Youth ambassadors showcase soft power
By Joseph Yeh ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- A group of Taiwanese college students that previously joined a government-run youth ambassador program yesterday presented the results they achieved during their just-concluded trips around the world at a presentation in Taipei.
October 26, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
During the presentation, joined by diplomatic missions in Taiwan, participants of the International Youth Ambassador Exchange Program performed songs and dances they learned on their recently concluded overseas journeys.
An exhibition that chronicles their travels around the globe during the past summer was also staged during the presentation yesterday.
The exchange program, initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in 2009, was joined by 35 teams from 19 universities to promote Taiwan's culture and expertise overseas this year, MOFA said.
They were sent on a mission covering 36 countries to promote cultural exchanges and Taiwan's soft power from June to September.
Vice President Wu Den-yih, who joined the presentation yesterday, praised the Taiwanese youth for their vitality and creativity.
”In 2009 when the program was first launched, there were only six delegations sent to Taiwan's allies in the Pacific region,” Wu said during his address.
”But the program has expanded over the years because of its popularity among Taiwanese youth and the support gained from host countries. This year there are a total of 35 delegations sent to 36 countries around the world, both Taiwan's allies and non-allies,” he said.
Wu said the youths' participation in the program has helped the country to enhance its image and promote its soft power in the world stage, and the participating students can also broaden their worldview via the project.
Taiwan's Soft Power
Unlike the program in previous years, which focused on recruiting youths specializing in the arts, MOFA said the program this year has expanded to other areas such as computer science, public health, martial arts and Chinese-language teaching.
Some of the teams were on a mission to promote Taiwan's delicacies and woodball, a game derived from golf and croquet invented in Taiwan, it said.
National Chengchi University's Risa Wang (王韋婕), a member of a mission to Kuwait and Oman this year, told The China Post yesterday that she enjoyed a unique experience during the trip.
She and her delegation performed martial arts in front of their counterparts in the two countries and introduced traditional Taiwanese festivals and customs to them.
”They are very surprised to witness women doing martial arts,” she said.