Tue, Nov 09, 2010 - Page 3 News List

MAC admits that Chinese students receive subsidy

By Ko Shu-ling  /  Staff Reporter

The Mainland Affairs Council yesterday admitted that Chinese students were receiving NT$30,000 (US$994) a month in government funding, adding that the initiative began when the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was in power and that the administration intends to terminate the program.

The council said in a statement that Chinese graduate students who come to Taiwan on one-to-two-month exchange programs began receiving a subsidy of a maximum of NT$42,000 during the DPP era.

Although the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration recognized the good intentions of the former government, the statement said the KMT government had decided to adopt a stricter approach.

Applicants must now undergo a screening process and the monthly subsidy was lowered to NT$30,000, it said.

The council said this year 48 Chinese graduate students received subsidies. The number of recipients accounted for 22 percent of the total applicants, it said. In contrast, the rate was as high as 41 percent in 2007 when the DPP was in power, the council said.

The statement said the administration would terminate the program, adding that it had stopped accepting applications and that all recipients would stop receiving the subsidies by the end of this year.

Following the relaxation of rules in August, universities are now allowed to recruit students from China, but the council said the government would not provide the Chinese students with subsidies or scholarships.

The council’s statement was made in response to an allegation by Cheng Hung-yi (鄭弘儀), who hosts a political show, on Sunday during a campaign rally in Taichung.

The council said Cheng had “deliberately clouded the truth, confused one thing with another and irresponsibly provoked the emotions of the people.”

“Those who were deceived must feel so bad that they want to cry,”the statement said.

Commenting on the matter, Vice Minister of Education Lin Tsong-ming (林聰明) said the funding Cheng was referring to was provided by the Chinese Development Fund.

“The central government would never request budget to subsidize Chinese students,” Lin said.

The Chinese Development Fund is a non-profit fund established by the council in 1994 with a budget of NT$400 million to promote healthy cross-strait relations.

Lin said the organization offers NT$30,000 to Chinese graduate students coming to Taiwan for short-term research for their thesis or dissertation, adding that applicants were granted the funding for a maximum of two months.

He said the fund also provided a monthly allowance of NT$25,000 for Taiwanese graduate students conducting research in China.

Additional reporting by Flora Wang

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