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Foreign students urge Taiwan to better promote itself as China rises

2017/11/30 16:40:35

CNA editor-in-chief Jay Chen (陳正杰) welcoming a group of foreign students.

Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) A group of foreign students in Taipei on Thursday called on Taiwan to do more to promote itself internationally, particularly in view of China's growing power in the world.

Farrah Burrell, an American student at Tamkang University's (TKU) Department of Diplomacy and International Relations (淡江大學), told CNA that many of her countrymen do not even know about Taiwan's existence.

"When I told them I was coming to Taiwan, they said 'Thailand,'" Burrell related.

Furthermore, most of those who know where Taiwan is located think it is part of the People's Republic of China (PRC), said Burrell, one of 64 foreign students from TKU's Department of Diplomacy and International Relations who visited CNA Thursday .

Burrell said she had to explain to her compatriots that Taiwan, officially named the Republic of China, is an independent, Mandarin-speaking country.

More American companies should consider setting up business in Taiwan, which is a safe country, she said.

However, the Taiwan government and Taiwanese news correspondents overseas need to do more to spread information about the country on the global stage, Burrell said.

"More action needs to be done," she said.

Echoing Burrell's views, Jenness Opara of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, one of Taiwan's diplomatic allies, said Taiwan should do more to establish itself internationally.

"From my standpoint, Taiwan's reputation is much better than that of China," Opara said.

With its growing economic strength, China is gradually taking control of the world with its enterprises and thus very few countries have favorable feelings toward China, she said.

Since most countries see Taiwan as part of the PRC, Taiwan should do more to address such misunderstandings and make it clear to the world that it is a democracy, Opara said.

The two women were visiting CNA as part of a group of 64 TKU students from Taiwan, Japan, U.S. Hong Kong, China, France and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of Taiwan's media industry.

They were accompanied by Leonard Chao (趙麟), an associate professor at TKU's Department of Diplomacy and International Relations and a former R.O.C. ambassador to Swaziland, and were welcomed by CNA editor-in-chief Jay Chen (陳正杰) and other staff members.

(By Joseph Yeh)