Mainland Affairs Council Minister Katherine Chang (張小月) yesterday said that the council’s policy to welcome Chinese students to study in Taiwan remains unchanged, urging concerned parties to refrain from politicizing an educational matter.
Chang made the remarks on the sidelines of a legislative plenary session in Taipei in response to media queries concerning Beijing’s alleged ban on Chinese students studying in Taiwan.
“With regard to whether there is a new regulation put in place [by Beijing] regarding Chinese students studying in Taiwan, the information we have received thus far is unclear. Some people have said there is a new rule, while others have said otherwise,” Chang said.
Chang said the council and the Ministry of Education are still trying to gather information on the matter, adding that no changes have been made to the government’s policy of welcoming Chinese students to come to Taiwan for academic purposes.
“It is my hope that this educational issue will not be associated with politics,” Chang added.
The Chinese-language newspaper Apple Daily, citing an anonymous source, on Monday reported that a Chinese student had been informed by his school that its assessment of all applications seeking permission to study in Taiwan has been temporarily halted due to changes in cross-strait relations.
It also cited a China-based Taiwanese businessman operating an educational information exchange platform as saying that since the swearing-in of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on May 20, Chinese education authorities at all levels have been ordered to suspend exchanges with Taiwan, pending a change in the Tsai government’s attitude toward cross-strait issues.
The ministry late on Monday said that it was unaware of such a decision, saying it would ask the China-based University Entrance Committee for Mainland Students to clarify whether China was planning to issue a ban or restrict the number of students allowed to travel to Taiwan each year for study.
Chang said cross-strait educational exchanges are a positive matter, as they provide Chinese students with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of Taiwanese society and culture, and vice versa.
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