Vice president says Taiwan’s native languages protect sovereignty

Lai Ching-te says example of Hong Kong shows why protecting native languages is important

Vice President Lai Ching-te at the Taiwanese Language Creative Park (Office of the President photo)

Vice President Lai Ching-te at the Taiwanese Language Creative Park (Office of the President photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) visited the Taiwanese Language Creative Park in Changhua on Thursday (May 28) to learn how the language was being promoted around the country.

While at the park, Lai said that Hong Kong’s struggles and the passage of the new security law by China showed the importance of promoting and preserving native languages in Taiwan, in order to protect sovereignty and democratic freedoms, CNA reported.

The vice president was invited by former Examination Yuan President Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) and former Changhua County Magistrate Chou Ching-yu (周清玉). He was accompanied by Changhua Country Magistrate Wang Hui-mei (王惠美) and DPP legislators Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and Chen Hsiu-pao (陳秀寶), among others.

Lai pointed out the establishment of the Taiwanese Language Creative Park was the result of the hard work put in by Yao, Chou, and many others. He also mentioned that when he visited the park while serving as premier he admired the dedication of everyone involved.

Lai added that since the National Language Development Law had passed, the native languages of all Taiwan's ethnic groups were the country’s native languages. Taiwan has 16 indigenous languages, as well as Hakka and Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese).

During his visit, Lai was asked whether Taiwan could become the next Hong Kong. He responded by saying that even though people have different political views, in the face of external forces, everyone needs to stick together.

He also said that as long as Taiwan continues to move forward and participate internationally, the nation will have the ability and determination to face foreign threats.