Wed, Aug 17, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Lawmakers criticize Chinese academic

Staff Writer, with CNA

Democratic Progressive Party legislators Tsai Huang-liang, left, and Chen Ting-fei hold a press conference at the legislature in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Lawmakers across party lines yesterday criticized a Chinese academic for “politically bullying” a professor from National Tsing Hua University over an issue regarding Taiwan’s name.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲) said the party condemned Peking University neurobiologist Rao Yi (饒毅) for insisting that Chiang Ann-shyn (江安世), director of Tsing Hua’s Brain Research Center, identify the university as being located in “Taiwan, China” in a research paper co-authored by the two.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said Taiwanese scientists participating in international research are often put under pressure by their Chinese counterparts regarding Taiwan’s name.

According to Chen, it is common that when joint Taiwan-China research papers are published, Taiwan is labeled either as “part of China” or “Taiwan, China.”

She lashed out at President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration for its inaction over the matter, accusing it of “submitting to humiliation.”

One of Chiang’s students aided Rao’s team in conducting biomolecular research and Rao drafted a paper that included Chiang and the student as co-authors, but National Tsing Hua University was listed as being located in “Taiwan, China,” according to ScienceInsider, a Web site which specializes in news related to scientific policy.

A ScienceInsider article said Chiang told Rao that the National Science Council only allows institutions and researchers it funds to list their address as Taiwan or “Taiwan, ROC.” Chiang told Rao not to use the “Taiwan, China” name again or he would demand the removal of the Tsing Hua authors’ names from the research paper.

However, Rao wrote to National Science Council Minister Lee Lou-chuang (李羅權) earlier this week, without consulting Chiang, to say that his group was willing to drop People’s Republic of China from its address and to use “Beijing, China.”

He suggested the council should change its policy and instruct Chiang’s team to use “Taiwan, China,” saying that if the council does not make the change, it will make it “extremely difficult for Chinese scientists to co-author papers without explicitly or implicitly endorsing a Taiwan that is not a part of China.”

Lee confirmed on Monday he had received Rao’s letter, but said he ignored it.

National Science Council Deputy Minister Chen Cheng-hong (陳正宏) described Rao’s actions as “political bullying,” saying it is international practice for Taiwanese researchers use “Taiwan,” “Taiwan, ROC,” or “Taipei, Taiwan,” in papers published in international peer-reviewed journals.

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