Councilman Vincent Gentile is gallivanting around Taiwan, a.k.a. the Republic of China, on a diplomatic exchange with Taiwanese government officials and tech entrepreneurs. He hopes to learn about the nation’s bustling high-tech sector, particularly in their waste disposal systems, and in forging connections between New York City’s tech scene. Here’s the press release from his office:
Led by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Deputy Leader Vincent J. Gentile will visit Taiwan as a part of a select delegation from the New York City Council.
The unique trip was organized by the Washington, DC-based Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the United States in the absence of diplomatic ties. Gentile and the group will be abroad until Saturday.
“I am honored to represent the 43rd District and its great diversity to the people of Taiwan,” Councilman Gentile said. “I am looking forward to a very busy, working trip of great mutual benefit – and I hope some of my Mandarin Chinese lessons will pay off!”
Indeed, Gentile and the select delegation will have a packed schedule for the 6-day trip abroad including meetings with the Taipei City Council along with the Ministry of Education, the Council for Economic Planning and Development, the Bureau of International Trade and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Transportation and technology will be a particular focus of this learning excursion as the delegation will visit the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation and discuss how to strengthen ties between Taiwan and New York City’s growing technology sector.
Taipei’s approach to garbage collection has been lauded for its efficiency and the delegation plans to meet with the Environmental Protection Administration of Taiwan and will later tour the Mucha Refuse Incineration Plant.
In an email sent upon landing at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport, Gentile said he looked forward to meeting with the leaders of Taipei’s high tech sector, exploring ways of improving civic engagement through technology, learning about Taiwain’s innovative sanitation system, and discussing ways to strengthen the already strong ties between Taiwan and New York City.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office will cover the costs of airfare, lodging, ground transportation and meals, and the trip has been approved by the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board, according to spokesperson Justin Brannan.
Gentile’s district has a sizable population of Taiwanese immigrants, as well as many immigrants from mainland China’s Fujian province, across the Taiwan Strait.
Bensonhurst Bean issued a challenge to the councilman through Brannan, requesting dispatches on the nation’s unique delicacies, including duck tongue, blood on a stick and century eggs – as well as the famous Ying Yang fish.
“That is horrible,” was the only response we received.