Exporting the English language and methods of learning could soon become one of the UK's top foreign currency earners, with China viewed as the key market, British finance minister Gordon Brown said yesterday. \nIn the past five years, British export earnings through education have almost doubled to more than ?10 billion (US$19 billion) a year, Brown announced during a visit to China. \nThis was already about 1 percent of Britain's entire GDP, and four percent of its exports, and the figures were still growing fast, Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown said. \n"On current trends, by 2020, education could amount for more export earnings [to Britain] than financial services," Brown said in a statement in Beijing. \nBy 2020, education could contribute more than ?50 billion a year to the country's economy, not far short of 2 percent of total GDP. \nMuch of this growth would come through selling perhaps the country's most lucrative birthright -- the English language -- with China a key market thanks to its combination of a huge thirst for English and massive numbers of potential pupils. \nCurrently, more Chinese students learn English than British ones, while an estimated 300 million Chinese already speak the language, said Brown, who left Beijing for Shanghai yesterday. \n"In 20 years' time, the number of English speakers in China is likely to exceed the numbers of speakers of English as a first language in all of the rest of the world," Brown said. \nThis was "a huge opportunity for Britain," the finance minister said, unveiling a series of measures to help the country cash in on the craze for speaking its language. \nAmong these is a plan to "twin" every school and college in England with a parallel education establishment overseas in the next five years, while teaching schemes such as Web sites run by cultural organization the British Council will be expanded. \nFor China, in particular, its students attending British universities will now be able to stay on and work for a year after completing their courses, Brown announced. \nThe deal -- reciprocated for British students in China -- is aimed at helping British universities beat off stiff competition from US and Australian establishments in attracting valuable, fee-paying Chinese students. \nBy 2020, the overseas sales of British educational products such as books and computer packages could be worth ?10 billion a year to the country's economy, Brown predicted. \nThe chancellor flew into Beijing on Monday. Brown, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations' club, also raised the issue of China's policy of fixing its currency, the yuan, at a pegged rate against the dollar. \nHe heads to Shenzhen today before flying home from adjoining Hong Kong.
BLUE WAVE: The KMT’s Chiang Wan-an defeated the DPP’s Chen Shih-chung and is to become Taipei mayor, while President Tsai Ing-wen stepped down as DPP chairperson after many of the party’s candidates, handpicked by the leadership, performed poorly The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday flipped key mayoral seats in Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung, and won control of 13 out of 22 cities and counties in the nine-in-one local elections. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last night resigned as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson over a poor showing by the party’s candidates, who were handpicked by the DPP leadership rather than chosen through primaries. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) won its first high-profile race with Hsinchu mayoral candidate Ann Kao (高虹安) defeating Shen Hui-hung (沈慧虹) of the DPP with 45.02 percent of the vote to Shen’s 35.68 percent. Voters were choosing more than
UNDETERRED: The US chip designer’s plan showed that Taiwan remains attractive for investment by global companies despite cross-strait tensions, Wang Mei-hua said US graphics chip designer Nvidia Corp is planning to relocate its Hong Kong-based logistics center to Taiwan, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said on Wednesday. The government had been in discussions with Nvidia regarding tax incentives to facilitate the move since last year, Wang said in an interview with the Central News Agency, adding that the two sides had reached a consensus. Wang did not provide details about the timetable for the move or the planned tax arrangements for Nvidia. The relocation would boost the local economy, as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is a major supplier of graphics processing
Kaohsiung police last week busted a money laundering operation suspected of seeking to interfere in tomorrow’s local elections. The operation was allegedly headed by a man surnamed Lee (李), who had received NT$9.5 billion (US$306.18 million) from China over the past six months, Kaohsiung police said yesterday, adding that Lee’s ring is suspected to be part of a larger Chinese effort to interfere in the elections and support pro-China candidates. Officers arrested Lee, 35, and his girlfriend, searched his mansion, and seized the money he had allegedly received from China and three luxury vehicles, police said. The operation was disguised as an online
CAUTION: Wearing a mask in crowded places and for people with chronic illnesses or allergies can help prevent COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, the CECC said The mask mandate for outdoor settings is to lifted on Thursday, and the weekly cap on international inbound travelers is to be removed on Dec. 10, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said at its regular news conference yesterday. The center also announced that starting from Friday, children aged five to 11 can receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster, and that rules for visiting hospital patients are to be partially eased from Dec. 10. While wearing a mask will no longer be mandatory outdoors, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝) reminded the public that it would still be required