According to Article 42 of the Constitution, the President may, in accordance with the law, confer honors and decorations. Meanwhile, Article 1 of the Medals Act provides for the conferral of decorations on ROC citizens in recognition of their contribution to national or social development, while decorations may be bestowed on foreigners in order to promote friendly ties.
The ROC has five types of civilian orders, including the Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon, the Order of Dr. Sun Yat-sen with Grand Cordon, the Order of Chiang Chung-cheng with Grand Cordon, the Order of Propitious Clouds, and the Order of Brilliant Star.
The Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon is worn by the President, who may also award it to foreign heads of state (usually at ceremonies prior to the commencement of state banquets). Decorations personally conferred by the President are usually handed out at ceremonies held in the President’s Hall, the Taiwan Heritage Room, or the Auditorium, all of which are located on the third floor of the Presidential Office Building.
Protocol officers lead the recipient of a decoration and persons attending the ceremony to their seats in the designated ceremony hall after their arrival at the main entrance to the Presidential Office Building. As a show of respect, everyone in the room stands once the President arrives. The President shakes hands with the recipient of the decoration and persons attending the ceremony. The President takes his position in front of his chair and the master of ceremonies begins the formal proceedings.
The content of the ceremony varies depending on whether the recipient of the decoration is an ROC citizen or a foreign national. If he or she is an ROC citizen, the master of ceremonies will read out the award certificate. If the recipient is a foreigner, the master of ceremonies will read a commendation prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Once completed, the master of ceremonies calls for the President to confer the decoration. The recipient faces the President, and the President personally decorates the individual first with a sash, followed by the medal. The Director-General of the Office of the President’s Third Bureau (the protocol officer) will lend assistance. Once the decoration is presented, a picture with the President is taken. Everyone then returns to their original positions.
After the decoration part of the ceremony is completed, everyone is seated and the recipient of the decoration delivers remarks to express gratitude. Everyone then rises and is provided with a glass of champagne. The President and the individual decorated first raise their glasses and toast each other, after which the audience is guided by protocol officers in first paying their respects to the President and then raising their glasses in congratulations to the recipient.
After the toasts, the President takes commemorative photos with the decorated individual and those attending the ceremony. The President then shakes hands with the recipient and the attendees, after which he is led back to his office by a military attaché. If the recipient of the order is a foreigner who has made a long trip for the ceremony, the President holds discussions with the guest after the commemorative photos are taken. After the talks, they shake hands and part ways.