NEWBERRY — Newberry College faculty and students had the opportunity Thursday afternoon to meet and hear from Daniel Hung, deputy director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta, a foreign affairs division for the Republic of China (Taiwan). Hung’s presentation was entitled, “Why Taiwan Matters.”
The visit was arranged and attended by South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond, in cooperation with Dr. Nick Di Liberto, assistant professor of history at Newberry College.
Hammond, a 1986 Newberry graduate, welcomed the attendees, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to attend the College, and introduced Hung.
Hung represents the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Atlanta, one of 12 regional branches of the Taiwanese Embassy in the United States. Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, is not recognized by the U.S. as a sovereign entity, but rather as a representative of the Chinese people. Consistent with this “one-China” policy, the U.S. has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan since 1979.
Hung began with facts about Taiwan, including that the island is one-third the size of South Carolina, and two-thirds of its territory consist of mountains. Taiwan also boasts a score of 93/100 from Freedom House, an organization that evaluates countries on political freedom, civil liberties and the rule of law.
Hung also spoke on the importance of United States’ inclusion of Taiwan in its visa waiver program. The program enables most citizens or nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or fewer without first obtaining a visa, provided certain requirements are met. Taiwan is currently the only country without American recognition to be included in the program. He also offered examples of successful Taiwanese companies doing business in the United States, including tire producer Maxxis, and electronics manufacturer Acer.
Hung concluded with a discussion of Taiwanese culture, cuisine, and tourism.
James Salter is a student at Newberry College.