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  • Taiwan rebuffs China’s travel ban blame, cites openness

    Explore the latest on cross-strait relations as Taiwan responds to China’s claims, emphasizing its openness for exchanges despite the DPP’s policies. Read about the ongoing debate and Taiwan’s readiness for dialogue.
    2024/05/22 17:13
  • Ma Ying-jeou’s ROC gaffe clarified by foundation head

    Former ROC President Ma Ying-jeou visits China, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Ma’s executive director Hsiao Hsu-tsen clarifies Ma’s "Republic of China" gaffe, praises Xi’s attentiveness to Taiwanese students, and urges Taiwan’s Lai Ching-te government to seize opportunity for improved cross-strait ties.
    2024/04/12 14:04
  • Ma Ying-jeou advocates for peaceful cross-strait relations

    Former President Ma Ying-jeou stresses the importance of peaceful cross-strait relations during a meeting with Song Tao, Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office in China. Ma emphasizes the benefits for both sides and the shared history and culture of the Chinese nation. He highlights the significance of the "1992 Consensus" and opposition to "Taiwan independence" as key elements for cross-strait progress. Ma underscores the mainstream support in Taiwanese society for peaceful relations, as evidenced by recent election results and public opinion polls.
    2024/04/02 10:48
  • Former president Ma Ying-jeou’s visit to China sparks debate

    Former President Ma Ying-jeou’s upcoming second visit to China ignites debate among scholars on its implications for cross-strait relations. Some view it as a potential easing of tensions, while others interpret it as part of China’s united front strategy. Ma’s visit, scheduled from April 1 to 11, aims to engage with Chinese culture and students. The trip, in response to a mainland China invitation, is seen as an opportunity to bridge political divides and showcase diverse Taiwanese perspectives on cross-strait relations. However, critics like Taiwan Thinktank researcher Wu Se-chih perceive the visit as aligning with the Chinese Communist Party’s agenda to promote Chinese culture and influence Taiwanese society before the new president’s inauguration.
    2024/03/26 17:28
  • Yangmingshan Elementary first in Taiwan to take cold break

    Yangmingshan Elementary School, located in Taipei, Taiwan, has become the first school in the country to implement a two-day cold break due to a cold front. Principal Liang Chih-huan made the decision to prioritize student safety, considering the potential for snowfall at students’ homes and icy roads. The suspended classes will be made up on the following Monday and Tuesday. Additionally, there is a possibility of snow at Yangmingshan’s Erziping trail, leading to an increase in snow tourists. Nearby Chinese Culture University is already on winter break, but administrative staff will take time off based on actual conditions. In the event of snowfall, vehicle restrictions will be imposed on Yangde Boulevard, the main road to Yangmingshan, with only vehicles with passes permitted to proceed. Snow chains will be required for vehicles accessing the mountain’s control and snow viewing points, and buses will not be allowed in the controlled areas.
    2024/01/22 17:10
  • Survey: Taiwan a top choice for studying abroad in 2024

    More than 80% of international students are interested in applying for new specialized classes that allow them to work in Taiwan, according to a report by the Association of International Cultural and Educational Exchange Taiwan (AICEE Taiwan). The report, titled "Blue Ocean of International Enrollment Trends 2024," surveyed over 2,000 students from 60 countries who plan to study abroad and learn Chinese. The top three advantages Taiwan offers to international students are high-quality education, a safe environment, and the opportunity to learn Mandarin. Additionally, 86% of international students expressed interest in applying for internship subsidies provided by the Executive Yuan’s initiative and private enterprises. Upon graduation, international students prioritize entering suitable industries, finding employment quickly, and securing high employment rates. Furthermore, 14% of respondents hope that their experience studying in Taiwan will give them a competitive edge in their future education. Scholarships, English-taught programs, and high teaching quality are important factors for students considering studying abroad, while geographical location becomes crucial for those wanting to learn Chinese. Allen Hung, the CEO of AICEE Taiwan, advises Taiwanese universities to provide not only essential enrollment information but also reinforce information about internships and job opportunities during and after studies.
    2024/01/03 17:03
  • Hou Yu-ih challenges Tsai’s foreign policy effectiveness

    Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih challenges the effectiveness of President Tsai Ing-wen’s foreign policy, questioning its impact on Taiwan-China communication, severed relations with former allies, extended military service, and increased risk of Chinese fighter jets breaching Taiwan’s airspace. The three presidential contenders, including Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Lai Ching-te and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) candidate Ko Wen-je, discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations and their stance on President Tsai’s policy. Hou questions DPP’s handling of tainted politics during their time in power and highlights his support for the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). He also addresses concerns over cross-strait flight operations and employment difficulties for Chinese students in Taiwan. Hou pledges to follow the Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and maintain administrative neutrality without relying on any side.
    2023/12/30 15:51
  • KMT candidate’s wife clarifies building ownership

    Jen Mei-ling, wife of Kuomintang’s (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih, clarified that a building being claimed as their own is actually a legacy from her father and not part of Hou’s property. The building has become a topic of discussion in the upcoming 2024 elections due to its high rent and proximity to Chinese Culture University. Jen stated that the property has over 50 vacant houses, which will be used to provide rent subsidies for low-to-moderate-income families and young students through donations. After the leases expire in June 2026, the plan is to convert the property into social housing for the youth and communal accommodations for rent. Initially, the building was leased and managed by Shin-Kong Life Real Estate Service Co., Ltd., with rental prices determined by Shin Kong Life Insurance. Jen announced that the vacant apartments will be subsidized for young families with an annual income of less than NT$1.33 million and a per capita monthly income below NT$56,000. Existing tenants can also apply for the subsidy, with rates of NT$6,400 for single rooms and NT$7,000 for two-person rooms per month. In her public letter, Jen addressed the accusations, highlighting Hou’s integrity during the election process and apologizing for the family issue.
    2023/12/27 15:10
  • Hou slams Lai for neglecting academia in ’108 Curriculum’

    Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih criticizes Democratic Progressive Party candidate Lai Ching-te for disregarding the concerns of industry and academia amid controversies surrounding the 108 curriculum. Hou accuses Lai of prioritizing electoral politics over addressing the weakening of basic subjects in schools and the pressure of academic advancement, which he believes will harm Taiwan’s industries. Hou expresses concern over the decline in academic performance of basic subjects among university students and highlights the dissatisfaction of high school teachers regarding the removal of classical Chinese literature from the curriculum. Hou pledges to reconvene the National Education Conference to address the issues arising from the 108 curriculum if elected and calls on Lai to engage with the controversy rather than avoiding it or exploiting generational divides for political gain.
    2023/12/11 20:05
  • NTU students vote on ’108 Curriculum,’ clash over classics

    The recent debate over the removal of classical Chinese literature from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education’s 108 Curriculum has sparked diverse opinions among students at National Taiwan University (NTU). In a student-led poll on Dcard, 38% of participants supported a teacher’s criticism of the curriculum reform, arguing that classical literature is an essential part of Mandarin education. On the other hand, 24% of students opposed the importance of classical texts, viewing them as pedantic Confucian brainwashing. Interestingly, 39% of students abstained from taking a strong stance, humorously identifying themselves as "engineering majors too busy with homework to have an opinion." Student comments highlighted the complexity of the issue, with some emphasizing the importance of classical Chinese in enhancing writing skills and its philosophical value, while others expressed concerns about a potential lack of cultural depth in young people if literary content is reduced.
    2023/12/11 20:03
  • KMT’s Jaw decries campus access inequity for campaign

    Jaw Shau-kong, the Kuomintang (KMT) vice-presidential candidate, criticized the lack of access to university campuses for his campaign activities, claiming that this privilege was given to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) before his candidacy. He was previously invited to speak at National Tsing Hua University, National Chiao Tung University, and Chinese Culture University, but these engagements were later canceled by the universities. Jaw believes that nurturing university students’ interest in democracy is important and plans to speak at various higher education institutions, aiming to facilitate exchanges with students from at least five schools. His first campus speech will take place at his alma mater, Taichung First Senior High School. KMT presidential nominee Hou Yu-ih and DPP rival Lai Ching-te have also engaged with the student electorate, participating in youth forums and delivering speeches at various universities. People First Party presidential candidate Ko Wen-je has also been invited to speak at universities, highlighting the trend of presidential and vice-presidential hopefuls engaging with students across Taiwan.
    2023/12/09 16:14
  • New guidelines boost competency, not less virtue: MOE

    The Ministry of Education in Taiwan has clarified that the new Curriculum Guidelines have not abandoned traditional virtues, but rather aim to encourage students to contemplate and practice these values in everyday life. The guidelines emphasize competency-based learning and include selections of classical Chinese texts from different eras, authors, and genres. The Ministry responded to criticism by stating that traditional virtues such as righteousness and integrity have not been discarded. They also highlighted that Taiwanese students possess strong competencies, which can be attributed to the new competency-driven curriculum. The curriculum for Mandarin Chinese is designed to develop students’ ability to articulate and rationalize thought, with materials reflecting various historical periods, ideologies, literary genres, Taiwanese modern literature, world Chinese literature, translations, and literary discourse. Classical Chinese texts still constitute an average of 35% to 45% of high school students’ studies over three years, reflecting diverse epochs, authors, and genres. The focus of Taiwanese education should be on developing critical thinking skills and enabling students to learn independently and build cultural depth.
    2023/12/08 17:40
  • Examination Yuan donates 6,600 books to overseas schools

    The Examination Yuan donates 6,600 books in Chinese and English to support library services in Taiwanese schools abroad, including the Surabaya Taipei School in Indonesia. The Ministry’s International and Cross-strait Education Department emphasizes the competitiveness of overseas students in Taiwanese schools, and hopes the book donation will foster closer ties between international Taiwanese institutions and domestic government bodies. The books cover a wide range of subjects and are expected to expand students’ imaginations and nurture global talent.
    2023/12/07 21:10
  • Lai warns of job loss as Chinese students enter Taiwan

    DPP presidential candidate Lai Ching-te criticizes KMT rival Hou Yu-ih for advocating the employment of Chinese students in Taiwan, claiming it would take away job opportunities from Taiwanese youths. Lai expresses concerns about the impact of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) with China, stating that it allows Chinese nationals to compete with local vendors in the service industry. The crowd fears that increased competition from Chinese workers could harm their businesses and livelihoods. Lai emphasizes President Tsai Ing-wen’s efforts to reduce reliance on the Chinese market and highlights China’s high youth unemployment rate, cautioning that opening borders to students from China could worsen job scarcity for young people in Taiwan.
    2023/12/07 19:49
  • Hou Yu-ih’s spokesman debunks rumors, touts clear policies

    KMT campaign office spokesman, Chen Po-han, criticizes DPP’s Lai Ching-te for vague and inconsistent responses on key issues including a kindergarten drug administration case, "Trojan Horse" military exercises, and opening Taiwan’s labor market to Indian workers. Chen accuses Lai of spreading false information about Chinese students working in Taiwan and highlights the Ministry of National Defense’s military exercises simulating attacks by Chinese military aircraft hiding among civilian planes. The Taiwan FactCheck Center has debunked the rumor of opening up to 100,000 Indian workers. Chen defends Hou Yu-ih’s opposition to the "one country, two systems" framework and emphasizes his clear plans for various policy areas. This critique occurs in a politically charged atmosphere focused on misinformation and policy debates.
    2023/12/07 11:02
  • DPP alleges CCP offered Ko US$200M for Taiwan VP bid

    The story discusses allegations made by Yao Li-ming, the campaign manager for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te, regarding Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s claim of being offered US$200 million to run for the vice-presidential bid. Yao asserts that this is a clear instance of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) meddling in Taiwan’s elections. The press conference titled "The Unclarified US$200 Million Doubt: Is Ko Wen-je Lying to Voters or Is It Chinese Intervention?" highlights the seriousness of the alleged criminal act and characterizes Ko as both a witness and a victim of Chinese interference. Yao suggests that only the CCP has the motive, capability, and suspicion to offer such a large sum, potentially aiming to support a Blue-White alliance. Lai’s spokesperson, Tai Wei-shan, raises suspicions about Ko’s silence on the issue and insinuates pressure from either the CCP or the Kuomintang (KMT). Tai calls on KMT presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih to clarify the KMT’s role in the alleged incidents. Additionally, Tai criticizes Hou’s proposals to reopen Taiwan to Chinese tourists and allow Chinese students to work in Taiwan, arguing that these policies would increase Taiwan’s reliance on China. The story also mentions investigations into the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) inviting Taiwanese village chiefs on free trips to China as an example of election interference. Tai rebukes the KMT’s eagerness to make Taiwan dependent on China, claiming that it would hinder the country’s progress in connecting with the world and the international community.
    2023/12/04 20:42
  • DPP questions KMT’s stance on Chinese workers in Taiwan

    The campaign spokesperson for Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te, Chen Shih-kai, has called on Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih to clarify his stance on allowing Chinese workers into Taiwan. Chen expressed concerns about the impact on the employment of Taiwan’s youth and requested an outline of supporting measures. This request for clarification follows Hou’s proposal to promote increased cross-strait exchanges, including opening up to Chinese tourists and students. Chen criticized Hou’s policy, suggesting it aimed to help alleviate China’s youth unemployment problems. He highlighted Taiwan’s strong economic abilities, contrasting it with Hong Kong’s declining stock market due to Chinese government control. Chen also criticized China’s lack of transparency regarding its economic downturn and high unemployment rate. He emphasized the importance of Taiwan’s economic development and integration with the global community, stating that the future direction of Taiwan depends on its leadership. These remarks reflect the DPP’s stance on maintaining a strong local economy and labor market while considering broader cross-strait policies and potential socioeconomic impacts.
    2023/11/29 21:06
  • Taiwan to include mainland students in NHI program

    Taiwan Premier Chen Chien-jen has announced that mainland Chinese students who have completed their academic registration for six months will be included in Taiwan’s National Health Insurance (NHI) program, similar to foreign and overseas Taiwanese students. The new policy is set to take effect on Feb. 1, 2024. Chen emphasized the universal value and fundamental human right of health, and highlighted that the new policy will aid in epidemic prevention efforts. The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) will announce the new regulations in accordance with the Enforcement Rules of the National Health Insurance Act. Chen also urged related government bodies to prepare administrative procedures and effectively communicate with mainland students. Currently, overseas Taiwanese and foreign students who have resided in Taiwan for more than six months with a residence certificate can apply for NHI coverage through their schools. Foreign students are required to pay NT$826 per person per month for their NHI package.
    2023/11/23 17:49
  • Ko Wen-je outlines cultural initiatives for ethnic groups

    Presidential candidate Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) has proposed several cultural initiatives to strengthen the rights of various ethnic groups in Taiwan. He emphasized that Taiwan’s composition is primarily a result of self-identification among different groups, with 67% identifying as Fujianese, 19% as Hakka, 5% from various Chinese provinces, 2% indigenous Taiwanese, and 8% as "new residents" including migrant workers, professionals, new immigrants, second-generation immigrants, and foreign university students. Ko advocated for Taiwan to become a melting pot for diverse ethnic groups and proposed a law against ethnic discrimination. Specifically addressing the Hakka community, he unveiled proposals to preserve Hakka culture and position Taiwan as a global hub for Hakka society. Ko also presented policies to support Taiwan’s indigenous populations, including granting more rights and establishing tribal self-governance councils.
    2023/11/16 17:07
  • Lai supports adding Chinese students to healthcare system

    DPP chairman and presidential candidate Lai Ching-te has proposed including mainland Chinese students in Taiwan’s healthcare system, citing medical human rights and the strengthening of the epidemic prevention system. Lai’s plan, which treats mainland Chinese students as international students and includes them in the National Health Insurance (NHI) system, has faced objections from some party legislators. However, Lai has stated that after providing necessary clarification, fellow party members have generally accepted the idea. Lai has emphasized the human rights perspective of his proposal and distinguished it from criticism of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) for nominating a legislator connected with China. Lai believes that including mainland Chinese students in the NHI system will make the healthcare network more comprehensive, especially after three years of pandemic prevention efforts.
    2023/11/13 12:14
  • NTU drops to 21st in 2024 QS Asia rankings

    National Taiwan University (NTU) has dropped from 19th to 21st in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings in Asia. Peking University in China maintains its top position. Two other Taiwanese universities, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) and National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), also slipped in the rankings. The top ten universities in the QS Asia rankings are Peking University, Hong Kong University, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Fudan University, Yonsei University, Korea University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The QS World University Rankings are influential in the global academic world and are used by potential students and educational policymakers.
    2023/11/09 17:27
  • Taiwan’s health insurance to include Chinese students

    Taiwanese health authorities plan to include Chinese students in the island’s health insurance starting from the 2024 school year, according to Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan. Currently, international students must wait six months after arriving in Taiwan to be eligible for health insurance. The reform was prompted by concerns from Paraguay about the health rights of its students in Taiwan and was supported by Vice President Lai Ching-te, who advocated for equal treatment of Chinese students. Currently, international students with a residence permit and six months of residency in Taiwan can apply for health insurance at a cost of NT$826 per person per month. The Ministry of Health and Welfare, along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mainland Affairs Council, has been considering this measure for some time and has evaluated its financial impact. The inclusion of Chinese students in the health insurance program will require adjustments to premiums for all international students, but the overall impact is expected to be minimal. The new measure will not apply to students who are in Taiwan for short periods and not pursuing a degree. However, it could be implemented as early as September 2024 for international students with a residence permit. Despite a halt on Chinese students coming to Taiwan since 2020, 378 students registered in 2022. The peak of Chinese students in Taiwan was in 2016, with a total of 41,975 students.
    2023/11/09 11:29
  • MOE to review university structures amid student shortages

    Taiwan’s Minister of Education, Pan Wen-chung, has announced plans to review universities’ proposals to adjust their departmental structures in February and March next year. Pan emphasized the importance of cultivating talents in the humanities, social sciences, and engineering for the nation’s development, regardless of the current industrial state. Concerns have arisen over the potential closure of Shih Hsin University’s Department of Chinese Literature by the 2025 academic year and rumors of Aletheia University’s Department of Taiwanese Literature ceasing operations. Pan stated that universities have the right to ponder their future development and adjust departments, but changes should be approved by university board meetings and involve adequate communication within university governance. Additionally, the Ministry of Education has launched an initiative allowing university students to earn credits in areas of interest and have them documented in their diplomas. According to the Ministry’s statistics, there were a total of 846 arts and humanities departments among bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in the 2024 academic year. During the period from 2020 to 2024, 65 new departments were established, 45 stopped recruiting, and nine merged.
    2023/11/06 19:46
  • 70 percent will fight if China attacks, study shows

    A paper published by the Washington-based think tank Global Taiwanese Institute reveals findings of mainstream public opinion on Taiwanese defense. The paper, titled "Conversations with the Taiwanese about Taiwan’s Defense," shows that 70 percent of Taiwanese are willing to fight in the event of a Chinese invasion, while 20 percent would leave and 10 percent would choose to surrender. The results are based on conversations conducted by Taiwanese-American U.S. Air Force captain Jimmy Chien during his six-week stay in Taiwan, which included discussions with university students and retirees. Chien’s research challenges the perception that increased military strength and pressure from China could lead to military action, as most Taiwanese do not consider this a likely scenario. He argues that Taiwanese people believe China must first address its domestic affairs before resorting to force against Taiwan. Chien also notes that Taiwanese people are aware that the U.S. military is unlikely to deploy troops in the event of a war, and therefore hope to receive non-combat aid, such as supplies and maintenance, from the U.S. as a show of support in battling enemy forces.
    2023/11/06 19:32
  • Shih Hsin plans changes amid rumored Chinese dept. closure

    Shih Hsin University is considering making adjustments between departments and may halt admissions to its Chinese Literature Department in 2025. Despite rumors that the decision is due to poor undergraduate enrollment rates, the department is not the worst-performing. The university reassured students that the department will only close its doors officially after all current undergraduate students have graduated. The decision to suspend admissions requires approval from the institution and other relevant entities, with the official suspension taking effect in the academic year of 2025 if approved this year. The Chinese Literature Department was established in 1998 as part of the university’s liberal education center, with a master’s program added in 2003 and a PhD program in 2007.
    2023/10/30 15:01
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