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Education ministry unaware of ban on Chinese students to Taiwan
【Cross Straits、Politics】2016-06-06  14:03:18
Taipei, June 6 (CNA) The Ministry of Education (MOE) said Monday that it was not aware of any decision by China to ban Chinese students from studying in Taiwan, as has been reported in the local media.

The MOE said it will ask China-based University Entrance Committee for Mainland Students to clarify whether China in fact was planning to either issue a ban or restrict the number of students allowed to travel to Taiwan each year for study purposes.

In a report Monday, the Apple Daily said China was planning to restrict its students from studying in Taiwan due to the fact that the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party was now in power in Taiwan.

The paper said it had received a tipoff from a reader surnamed Chen who said a Chinese student seeking permission to study in Taiwan had been told by his school in Jilin Province to "be prepared not to go to Taiwan this semester."

"Due to changing circumstances across the strait, (China's) Taiwan Affairs Office has issued an order for schools to stop processing all applications for study in Taiwan … pending further notification by the office," the newspaper said.

The newspaper also printed a screenshot of a text message from the Chinese student to one of his compatriots in Taiwan, saying he "can't come to Taiwan."

The MOE, however, said it was not informed of any changes in Beijing's policy regarding study in Taiwan.

If the report is confirmed, it would be another significant change in China's cross-strait policy since the election of the DPP in January.

In May, the number of Chinese group tourists to Taiwan fell by 31 percent year on year, prompting grave concern in Taiwan's tourism industry.

Meanwhile, a China-based Taiwanese businessman operating a platform on educational information exchanges was cited in the Apple Daily report as saying that since the election of the DPP's Tsai Ing-wen as president in January, education authorities at all levels in China have been asked to stop exchanges with Taiwan.

The newspaper said the Beijing-based Taiwan Affairs Office has ordered a suspension of all cross-strait educational exchanges over the next four years while the DPP is in power.

The question of when such exchanges will resume depends on the DPP government's cross-strait policy, the newspaper said.

(By C.W. Hsu and Flor Wang)
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