To connect with the world and boost Taiwan's visibility, on February 1, 1996, the Office of the President launched its website, which included an English version to serve the needs of foreign communities both at home and abroad. Both the Chinese and English versions have undergone several revisions, making the website even more real-time, convenient, and informative. In order to reach out further to the world and make the website more distinct, the Office of the President began overhauling the English version in April 2005.
The homepage features images of the presidential building, the Office of the President's emblem, and the national flag. Soft and natural tones have been used, thereby expressing the warmth of the Office of the President and making browsing the website an enjoyable experience. Moreover, the website has added images from the country's five major festivals: the New Year, Lunar New Year, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, and National Day. This has given character to the homepage and highlighted Taiwan's unique traditions and customs.
In terms of content, the latest English version introduces new sections, such as "Take a Closer Look at Taiwan" (a column borrowed from the Chinese version), National Vision, National Statistics, Taiwan Directory, Art Gallery, Tour of the Office of the President and Taipei Guest House. An improved search engine also helps provide diverse, comprehensive, and abundant information that bridges Taiwan with the world. Links to related websites provides another way to quickly and conveniently search information. The displaying of Taiwan's local time, which is 8 hours ahead of the "Greenwich Mean Time," on the top of the homepage stems from the effort to internationalize Taiwan image.
The Office of the President warmly welcomes everyone to visit its English website (http://www.president.gov.tw). We would greatly appreciate it if you, our faithful e-friend, could recommend it to others. Should you think of any way for us to improve the website, please send your comments to the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Additional Services of the Website
The Office of the President of the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s English website was launched on February 1, 1996. In order to make the website interactive, convenient, content-rich, real-time, user friendly, educational and unique, by world standards, the website --both the Chinese and the English versions-- has undergone several revisions to meet these goals. To further highlight the President and Vice President's ideals and visions about the country and to enrich the content of the website, the Office of the President began an overhaul of the English website starting April 2005. The new and improved English version is scheduled to debut on December 23, 2005. Since its inception nine years ago, the date marks the first time the website will have an improved and distinctive facelift.
In addition to providing high-quality, updated, diverse, sound, and comprehensive news and information, the new edition of the English website has added services, such as a Taiwan directory, a national vision section, important national statistics, and an improved search engine.
Other features include: (1) The homepage combines images of the presidential building, the emblem of the Office of the President and the national flag of the R.O.C. (Taiwan). While creating the homepage, the use of soft and natural colors express the warmth of the Office of the President and help to make visitors browsing the website feel comfortable.(2) There will be two editions of the homepage, the "morning" and the "evening" editions. According to the current time in Taiwan, the homepages will be switched daily at six O'clock in the morning and in the evening. The current time in Taiwan will also be shown at the top of the homepage.(3) Patterns illustrating the country's five major festivals: New Year, the Lunar New Year, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and National Day, are designed to add diversity to the homepage and to give visitors a taste of the traditions and customs of the R.O.C. (Taiwan).(4) The Office of the President is one of Taiwan's most-visited historical attractions. The building is in the form of a double square with a pointed tower at the center of its facade. The building is also the object of research to many local architects and historians. Well-known architects Li Chung-Yueh and Shiue Chyn, an architect and associate professor at Chung Yuan Christian University, were invited to give a detailed account of the construction and history of the presidential building for the new version of the English website. In addition, the well-built and elegant Taipei Guest House, constructed in 1899 and the place where President Chen and former presidents receive foreign guests, is introduced to the website to add artistic flavor.(5) Users will have a glimpse of the Office of the President through interactive photo images posted on the website. A new section on the site will also incorporate these downloadable images so that users can use them as desktop wallpaper.(6) The links to President Chen, Vice President Lu and the Introduction to the Office of the President will contain photo galleries. Pictures of the first family, the vice president, and the changes to the presidential building over the past hundred years can all be viewed here.(7) News on foreign visits made by the president, the vice president, and the first lady are further enhanced with photos of their visits. Each tour is compiled into an album featuring the unique theme of the visit.(8) The art gallery is open to the general public. The existing online art gallery webpage serves as the bulletin board for ongoing fairs and exhibitions in the presidential building; photos of the art collections are posted on the website in order to attract web users to visit the exhibitions. Users can also download or print out images for free.
The new version of the Office of the President's English website aims to help foreign nationals, who are keen to learn more about Taiwan, to deepen their understanding and experience of the country's democratic and prosperous society. With an open and interactive design, the Office of the President welcomes everyone who visits the website to provide suggestions on how the Office of the President can better accommodate the needs of everyone.
Features of the new website
1. It contains articles with famous with architects including Li Chung-yao, Tso Yin-Yung and Hsu Yu-chin. Chyn Shiue, professor at Chung Yuan Christian University, was invited to give a comprehensive and in-depth account of the construction and history of the presidential building and the Taipei Guest House. We wish this will bring to the visitors of the website a rich and interesting journey of art and architecture.
2. Historical Records on the "Sign on the Ridgepole"
Normally, a "Sign on the Ridgepole" would exist at the top of the government offices built by the Japanese government in Taiwan during the Japanese occupation. The so-called "Sign on the Ridgepole" is in fact a wooden board made of Chinese Juniper wood, containing various facts about the building, such as the names of the supervising officers and engineers, names of the contractors and the dates the construction was commenced and completed, etc. The "Sign on the Ridgepole" for the Presidential Office is located in the Central Tower, with a height of one meter, a width of 20 centimeters and a thickness of 8 centimeters. It is preserved fairly well. The words "Shang Dong", in the regular script of the Chinese calligraphy, were written on the obverse side of the board, meaning "Successful Installation of the Beam". According to the historical documents, a very formal ceremony has been organized by the Taiwan Governor's Office in year 1915 to celebrate the completion of the sixty-meter-high central tower of the office.
3. A Historical Review of the Construction of the Presidential Office Building
The architecture of the building was completed by two architects, Nagano Heiji and Moriyama Matsunosuke. Apart from the Presidential Office, the former did not have any other works available in Taiwan. Moriyama Matsunosuke, on the other hand, have been engaged in the architecture work of various buildings in Taiwan, including the Taipei Guest House, the Control Yuan of ROC, Taipei Story House, National Museum of Taiwan Literature, Taichung City Hall, Tainan District Court Building, the Railway Office of Taiwan Governor's Office (located in No.1, Yen-Ping North Road) and Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Company.
4. The website also contains "A Comparison of the Old and the New", showing the changes to the Presidential Office since the Japanese occupation.
5. The links to President Chen, Vice President Lu and the Introduction to the Office of the President will contain photo galleries. Unpublished pictures of the president, the vice president, and the first family members can all be viewed here. For each of the photo album, different color tones were applied for the specific pattern. This, along with the proper explanation of the pictures, ensures maximum comfort and minimal efforts as viewers brows through the galleries.
6. The foreign visits made by the president, the vice president, and the first lady are further enhanced. The intent behind the design was to provide a full visual consistency, including the masthead, menu, photo galleries and the background, etc. Through proper application of the system device, each tour is compiled into an album with a design that caters to the theme and characteristics of the visit, creating a harmonious effect with the style of the website
7. Additional Services in the New English Website
(1) National Vision: A vision of a nation stands for the hope, direction and ambition of the people, providing the country and society with a clear focus and a common goal. It is the source of energy and motivation. The capability for visioning is the "natural gift" and "natural responsibility" of the leader of a new knowledge economy. Through the link to the "National Vision" page, a brief introduction to the overall development of the country is provided.
(2) National Statistics: The competitiveness of a country relies on the accumulation of its strength day after day. A sound statistics system for the country is of key importance in obtaining a full picture about the development of the country and in establishing strategic directions for the future. Linking to the "Republic of China National Statistics" website of the Executive Yuan, the webpage provides integrated information about the important national statistics; in the meantime contains the ratings provided by the World Economic Forum and International Institute of Management Development in Switzerland (IMD), etc. on the competitiveness of the Republic of China.
(3) Directory: Directories are in general divided into personal directories or institutional directories. They are normally compiled in a systematic way, either in the sequence of number of strokes (for Chinese characters) or by classifications, served as important instruments for the search of address, telephone or other reference material. The design focus of this webpage was on the accuracy and innovation of the contents, taking into account the frequency of publication and updating. It was finally decided to adopt the data provided in the "Taiwan Fun" of "Taiwan News" and "Who's Who in the ROC" of the Government Information Office of the Executive Yuan.
8. We recommend visitors to the website to define this English website of the Presidential Office as "My Favorite". The Emblem of the Presidential Office will then become the icon on the selecting menu.
9. Review of the click counts will be made after the debut of the new English website to obtain the reaction of the visitors as a basis for our further improvement.