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Talk of the Day -- Women thrive in Taiwan's diplomatic service

Talk of the Day -- Women thrive in Taiwan's diplomatic service

Female diplomats have thrived in the President Ma Ying-jeou administration. At present, six of Taiwan's diplomatic missions in Europe alone are headed by women diplomats, the most at any one time in Taiwan's diplomatic history, according to local media reports. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) officials said that although some of the country's diplomatic missions on other continents are also being led by female diplomats, none of those areas have as high a concentration of female diplomatic mission chiefs as Europe. The group comprises Lily Hsu, representative to Denmark; Hsueh Mei-yu, representative to the Czech Republic; Lin Ching-lien, representative to Finland; Agnes Chen, representative to Greece; Marietta Kao, representative to Hungary; and Lai Shin-yuan, permanent representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva. Meanwhile, the globally renowned investor relations publication IR Magazine has cited Elizabeth Sun, director of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s Corporate Communication Division, as one of the 25 leading investor relations officers (IROs) over the last quarter century. The magazine describes Sun as "the face of TSMC" in recognition of her achievements in satisfying both TSMC management and the investment community. Sun was one of the five Asian corporate communication officers to make the magazine's leading IRO list. The following are excerpts from local media coverage of these women who are making their mark in their respective fields: United Daily News: Taiwan currently maintains an embassy at the Vatican, a permanent mission at the WTO headquarters in Geneva and representative offices in 21 European countries. MOFA officials said overseas representative offices take care of visa and other affairs in neighboring countries where Taiwan has not set up representative offices, and the offices run by the six female diplomatic mission chiefs are no exception. Lily Hsu, representative to Denmark, is versed in the structures and operations of major international organizations and once headed the MOFA's department of international organizations. She has substantial overseas work experience, having worked at Taiwan's representative offices in the United Kingdom and the United States. Hsueh Mei-yu, representative to the Czech Republic, impressed many lawmakers during her time as deputy director-general of MOFA's Department of North American Affairs with her calm, reasoned and articulate style. She was credited with having helped former Representative to the United States Jason Yuan restore bilateral trust between Taiwan and the United States during her years as political division chief at the representative office in Washington, D.C. Her current stint in Eastern Europe is widely seen as part of the government's efforts to expand her vision and work experience. Lin Ching-lien had been director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Sydney before assuming her current post as the country's representative in Finland. MOFA sources said Lin's promotion from the post of director of the Bureau of Consular Affairs to lead the Sydney office was nearly unprecedented in the ministry's history. She was credited with promoting the addition of "Taiwan" to the cover of Republic of China passports. Representative to Greece Agnes Chen is known for her tireless efforts to lobby countries around the world to grant visa-waiver privileges to ROC passport holders. Marietta Kao, representative to Hungary, has climbed the diplomatic career ladder from the lowest rung. Aside from its contacts with Hungary, she is also in charge of Taiwan's engagements with other Balkan countries where the MOFA has not set up footholds, including Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, as well as services for Taiwanese expatriates in the region. Lai Shin-yuan, a former mainland affairs minister, took office as Taiwan's new permanent representative at WTO headquarters in Geneva in mid-December. Diplomatic sources said Lai's mastery of economic affairs was the main reason for her appointment to her current post. (Dec. 28, 2012). United Evening News: IR Magazine praised Elizabeth Sun as the face of TSMC among members of the world investment community. Sun, who heads TSMC's investor relations and public relations division, has stood out in the magazine's Asian IRO awards for many years. "She is the face of TSMC among members of the investment community, who shower her with praise when we research the region to identify the best companies from an IR perspective," IR Magazine said. At the magazine's 2011 Greater China Awards, Sun took the best IRO trophy for the fifth time in six years. Sun, now in her late 50s, said institutional investors no longer see TSMC as a company that fluctuates with economic cycles and regard it as a core part of their portfolios. "The change in their attitudes marks a recognition of my efforts over the past decade," said Sun who assumed her current post in 2003. (Dec. 28, 2012) (By Sofia Wu)


Updated : 2021-04-19 09:05 GMT+08:00