(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita was recently awarded the Friend of Foreign Service Medal from Taiwan in recognition for his leadership and diplomatic efforts in building a strong partnership with the overseas country.
"Receiving this award is an honor and privilege marking Indiana and Taiwan's continued, steadfast commitment in forging new economic opportunities, innovative solutions to today's problems and the mutual chance for success within both of our societies," Secretary Rokita said.
Secretary Rokita received the medal from Director General Perry Pei-hwang Shen on behalf of Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs during a ceremony in Chicago last Friday. Awarded by the Taiwanese government, the Friend of Foreign Service Medal recognizes individuals for their significant contributions to the relations between Taiwan and the United States.
Secretary Rokita was instrumental in coordinating the first international teacher exchange between Indiana and Taiwan in 2004. This exchange resulted in a significant increase in Hoosier students enrolling in Chinese language classes. Continually, the exchange led Indiana to become the first state to adopt grade-level standards specific to Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages for grades K-12.
In addition, Secretary Rokita was also recognized for his support in the developments between Taiwan and Indiana in the areas of agriculture, business and culture.
For more than three decades, Indiana has maintained a strong cultural and economic bond with Taiwan. In 1979, Indiana established a sister-state relationship with Taiwan Province. Additionally, there are numerous partnerships between Taiwanese and Hoosiers cities.
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