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Taiwan Ministry of Culture to call National Culture Congress

Emphasis to shift from economic to cultural development

Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (center).

Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (center). (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In order to reverse past Taiwanese governments’ emphasis on economic development, Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) announced Wednesday she would call a National Culture Congress this year preceded by regional forums.

All people in Taiwan were invited to share their opinions and ideals for the development of culture in the country, the minister said during a news conference at the URS27W Film Range in Taipei City’s Dadaocheng area.

Working hard on culture should become synonymous with Taiwan’s next stage of development, Cheng said.

The ministry also had a plan to publish a whitepaper on culture to be drawn up under the guidance of National Taiwan University of Arts President Chen Chih-cheng (陳志誠) and to design a Basic Law on Culture, with National Taipei University of Education Professor Chou Chih-hung (周志宏) in charge.

Wednesday’s discussion of those projects was also attended by Chiang Wei-shui Cultural Foundation Executive Chiang Chao-ken (蔣朝根) and by I-Mei Foods Co. Chairman Henry Ko (高志尚) and CEO Luis Ko (高志明).

Cheng told the meeting that its location at the historic URS27W Film Range building bore witness to a renaissance of local culture whose spirit should live on in a renewed emphasis on cultural development instead of merely on economic progress.

The minister said that the basic tenet of her cultural policies was “democratization of culture,” letting the ideas flow from bottom to top, with the government’s duty centered on supporting those ideas.

The regional forums would take place in the northern, central, southern and eastern parts of Taiwan as well as on the offshore islands, and would be scheduled between March and June, Cheng said.

There would be separate units for youth and for new immigrants, while six policy ranges would be up for discussion, including support for creativity and esthetic, the protection of cultural heritage, interaction and the sustainability of the creative sector, the minister said.