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Taiwan open to cultural exchanges with world: culture minister

2012/08/31 19:06:03

Washington, Aug. 30 (CNA) Taiwan will do its utmost to remove obstacles to cultural exchanges with China and will continue to explore opportunities to engage culturally with the rest of the world, Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai said Thursday.

Speaking in Washington, D.C. during a visit to North America to promote cultural exchanges, Lung said the purpose of her trip is to raise Taiwan's profile in the world and convey its eagerness to engage with the international community.

Cultural rights are part of universal human rights and are protected by the United Nations' International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, yet according to Lung, Taiwan has at times faced difficulties in its bid to expand its presence in the international cultural arena due to pressure from China.

She said her visit was designed to bring attention back to Taiwan and to call for renewed understanding of Taiwanese culture as one teeming with life and energy.

Lung also cited Taiwan's role in promoting cultural diversity, referring to the fact that works by Chinese Nobel Prize laureate Gao Xingjian are prohibited in his native China but allowed in Taiwan.

Taiwan also has much to offer to enrich the world's cultures, she said. For instance, many Malaysian-born writers of Chinese descent have had their breakout works first published in Taiwan, and the country is a breeding ground for outstanding movie directors and artists, as well as for music and literature.

Describing her trip to the U.S. as fruitful, Lung said her ministry has set up connections with the various cultural institutions she visited, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, as well as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

After wrapping up her stay in the U.S., Lung flew to Vancouver, where she was scheduled to give lectures at the University of British Columbia Aug. 31 and to open a Taiwanese cultural festival the following day. She will wrap up her trip Sept. 4

(By Lin Shu-yuan, Oscar Wu and Scully Hsiao)