A $50,000 donation by Taiwan to Georgia’s Department for Community Affairs to help the state’s flood disaster relief underlined the longstanding sister-state relationship between Georgia and Taiwan.

During a formal ceremony, Gov. Zell Miller promised Moih Sung Ding, Taiwan’s highest ranking official in the U.S., that the gift would not go unnoticed at the highest level of the  U.S. government.  Shaking Mr. Ding’s hand, Mr. Miller said, “I will write the President.”

Mr. Ding had asked that President Clinton be informed about the important trade relations between Georgia and Taiwan.  “Your state is very rich, both in natural resources and in manufactured goods,” he said.

Georgia has had a sister-state relationship with Taiwan since 1979, the same year that the U.S. shifted diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China.  Since then, Taiwan has grown into the U.S.’s sixth largest trading partner.  In 1993, Georgia exports to Taiwan amounted to $204 million with industrial machinery and computers representing the top categories.

Mr. Ding said that Taiwan was interested in having its significant trade status with the U.S. recognized, but stopped short from saying that the country was seeking diplomatic recognition.  Last year, Taiwan made similar donations to Midwest flood victims.

He also referred to Taiwan’s six-year, $250 billion public works program which includes many projects open to foreign bidding.