Foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will be invited this year to establish branches in Taiwan in a bid to turn the nation into a hub for NGOs in the Asia-Pacific region, the Ministry of Culture said in a report that it is to present to the Legislative Yuan’s Education and Culture Committee today.
Active participation in international organizations can help Taiwan become an important hub for international cultural exchanges, the ministry said.
The ministry is to cohost international exchanges with foreign cultural institutions and organizations, develop platforms for arts and cultural performances, and strive to host international conferences in Taiwan, the report said.
The ministry plans to bolster the government’s role as a resource platform, support and assist domestic arts and cultural agencies, NGOs, think tanks and others in establishing connections with the international community and facilitate the promotion of Taiwanese culture to the world, it said.
The ministry said it has been working with the French Office in Taipei on the matter.
Last year, it sponsored the start-up PAIX Inc’s (明日逸品) attendance at the Living Lab event hosted by French start-up accelerator The Bridge in Avignon, France, the ministry said.
It has also helped students from Taiwanese-French cultural workshops pursue internships at French art festivals and arts and cultural institutions, it added.
To promote cultural exchanges with nations targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy, the ministry in July last year established a cultural division under the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Thailand, it said.
The ministry’s efforts are in contrast to Beijing’s tightening of regulations on foreign NGOs with branches in that country.
On Jan. 1 last year, a regulation governing the activities of foreign NGOs in China went into effect.
It requires foreign NGOs to establish a representative office and register with public security agencies.
The regulation states that the agencies would conduct annual inspections and would be responsible for “investigating and punishing illegal behavior by foreign NGOs and their representative offices.”
If a foreign NGO were found to have violated the regulations, China’s Ministry of Public Security can place it on an “unwelcome list” and prohibit it from establishing a representative office or carrying out activities in China, the regulation states.
The regulation has caused some NGOs to leave the country, foreign media have reported.
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