Sun, May 27, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Minister promotes cross-strait cultural conference

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:The Ministry of Culture is also promoting ‘toolboxes’ — multi-language online resources — to be used to spread Taiwanese culture

Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) said her ministry hoped to hold a forum with China to discuss necessary changes to cultural policies in an increasingly globalized and changing world.

“We hope to hold talks with Beijing soon to help bring about a forward-looking cultural forum spanning the Taiwan Strait,” Lung said earlier this week.

According to Lung, the two sides could discuss whether a “completely different approach” to cultural policies was needed in light of the world being affected by globalization, a decline in natural resources, and changes in population structures and class systems.

The time and location of the forum are open for discussion, said Lung, who declined to give a date or comment on which body in China her ministry hopes to cooperate with, saying only that the forum should be held under “mutual goodwill.”

Lung also said her ministry would hold talks with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and other agencies to include more culture-related topics on the list of items to be negotiated in talks under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which Taiwan and China signed in June 2010.

The Ministry of Culture will also work to ensure that an ECFA agreement on the protection of intellectual property rights is being carried out, she said.

As for a cultural agreement that China has expressed interest in signing with Taiwan, Lung said she thought the forum should be held before the possibility of a cultural agreement is discussed.

She said her ministry would continue to encourage existing private cultural exchanges between Taiwan and China and increase interactions among administrative personnel, such as museum workers, between the two sides.

Lung, who took office as the nation’s first minister of culture after the Council for Cultural Affairs was officially upgraded into a ministry on May 20, said on an earlier occasion that exchanges between Taiwan and China would play an important part in her ministry’s policies.

Lung has also said that the ministry is planning to launch a series of cultural “tool boxes” to help overseas groups and communities promote Taiwanese culture abroad.

The “toolboxes,” or multi-language online resources, will be an “important measure” to promote Taiwanese culture to the world, she said.

These online resources will help overseas groups, schools, government agencies and communities organize events to feature, for example, Taiwanese literature, film and popular music, Lung said, adding that a “toolbox” on Taiwanese film, for example, would include information ranging from film forum topics to recommendations for guest speakers and copyright information.

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