Academia Sinica’s recent dismissals of researchers who hold teaching posts in China could spark concern about the Democratic Progressive Party government curtailing academics’ right to work with a proposed draft on handling alleged Chinese Communist Party (CCP) agents in Taiwan, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) said yesterday.
Liu Kung-chung (劉孔中) took a teaching post at Renmin University in China after retiring from Academia Sinica’s Institutum Iurisprudentiae, but was later fired from his job as part-time researcher at the nation’s top research institute, Chen told a news conference in Taipei.
Academia Sinica earlier this year said that “starting from August, residents of the Taiwan area who have a full-time teaching post at Chinese universities may not work as part-time researchers for this institute.”
Liu did not break the Ministry of Education’s rules, which only forbid former public-school teachers from taking posts at academies run by China’s People’s Liberation Army or schools directly overseen by the CCP, the lawmaker said.
Academia Sinica had fired at least two other former researchers for the same reason, he said.
The Mainland Affairs Council in 2017 said that Liu had contravened rules that it introduced in 2004 barring civil servants and public-school teachers from taking up certain posts in China, Chen said.
However, when he asked the ministry to comment on the council’s interpretation, it said that Academia Sinica is like a private school, where such incidents are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, he said.
The council later changed its stance, saying the Academia Sinica has the right to decide how to handle such cases in accordance with its personnel rules, he said.
Liu’s case raises the question of whether professors retired from national universities will be denied part-time jobs at their former institutions if they teach in China or students would contravene the law if they work as salaried teaching assistants at Chinese universities, Chen said.
If the government’s proposal is passed, would academics who legally teach at Chinese institutions, but who have not notified relevant authorities, be considered “CCP agents”? Chen asked.
Mainland Affairs Council official Ho Ta-jen (何達仁) said the legality of teachers working in China is determined on a case-by-case basis.
The council issued a set of criteria that is followed by the ministry in evaluating the nature of such teaching posts, Ho said.
The council has not yet decided on whether the proposed bill should be drafted in such a way that people working in China would be required to register with the relevant agencies in Taiwan, such activity should be banned or if whistle-blowers shoul be encouraged, he said.
FOSSIL CLUES: The bushfires resulted from a positive Indian Ocean dipole event, when the region east of the ocean becomes drier, professor Shen Chuan-chou said The bushfires that swept through Australia last year were connected to a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), which is expected to become more frequent due to climate change, a geologist studying coral fossils said yesterday. National Taiwan University Department of Geosciences professor Shen Chuan-chou (沈川洲) since 2001 has been working with Australian and US researchers to study climate systems in the Indian Ocean. Led by Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences professor Nerilie Abram, the team published a paper on IOD in the journal Nature on March 9. The bushfires resulted from a positive IOD event, when the
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
A survey has found that 37.3 percent of transgender people in the nation have experienced gender-related discrimination or bullying in the workplace, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said yesterday. The alliance’s survey showed that 55.41 percent of transgender people said that they had been afraid to use a public restroom, 18.53 percent had been harassed or attacked in public, while 15.83 percent had been afraid to ask a police officer or other professional for help. The survey, conducted from March 14 to Wednesday last week, was based on 518 valid responses from transgender people aged 14 to 78, the