BArich Taipei-For the first time, a Taiwanese TV drama will be aired in the Latin American region in an effort to promote bilateral exchanges in the field of pop culture, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Saturday.

The idol drama, "The Fierce Wife", will soon be broadcast on a total of 10 TV channels in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Paraguay -- five of Taiwan's 22 diplomatic allies -- and in Chile, Argentina and Ecuador, the ministry said.

The drama, which is highly popular among young people in Taiwan, will be dubbed over in Spanish for Latin American audiences and will debut in Nicaragua in late April, the ministry said.

The launch of the drama series in Latin America is a joint effort by the foreign ministry and the producer, Sanlih E-Television station in Taiwan.

"Pop culture is an important part of Taiwan's soft power and is also a good approach to promoting cultural diplomacy," said Vice Foreign Minister Vanessa Shih (史亞平) at a news conference to launch the cultural initiative.

Many of Taiwan's diplomatic allies are Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, Shih noted, adding that she hopes the initiative will help strengthen bilateral relations through cultural exchanges.

The ministry said it began planning the initiative in September 2013, with Taiwan's representative offices overseas contacting television stations in Latin American countries to obtain information about the types of TV drama that might interest audiences there.

The ministry said it then selected 10 Taiwanese TV dramas and solicited the opinions of experts and TV stations in Latin America before choosing "The Fierce Wife" as the first one to be aired there.
Shih said she hopes the initiative will allow people in Latin America to learn more about social and cultural developments in Taiwan and will help create further opportunities for the export of Taiwan's pop culture.

The TV series, a big hit in Taiwan in 2011. It follows the story of Hsieh An-chen (played by Sui), a housewife who is happily married with one daughter until she discovers that her husband (played by Wen) is cheating on her with her cousin (played by Chu). The ensuing divorce becomes a battle of love and wits, in which Hsieh grows more independent and eventually finds a career.

The cast also appeared at Saturday's news conference, expressing excitement over the upcoming launch of the series in Latin America.

Rafael Fernando Sierra Quesada of Honduras, one of several ambassadors who attended the news conference, predicted that the TV series will become popular in his country. Honduran audiences love romantic dramas, he said.

Taiwan is not the first Asian country to export its TV dramas to the Latin America, as South Korea, which has a vibrant entertainment industry, has been broadcasting its TV series in the region for years. 



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