Shih Hsin University Students’ Association president Canelle Chen (陳文越) yesterday said she backed the university signing a “one China” agreement proposed by Beijing, accusing “political black hands” of manipulating the issue.
Chen commented on the letters incident by telephone while attending a news conference at the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) headquarters.
Shih Hsin was the first of at least 80 universities that have reportedly signed agreements with Chinese universities promising not to mention issues regarding “one China.”
“After four days of public discussion about Shih Hsin University’s inking of a letter of agreement, the focus has been blurred. I think that some people have stuck their political black hands into campus business, maliciously manipulating the matter and attacking the university,” Chen said.
Chen said the letter of agreement was to ensure politics stays off campus, and it has no bearing on whether Shih Hsin University recognizes the “one China” principle.
“Some media outlets have mislead the public by using the term ‘one China’ agreement before the facts have been established, which indicates political interference,” Chen said.
Asked about the “academic freedom” campaign, Chen said people are allowed to have different opinions on what is the ideal balance between “clean education” and freedom of speech, adding that the improper use of the term “one China” agreement was what troubled her.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said as the letter is not a pledge of commitment to the “one China” principle, the signing of it does not violate Article 33-3 of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例).
“The letter is only aimed at keeping students away from political activities,” Hung said.
The article requires educational institutions planning to form a coalition or engage in any other cooperative activity necessitating a written agreement with a Chinese school to inform the Ministry of Education in advance.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) questioned Chen, saying it is ironic that a member of KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) campaign team for last year’s presidential election would make claims about political interference.
“It is not surprising that she [Chen] made her statement through the KMT; does Hung represent all the students at Shih Hsin?” Lin asked.
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