Vice President Lien Chan and Madame this evening hosted a banquet in honor of visiting President and Mrs. Neil Rudenstine of Harvard University in the United States.
In the beginning of the banquet, Vice President Lien gave welcome remarks and expressed his hope of strengthening cooperation between the people of the Republic of China and Harvard University.
The full text of Vice President Lien's address is as follows:
President and Mrs. Rudenstine, Premier Yu Kuo-hua, Foreign Minister and Mrs. Hu, Education Minister and Mrs. Lin, members of the ROC Harvard Club, ladies and gentlemen:
It is with great pleasure that my wife and I host this dinner party, both on behalf of the government and people of this country and also as parents of a Harvard graduate. Our daughter Arlene received her MA from the School of Education in 1991.
President Rudenstine is the very fist sitting Harvard President to visit this country, and we feel very honored. Since its founding in 1636, Harvard University has always been the standard bearer of intellectual achievements as well as individual ethics.
Over the years, this outstanding institution produced many world-class leaders, and the accomplishments of these graduates have been felt in every corner of the globe. In this country alone, more than 600 Harvard alumni are contributing their knowledge and expertise in different fields. Among the many distinguished graduates are H.E. Yu Kuo-hua, Premier of this country when I was the foreign minister and Professor Ma Ying-jeou, minister of justice when I was the Premier.
The ROC Harvard Club, with Ying-jeou as its president, is one of the most active alumni clubs in this country. Among many activities, they even adopted an aboriginal primary school three years ago. The Tuo Liang Primary School, located in the back mountains of Taitung in the eastern corner of Taiwan, has fewer than 20 students. Members of the Club collected used personal computers which they donated to the school, and they also provided scholarships and books for these aboriginal children.
Last year, the Club brought the entire school to Taipei for a day-tour of the city. The children visited the zoo, rode on the Taipei Rapid Transport system and at noon I invited all of them to lunch at McDonald's. The children enjoyed the lunch, as I did my first meal at McDonald's. And obviously, we were all very impressed.