Twenty-one Republican members of the US Congress have called on the Department of Education to consider using a program with Taiwan to offer “censorship-free alternatives” to the China-backed Confucius Institutes on many US college campuses.
Fox News on Tuesday reported that US Senator Marsha Blackburn and US Representative Michelle Steel initiated the group’s March 18 letter to US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona asking that the US-Taiwan Education Initiative, which was established in December last year, be expanded.
In the letter, the lawmakers said the Confucius Institutes, which promote the study of Mandarin and Chinese culture on US college campuses, are funded and overseen by an affiliate of the Chinese Ministry of Education.
In response to growing evidence that Beijing was pressuring faculty at the centers to avoid topics seen as damaging to China’s national interests, the US Department of State designated the program’s Washington headquarters as a foreign mission in August last year, the lawmakers said.
While many US colleges have taken steps to clamp down on or close their Confucius Institutes, “there remains a high student demand for studies relating to Mandarin language and Chinese culture and history,” which Taiwan can help to fill, the letter said.
“Learning Mandarin from Taiwanese teachers means learning Mandarin in an environment free from censorship or coercion,” the lawmakers said, quoting American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen.
The US lawmakers urged Cardona to consider expanding the US-Taiwan Education Initiative or other related programs to provide “censorship-free alternatives” to Confucius Institutes for the study of Mandarin and Chinese culture.
According to the National Association of Scholars, there were 50 Confucius Institutes were operating in the US as of March 25, down from a peak of more than 100.
The reduction stems in part from a 2018 US law that forced schools to choose between keeping the institutes open or losing US Department of Defense funding for their foreign language programs.
EVA Airways was ranked the eighth-best airline in the world for this year, the only Taiwanese carrier to make it into the top 25 Airline Excellence Awards this year, aviation reviews Web site AirlineRatings.com said on Wednesday. AirlineRatings.com has a seven-star rating system to evaluate more than 360 airlines around the world every year, EVA Airways said in a statement on Thursday. “We are delighted that efforts by the entire EVA staff have been recognized by Airline Ratings,” EVA Airways president Clay Sun (孫嘉明) said in the release. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company identified and adopted services and procedures that enhance and
A promotional event for the launch of a drinks store led to police questioning a 26-year-old woman surnamed Chang (張), the Taichung Police Department said yesterday. Police said that they questioned Chang and forwarded the case to prosecutors, accusing her of producing, distributing, broadcasting or selling pornography. Police said she faces charges related to the alleged distribution of indecent photographs on Twitter and using overtly sexual innuendos to promote the store on Monday night. Officers stumbled upon the content during a routine Internet “patrol.” Chang faces a prison sentence of up to two years and up to a NT$90,000 fine if found guilty
Exiled Chinese democracy advocate Wang Dan (王丹) yesterday denied an accusation by former Taiwanese political worker Lee Yuan-chun (李援軍) that Wang had sexually harassed him in a hotel room in New York nine years ago. There was a huge gap between Lee’s accusation and his own understanding and memory, Wang wrote on Facebook, adding it was hard for him to respond further regarding a “unilateral description” made by someone else. Wang made the remarks after his initial response on Facebook was met with criticism, with people saying he did not directly address the allegation. Lee on Friday wrote on Facebook that he
MORE WARNINGS: If the US company does not clarify and solve issues with its frozen berries, the FDA might extend an import suspension implemented last month, it said The Kaohsiung Department of Health yesterday said it fined Costco NT$4.5 million (US$146,265) over contaminated frozen strawberries, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that although the US company had filed an improvement plan, an import suspension on frozen berries could remain. Three types of frozen berry products imported and sold by Costco have tested positive for the hepatitis A virus since April. The Kaohsiung health department previously fined Costco NT$300,000 for not providing the sales list of a contaminated batch of Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend imported from Chile, in contravention of the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法). It later