Taiwan launches “Taiwan Academy” branches in US

The world will be able to know more about Chinese culture with unique Taiwanese features once the Houston, Los Angeles and New York branches of Taiwan Academy open Oct. 14, according to the Council for Cultural Affairs of Taiwan (CCA).

“Taiwan Academy demonstrates Chinese culture nurtured in a diverse, free and peaceful environment,” CCA Minister Emile Chih-jen Sheng said Oct. 12.

“Traditional arts and culture, traditional Chinese characters, as well as Sinological studies, have been better preserved and developed in Taiwan than in other Chinese-speaking regions,” Sheng stressed.

Citing ROC President Ma Ying-jeou, Sheng said the academies are important platforms for exporting the nation’s soft power. “The application of advanced digital technologies in Taiwan Academy branches will help promote Taiwan and let the world see us.”

Minister without Portfolio Ovid J.L. Tzeng said, “Taiwan Academy integrates the nation’s many achievements—social, economic, historical, scientific, technological, artistic and cultural—to tell the world how Taiwan got where it is today and provide insights into Chinese culture with Taiwanese features.”

According to Sheng, the academies apply information technology to pull together resources from 14 government agencies and the private sector, providing users with academic and pedagogical databases. Cultural activities and academic exchange programs hosted by the centers will allow foreigners to experience Taiwanese culture, he added.

In addition, Taiwan Academy will offer scholarships worth over NT$640 million (US$21.1 million) every year to encourage involvement in Taiwan and Sinology studies, as well as academic research on Chinese languages, Sheng pointed out.

Sheng also expressed plans to open such institutes in Asia and Europe in the future. “As of early October, we have inked letters of intent with educational institutes in 30 countries. They have agreed to help publicize Taiwan Academy and its activities,” he said.

Grace Kuo

Taiwan Today