Beginning in September, seventy-three private universities and vocational institutions in Taiwan will, for the first time, enroll students from mainland China. About 1,000 mainland students have already applied to study in Taiwan’s universities, which plan to recruit a total of 2,000 mainland students. Mainland students are eligible when their institution gives them a high political awareness certificate. The China Senior College Exhibition Organization Committee started processing the applications on April 1 and will finish at the end of May, the official China Daily reports.Note that no national universities in Taiwan are included in this list -- 73 private and vocational universities -- mostly second tier colleges or worse. The KMT's logic is that Chinese students will make Taiwan's education system more "competitive." In local political discourse appeals to competitiveness by the KMT are now commonplace for all its programs, as if this closes all argument. In fact, I was fortunate to get a leaked transcript of the interrogation of the four police officers who were present at the shooting of a local gangster the other day in Taichung. Here it is for your reading pleasure:
INTERROGATOR: And the four of you were doing what with that gangster?Competitiveness has nothing to do with it -- the lower tier vocational schools are often run by local clans that have old connections to the KMT. Bringing in Chinese students is another status quo move that will preserve those schools, save them from elimination, essentially sending Chinese cash down KMT patronage networks. This makes the KMT more competitive.....
OFFICER 1: Playing Mah-jong. It makes us more competitive.
INTERROGATOR: More competitive! With who?
OFFICER 2: Other policemen sir, from other places in Taiwan and even in China. They all play mah-jong with gangsters too. Do you want us to lose all the time?
INTERROGATOR: I see. And the hitter came in, and told you all that this didn't concern you. His gun jammed for the first time. Did you do anything while he went outside to fix it?
OFFICER 3: No sir.
OFFICER 4: Non-action makes you more competitive. That is the essence of the Tao.
OFFICER 1: Sir, it is true! His gun jammed a second time and he stepped outside to fix it again. Can you not see the success of our non-action? It jammed his gun twice!
INTERROGATOR: Ok...Ok.... then he came in for the third time and shot the gangster. And you took a bullet in the leg, right?
OFFICER 2: Yes sir.
INTERROGATOR: What did you do then?
OFFICER 2: I quickly ran out the door, sir.
INTERROGATOR: You fled the scene.
OFFICER 2: Nossir, I ran with one leg wounded. This made me more competitive. Now I will surely win the 10,000 meter race in the next Police Games!*
*Yes, according to news reports, that is exactly how it went down!
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