Peace and Disarmament
Celebrating 20 Years of Taiwan-China "Peace Angels Exchange"
From July 3 to 9, 2012, the Taiwan Soka Association (TSA), together with the National Planners’ Association, the All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots and other civic organizations from Taiwan and China, organized a “Peace Angels Exchange” in Beijing, China. More than 160 Taiwanese teenagers, including 84 participants from TSA, visited Beijing for a week-long exchange with their counterparts from China.
Participants were taken on sightseeing tours to historical landmarks such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. A highlight of the exchange was a celebration held at Peking University to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the exchange program and reaffirm Taiwan and China's commitment to promoting friendship. The celebration included songs and dance performed by the youth.
TSA Culture and Education Conference Chairperson Hsieh Hsiu-sheng, who led the TSA delegation, spoke during the celebration. She stated that TSA is a strong supporter of youth exchange between mainland China and Taiwan and that many of the participating youth have continued to maintain friendships with one another.
The event was covered by China Central Television (CCTV), China’s national television station. CCTV featured the story of the friendship between Lin Meng-ching, a TSA member, and Ji Li from China. Meng-ching and Ji Li first met 12 years ago when they participated in the Peace Angels Exchange program, and they have continued to stay in contact. Thanks to arrangements by the organizers and CCTV, Meng-ching and Ji Li were reunited for the first time in 12 years.
The Peace Angels Exchange program began in 1992 as a grassroots movement to promote peace and friendship among young people in Taiwan and China. It is one of the oldest and largest among similar exchange programs.
[Adapted from articles on Taiwan Soka Association’s website; photos courtesy of Taiwan Soka Association]