Tang Prize events could one day take place in China: organizer - Focus Taiwan

TANG PRIZE / Tang Prize events could one day take place in China: organizer

New York, Aug. 16 (CNA) The head of the Taiwanese foundation that manages the Tang Prize, a new award that has been touted as the "Asian Nobel Prize," said Saturday he would not rule out the possibility of some Tang Prize events being held in China in the future.

Although the award was conceived in Taiwan, related activities may one day be held in mainland China, Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-chuan said on a visit to New York.

"The foundation will discuss the issue further," he said.

Chern told CNA that all of the activities related to this year's inaugural Tang Prize awards will be held in cities throughout Taiwan, but that may change in the future.

Many nominees and people who nominated candidates for this year's awards were from China, Chern revealed, and the awards emphasize the influence ethnic Chinese have on the world.

Chern acknowledged the Tang Prize's ties to Taiwan, calling it a platform that connects Taiwanese people with the world and helps promote Taiwan's culture and innovation.

But he also touted the prize as one of the most important activities in ethnic Chinese society with considerable influence in the fields of technology, education, culture and tourism.

Set up in 2012 by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin, the Tang Prize was envisioned as supplementing the Nobel Prize by honoring top researchers in four fields: sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology and rule of law.

Laureates are selected based on the originality and impact of their achievements, irrespective of nationality or ethnicity.

The winners of the first Tang Prize, selected by a panel of judges from Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institution, were announced on June 18, with the award ceremony scheduled for Sept. 18 in Taipei.

A cash prize of NT$50 million (US$1.65 million) is awarded to the winner or split by the winners of each category, the world's highest in terms of academic awards.

All five award winners in the four categories have agreed to be in Taiwan for the ceremony, Chern said.

The biennial prize takes its name from China's Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), a period seen as the height of ancient Chinese civilization and characterized by liberal policies and robust cultural activity.

(By Timothy Hwang and Elizabeth Hsu)ENDITEM/ls

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