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China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman wants to meet Hakka in Taiwan

Zhu speaks Hakka at news conference, slams Taiwan's promotion of local languages

Taiwan Affairs Office Spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian. 

Taiwan Affairs Office Spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮) identified herself as a member of the Hakka minority in Guangdong Province, saying she wanted to meet her fellow Hakka in Taiwan face to face, reports said Wednesday (Jan. 26).

At the regular weekly TAO news conference, she was asked about Taiwan’s policy of listing more native languages as compulsory study subjects in elementary and secondary education, UDN reported.

Zhu first responded in Hakka that she hailed from the Hakka people in Meizhou, Guangdong Province, and that she would like to have the opportunity of visiting Taiwan and of communicating “with her own people in their own language.” She also named the regions in Taiwan with the largest Hakka population groups, namely Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Pingtung, and Meinong.

However, she went on to criticize the Taiwan government’s language and education policies, accusing it of trying to use language to diminish Taiwan’s Chinese cultural and ethnic identity. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration was creating a divide between “native” and “alien” languages to deny that local languages were dialects of Mandarin Chinese, according to Zhu.

Updated : 2022-05-20 07:12 GMT+08:00