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West Asian group impressed by Taiwan's soft power

2012/07/03 12:41:44

Taipei, July 3 (CNA) Young people from West Asian countries were impressed by Taiwan's soft power, including its achievements in organic farming and heritage preservation, after visiting the country on a 10-day trip, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

The experience boosted their understanding of Taiwan's progress in fields other than politics and the economy, said Lee Rem-loong, deputy director-general of the ministry's Department of West Asian Affairs, the organizer of the program.

"Soft power is what attracts people nowadays," he said at a routine press briefing.

A total of 23 people under 30 from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait visited Taiwan last week on a government funded program, which is held annually to introduce the country's cultural diversity.

During the trip, the delegation not only experienced organic farming and local food, but also visited an incinerator, a foundation dedicated to marine conservation and various historical sites, Lee said.

"They were very impressed by Taiwan's vibrant presence, and some of them even expressed a willingness to study at a graduate school here," he said.

The program, which had the theme "Love Our Planet" this year, has been held annually for four consecutive years.

(By Nancy Liu)