Students occupying the Ministry of Education forecourt to protest the ministry’s controversial curriculum adjustments might withdraw as Typhoon Soudelor approaches, National Taichung First Senior High School Apple Tree Commune Club spokesperson Chen Chien-hsun (陳建勳) said yesterday.
“We will put safety before realizing our demands,” Chen said. “We do not want more people to be hurt as a result of participating in the movement.”
“We will have many more opportunities to continue to push our demands, whether by returning to the Ministry of Education or going elsewhere, so there is no need to gamble everything on this moment,” he said.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
Students have occupied the site since Friday last week, demanding the withdrawal or suspension of controversial changes to high-school social studies curriculum guidelines that critics said have a “China-centric” focus.
Chen emerged as one of the most prominent student leaders following the withdrawal yesterday of Northern Taiwan Anti-Curriculum Changes Alliance convener Chu Chen (朱震) from the students’ “policymaking” group.
His comments marked a retreat from earlier remarks by student spokesman Yi Juo-yu (伊若宇), who had stated that students were leaning toward continuing the occupation of the forecourt, although they were to take down tents and remove supplies.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
He had stated that 10 of a core group of between 20 and 30 student volunteers had expressed willingness to remain in shifts.
Student spokespeople also expressed dissatisfaction with a Legislative Yuan resolution calling for the ministry to establish a “curriculum review committee” to look over controversial guideline adjustments.
Students had originally called for the Legislative Yuan to hold an extraordinary session to directly overturn the guidelines.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
“The progress we have gained is not proportional to the sacrifices we have made, so we do not see any reason to withdraw,” Yi said.
Taichung First Senior High School student Liao Chung-lun (廖崇倫) said it was difficult to agree to the resolution because it was not a “substantial promise,” with no clear plan for implementation.
He emphasized that “suspension” of the guidelines remained the students’ demand, with the curriculum review committee only a “necessary means.”
Liao added that students were open to talks with ministry officials on participation in the “curriculum review committee,” urging the ministry to allow students to participate as full voting members.
Separately yesterday, Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) said that the ministry had formally dropped charges against all of the students who were arrested last week for trespassing on ministry property.
Deputy Minister of Education Lin Teng-chiao (林騰蛟) said that charges would also be dropped against the adults who accompanied students, including three reporters who were arrested.
Lin added that the ministry was open to student representatives participating in the curriculum review committee, saying that besides reviewing the approval process for the guideline adjustments, the committee would also have the power to make amendments.
At about 8:15pm last night, a competing rally was held outside the ministry by the China Unification Promotion Party (CUPP), with powerful loudspeakers broadcasting slogans that accused students of promoting Japanese “imperial citizen education” and “forgetting their ancestors.”
Former Bamboo Union leader and party head Chang An-le (張安樂), also known as the “White Wolf,” said the rally was meant to support the ministry in “setting things straight,” using the curriculum guideline adjustments to reverse a long series of previous changes aimed at promoting Taiwanese independence.
Twin police cordons and barbed wire barriers along Zhongshan S Road’s middle lane separated the rally from the students gathered in the ministry’s forecourt.
Zhongzheng First Precinct Police Chief Chang Chi-wen (張奇文) repeatedly shouted through a loudspeaker that the gathering was illegal because the CUPP had not applied for a permit.
SOLVED: Domestic orders have already overtaken the total sold to China last year, while the Canadian and US representative offices posted messages of support A joint effort by groups and individuals in Taiwan and abroad to prop up sales of pineapples after China announced a ban on imports of the fruit succeeded in just four days, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples starting on Monday, citing biosafety concerns. Following the announcement, the council urged the public to assist farmers by purchasing pineapples, saying it hoped to sell 20,000 tonnes of the fruit domestically and 30,000 tonnes in exports. “Domestic orders have already surpassed the total sold to China last year,” COA Minister
Taiwanese netizens and politicians yesterday mocked a Chinese plan to build a transportation network linking Beijing and Taipei, calling it “science fiction” and “daydreaming.” Their comments were in reaction to the Chinese State Council’s release last week of its “Guidelines on the National Comprehensive Transportation Network Plan,” which include several proposed transportation links, with one map showing a line running from China’s Jingjinji Metropolitan Region (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) across the Taiwan Strait to Taipei. “This is the Chinese leadership daydreaming again of [fulfilling its] fantasy of extending China’s transportation network to Taiwan. I suggest people regard it as science fiction,” Democratic Progressive
‘ONE PERSON PER UNIT’: People undergoing home isolation cannot stay in a housing unit in which non-isolated people live, unless they have special approval Starting tomorrow, people under home isolation would be required to follow the “one person per housing unit” rule if in private housing, or stay at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the rules require people under home quarantine to be quarantined with one person per housing unit, or at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility. “Starting on March 1, individuals under home isolation will also be subject to the ‘one person per housing unit’ rule,” he said. “We
‘UNITED FRONT’: Grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or hosts is a Chinese tactic to spread propaganda to influence young people, a source said As part of its “united front” tactics, China has been grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or Internet program hosts, a source said on condition of anonymity. Over the past year, about 1,000 Taiwanese living in China have participated in training programs and competitions for show hosts held in several cities, including Xiamen, Wenzhou and Hangzhou, the source said on Saturday. “Beijing is taking advantage of the openness of the Internet to spread propaganda about acceptance of China, and about ‘national security,’” the source said, adding that Taiwan’s national security officials are racing to fix the problem. Chinese infiltration of