Taiwan policy on Chinese students 'discriminatory': China's Taiwan Affairs Office

New Ministry of Education policy bans Chinese students not in final year of university from entering country

Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang

Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) on Thursday (Aug. 6) accused the Taiwanese government of intentionally discriminating against Chinese students seeking to resume their studies in the island nation.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced Wednesday (Aug. 5) that international students from most countries, excluding China, who are not just beginning their studies will be allowed to return to Taiwan to continue their education. However, new foreign students are still not allowed into the country.

In response, the TAO issued a press release Thursday stating, "The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities have been deliberately discriminating against Chinese students studying in Taiwan out of political self-interest.” The office also claimed that Taiwan has repeatedly created obstacles to prevent Chinese students from returning, Liberty Times reported.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) responded by issuing a press release on Wednesday stating there have been many recent cases of Beijing preventing Chinese students from returning to Taiwan to study. The council pointed out that Chinese students have encountered difficulties applying for the permit for travel to Taiwan and complying with a stipulation that their Taiwanese university IDs must not contain the word "National."

It is quite clear exactly what is preventing them from coming to Taiwan, MAC stated. The council added that seeing as Beijing has already made it extremely difficult for Chinese final year university students to continue their studies in Taiwan, it does not expect China to allow students not in their last year of school to come to Taiwan so easily.

TAO spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) retorted, “The relevant statements of the DPP authorities are completely fabricated and have ulterior motives.” He said Beijing attaches great importance to the issue of Chinese students being blocked from returning to Taiwan and that China is constantly working to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of students.

Ma added that the “DPP authorities have hurt their compatriots' feelings and created animosity in the Taiwan Strait,” a statement that has been criticized by many Taiwanese.