The US government is to increase funding for the Foundation for Scholarly Exchanges to US$1 million to boost the US-Taiwan Education Initiative, American Institute in Taiwan Director Sandra Oudkirk said on Tuesday.
The foundation — also known as Fulbright Taiwan — is sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Oudkirk made the comment at a conference at National Chung Cheng University.
The bilateral education initiative would help Taiwan attract students to study Mandarin in the country and realize its goal of becoming a fully bilingual nation by 2030, she said.
The US and Taiwan have worked closely in the field of education, and the two countries exchange thousands of educators and students annually, she added.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), who attended the event by teleconference, said that the best way to bridge the cultural and societal gaps between the two countries is through collaboration in education.
The US Department of State has allocated substantial resources to improve scholarships in Taiwan over the past year, during which time 11 Taiwanese higher-learning institutions have launched Mandarin education programs with their US counterparts, he said.
Cheng Sheng-yao (鄭勝耀), director of the Graduate Institute of Education at the university said that making Taiwanese fluent in Mandarin and English is an important government policy.
The British Office in Taipei and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office attended the event, showing that the education initiative is of interest to the world, he added.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
‘NEW YEAR GIFT’: While the MAC called the song propaganda, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that it addressed the homesickness of ‘Taiwanese compatriots’ A pro-unification pop song aired on Chinese television earlier this month would only further sour Taiwanese sentiment toward China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Wednesday. The music video for We Sing the Same Song (我們同唱一首歌), which aired on China Central Television, features Chinese artists performing alongside Taiwanese singers Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) and Chen Li-nong (陳立農). The lyrics were reportedly written by Taiwanese lyricist Vincent Fang (方文山), known for his collaborations with Jay Chou (周杰倫), to music composed by a Chinese musician. Sung in Chinese and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), the song is about three Taiwanese siblings who
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