Sunday, March 05, 2017

China demands its students tender ears don't hear any political truths at Taiwan Unis

An idyllic fishing spot.

Wow, did this story ever embarrass the MoE and the university system. When it first broke three days ago, the story was six universities had signed contracts with universities in China, known as the 'one China' contracts...
Five more universities in Taiwan are confirmed to have signed controversial agreements to exclude politically sensitive topics or activities in textbooks or courses offered to Chinese students studying at their schools following Shih Hsin University in Taipei City.
Then Liberty Times reported that it was more like half the universities in Taiwan, including most of the major government-run public universities. This brought out the Education Ministry to deny the claim, saying...
Deputy Education Minister Tsai Ching-hwa denied the claim, as well as a second claim that the Education Ministry's own investigation found that "at least 30" universities had signed such agreements.

Tsai said the ministry was still waiting for local universities and colleges to respond to its inquiries and therefore could not have provided such numbers.
This is probably part of some standard contract, which basically all universities in Taiwan sign as part of the student exchange program, and it includes the standard clauses that China always enforces when it makes agreements anywhere, not just in Taiwan. Shamefully, many places accept them. The Taipei Times reported that pressure had risen since Tsai came into office:
National Taiwan University secretary-general Lin Ta-te (林達德) said demands by Chinese institutions that the university sign a “letter of agreement” as a precondition for academic exchanges soared after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) assumed the presidency in May last year.
The universities pointed out that Chinese students need the signed agreement so they can pass vetting at home.

Like I always say, to get closer to China is to get farther from democracy.

Students from China have been coming to Taiwan universities for a decade, and I have never heard anyone say privately or publicly to me that we should shy from political topics. I have worked at several universities in that period and none have sent down orders to me. These appear to be pro forma. I have many Chinese students in my classes and no one has taken me aside to warn me not to say anything, which could easily happen since my politics are public. Indeed, Chinese students have discussed them with me on many occasions, invariably warmly and politely. They are good students, and I look forward to seeing them in my classes and clubs...
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This collusion to limit Taiwan universities begs the question was the ruling party (KMT) at the time of these contracts complicit? Difficult to believe that they weren't as they orchestrated the China student exchange program.