.

Otter said the decoration was “quite an honor.”

“I think it’s the first medal from a friendly nation that I ever received,” he said, describing Taiwan as a friend that the US can count on.

Otter is leading a delegation from his home state on his second visit to Taiwan as governor.

Taiwan has had ties with Idaho for almost 30 years, and relations have grown over the years in the fields of trade, culture, education and clean energy, Lin said.

Otter and his delegation are scheduled to wrap up their three-day visit today.