On the morning of August 15 local time (evening of August 15, Taipei time), Vice President Chen Chien-jen and Mrs. Chen met over breakfast at their hotel with students from the Dominican Republic who have studied in Taiwan as recipients of the Taiwan Scholarship, and stated their high opinion of the successes achieved through higher education exchange programs between Taiwan and the Dominican Republic.
In remarks, Vice President Chen stated that some of the Taiwan Scholarship recipients at the breakfast meeting now work in the government, some are working as university instructors, and one is about to marry a girl from Taiwan and become a "Taiwanese son-in-law". The vice president said he was very happy that everyone has found success in their careers, for this inspires confidence in higher education exchanges between the two countries, and further strengthens bilateral diplomatic relations. In inviting everyone to the breakfast, said the vice president, his hope was to better understand their thoughts regarding Taiwan's international scholarship program.
Vice President Chen then listened as his guests recounted their personal experiences. Uriel Alberto Velez Batista, who first came to Taiwan in 2011 and eventually graduated from the Tamkang University Graduate Institute of Latin American Studies, spoke about what prompted him to come to Taiwan. While studying in Taiwan from 2013 to 2016, he met and began dating a Taiwanese girl who was studying in the Tamkang University Department of Spanish. Mr. Velez is planning to go back to Taiwan in late August to prepare for his wedding and take up permanent residence. Then Gregorio Antonio Rosario Michel, who holds a master's degree in geography from National Cheng Kung University and is now working at his country's national geography bureau, said he adapted to life in Taiwan very well during his stay, and he praised Taiwan's National Health Insurance program as very helpful to the economically disadvantaged.
Gustavo Adolfo Caffaro Feliz, a graduate from the National Taiwan University Department of Economics, said that the Taiwanese are a passionate people who love to help others. He also thanked the Taiwan government for providing him with an opportunity to study in Taiwan. Rosal Irene Perez, who is currently studying in the Tamkang University Graduate Institute of Latin American Studies and has finished all her coursework, said that before coming to study in Taiwan she had been working as a private secretary in the Dominican Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She returned to the Dominican Republic earlier this year and resumed the work she had been doing before. In addition to thanking the Taiwan government for providing her a scholarship, she also said the scholarship program is very important to the Dominican Republic.
Noting that many recipients mentioned Taiwan's National Health Insurance system, Vice President Chen stated that one reason why the system was established was to ensure that people would not fall into poverty due to illness, or fall ill due to poverty. The government wanted to make insurance premiums affordable, which is a sort of "mutual benefit and assistance" idea. This system has been praised by many countries, and Taiwan is very willing to share its experience on this front with other countries, including the Dominican Republic.
Vice President and Mrs. Chen then traveled about an hour from the Dominican Republic capital Santo Domingo to the province of Monte Plata to tour a solar power plant built with an investment from Taiwan's General Energy Solutions (GES). GES Chief Financial Officer Abel Liu (劉家成) accompanied them on the tour and delivered a presentation.
In remarks, Vice President Chen stated that the solar power plant is the largest photovoltaic array in Central America and the Caribbean, which shows that the Dominican Republic government takes a very forward-looking attitude toward global warming, climate change, and the trend toward green energy, which is very impressive.
Vice President Chen remarked that the decision by GES to make a large investment in a diplomatic ally of Taiwan shows that Taiwanese companies are very foresighted. And more importantly, this investment came about thanks to the joint efforts of the public and private sectors. Going forward, the vice president hoped that GES will strongly support the government in promoting solar energy.
Vice President Chen pointed out that GES is a large international corporation that, in addition to the Dominican Republic, has also made big investments in solar plants in developed countries such as the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom. He thanked the Dominican Republic government for the legislative and administrative steps it has taken to support the project, and expressed hope that the government will continue to lend its assistance as the Monte Plata solar plant is expanded, thereby creating a win-win situation.
Vice President Chen noted that, just as President Tsai Ing-wen has stated, cooperation between Taiwan and its Latin American diplomatic allies must be based on the foundation of "mutual assistance for mutual benefits", Taiwan must be unwavering and firm in purpose, and seek steadfastly to help its diplomatic allies to build up their infrastructure. Today, the successful investment by GES in the Dominican Republic means that he can encourage other Taiwanese firms to engage in more business, trade, and investment activities in the Dominican Republic. The vice president said he now feels more confident that Taiwanese companies will invest broadly overseas and forge cooperative ties that help and benefit everyone involved.
Vice President Chen finished by stressing that the Taiwan government will continue to stand with and support Taiwanese firms as they work to develop their overseas presence, and the government will help Taiwanese companies achieve brilliant success across the globe so that other countries will come to see that Taiwan is an excellent partner with which to engage in economic and trade relations.