Mon, Aug 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

China a ‘joke’ for barring study in Taiwan: legislator

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese government could make itself an “international joke” by discouraging its citizens from enrolling in Taiwanese universities, New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said on Saturday.

Hsu was responding to allegations made on Friday that the Chinese Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) had denied travel documents to a Chinese student who was to attend National Cheng Kung University on the grounds that the university supports Taiwanese independence.

“Although China is a great nation, it is terrified by Taiwan’s flourishing intellectual diversity and had to obstruct its people from coming. I urge the Chinese communist regime to restrain its fears, lest it become an international joke,” Hsu said on Facebook.

As an open and tolerant society, Taiwan has never been the one to obstruct free exchanges between Taiwan and China, Hsu said.

“The Chinese government’s narrow-mindedness and lack of self-confidence has been thoroughly revealed by its attempt to stop students from studying in Taiwan. I believe it is not Taiwanese independence that Beijing is afraid of. Rather, it is our democracy and free way of life that Beijing considers an existential threat. The communist government is afraid that once young Chinese are exposed to democracy, they will question the regime and shake the foundations of its rule,” he said.

Beijing’s concern that even one university student will threaten its existence is a sign that the regime is “rotten to the core and its need for reforms is dire,” he said, calling on the Chinese government to “stop bullying young students.”

When asked to comment, TAO spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) did not deny allegations that his office is barring Chinese students from attending Taiwanese universities, adding that the TAO was “doing its job.”

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