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ROC’s 102nd National Day observed in Banjul

Oct 14, 2013, 8:56 AM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

The 102nd National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan) was on last Thursday 10 October celebrated in The Gambia with a reception hosted by Ambassador Samuel Chen.

Before the dinner, the chief Taiwanese diplomat in Banjul addressed his guests gathered for the celebration held at Paradise Suites Hotel.

Among the celebrants were foreign diplomats, senior government officials including the Speaker of the National Assembly, cabinet ministers, religious leaders and cross-section of Taiwanese community resident in the country.

According to Ambassador Chen, since becoming the first democratic republic in Asia, ROC step by step, continued to develop not only a strong economy but also upholds the principles of democracy, freedom and human rights and the rule of law.

He noted that President Ma Ying-Jeou is pursuing Taiwan to play among others the role of a peacemaker, promoter of international humanitarian aid, promoter of international cultural exchange and a creator of new technology and business opportunities.

“Taiwan used to be a recipient of international development aid from 1950 to 1965. Using this aid during the 15 years, we were able to build up our infrastructure, reservoirs, highways, import substitution industries and developing agricultural reviving programs,” he said.

Ever since, he added, they have being sending agricultural missions abroad to help their many friends mainly in Africa.

“We understand that developmental aid is vital to a country’s development. Taiwan now is sharing her experiences with dozens of countries through hundreds of projects including agricultural technical support, medical assistance, capacity building, vocational training among others,” remarked Ambassador Chen.

The ROC top diplomat stressed that The Gambia is not only a very important diplomatic ally of Taiwan in Africa, but also their very respectful cooperation partner.

He used the opportunity to express Taiwan’s appreciation to the Government of The Gambia for her continued support for their meaningful participation in the international arena.

For her part, Mrs Susan Waffa-Ogoo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Gambia, on behalf of President Jammeh, his government and people of The Gambia, congratulated the government and people of Taiwan for the national day.

According to her, the success of Taiwan in becoming an economic superpower was as a result of the hard work and resilience of her people.

She recognised the contribution of Taiwan to The Gambia’s health, education, agriculture and other sectors’ development.

“The establishment of Taiwan Culture Centre in The Gambia, Youth Ambassadors’ Exchange Program and Gambia Cultural Week held in Taiwan amongst others signifies a stronger Taiwan-Gambia relation,” she said.

She raises her dismay with what she called great injustice when the people of Taiwan are not given the opportunity to be a full member of the international community while reaffirming The Gambia’s commitment to continuing to advocate for the due recognition of Taiwan in the international arena.

Meanwhile, as part of the event, students of Taiwan Culture Centre and staff of the Taiwanese embassy sang songs to the glory of ROC National Day while video documentaries were also made about Taiwan and also their 2013 intervention programmes in The Gambia.