G-G wraps up visit to ROC
May 28, 2004
G-G wraps up visit to ROC

A four-person delegation from St. Vincent and the Grenadines concluded a four-day visit to the Republic of China on Saturday, May 22.
The delegation, led by Governor-General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, included his wife, Lady Sally-Ann Ballantyne, Chairman of Interactive Media Ltd. (publishers of Searchlight), Clare Keizer, and Managing Director of the Vincentian Publishing Company, Desiree Richards.{{more}}
The delegation, which arrived in Taipei on Tuesday, May 18, was in Taiwan at the invitation of the Taiwanese government to represent St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the inauguration of the 11th President of the Republic of China.
The packed itinerary began on Wednesday, May 19, with a visit to the Government Information Office, where delegates where shown presentations on the “Taiwan Experience”.
The next stop on the itinerary was to the National Taiwan University Hospital. This visit was arranged because of the Governor General’s professional interest. At the hospital, the group was greeted and briefed by Fang-Yue Lin, vice-superintendent and professor of cardiac surgery. The College of Medicine was established in 1897 and to date has trained more than 10,000 physicians.
That afternoon the delegation was received by His Excellency Chen Shui-bian, President of the Republic of China. Sir Frederick conveyed greetings and congratulations on behalf of the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Following the visit to the President the delegation was received at a welcome reception at the majestic Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.
On Thursday, May 20, the delegation attended the official inauguration ceremony of the President. Just prior to the ceremony, the President, his wife and the Vice-President received the formal congratulations of the visiting delegations. It might be expected that the ceremony would have been delayed or adversely affected by the heavy rain. However, that was not so. Everything proceeded on time with military precision.
The day concluded with celebration receptions and banquets held at different venues.
On Friday, May 21, the delegation traveled 180 km from Taipei in the north- west of the country to Sun Moon Lake scenic area in the mountainous centre of Taiwan. Along the way, stops were made at the Hsinchu Science Park and the Taichung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station.
The Hsinchu Science Park, which stretches over both Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County, was established on December 15, 1980 and was the first science park of its kind to be developed in Taiwan. The park has as its mission the establishment of high quality research and development for the high-tech industry. This is facilitated by the proximity of two leading technical and engineering academic institutions in Taiwan, the National Tsing Hua University and the National Chiao Tung University.
Taiwan has 150 universities. The main industries represented at the Park are integrated circuits, optoelectronics, computers/peripherals, telecommunication, biotechnology and precision machinery.
The next stop was the Taichung District Agricultural Station where the group was greeted by the Director, Dr. Yung-wu Chen. After a briefing on the work of the Research and Extension Station, a tour was given of the various experimental plots. Rice, pears, grapes, sorghum, tomatoes, orchids, pumpkins and other fruit and vegetables were observed growing using various techniques including hydroponics.
The day climaxed with an overnight visit to the breathtaking Sun Moon Lake scenic area. The Sun Moon Lake national scenic area covers a total area of about 9000 hectares and is located in Nantou County’s Yuchih Township. It is the largest lake in Taiwan. The group was greeted at the lake by a delightful group of school children performing the Lion Dance.
In thanking the group of persons who welcomed the delegation to the Sun Moon Lake area, the Governor-General described the hospitality of the Taiwan people as being similar to that of Vincentians, and suggested that the similarity arose as we are both “island people”.
Throughout the visit, the delegation was impressed by the conscientiousness, hard work and efficiency of the Taiwanese people. Every task, no matter how simple, seemed to be undertaken with the greatest of diligence.
Former Charge D’Affairs of the ROC to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tom Chou, was the delegation’s main liaison officer during the visit. He is presently executive secretary in the Congressional Liaison Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was very ably assisted by Fernando Chen of the Department of Central and South American and Caribbean Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The delegation also met with Roger Luo, immediate past Charge D’Affairs to St. Vincent.
Luo is presently assistant director-general in the Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During the visit, the delegation also held informal talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen, who was at Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport on Saturday, May 22, to see the delegation off.