Academic and Research Cooperation(Case)

Soochow University-Advancing National Diplomacy with Central and Eastern Europe at Soochow University: Taiwan–Slovakia Exchange Association

Soochow University-Advancing National Diplomacy with Central and Eastern Europe at Soochow University: Taiwan–Slovakia Exchange Association

Exchange highlights

  • Taiwan–Slovakia Exchange Association
Soochow University-Advancing National Diplomacy with Central and Eastern Europe at Soochow University: Taiwan–Slovakia Exchange Association
The Central and Eastern European Center of Soochow University and the Slovak Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei held “The Friendship of Taiwan and Slovakia at Soochow University” event in Songyi Hall at its Waishuangxi Campus on November 16, 2020, celebrating the establishment of the Taiwan–Slovakia Exchange Association, the 120th anniversary of the establishment of Soochow University, and the opening ceremonies of the Slovak Children’s Literature Exhibition. Many distinguished guests attended the ceremony, including Tseng Hou-jen, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Representative of the Slovak Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei Martin Podstavek and his wife Mrs. Liang Chen, Deputy Minister of Culture Kevin Peng, Director General of the Department of European Affairs Johnson Sen Chiang, as well as officials from national representative offices in Taiwan such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, Belize, and Papua New Guinea to witness the establishment of the Taiwan–Slovakia Exchange Association.

The “Taiwan–Slovak Exchange Association” is a civic organization jointly initiated and promoted by the Central and Eastern European Center of Soochow University and the Slovak Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei. It hopes that through civic engagement, the bilateral relations between Taiwan and Slovakia will be strengthened. In his remarks, SU President Pan stated that since 1998, Soochow University has had close academic exchanges with Slovakia, such as offering a number of Central and Eastern European specialties courses, conducting related research papers, and holding academic seminars. He added that the “Central and Eastern European Center at Soochow University” is currently the only institution in Taiwan focusing on Central and Eastern Europe as its main research field. Its achievements have been praised by the outside world, and he hopes that in the future, the two sides can have even more exchanges.

Representative Podstavek remarked that through the Slovak Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei and the Taipei Representative Office, Bratislava, the relationship between the two countries will be even closer and friendlier. Among the founders of the Taiwan–Slovakia Exchange Association are entrepreneurs, writers, and diplomats. These people embody the soul of Slovakia in their hearts and hope that through their professionalism, bilateral exchanges can be brought to a new level. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, students from the Dept. of Music string quartet performed a number of characteristic songs from both countries in an expression of friendship.

The Slovak Children’s Literature Exhibition also opened on the first floor of the Second Academic Building on November 16. “We are very pleased that children and parents in Taiwan can learn about Slovak traditions and culture through children’s books”, said Dr. Liang Chen. Since 2019, Taiwan has published eight Slovak children’s books. Through translation of each country’s children’s books, the people of the two countries can learn more about each other’s society and culture through literature.

The establishment of the Taiwan–Slovakia Exchange Association is a very important milestone for the two countries, bringing the relationship between the two countries closer while promoting more literary, cultural, and social exchanges.

Soochow University-Advancing National Diplomacy with Central and Eastern Europe at Soochow University: Taiwan–Slovakia Exchange Association
Martin Podstavek, Representative of the Slovakia Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, expects even more friendly relations between Taiwan and Slovakia.

Soochow University-Advancing National Diplomacy with Central and Eastern Europe at Soochow University: Taiwan–Slovakia Exchange Association
Students from the Dept. of Music, Soochow University string quartet, performing special songs from Taiwan and Slovakia in an expression of friendship

Soochow University-Advancing National Diplomacy with Central and Eastern Europe at Soochow University: Taiwan–Slovakia Exchange Association
Chia-Ming Chang (left) and Dr. Liang Chen (right) from the Center for Central and Eastern European Studies at Soochow University jointly open the Slovak Children’s Literature Exhibition.