This may be of intrest to some.
Re: Summary of the visit to Taiwan as guest of President Ma Ying-Jeou
at the second term inauguration ceremony, 16-22/5/2012
Between the 16-22/05/2012 I was invited by the Government of Taiwan as a
personal guest of the President, Prof. Ma Ying-Jeou to participate in the
inauguration ceremony for his second presidential term of office.
I am attaching a presentation summarizing my moving and exciting visit in
My unique bond with President Ma was built in 1998, when I was invited,
together with 80 other representatives of BirdLife International to Taiwan , to
participate in a conference whose aim was the strengthening of the activities
of the Government of Taiwan in the promotion of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and
the preservation of biological diversity. About 15 representatives were chosen
to meet with the President of Taiwan and the Mayor of Taipei, Prof. Ma. I
brought with me to the meeting a framed poster of storks above Jerusalem that
was "new from the printing press", and Mayor Ma, who was full of enthusiasm
from the meeting, invited me for a second visit during which I met with the
Chief of the Taiwanese Air Force who wanted to learn about our achievements on
the topic of birdstrikes. A year later Prof. Ma came on a reciprocal visit to
Israel , and was my guest at Latrun, and the bond between us tightened.
About two years ago, when the Representative of Taipei Economic and Culture
Office in Tel Aviv, H.E., Liang-Jen Chang, came to Israel , he was asked by
President Ma, to increase our collaboration. We hosted a Taiwanese delegation,
headed by Lt. General Liao Jung-Hsin, Chairman of the National Security Council
of Taiwan, a Mirage pilot and sworn birdwatcher. The arrangements were also
handled by Israel Economic Representative in Taiwan , Simona Halperin.
As a result of the visit and my excellent personal relationship with Prof.
Lucia Liu Severinghaus from the Academia Sinica Institute, we decided to
promote the idea of collaboration in the fields of flight safety,
environmentally friendly agriculture, a comprehensive study of raptor migration
with satellite transmitters, and the integration of schoolchildren via the
internet site for learning about migration, promoting two-way birding tourism
between Taiwan and Israel.
The visit was an enormous success beyond all expectations. Organized until the
last detail, the Taiwanese gave me a "seven star" visit, with such a
warmhearted and friendly attitude that is not usually found anymore. I was
accommodated at a luxury hotel, with an escort from the Foreign Ministry with
me at all times, Yu-Ping Su, who held a position in the past in Israel . A
detailed and busy program was arranged (see appendix), that included, among
other things, the following:
· I met with the President of Taiwan for a whole hour (in spite of his
busy schedule leading up to the inauguration), joined by the following
dignitaries: our representative, the Minister of Agriculture, the Deputy
Foreign Minister, and his General Director, and a Senior Official from the
Ministry of Defense. During the meeting, the principles for tightening
relations and increasing collaboration were discussed. The atmosphere was very
warm and sociable.
· A personal meeting with the Chief of the Taiwanese Air Force, General
· A lecture of about one and a half hours for the Senior Staff of the
Taiwanese Air Force and senior representatives from flight safety – more than
50 officers – which was received with high interest.
· A half-day conference on the topic of migration in Israel and Taiwan
with five lecturers and discussions during which I delivered the key note
lecture, attended by about 80 academics and birding organization members (see
· A number of meals hosted by the General Director of the Foreign
Ministry, General Liao and others.
· Participation in the official inauguration ceremony, attended by 50
delegations from around the world, I was awarded the honor of being present in
the hall with the heads of the delegations (even ambassadors weren't in the
hall!), and a festive dinner at a fancy hotel together with 450 guests in an
· On Monday I visited the Endemic Species Research Institute in Nantou
County , and there too I met with researchers, and I lectured to 60 researchers
and conservationists, at an institute belonging to the Taiwanese Ministry of
My meeting with the President of Taiwan, that included the Ministers and the
elite of the Air Force, earned exceptional reactions in Taiwan, appearing in
more than 100 (!) newspaper articles, TV and the radio (see sample -
http://english.rti.org.tw/programalertinfo.aspx?tid=AD3141C80DAF32E2), as well
as among the public. (One of the ambassadors asked our representative in Taiwan
about the size of the Israeli delegation from Israel , based on the media and
In the next few days, I will be preparing a document of principles with Prof.
Severinghaus for the promotion of cooperation with Taiwan that I will be
personally handing over to the President of Taiwan, the Chief of the ROCAF and
all the relevant Ministers, describing the possible collaborative projects with
the Tel Aviv University and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel,
with Academia Sinica Institute and ROC NGO's.
This is a good opportunity to personally extend my thanks to the President of
Taiwan, Prof. Ma Ying-Jeou, to H.E Liang-Jen Chang, to our Economic
representative in Taiwan, Simona Halperin, to the representative from the
Foreign Ministry, Yu-Ping Su, to the Chief of the ROCAF, General Yen-Ming, and
to his Vice Chief, Lt. General Wu, Chien-Hsing, who personally hosted me, to
the Taiwanese Minister of Agriculture Dr. Bao-Ji Chen, to the Deputy Director
of the Taiwanese Foreign Minister, H.E. Lin Jinn-Jong, to the Taiwanese
Minister of Security, KAO, and of course to my friend, General Liao Jung-Hsin,
who was appointed about a year ago to the position of Chief of the Air Defense
Forces in Taiwan and was responsible for personally making great efforts
towards the success of the visit.
In summary, my feeling is that we are about to enter an extensive and fruitful
collaboration in the coming years, and this thanks to an impressive President,
a professional with ingenuity and vision.
I want to quote from President Ma speech from the Inauguration Ceremony
on the May 20 2012 at the President House ceremony:
"In Chinese we speak of “building a nest to attract the Phoenix ” – in other
words “build it and they will come".
We really hope to “take off” to a new .horizon, both Taiwan and Israel .
Another amazing story, I told in Taiwan :
The first pair of Barn Owls in which the male was an Israeli owl, and the
female a Jordanian owl raising 7 chicks in Bet- Shean valley for the first time
ever – Birds knows no Boundaries!
See the amazing story produced by Reuters in Alarabiya -
All positive about our regional cooperation.
Prof. Yossi Leshem
Prof. Yossi Leshem
Address: Tel Aviv University , George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences,
Department of Zoology
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978 , Israel .
Telefax +972-3-6406010, Tel: +972-3-6407963
Mobile phone: +972-52-3257722
E-mail 2: (both are correct)
Skype Name: leshemyossi
Visit our web site: www.birds.org.il
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