Taipei, April 26 (CNA) Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institute, on Thursday launched its first world congress on Taiwan studies with the primary goal of establishing links among people engaged in Taiwan studies globally.
Over 700 people are attending the three-day congress, discussing topics such as Taiwanese art, literature, religion, sociology, economy, political science, environmental changes and indigenous studies.
The institute said it hopes the congress, the biggest of its kind ever held in the world, will serve as a framework for sharing academic achievements in the field of Taiwan studies.
It is also aimed at developing interdisciplinary collaboration, facilitating global networks and giving greater visibility to Taiwan studies, the institute said.
"This world congress can really serve as a new beginning for Taiwan studies academically, intellectually and institutionally and for future careers in Taiwan studies in many years to come," said Hsiao Hsin-huang, secretary-general of the congress, at the opening ceremony.
Hsiao, director of the sociology institute at the Academia Sinica, said there has been a growing interest in Taiwan studies at home and abroad over the past two decades, seeing that many centers for Taiwan studies have been established around the world.
Scholars and experts from Japan, Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, China and other countries will present papers at the congress, which will run until April 28.
At Thursday's conference, Liu Ts'ui-jung, chairwoman of the congress and an academician at the institute, gave a keynote speech on the status of Taiwan studies in China.
Masahiro Wakabayashi, a political science and economics professor from Japan's Waseda University, will present a speech April 27 on the writings of Yeh Jung-chun, a Taiwanese activist in the anti-Japanese movement in Taiwan before World War II.
Other topics to be presented include studies on Formosan Austronesian languages, Taiwan studies in Europe and Taiwan's political institution, changing natural environment, law and society, prehistoric cultures, economic development, youth growth, ethnicity and nationalism, and film and culture.
(By Christie Chen)