I recently met with Director General Jason Chien-Chen Lien of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, which has its office in Melville Street.
Over lunch, Jason enthused about Edinburgh and the opportunities it afforded its residents.
He praised the quality of life on offer in the city with our educational, technical, cultural and sporting sectors all receiving a special mention. He predicted that many more people from Taiwan will be making their way to live, study, work or visit Edinburgh and also appraised me of an initiative designed for young people from Scotland to visit Taiwan.
The Youth Mobility Scheme visa to the Republic of China (the formal name of Taiwan) aims to promote people-to-people exchanges and is designed to encourage and enhance the “interaction between Taiwanese and British youth; and increasing mutual understanding between these two countries. The primary focus of the scheme is holiday visits, but participants may supplement their funds and experience a foreign culture through incidental employment.”
Jason stressed that the important thing to remember was that young people who take advantage of the scheme can actually work in Taiwan during the year, which is the maximum allowed under this particular process. Taiwan is a beautiful country, steeped in tradition and culture and it also prides itself on its modern outlook. Jason hopes that more young people from Scotland will take this opportunity to visit his country and sample the delights on offer, ranging from the natural beauty of the countryside to the hustle and bustle of the vibrant cities with their huge skyscrapers towering over the streets below.
Chinese culture and cuisine, coupled with the warmth and hospitality of its people, make for a great, unforgettable experience which I have been fortunate to sample first hand and, like Jason, I hope that many more young Scots will grasp this opportunity.