The Republic of China is now listed as “Taiwan” on the Web site of the International College of Surgeons (ICS) after efforts by a Taiwanese doctor to have the listing rectified.
Previously, Taiwan was listed as “Taiwan, China” on the “Our Leadership” section of the Web site.
Kaohsiung Medical University’s Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital surgeon and professor Kwan Aij-lie (關皚麗) — who is also world president on the ICS’ International Executive Council — fought to have the name changed, finding success last month.
Photo courtesy of Kaohsiung Medical University
The ICS, founded in 1935, is a non-governmental organization headquartered in Chicago, with 106 member states, including Taiwan. Kwan, who took over as head of the ICS earlier this year, is the first woman to hold the position since the organization’s founding 87 years ago.
After assuming the position, she rallied support for the name change at ICS conferences and events, and through approaching the representatives of other countries.
Kwan said in an interview on Thursday that despite friendly relations between ICS members, she felt embarrassed to ask others in the organization to support her efforts regarding the name, particularly when she had to push others on the issue.
“However, my feeling was that if someone does not support it the first time, it does not mean they will never support it,” she said.
ICS last month held a council meeting to put the issue to a vote, which was passed by a majority. Council members from Taiwan, Paraguay, Nigeria, the US and Poland voted in favor of the name change, while Hong Kong abstained and two other members voted against the change, she said.
“Medicine knows no borders, and Taiwan’s medical contributions have been recognized internationally,” she said.
Kwan said she plans to visit Guatemala, Mexico and other countries next year to work in free clinics to demonstrate the spirit of humanitarian aid, and to let more people know about Taiwan.
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