The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan.
On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did not exclude students from China.
However, speaking to reporters later that day, Deputy Minister of Education Lio Mon-chi (劉孟奇) said that due to “cross-strait related” considerations, only Chinese students who are graduating this semester would be allowed to return.
The students’ group criticized the policy on Facebook, calling the exclusion of Chinese students an example of politics overriding the right to study.
Another students’ group said that only students from China, Hong Kong and Macau have been subjected to the most stringent entry restrictions, while students from many high-risk countries and regions have be allowed to enter Taiwan.
Chinese students should not been blocked due to political factors, the second group said.
Quarantine-related costs for overseas students are too high, both groups said, adding that staying at a disease prevention hotel for 15 days, and paying for meals, could cost several tens of thousands of New Taiwan dollars.
The ministry should subsidize these costs for overseas students, especially those with financial troubles, the groups said.
Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) yesterday said that since Taiwan on July 20 opened the door to Chinese students who are to graduate this semester, only 29 of approximately 3,000 who qualify have returned.
The council doubts whether Chinese authorities would let them come, Chen said.
The goal was to allow Chinese students and children with one Taiwanese and one Chinese parent to return, he said, adding that policy adjustments would be made based on developments amid the pandemic.
The council on Wednesday night said that there have been several cases recently of Chinese authorities preventing Chinese students from traveling to Taiwan.
As this has happened to Chinese students who urgently need to return to Taiwan to complete their studies, it is difficult to believe that Chinese authorities would allow others who are not to graduate soon to return, the council said.
National Taiwan University yesterday said in a statement that it “deeply regrets” the ministry’s decision not to include Chinese students in its latest policy.
Additional reporting by Chung Li-hua and Sherry Hsiao
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
PEACE AND STABILITY: ‘Taiwan can be of tremendous value’ in building resilient supply chains, President Tsai Ing-wen said, as she encouraged closer ties with foreign businesses A Chinese invasion of Taiwan is unlikely for the time being due to the internal challenges and international pressure that China is facing, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the New York Times in an interview shown on Wednesday. “My thought is that perhaps this is not a time for them [China] to consider a major invasion of Taiwan,” Tsai said in a prerecorded interview for the DealBook Summit held by the newspaper on Wednesday. Beijing’s leadership is presently “overwhelmed by its internal challenges” on economic, financial and political grounds, while the international community “has made it loud and clear that war is
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
COUNTER DISINFORMATION: More engagement and media literacy are needed to push back against misinformation and claims that the US is an unreliable partner, the AIT director said The US is “confident” that Taiwan does not face an imminent threat of a Chinese invasion, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk told a US public radio show, adding that Washington remains committed to defensively arming the nation. She made the comment during an interview on All Things Considered, broadcast on Friday on US-based National Public Radio. “There is an important distinction between making plans and training troops, and getting ready to do something,” Oudkirk said, on whether she thinks Beijing plans to attack Taiwan in the near future. Chinese officials have told Washington that “their preference is for peaceful reunification,