The McCain Institute at Arizona State University recently led several members of its McCain Global Leaders (MGL) program to Taipei, Taiwan as the first stop of the 2023 MGL Changemaker Tour. The visit follows Senator John S. McCain’s legacy of visiting Taiwan – his last trip to the island was in 2016.
The six-day tour, from July 16-21, included six of the 29 total fellows in the 2023 MGL cohort. Participants in the Taiwan module came from six countries in the Asia and Oceania region: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Uzbekistan.
“Taiwan’s vibrant and thriving democracy and strong record of protecting human rights provides an interesting case study to the McCain Global Leaders from Asia. Taiwan’s role in the region and its defense against authoritarian threats from the People’s Republic of China inspired the leaders who are working to implement positive change in their home countries,” said Scott Nemeth, assistant director for leadership programs at the McCain Institute. “This visit was also symbolic as we were able to follow in Senator McCain’s footsteps of visiting Taiwan and supporting its strong democracy in the face of authoritarianism.”
Centered around the 2023 theme of defending democracy, the MGLs met with partner organizations including the International Republican Institute, Freedom House, National Democratic Institute, and the American Institute of Taiwan. Meetings were also held with McCain Global Advisory Member Leon Toh and McCain Global Leader Alumna Honorable Jerlie Requerme.
The MGLs participated in meetings with government leaders and activists in Taipei, including Information Operations Research Group (IORG), Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Parliament member Charles I-hsin Chen. The MGLs also volunteered with Harmony Home Taiwan, a non-profit organization helping adults and children living with HIV and AIDS.