President Ma Ying-jeou meets with OCAC Commissioner of Washington State Christine Chen at the 2014 OCAC conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

Commissioners and overseas representatives gathered at the 2014 Commissioners’ Conference of the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan last month. Christine Chen (陳美君), the only appointed Overseas Community Affairs Commissioner of Washington State, attended the three-day conference and shared her insights with fellow delegates.

President Ma Ying-jeou meets with OCAC Commissioner of Washington State Christine Chen at the 2014 OCAC conference in Taipei, Taiwan.
President Ma Ying-jeou meets with OCAC Commissioner of Washington State Christine Chen at the 2014 OCAC conference in Taipei, Taiwan.
Christine Chen (third to the left) shared insights of overseas Chinese in North America at three regional-based seminars.
Christine Chen (third to the left) shared insights of overseas Chinese in North America at three regional-based seminars.

Christine Chen, along with hundreds of representatives, exchanged ideas with the goals to benefit the livelihood of overseas Chinese in a conference held in Taiwan recently.

Commissioners and overseas representatives gathered at the 2014 Commissioners’ Conference of the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan last month. Christine Chen (陳美君), the only appointed Overseas Community Affairs Commissioner of Washington State, attended the three-day conference and shared her insights with fellow delegates.

The conference serves as a major annual event that brings overseas Chinese leaders together from around the world to contribute suggestions on overseas community affairs policy. With the theme of “develop new national strategy through a strong Chinese Community”, commissioners were encouraged to exchange ideas in various topics relating to the development of Taiwan.

Commissioner Chen said that OCAC had undertaken a few new steps this year to expand the influence of the conference understand the leadership of OCAC Minister Steven Chen. Such steps include inviting the commissioners to visit ministries to discuss national issues, holding the 2014 Macroview Photo and Short Film Competition, as well as using a paperless meeting system throughout the process.

In the opening keynote, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou outlined plans to strengthen the country’s struggling economy and further improve regional ties. He also emphasized the importance of Taiwan’s role in the world’s economy, hoping to enhance relations between the country and the rest of the world.

President Ma acknowledged the face that Taiwan has been facing a wide range of challenges. He encouraged the people of Taiwan to stand united and to embrace dialogue, which to help restoring the nation’s reputation and image. He also appreciated the efforts of overseas compatriots in promoting the greatness of Taiwan all over the world.

Chen has been advocating on the objectives and mission of the conference for many years. Along with eleven commissioners, Chen represented the North American region in three seminars across the three-day conference. She spoke to the delegates about issues pertinent to overseas Chinese in Seattle and her appreciations for the work local Chinese communities have done to promote Taiwan’s art, culture and soft powers.

The commissioners put forth 132 initiatives this year, hoping to extend the scope work that OCAC does. Chen believes those initiatives will reach the goal of “transforming the power of overseas Chinese into the power of the nation.”

Chen believes that many North America cities are similar to Seattle, where traditional compatriot groups do share and agree with the ideologies of freedom, democracy, human rights, as well as Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s philosophy. Many overseas Chinese are in support of the Republic of China, while some of them are newly immigrated to the United States. Together, communities are formed and a sense of belonging is created. Overseas Chinese are all over the world, embracing diversity and culture. However, they also need the support and care from Taiwan’s government. It is important that OCAC continues to be actively acting as the bridge between overseas Chinese groups and communities.

As young Chinese talents continue to emerge, they become increasingly interested to serve as leaders of local compatriot groups. Chen strongly encourages the government to create a set of empowerment strategy, which will “recruit, train, sustain, and retain” these aspiring individuals. By cultivating their interests and understandings of the Republic of China, the overseas Chinese communities will continue to foster.

Besides, Chen also praises the government’s overseas Chinese student program, which has been growing numerous young professionals. It is the role of the OCAC to connect with these young talents when they return to their home countries. The contributions made by overseas Chinese have proven to be immeasurable. Chen hopes these young people can help establishing strong relationships and ties between Taiwan and their respective home countries.

With years of participation in OCAC, Chen hopes to continue to assist the government to increase opportunities for cultural and economical exchange between Washington and Taiwan and to promote policies that benefit compatriots at home and aboard.

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