A company providing access to an online database of academic theses and dissertations has been accused of cooperating with Chinese political censorship and content revisions.
Media reports said that master’s theses and doctoral dissertations by students at local universities, including National Taiwan University (NTU), had all instances of “my country” changed to “Taiwan.”
Not a single word should be changed in papers authorized by students and professors, NTU president Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) said yesterday on the sidelines of an NTU event.
Photo: Wu Po-hsuan, Taipei Times
No one is allowed to revise papers that have been authorized, he said, adding that it was a fundamental rule in academia.
For example, it would be unreasonable if automated translation software changed every mention of “New Taiwan dollar” in a paper to “New Chinese Taipei dollar,” he said.
The university would ask businesses not to make changes, he said.
The Ministry of Education said that the nation’s sovereignty should not be belittled.
The ministry would instruct universities and colleges to evaluate their database vendors, it said.
If improper actions are found, universities should immediately demand that the vendors make improvements, it said, adding that the universities should terminate their contracts if no improvements are made.
Airiti (華藝) — the vendor in question — said in a statement on Wednesday that when it exports Taiwanese academic content, the content is in its original form.
The Chinese market has certain particularities, so the metadata can be tweaked to increase the possibility of the content being discovered in an online search, but the body of a work would not be touched, Airiti said.
NTU sociology professor Ho Ming-sho (何明修) wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that a keyword search of his full name resulted in 23 hits on Airitilibrary.cn and 57 results on Airitilibrary.com, despite the databases belonging to the same company.
Not all of the 57 search results on the second platform were his articles, but articles of his that were missing could be considered “sensitive,” including a 2017 article titled “The Third Force and Umbrella Soldiers: Comparing the Elections of Taiwan after the Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong after the Umbrella Movement,” Ho said.
An Airiti representative said that it is inevitable that different countries and regions have different regulations.
The company can only respect that a database subscriber chooses the content they need, the representative said.
‘NO SURRENDER’: A blockade or outlying island seizure would be an act of war, and China’s drills last month have emboldened Taipei in its response plans, an official said The Republic of China Army Command Headquarters has agreed to purchase 5,000 Kestrel close-range anti-armor missiles worth NT$400 million (US$12.63 million) from the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, according to the military’s latest arms purchase bid notice. The army asked the institute to complete the order within 13 months, a military source said on condition of anonymity. Kestrel missiles are designed to penetrate armored vehicles and are used in anti-surface warfare, as they feature optical sights and night vision, and can be operated in all weather conditions. The missile has a 400m range, or a 150m range when used for breaching brick
IF THE CHIPS ARE DOWN: The US secretary of state warned that a disruption to the supply of Taiwanese semiconductors would play havoc with the global economy If Taiwan were attacked, the global economy would face devastation, as that is where most of the world’s semiconductors are produced, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday. In an interview that aired on the 60 Minutes television program, Blinken was asked whether instability across the Taiwan Strait would be felt around the world. Blinken said that China has been increasingly aggressive against Taiwan, posing a threat to peace and stability in the region, while economically the world would feel the effects of such aggression. Blinken was interviewed for the program after meeting with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi
‘ABSURD’: UN Resolution 2758 expelled the Chiang Kai-Shek government without mentioning Taipei, something the Chinese minister did not acknowledge, Taipei said Taiwan yesterday criticized Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) for “intentionally misinterpreting” a 1971 UN resolution to misrepresent Taiwan’s status to the global community. In his address on Saturday to the UN General Assembly, Wang cited Resolution 2758 as a basis for Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China. He said that Beijing considers Taiwan an “inseparable part of China’s territory since ancient times.” “Only when China is completely reunified can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait... Any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history,” Wang said. General Assembly Resolution 2758
The UK is determined to work with its allies to ensure that Taiwan can defend itself, British Prime Minister Liz Truss said on Sunday, a pledge that drew expressions of gratitude from Taipei. “What I’ve been clear about is that all of our allies need to make sure Taiwan is able to defend itself, and that is very, very important,” Truss said in a CNN interview, when asked whether the UK was willing to match the US’ pledge last week to defend Taiwan militarily in the event of an attack by China. Truss said her government was working with its G7 allies,