Noticias — January 23, 2003
JCI President Meets Taiwan President
As part of his eight-day visit to JCI national organizations in Asia, JCI President Bruce Rector visited Taipei, Taiwan, on January 22, 23. During his visit, he had the opportunity to meet many outstanding current members as well as exceptional JCI alumni, among them, Chen Shui-bian, President of Taiwan and former Taipei Junior Chamber President. The epitome of the inspiring entrepreneurial spirit and determination of JCI members, Chen Shui-bian has overcome countless adversities to become the edifying leader of Taiwan.
Who is Chen Shui-bian? Chen Shui-bian was born to a tenant farming family in Kuantien Township of Tainan County in the ninth month of the lunar calendar in 1950. Because he was very weak as an infant, the family did not register his birth with the local census bureau until 1951. Thus, his identification certificate shows his date of birth as February 18, 1951. The poverty of Chen's family did not diminish his aspirations for a better future. The family borrowed money to put him through school, and he graduated at the top of his class. He studied law and specialized in maritime law. After holding several local government positions, he became Mayor of Taipei, the first popularly elected Taipei Mayor since the city was elevated to the status of a special municipality in 1967. He made great transformations in the Taipei City Government through entrepreneurship, professionalism, and resolve. On March 18, 2000, with much international attention, Chen Shui-bian was elected as the tenth-term president of Taiwan. President Chen has long insisted on building a highly efficient government that is "small but beautiful" and "small but capable," so that the ideal of a "young Taiwan and energetic government" can be realized. Warm welcome Cordially welcoming JCI President Bruce?who was accompanied by Dr. Elton See Tan, former JCI Presidential Adviser and Executive Vice President?President Chen said, ?I am very happy to meet the leader of JCI, Mr. Rector, today. On behalf of the government of the Republic of China, I would like to express my warmest welcome. Although Mr. Rector?s stay in Taiwan will be a short day and a half, I still sincerely hope that his Taiwan trip will be successful.? Focusing on JCI?s international role, President Chen said, ?Junior Chamber International has chapters and members in more than 100 countries around the world. It enjoys an important role among international nongovernmental organizations. I believe that under the leadership of Mr. Rector, JCI will play a more active role on the world stage. I also hope that through the help of JCI, the Taiwan Junior Chamber will be able to establish close ties with chapters in other countries. This would further enhance the spirit of cooperation, innovation, entrepreneurial freedom, and serving the people in Taiwan. President Chen urged JCI members to work together: ?As I understand, the JCI president must visit many countries around the world each year. He possesses not only extensive international experience, but also a grand international vision. I hope that despite his busy schedule, he will take the opportunity to understand Taiwan and her people better. At the dawn of this new century, Taiwan wants to be more active in taking on international responsibilities. We also hope to share with other global citizens the Taiwanese peoples? wisdom and experience so that together we can work for a better future.? Referring to Taiwan Junior Chamber, President Chen added, ?Taiwan Junior Chamber has always adhered to the idea of ?training oneself, serving the people,? and has actively participated in all kinds of charitable activities, while training talented individuals for many industries. I would like to express my gratitude to Taiwan Junior Chamber for their efforts and contributions. I hope that through solidarity and cooperation among the Junior Chamber partners, global Junior Chamber activities will continue to grow and make progress??