By Marion Ali, Staff Reporter
President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Ma Ying-jeou has received the Eisenhower Medallion from People to People International (PTPI) for his efforts in promoting regional peace.
In presenting the award, PTPI Chairman Micah Kubic said that the award followed Ma’s “efforts to further cross-cultural communications, for his extraordinary leadership, and for exceptional contributions to world peace and understanding.”
The medallion was presented primarily in recognition of President Ma’s East China Sea Peace Initiative, proposed in August 2012, and which calls on all parties in disputes over the Diaoyutai Islands to refrain from confrontation, controversies and encouraged them to keep dialoguing, to observe international law and resolve disputes through peaceful means. It also calls for all parties concerned to seek consensus on a regional code of conduct, and to establish a mechanism for the joint exploration and development of resources.
In receiving the award, President Ma said that his acceptance of the award in his capacity as president of the ROC represents affirmation of his people’s commitment to the pursuit of peace.
“I will continue to work hard with my compatriots to uphold regional peace and stability”, he added. “I also look forward to people around the world being able to feel the compassion and concern of the people of Taiwan through our humanitarian aid work.”
Earlier this year, President Ma’s initiative has received commendation from U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel during congressional hearings in Washington. In June at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Australian Minister for Defence David Johnston praised Taiwan for peacefully settling fisheries disputes with Japan and the Philippines.
President Ma is the first ROC president and second ROC national to win the honor after Dharma Master Cheng Yen, founder of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, in 1994. Past recipients include Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa, Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Luciano Pavarotti, and non-governmental organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children.
PTPI was founded in 1956 by former U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower. It promotes international understanding and world peace through cultural, educational, and humanitarian activities.