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Book Release Celebrates Diplomatic Heroes

The International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) launched a new book on Taiwan's foreign assistance operations on Sunday, celebrating the collected stories of the work and lives of people who have served in Taiwan's overseas medical, technical, and agricultural teams.

The book, entitled Sharing Our Fortunes with the World: Eight Stories of the Taiwan Spirit, describes personal experiences encountered by ICDF staff working in countries that have diplomatic or friendly relations with Taiwan.

Aside from depicting the work operations, the eight-chapter book also gives the reader glimpses into team members adjusting to new surroundings and the emotional impact of their experiences.

At the book release, Foreign Minister and ICDF Chairman Eugene Chien praised the hard work of the team members, calling them examples of President Chen Shui-bian's push for 'pluralistic democracy.'

"Through this book, I hope that the Taiwanese public will gain a deeper insight into our diplomatic work abroad as well as give rightly deserved recognition to these individuals,'' he told the audience.

Chien also said he hoped Taiwan's youth would view the members as role models and that they would be motivated to take the Taiwanese spirit to all corners of the globe. The foreign minister went on to refute previous allegations that the government has been conducting 'dollar diplomacy.' Chien pointed out that 'such statements entirely obliterate the contribution and achievement of these volunteers.'

Secretary General of the ICDF Yang Tzu-pao also attended the ceremony and commented to the press that foreign assistance cooperation with partnering countries represented an excellent opportunity for 'Taiwan to take part in the international community.'

Video footage was also shown of Taiwan's overseas missions, and recognition awards were given to Huang Chi-lin, Ho Hsing-shih, and Fu Chen-chung, who had their stories told in the book. Huang, head of Taiwan's medical team in the African Republic of Chad, has been away from Taiwan since 1994.

"Taiwan is fine with one or two fewer doctors, but in Africa, one or two can make a tremendous difference.''

"I feel grateful to MOFA and ICDF for their long-term support in overseas missions. Without out a sound logistics system, we could not get the job done by ourselves,'' he added.

Fu was sent to Liberia in 1989 and then to Guinea Bissau as a medical team member. He is now deputy director of Chenghsing Hospital. Ho headed an agricultural team to Burkina Faso in 1967 and raised successful crops despite facing some adverse weather conditions.


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  • Date:2002/9/29