Vice President Lien Chan this evening addressed the opening ceremony of the First Congress of the Asian-Pacific Society of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Diseases held at Taipei International Convention Center.
The full text of the Vice President's speech is as follows:
I consider it a great honor and pleasure to have this opportunity to join you for the opening ceremony of the First Congress of the Asian-Pacific Society of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Diseases. To the many renowned physicians and scientists present, I would like to extend my warmest welcome. Your outstanding contributions to the health and welfare of mankind have produced lasting benefit, and for this you have my utmost respect. You are truly among the heroes of the modern age.
In the quest for a longer, healthier, and happier life, mankind has sought cures for the illnesses that ail people. In this endeavor, we have been quite successful. The threat of scourges that in the past afflicted much pain and misery on our ancestors—smallpox, cholera, and polio, for example—has now been greatly reduced. However, with longer lives have come new problems. Chronic diseases of old age are now among the leading killers in the developed world. We must now apply the same genius and ingenuity that allowed us to defeat infectious disease to the problem of how to overcome the limits of our own physiology.
Victory in this battle against chronic disease will require the contributions and cooperation of medical and scientific communities worldwide. This congress provides a timely and welcome opportunity for experts from around the region to discuss and exchange ideas on the cutting edge of today's research. Thus it is my hope that this conference will not only serve as a forum for the exchange of information, but will in turn promote international cooperation and boost the quality of related research here in Taiwan.
In addressing you today, I welcome you not just for your important work toward advancing our understanding of chronic disease; I also invite you to experience the charm and beauty of Taiwan. For many centuries, the West has known Taiwan as Formosa, or "beautiful island." I am confident that if you take a little time to explore, you will find the name fitting.
Finally, I would like to offer my best wishes for a successful and rewarding congress and the continued happiness and success of all participants. I hope you enjoy your stay here. Thank you.