Beijing's newest tactic: Open primary teacher cert. exams to Taiwanese

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council warned against China's tactic to siphon Taiwan's talent, but has no plans to prohibit citizens from applying

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Photo from Unsplash user Yu Wei

Photo from Unsplash user Yu Wei

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In another move to siphon talent from Taiwan, the Chinese Ministry of Education announced on Jan. 10 that cities throughout China would open teacher qualification exams to applicants from Macao, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

In order to be granted a teaching license however, requirements state that educators must “support the leadership of the Chinese communist party and implement the party’s educational policies.”

On Thursday, the Deputy Minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), raised concerns about China’s blatant attempt to siphon talent from Taiwan, and the possible brain drain of Taiwanese educators as a result of the new policy.

However, he also stressed that Taiwan is a free and democratic country, and people should be granted the freedom of movement and can make their own choices regarding their profession, reports UDN. Currently, the MAC has no plans to prohibit Taiwanese citizens from applying for educators’ licenses in China, says Chen.

The new loosening of regulations in China would allow Taiwanese citizens to teach at any level from preschool to high school, as well as vocational schools, provided they pass the qualification exams, which open for registration in March, and have no criminal record.

In March of 2018, China introduced “31 measures” designed to lure Taiwanese to China using economic incentives and relaxed regulations. Following that announcement, the Taiwanese government warned against Beijing’s attempts to stymie Taiwan’s economic growth and drain the country of its talent.

The MAC previously warned that educators or researchers lured by the “31 measures” may be subject to prosecution under Taiwanese law if they become employed by institutions directly administered by the Communist Party, the Chinese State, or the PLA.

The Chinese Ministry of Education's new push to drain Taiwan of its vital teachers is just the latest effort by China to lure talent across strait and further integrate the two countries using economic and social means.

Much like the issue of the so-called “special residence permits” introduced in August, 2018 by China for Taiwanese, the MAC has warned citizens to be cautious of their entanglements with the communist government.