The name of the Taiwan Academy, established in some US cities last month, is too narrow in meaning, degrades Taiwan and should be changed to “Zhonghua Academy (中華書院),” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators have suggested.
Setting up Taiwan Academies was one of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) campaign promises in 2008 as part of his efforts to secure the nation’s role in spreading what he called “Taiwanese culture with Chinese characteristics,” such as promoting the use of traditional Chinese characters, as opposed to the simplified characters used in China.
The first Taiwan Academy opened in New York last month, where an inauguration ceremony was held at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office there.
The issue came to a head in a budget review for the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission (OCAC) by the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee on Monday, where KMT lawmakers questioned OCAC Minister Wu Ying-yih (吳英毅) over the name of the academies.
KMT Legislator Herman Shuai (帥化民) said that “the name ‘Taiwan Academy’ is a name signifying self-localization and demotes ourselves to the status of a province [of China] and is [an] absolutely unforgivable [act].”
Naming is an issue that’s either right or wrong and an issue that cannot be avoided, he said, adding that “Ma can not decide everything by himself.”
“The national defense and economy of Taiwan are already falling behind that of China, how can we also give up the culturally ‘orthodox position’?” Shuai asked, adding that “even though the Republic of China is no longer a UN member and we can only refer to ourselves as ‘Taipei’s representative office,’ how can we cede the cultural battle without a single shot fired?”
“I believe we would not be pressured by China if we use the name Taiwan Academy, but we still have to ‘keep the character and guts as the descendants of the Han race [sic],’” Shuai said. “Why was it that we dared not use ‘Zhonghua culture’ (中華文化) [in the name]?”
KMT Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said it was not that difficult to distinguish from China’s Confucius Institutes, referring to the Taiwan Academy project having been in part devised to counter the institutes Beijing has established and around the world in recent years to promote Chinese language and culture, as well as to support Chinese teachers internationally.
“We could rename the ‘Taiwan Academy’ to ‘Zhonghua Academy’ in countries with which we have diplomatic ties, while in countries with which we have no diplomatic ties, we could call them ‘Taipei Zhonghua Cultural Center’ or the ‘Taiwan Zhonghua Cultural Center,’” Lin said. “The point is that the ‘Zhonghua culture’ part has to be kept.”
Wu said the naming of the Taiwan Academy was not under the jurisdiction of any one unit, as it was a cross-ministerial effort headed by the Council for Cultural Affairs.
“We will try to work with legislators’ opinions and will discuss the issue with the Council for Cultural Affairs, the Executive Yuan and other concerned organizations,” he said.
Translated by Jake Chung, staff writer
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among