Thu, Feb 16, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Culture association approves Tsai, Chen membership

By Yang Yuan-ting and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

General Association of Chinese Culture acting chairman Liu Chi-jen, left, and secretary-general Yang Tu yesterday take part in an association executive meeting in Taipei.

Photo: Pan Shao-tang, Taipei Times

Applications by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) to join the General Association of Chinese Culture were approved yesterday after three consecutive failed meetings.

The association was established in 1967 by Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) in the hopes of preserving and passing on Chinese culture in the face of the Chinese Cultural Revolution’s destruction, and has since been subsidized by the government and headed by the president.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) broke with convention by appointing former premier Liu Chao-hsuan (劉兆玄) to head the association in 2009, even though outgoing presidents traditionally continue in the position to serve as a bridge between incoming presidents and cultural circles.

Some have speculated that Liu and 285 members of the association approved by the Ma administration have been trying to turn the quasi-government organization into a private one.

Three meetings to approve new membership applications had been boycotted, resulting in their cancelation due to a lack of quorum, before yesterday’s meeting.

Along with the president and vice president, the association also approved the applications of 258 new members and confirmed the memberships of 276, association secretary-general Yang Tu (楊渡) said.

A list of executive member candidates was also approved, as was a list of members that are to serve as Tsai’s consultants, he added.

The list of executive member candidates, including Tsai, were in line with recommendations from the Democratic Progressive Party, Yang said.

The organization is to vote on the candidates within 15 days and choose the head of the association from elected executive members and consultants, he added.

Association regulations stipulate that at least 267 members must be present for the next meeting to be held, while candidates for executive and consultant positions must attend for their nominations to be valid, Yang said.

Asked for comment, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who did not arrive until after the meeting was over, said he turned down a request from Presidential Office Acting Secretary-General Jason Liu (劉建忻) to serve as convener of the next meeting, as politics and culture should not mix.

A successful meeting would ensure a smooth transfer of duties after new member registrations, the Presidential Office said.

Additional reporting by CNA

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