[lg policy] ASEAN Chinese language school principals' meeting kicks off in Taipei

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Thu Aug 23 11:25:59 EDT 2018

 ASEAN Chinese language school principals' meeting kicks off in Taipei
2018/08/20 13:20:34

Taipei, Aug. 20 (CNA) The first meeting featuring heads of Chinese language
schools based in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries
and South Korea kicked off in Taipei Monday in a move to enhance closer
cooperation between the Taiwan government and local schools.

The meeting, organized by the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC),
the government agency in charge of liaising with ethnic Chinese and
communities abroad, featured 108 school principals or top managers from
seven ASEAN countries -- Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia,
the Philippines and Cambodia, and South Korea.

The two-day meeting is aimed at allowing the participants more
understanding of the government's ongoing push for its New Southbound
Policy targeting ASEAN countries, India, Australia and New Zealand, and the
country's decades-long support of Chinese-language schools overseas,
Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said in an address at the opening.

With better understanding of Taiwan's policy in supporting overseas Chinese
language schools and overseas ethnic Chinese students, these overseas
Chinese language schools can serve as a bridge connecting Taiwan with their
respective countries, Lai said.

He said the New Southbound Policy, initiated since President Tsai Ing-wen
(蔡英文) assumed office in May 2016, has proven successful in further linking
Taiwan with ASEAN countries.

The number of travelers arriving in Taiwan from ASEAN countries surged 27
percent in 2017 compared with the year before. The number of students in
Taiwan from ASEAN countries also increased 10 percent over the past year.

Taiwan's investment in ASEAN economies increased 54.5 percent year on year
in 2017, while inbound investment rose 15.8 percent, he added.

The government is now offering scholarships and more visa incentives to
encourage ethnic Chinese students to come to Taiwan to receive high school,
vocational, undergraduate and postgraduate education, Lai noted.

"These incentives are meant to lure more youngsters from ASEAN to learn
specialties in Taiwanese schools. These skills will then help them to start
their own businesses after they return home, thus boosting economic
development in their respective countries," he added.

A total of 14 vocational high schools that offer programs for overseas
ethnic Chinese students also sent representatives to the two-day meeting so
that school representatives from ASEAN countries can gain a deeper
knowledge of Taiwan's vocational education and encourage more of their
students to study here, according to OCAC.

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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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