Wed, Sep 07, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Chinese degrees unusable: MAC

CHEAPER TUITION The head of the Mainland Affairs Council said restrictions are required to protect against forgeries and safeguard Taiwan's higher education system

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) will side with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), and refuse to admit diplomas issued by schools and institutions in China, as problems involving fake diplomas remain unsolved, in order to ensure the continued development of Taiwan's higher education, MAC Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday.

Chen said on Sunday that diplomas of higher education issued by China would never be recognized in Taiwan as long as he serves as its leader.

Wu said yesterday that Chen's idea would further ensure the development of higher education in Taiwan. At present more than 160 higher education establishments in Taiwan face difficulties regarding a lack of students.

"If Taiwan recognizes diplomas issued by China, more and more Taiwanese students might seek their diplomas in China [because of cheaper tuition and fees]," Wu said.

In addition, Wu said that the existence of forged diplomas remains a big headache.

"If we don't have special measures to tackle such problems, then it would be wise for Taiwan not to consider admitting diplomas issued by China," he said.

However, Wu said cross-strait exchanges in various sectors, including culture and education, will be encouraged in a bid to inform Chinese people of Taiwan's achievements in democracy and economic development.

"For example, we've opened our door wider for media agencies in both China and Hong Kong. We'd also like to continue existing exchange projects for students of universities or research centers," Wu said.

Meanwhile, Wu called for sincere dialogue between both sides of the Taiwan Strait on critical issues, including cross-strait tourism.

Wu said, that since 2002, Taiwan has tried hard to boost the number of Chinese tourists and its current goal is to welcome at least 1,000 Chinese tourists per day.

"The official negotiations have to be carried out as soon as possible. The last thing we want to see is a reoccurrence of Chinese tourists disappearing mysteriously at airports in Taiwan," Wu said.

Wu also said that the council is pleased to see exchanges in the private sector. Taking a tourism expo currently held in Xiamen, Fujian Province as an example, Wu said that private organizations represent themselves and this enables them to learn more about regulations related to cross-strait tourism.

"However, these organizations don't represent Taiwan's government. Issues regarding air transportation of goods and passengers have to be discussed by officials from both sides. If China is not sincere in talks, I personally don't think special flights services will be available for the coming Mid-Autumn Festival," Wu said.

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