SOAS University of London

SOAS professor receives Friendship Medal of Diplomacy from Taiwan

11 October 2012
Bob Ash receives Friendship Medal of Diplomacy from Taiwan

Professor Robert Ash, Director of the Centre of Taiwan Studies at SOAS, University of London, has been awarded the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy by the Government of the Republic of China, Taiwan. The award recognises Professor Ash’s efforts in promoting the academic study of Taiwan in the UK and Europe.

The friendship medal was presented by Dr. Shen Lyushun, Taipei Representative in the UK, at a reception in London to celebrate the 101st anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of China. 

Professor Ash has been Director of the SOAS Taiwan Studies Programme since its inauguration in 1999 – the first programme of its kind in Europe. Since it began, the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies has launched an MA in Taiwan Studies, the only such degree to exist outside of Taiwan, as well as establishing the European Association of Taiwan Studies - which now holds an annual conference involving around a hundred students and faculty members from universities throughout Europe.

In his acceptance speech, Professor Ash described his involvement in the development of Taiwan Studies at SOAS as one of the most worthwhile experiences of his academic career. He said:

“It is a great privilege to have been so closely involved in promoting the study of Taiwan and raising awareness of the extraordinary richness and diversity of Taiwan’s history and culture, as well as its more recent achievements.”

For more information on Taiwan studies at SOAS visit