MOC to promote Taiwan literature globally

MOC Minister Lung Ying-tai (right) tells Raymond Li, BBC World Service Chinese editor, about plans to promote Taiwan literature internationally.

Taiwan Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai said Oct. 15 that her agency is mulling a publication policy to help Taiwan literary works break into the global market.

The policy would provide for translations to help writers make it onto the world stage and increase opportunities to sell the rights to their works, Lung said. Related policies for the cultural and creative industry as well as the film and television sectors will be unveiled when their budgets are confirmed, she added.

Lung made the remarks during a 90-minute interview with the BBC in Taipei City. She stressed that Taiwan has many established writers who deserve the same level of international attention accorded to other novelists, poets and playwrights working in Chinese.

In response to mainland Chinese novelist Mo Yan capturing the 2012 Nobel Prize in literature, Lung said mainland China now has three Nobel laureates, with “one locked up and another locked out.”

“Beijing should use this opportunity to let Mo become a cultural ambassador, while freeing one, and letting another back in,” she added. During the interview she did not name the other two Nobel recipients, but made her references to imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and literature prize winner Gao Xingjian, a French national who is banned from returning to mainland China, explicit in a news conference afterwards.

Regarding the possibility of a cross-strait cultural agreement, Lung pointed out that such a pact cannot be decided solely by the MOC as it involves the ROC Mainland Affairs Council, National Security Bureau and Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation. If there were to be such a deal, it should not be an “empty declaration, but a real cultural exchange,” she said.

Separately, while meeting earlier in the day with a Turkish delegation headed by Safak Pavey, a member of the U.N. Committee on Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Lung said the MOC is considering establishing an office in Istanbul to boost cultural understanding between Taiwan and Turkey.

“Istanbul, at the junction of Asia and Europe, is a hub for cultural dissemination,” Lung said. “Exchanges with Turkey would do much to deepen cultural understanding, especially with regard to the Islamic world.”

Grace Kuo
Taiwan Today