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TAIWAN-AMERICA STUDENT CONFERENCE 2019 REPORT JULY 11th – JULY 31st


Table of Contents 1 Letter from the American Executive Committee

26 Society

2

27 Southeast Asian Culture in Taiwan: Brilliant Time Book Store

4 Taiwan-U.S. Relations

28 Southeast Asian Culture in Taiwan: Myanmar Street

5 Political Relations: American Institute in Taiwan

29 Gender Equality: Jennifer Lu

6 Trade Relations: American Chamber of Commerce

30 Gender Equality: Dayway Chief

8 Entrepreneurship

31 Urban-Rural Healthcare Inequality: Chao-Bin Hsu

9 Sustainable Environment: Taiwan Circular Economy Network

32 Solutions to Wealth Inequality: Universal Basic Income Taiwan

10 Digital Innovation and Public Governance: Taiwan’s Digital Minister

33 Human Rights: Jingmei White Terror Memorial Park

11 Media and Communication: The News Lens International 14 Culture and History

36 Religion 37 Buddhism and Daoism: Paul Katz

15 Taiwan’s Political History: Presidential Office Building

38 Temple Architecture: Longshan Temple

17 Innovative Cultural Preservation: Bank of Culture

39 The Daoist Sea Goddess: Dajia Jenn Lann Temple

18 Taiwan’s Bubble Tea: Chun Shui Tang

42 Nature and Environment

19 Traditional Culture: National Center for Traditional Arts

43 Climate Change and Entrepreneurship: 350.org

21 Influence of Japan’s Colonization: Natural Way Six Arts Center

44 Ecological Tour: Coast of Taitung

23 Taiwan’s Prehistory: National Museum of Prehistory

45 Agriculture: Guanshan Bike Trail


47 Aboriginal Land: Luanshan Forest Museum 49 Traditional Outdoor Activities: Wenshan Leisure Farm 51 Natural Environment: Elephant Mountain 52 Natural Environment: Chouchai Wetlands 53 Natural Environment: Gaomei Wetlands

56 Roundtables & Final Forum 58 What is a “Roundtable”? 59 Media and Communication 60 Modern Issues in Education 61 Cultural Conflict and Identity

Authors | Ivan Jimenez, Nicholas Durán, Yu-Ting Wang

62 Environmental Systems and Sustainability

Editors | Judy Chu, Ru-Yi Chang, Sharon Lu

64 Passing on the Torch

Design | Judy Chu

66 Sponsors

Publish Date | 2019 / 09

Copyright © 2019 Taiwan-America Student Conference. All rights reserved.


Letter from the American Executive Committee Dear Friend of TASC, From July 11th through the 31st, TASC delegates from the US and Taiwan had the opportunity to experience a variety of

perspectives.

We learned about the people: Beginning their journey first in the urban capital of Taipei, the delegation made stops in Taichung, Changhua, Kaohsiung, Taitung, and Yilan. The distinct community and character essential to each locale as well as the sense of immersion

We learned about the big picture: This year, we welcomed a diverse cast of speakers—including Taiwan’s Digital Minister, Audrey Tang, UBI Taiwan Chairman, Tyler Prochazka, and the

they produced were a stirring representation of Taiwan’s unique status

as an economic and cultural leader in the world. All of this was made possible because of you. Students, professors,

legendary LGBTQ activist, Dayway Chief. Delegates had the

supporters, friends, and sponsors —because of your voices and passion

opportunity to discuss topics including civic participation,

for the international community, you have helped give us the strength

sustainable economics, LGBTQ rights in Taiwan, rural area health

and resources necessary to host such a program. We humbly thank you

care, entrepreneurship, and many more. Each of the speakers

for helping make the 6th Taiwan-America Student Conference possible,

shared their invaluable experience with the conference members,

and we hope we may continue to build this community together well

leaving us inspired with fresh ideas on how to improve our

into the future.

communities back in the US and in Taiwan.




2019 Taiwan-America Student Conference

Taiwan-U.S. Relations


Political Relations: American Institute in Taiwan

Toy Reid is a political officer for the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the US de facto embassy that was established in 1979. In his speech, he talked about the US-Taiwan relationship—its history, what it signifies, and why it is ultimately important for both countries to maintain a strong alliance. With total honesty and a touch of humor, Toy Reid brought light to us what current situations mean to Taiwan’s international relations while urging the Taiwanese delegates to have more confidence about Taiwan’s development in various fields.


Taiwan-America Trade Relations: Political American Chamber and Economic of Commerce Relations

William Foreman is the president of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taipei, which has over 1,000 members from more than 500 companies. He spoke on the importance of economic ties between Taiwan and the US and discussed the potential that both allies have to

further improve their economic relationship. Delegates were all quite surprised to find out how closely linked Taiwan and the US are economically, including how Taiwan is one of the largest trading partners with the US.



2019 Taiwan-America Student Conference

Entrepreneurship


Sustainable Environment: Taiwan Circular Economy Network

Charles Huang, founder of the Taiwan Circular Economy Network, delivered a speech on the need to transition to sustainable methods of

economic production that prioritize “cradle-to-cradle” design. Mr. Huang’s career focuses on minimizing consumption by improving the lifetime of a resource or good prior to disposal—a principle of circular economy he puts into practice as Chairman of Taiwan Sugar Corporation.


Digital Innovation and Public Governance: Taiwan’s Digital Minister

As Taiwan’s Digital Minister, Audrey Tang has not only worked with Apple and Oxford University Press but has also contributed, in the voluntary sector, to Taiwan’s g0v.tw

("gov-zero"), a community focused on creating tools for civil society. With a brilliant mind and well-

earned confidence, Audrey Tang unveiled to delegates how technology can bridge much-needed communication between the government and its people. Delegates not only realized how important communication is but also how the method plays an essential role.


Media and Communication: The News Lens International

Joey Chung is the founder and CEO of News Lens International, an iconic Taiwanese independent media for readers disenchanted with the tabloid-ridden Taiwanese media. Students learned from him the values of freedom of speech and what it takes to run a media company focusing on accurate data and unbiased reporting, especially now in the current state of affairs that Taiwan and the US media have been experiencing.




2019 Taiwan-America Student Conference

Culture and History


Taiwan’s Political History: Presidential Office Building

Delegates examined the history of the Presidential Office Building and the Republic of China, a building with more than 100 years of history that has transitioned from Japanese colonization, Cheng Kai-Shek’s rule, to becoming an emblem of Taiwan’s democracy.



Innovative Cultural Preservation: Bank of Culture

Aiting Shao is the founder of the Bank of Culture (

), a platform committed to preserving aspects of Taiwanese culture in decline. She

presented one of her projects to us, which focused on redesigning traditional paper lanterns so as to reduce their negative environmental impacts. The creativity, thought, and care Aiting brings to the issue of cultural preservation were inspiring for both American and Taiwanese delegates and highlighted the importance of innovation in cultural preservation.


Taiwan’s Bubble Tea: Chun Shui Tang

Delegates arrived at the tea store in Taichung that invented the now world-famous bubble tea and learned to make two types of tea. Some ingredients include sugar syrup, black tea, milk, ice cubes, and tapioca balls. With the help of the instructor, everyone was able to make and

taste their own tea. At the end of the course, members received a certificate indicating their tea-making success.


Traditional Culture: National Center for Traditional Arts

Members walked around a special arts dedicated amusement park that mixes education and industry allowing visitors feel Taiwan's rich and diverse crafts, folk skills, drama, music, dance. The park has a temple in the middle alongside what was once a brick factory turned into a multitude of shops and restaurants with handcrafted items that stimulate one’s creativity while promoting the arts, memorabilia, and dishes.



Influence of Japan’s Colonization: Natural Way Six Arts Center

This center in Taichung was built during Japanese rule and is now a cultural hub that maintains and teaches visitors the way that colonial rule influence Taiwanese culture. Delegates learned simple ways on strengthening the mind and body by practicing kendo and archery, and developing tea serving techniques from the 18th century that ensures maximum taste.


"The Natural Way Six Arts Center was a beautiful area. We were able to really immerse ourselves into cultural activities all in a

couple of hours. Kendo, archery, and tea tasting were all such fun and informative activities that taught me a lot about the various aspects of Taiwanese culture." — Justin Deutsch, TASC 2019


Taiwan’s Prehistory: National Museum of Prehistory

Delegates learned about the origins of Austronesian peoples and their arrival in Taiwan. “In the National Museum of Prehistory, I learned more about Taiwan’s aboriginal cultures and got to see the old jade ornaments. It was a great opportunity to view these treasures so closely while learning about the Austronesian civilizations that made them thousands of years ago. Next time I’m in Taitung, I would love to visit the archaeological site at Peinan Cultural Park." — Elva Hsu (

), TASC 2019




2019 Taiwan-America Student Conference

Society


Southeast Asian Culture in Taiwan: Brilliant Time Bookstore

Chang Cheng is the owner of Brilliant Time Bookstore (

ďźš

), an establishment dedicated to the promotion of Southeast

Asian cultures in Taiwan. Chang has been actively engaged in the movement to make Taiwanese society more inclusive and tolerant for Southeast Asian migrants. His speech not only illuminated many of the disadvantages faced by migrants—particularly in the workplace—but it also struck a

chord with several US delegates who paralleled the issue to recent cultural and political developments at home.


Southeast Asian Culture in Taiwan: Myanmar Street

Brilliant Time Bookstore Founder Cheng Chang, an advocate for integration of Southeast Asian migrants, led TASC members on a tour of Myanmar Street. This street is unique because it is home to a great Southeast Asian migrant community that promotes its cultures with savory dishes and stores selling items from their original countries. It was valuable for TASC members to see the diversity that Taiwan promotes and to

have a better understanding of how these diverse cultures have adapted.


Gender Equality: Jennifer Lu

Jennifer Lu, the chief coordinator of an advocacy group, Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, has been an advocate for gender equality for 15 years. Jennifer and her team have organized several successful rallies promoting LGBTQ rights: the most important one was on Human Rights Day in December in 2016, where over 250,000 people showed up in support of marriage equality. Delegates were all amazed by the amount of effort made

throughout the years that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage.


Gender and Marriage Gender Equality: Equality Dayway Chief Rights in Taiwan

Dayway Chief is the first public LGBTQ activist in Taiwan. He had been seeking legal recognition for his relationship with his same-sex partner since the 1980s. In 2017, when his application for marriage was turned down by a local government office, he appealed to the courts, ultimately leading to the landmark ruling that deemed it unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. Students were enthralled listening

to his story of hardship and persistence where he paved the way for the LGBTQ movement in Taiwan.


Urban-Rural Healthcare Inequality: Chao-Bin Hsu

Dr. Chao-Bin Hsu has tirelessly dedicated himself to serving his community in Taitung County, both as a medical practitioner and as an advocate for bridging

Taiwan’s urban-rural healthcare gap. As part of his mission to provide high quality medical access to Southeastern Taiwan’s local and indigenous communities, Dr. Hsu founded the South Link Foundation in 2012 before eventually raising the necessary funds to build a hospital in the region. Delegates were all immensely moved by Dr. Hsu’s personal story and his determination to provide help for those in need despite physical and financial challenges.


Solutions to Wealth Inequality: Universal Basic Income Taiwan

Tyler Prochazka, chairman of Universal Basic Income (UBI) Taiwan, an organization that promotes the discussion of UBI as a solution to economic stagnation and inequality in Taiwan. As a fairly recent development in economics, many delegates had never heard of UBI prior to the enlightening discussion with Mr. Prochazka.


Human Rights: Jingmei White Terror Memorial Park

A tour of the Jingmei White Terror Memorial Park, a museum that preserves the actual site of a detention and incarceration centre where torture occurred under

the military regime of Taiwan violating human rights during the White Terror period for its oppression on journalists, political dissidents, and innocent victims. The tour was guided by survivor Chin Him San, who endured imprisonment for 8 years and spoke on the ways that the military would torture him physically and psychologically. Chin Him San’s personal story brought tears to the eyes of many delegates as they immersed themselves into a part of Taiwanese history that was before only seen in textbooks.




2019 Taiwan-America Student Conference

Religion


Buddhism and Daoism: Paul Katz

As an expert in Eastern religions, Dr. Paul Katz delivered his analysis of the intersection between popular religion in Taiwan and the country’s social and political customs. His notion that religious practices are often a matter of personal agency, comfort, and tradition rather than faith alone resonated

with members of the delegation who identified as Buddhist or Daoist.


Temple Architecture: Longshan Temple

TASC members visited the Longshan Temple in Changhua, the largest and oldest temple in Taiwan dating from the Qing Dynasty. The temple exhibits several impressive architectural elements that include incredibly intricate painted murals, carved stone, wood carvings and spider web ceiling. The temple is vulnerable to earthquakes, heavy tourism, and pollutants can damage the ancient paintings, despite these factors, the bureau of cultural heritage does routine maintenance to keep this emblematic structure beautifully preserved.


The Daoist Sea Goddess: Dajia Jenn Lann Temple

TASC takes a picture in front of one of the many beautiful temples in Taiwan built in commemoration of the Daoist sea goddess Mazu. This one in particular has at least 200 years of history with annual mass pilgrimages from all over Taiwan to show their devotion to Mazu during the end of

Chinese New Year.




2019 Taiwan-America Student Conference

Nature and Environment


Climate Change and Entrepreneurship: 350.org

Throughout his career in environmental advocacy, Liang-Yi Chang has remained staunch in supporting the global fight for climate justice. He is currently the Asia Managing Director for 350.org, an international non-profit organization committed to grassroots mobilization in over 188 countries. Through Liang-Yi’s remarks, TASC delegates learned the vital importance of collective and individual action on climate change, as well as how they can contribute to mitigating the problem in their daily lives.


Ecological Tour: Coast of Taitung

The tour took place at night with a humorous guide that showcased his knowledge on the seacoast biodiversity. Carefully, members walked next to a thriving hermit crab community that left members curious on how humans and nature can co-exist.


Agriculture: Guanshan Bike Trail

One TASC delegate was excited to ride alongside rice fields and the mountains of Guanshan. “At Guanshan, we biked through the rice fields of Taitung on a sunny afternoon. Since the bike trail could be finished within an hour, I rode it twice with

my friends. The first time, we enjoyed the overall scenery, the animals nearby, and the exhilaration of one of the downhill slopes. The second time, we stopped by a rice field and immersed ourselves in its serenity. I couldn‘t ask for a better bike ride.” — Judy Chu (

), TASC 2019



Aboriginal Land: Luanshan Forest Museum

"This was my first time to the Luanshan Forest Museum, a place where you can explore the culture of aborigines. Once we stepped into the Buneng Tribe, people there all welcomed us with the most genuine smiles I’ve ever seen. I love everything we experienced there including the barbecue, hiking and the traditional aboriginal meal. Through this tour to Luanshan, I came to understand more about their culture and I hope will get the

chance to promote it to others." — Christina Wang (

), TASC 2019


ď ś The Buneng Tribe taught TASC members the importance of nature and the ways that the community prepares meals. They also led members on a hike that encompassed excitement and curiosity.


Traditional Outdoor Activities: Wenshan Leisure Farm

Delegates experienced outdoor Taiwanese activities, such as stone-brick ovens, baked bamboo stuffed with rice, tree climbing, entomology, and

team building skills. The farm itself is used by many locals to interact with one another and eat an array of traditional dishes, such as medicinal chicken soup, bamboo shoots, and fried sardines.


“During our time in Wenshan Leisure Farm, the guide was patient and informative, he provided us with the proper environment to gain team-

building skills and understand one another at a more personal level. Most importantly, I experienced why Taiwanese always mention that they are warm and kind people. We had another group of ex-military Taiwanese give us food and drinks without asking any of us! I can’t remember the last time I felt that full with a happy heart and a happy belly.” —Ivan Jimenez (

), TASC 2019


Natural Environment: Elephant Mountain

Tackling Elephant Mountain, TASC members received a beautiful view of Taipei. To hike up a mountain together was a special experience that brought everyone closer to each other. In fact, they loved Elephant Mountain so much that they decided to go again by themselves early the next

morning!


Natural Environment: Chouchai Wetlands

Delegates took an ecological tour through one of Taiwan’s most unique man-made wetlands. The Chouchai is surrounded by skyscrapers and buildings serving as an escape for the average visitor from city life. This small wetland is important because its rich biodiversity has allowed to preserve much of native species in Taiwan, such as the Jacana a lotus bird species that is recovering from being endangered. In addition, the ecological park does a wonderful job instructing visitors how nature interconnects with itself in order to successfully preserve its ecology.


Natural Environment: Gaomei Wetlands

Delegates explored the ecologically rich preservation area in Gaomei Wetlands that spans over 1,500 acres. A long wooden deck leads to an area open for visitors to actually step onto the wetlands and feel the sand and water beneath their feet. This site is popular among tourists that want to take

beautiful shots of nature and witness Taichung’s wildlife.




2019 Taiwan-America Student Conference

Roundtables & Final Forum



What is a “Roundtable”? TASC delegates applied to be placed in one of four roundtables (“RTs”):

Media and Communication Board game video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/16QZpLVj4LvGPTVDB9VRlrq4iNUU0-ND/view?usp=sharing

Modern Issues in Education Website: https://xunexplore.weebly.com/

Cultural Conflict and Identity Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OKhaooh/

Environmental Systems and Sustainability Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reduceyowaste/?hl=zh-tw

Each RT is comprised of members from both the American and Taiwanese delegations and covers a different topic and issue. During RT discussions throughout the conference, delegates had the opportunity to hone in on one focal problem, share their various perspectives and expertise, and develop an action plan to address the problem. During the Final Forum, each RT had the opportunity to present their hard work to a panel of leading professionals in fields ranging from civic advocacy to non-profit management.


Media and Communication

Concerned particularly about fake news and cross-generation communication gaps, the Media and Communication Roundtable group proposed an interactive and collaborative board game as their action plan. It was designed to mitigate fake news and communication conflicts among different age groups by facilitating players to communicate thoughts, show empathy, and foster critical thinking skills in the presence of others of all ages. Beyond their original version, this group generated ideas for several more sophisticated designs, which would include more parties and stricter rules to win.


Modern Issues in Education

The Modern Issues in Education Roundtable group focused on problems facing standardized testing and early career exploration. To combat these issues, the team developed a website aimed at informing students and teachers of these problems, along with proposed solutions. The website also offers a forum platform for these

parties to discuss additional solutions because, in order to evoke change, communication is the first step. There are resources for students to learn about different careers in different fields, including college courses, specific jobs in various fields, and the personality types most compatible with each career.


Cultural Conflict and Identity

Though now is the time where issues regarding our identity are more widely discussed, there are still gaps between generations and things left unsaid when communicating with close family and friends. People never know when a slip of the tongue or a passing comment may hurt others. Nor do they know the thoughts of other generations when they live and communicate within their own echo chambers. This is what prompted the Cultural Conflict and Identity Roundtable to build anonymous platforms for free speech on all matters of identity. The team wishes to facilitate communication further as well as spread the realization of how people influence others, both good and bad. They want all voices to be heard. They want to tell your stories.


Environmental Systems and Sustainability

With eyes set on the associated health and environmental impacts regarding plastic and micro-plastic pollution, the Environmental Systems and Sustainability Roundtable delivered an informative presentation that aimed to test the audience’s knowledge of the problem. Beyond making the subject matter more palpable, the demonstration provided recommendations for how individual consumers can go about reducing their ecological footprints throughout their day-to-day lives— emphasizing the importance of being more knowledgeable of the environmental impacts of different brands and companies. At the end of the day, we all must work collectively to make the planet a greener, more resilient place for ourselves and future generations.



Passing on the Torch DEAR TASC 2020 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE,

TASCers, challenges are inevitable. You will have to venture into unknown fields and acquire skills that have never been in your expertise. You will

We are exceptionally proud of our program’s mission and the

have to work together and communicate efficiently with your team despite

influential impact it continues to have on the lives of all those who take

being miles apart. You will keep on encountering new problems that

part. There are currently TASC alums who have stuck to their action plans

require new solutions from not only creativity but also patience and

and continue to push for change on the issues they are passionate about, and there are even some alums who have chosen to revisit their action plans together as a team over a year later. This demonstrates the sort of conscientious and close-knit community that TASC has sought to develop since its founding in 2014. Because TASC is more profound than just a network of students and professionals. It is a family of changemakers.

endurance. But we believe, as you should as well, that your contribution is worth it. From the experience of being past delegates, we see and feel firsthand of the special moments that bring us together and the wonders that brilliant minds can conjure. There will always be something you can improve. Do not be afraid of trying out new ideas and meeting new people. Relish in the complete

And each year, we usher in a new and diverse cohort of TASC leaders

freedom and exciting possibility to evolve TASC, from merely a conference

and delegates who will carry on our mission and continue on to form close

of a few weeks to a memory of a lifetime. As students, this is your

bonds. In order to bring the same if not better experience for future

opportunity to learn, and to grow.



 National Taiwan University Student Activity Division

Sponsors  Taichung City Government

Sponsors  The Language Training and Testing Center (LTTC)

 Taiwanese United Fund


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