Almost every department at National Taiwan University (NTU), the nation’s top academic institution, is dropping the “N” from the school’s initials when it holds joint conferences with Chinese schools or cooperates on academic work, sources said yesterday.
The practice, described as “university-wide,” began more than a year ago, a source at the university told the Taipei Times on condition of anonymity, referring to official documents on conferences and panels held with Chinese universities.
According to another academic at the school who was also in a position to see the documents, the removal of the “N” in the university’s official initials — a source of pride for many Taiwanese — applied to “a lot of, if not all departments” involved in exchanges with China. However, it has yet to be determined whether the practice is now official policy at the university or was initiated by department heads or individual academics.
NTU was 87th in this year’s QS World University Rankings.
References to the school as “Taiwan University” began to appear about a year ago, including Peking University’s holding of a “Taiwan University Day” on Dec. 20 last year to “strengthen intercollegiate exchanges and academic co-operations [sic] with our university,” NTU says on its Web site. A special exhibition held in May highlighting the ties between the two universities was titled “Time and space rendezvous between Taiwan University and Peking University.”
A document datelined May 11 on the Peking University Web site refers to NTU as “Taiwan University” and also excises the word “national” from National Chengchi University, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), National Central University and National Cheng Kung University.
NTNU confirmed at a forum on cross-strait affairs in July that it had changed its name in advertisements in an effort to attract more Chinese students. That change, which university officials said was a gesture of “goodwill” toward China, was the removal of “national” from its official title.
In August, a neurobiologist at Peking University made the news after insisting that a Taiwanese team led by neurobiologist Chiang Ann-shyn (江安世) of National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, which collaborated with Peking University on research, identify the university as being located in “Taiwan, China.”
In addition to the removal of “national” from its official title, there are signs NTU is placing undue emphasis on visiting academics from China at the expense of academics from other countries.
The Web site for NTU’s Institute of Advanced Studies of Humanities and Social Sciences, for example, shows that of the 52 visiting scholars at the institute this year, 46 have been from Chinese universities, with just four from the US and two from Europe.
Taipei on Friday rejected Hanoi’s characterization of its recent live-fire drill near Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) as “illegal,” saying that Taiwan’s claim to the small island in the South China Sea was “unquestionable.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement that the comments made by its Vietnamese counterpart about the military’s routine live-fire drills near Itu Aba on Tuesday were “unacceptable.” Earlier on Friday, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang called Taiwan’s military activity “a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty,” saying it had caused tensions and complicated the situation in the region. Hang
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday said it is more than doubling its US investment to US$40 billion as it plans to make 3-nanometer chips in 2026 at a second Arizona fab, adding to the chipmaker’s original plan of building a US$12 billion fab to make 4-nanometer chips in 2024. The investment would mark the largest foreign direct investment in Arizona’s history and one of the largest foreign direct investments in the history of the US, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said in a statement yesterday. In addition to the more than 10,000 construction workers at the site, TSMC’s two fabs
ENHANCEMENT: The sale would update Taiwan’s Patriot missile system to improve its missile defensive capability and deter threats, the US Department of State said The US has proposed selling Taiwan as many as 100 of its most advanced Patriot air-defense missiles along with radar and support equipment in a deal valued at US$882 million, according to a US Department of State notice obtained by Bloomberg News. The proposal was made under the provisions of a 2010 sale and so technically is not new. It is classified as an enhancement to the earlier deal, with a potential total value of US$2.81 billion. The upgrade would not change the overall value of that deal, which infuriated Beijing at the time and led it to halt planned military exchanges
‘UNITED FRONT’ TOOL? There are already many accounts on Douyin impersonating government agencies, and even Premier Su Tseng-chang, DPP Legislator Mark Ho said Lawmakers and a number of experts yesterday called on the government to ban or heavily regulate Douyin (抖音) over concerns that the short-video platform could be used by China to spread disinformation. Owned by ByteDance Ltd (字節跳動), Douyin and its international version, TikTok, are a subject of concern in democracies worldwide because of potential manipulation by the Chinese government. FBI Director Chris Wray on Friday said that Beijing might have the ability to control TikTok’s recommendation algorithm, “which allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations.” TikTok could also be used to collect personal data