Friday, April 23, 2010

Closed Door Policy and Phobia of Mainland Students: What Century are We Living In?

Closed Door Policy and Phobia of Mainland Students:
What Century are We Living In?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
April 23, 2010

Fear leads to retreat. Retreat leads to conservativism. Conservatism leads to isolationism. Confronted with the rise of Mainland China, Republic of China citizens must not be afraid. We must not retreat, because we cannot retreat. We must meet the challenge head on. We must make ourselves more competitive. We must solidify our advantage. The path of conservativism is not the path to competitiveness. Just the opposite. We must have unparalled confidence in the appeal of our democratic institutions. We need not refuse to allow Mainland students in. If anything, we should shine a spotlight on Taiwan, induce young people from the Mainland to accept Taiwan, like Taiwan, and take the good from Taiwan back to the Mainland.

Whether Mainland students' academic qualifications should be recognized, and whether they should be permitted to study on Taiwan been debated for two years. Our public and private schools are ready. The sticking point is the Legislative Yuan. Most regrettably, when the principals of public and private universities from across the land appeared before the Legislative Yuan to familiarize themselves with the committee's progress, physical violence erupted. A mere committee meeting led to a melee. Clearly, when the relevant bills are submitted for second and third readings, the confrontations will only get worse.

Why are Democratic Progressive Party legislators so obstinately opposed to Mainland students studying on Taiwan? The reason they give is limited educational resources. They fear that once Mainland students have finished their studies, they will seek employment on Taiwan. They will take the civil service exams, apply for occupational licenses, and reduce job opportunities for young people on Taiwan. Also, they fear that once the two sides open up, students from Taiwan will have fled even before Mainland students arrive. Their objections are utterly baseless. One. The Ministry of Education is providing additional slots for Mainland students. Not one student from Taiwan will be displace. Two. The Ministry of Education is not providing Mainland students with one thin dime in student aid. No scholarships are involved. Three. As the Examination Yuan has reiterated, ad infinitum, Mainland students will not be permitted to take the civil service exams. According to the laws of the Republic of China, only Republic of China citizens can take the civil service exams. Four. The Ministry of Education has yet to allow a single Mainland student to study on Taiwan. Yet outstanding high school students from Taiwan have already chosen to study on the Mainland, in Europe, or in the United States. Young people hope to expand their horizons and connect with the outside world. Adult policy makers, fret not. Five. As long as universities on Taiwan remain competitive, we should remain courageous and determined, confident in our ability to attract outstanding young people from around the world, including the Mainland. We need not worry about our children going abroad or to the Mainland. The free flow of human talent is a global trend. Only by welcoming this trend can we increase our economic momentum, and ensure that we remain at the crest of the global wave.

The Republic of China has been democratic for over two decades. It created an economic miracle and underwent a quiet revolution. What does it have to be afraid of? Even during the Cold War, when we refused to compromise with the CCP, the Republic of China citizens never feared the PRC. On the contrary, Republic of China citizens have long been confident that we were on the right path, the path toward democracy and openness. History has proved us right. The Mainland has forsaken authoritarianism and embraced democracy and the market economy. Now that it has take this step forward, Republic of China citizens on Taiwan should exert as much influence as possible to prevent the Mainland from backsliding. Education is an indispensable link that can only increase our influence. The DPP is terrified that the Mainland will dispatch hordes of young people from the Mainland to Taiwan as part of a "war of reunification." A "war of reunification" sounds terrifying. But a war of reunification is not the least bit frightening. What is a war of reunification, but allowing you to stand where I stand, and see what I see? Allowing Mainland students to study on Taiwan, is to allow young people from the Mainland to stand on Taiwan, and see what we see. What's wrong with that? What's so terrifying about that?

Fear is natural. A mouse for example, naturally fears a cat. But Republic of China citizens are not mice. The relationship between the Republic of China and the Peoples Republic of China, historically and culturally, has never been the relationship betwen a mouse and a cat. It is the relationship between a big cat and a kitten. Who is the big cat? Who is the kitten? History has been a roller coaster. The Republic of China was once on an equal footing with the Peoples Republic of China. What reason do we have to demote ourselves? What reason do we have to think of ourselves as mice, and hide whenever we see a cat?

The Democratic Progressive Party refuses to allow Mainland students to study on Taiwan. They need a refresher course on cross-Strait relations. Have they forgotten they were the ones who took to the streets and demanded that Chiang Ching-kuo allow veterans to visit relatives on the Mainland, and to permit cross-Strait exchanges? Many founders of the DPP have visited the Mainland. Many of their friends and relatives have studied on the Mainland. DPP leaders are not afraid they will be brainwashed. Why should they be afraid that courageous young people who embrace the outside world will not be able to stand up to a "war of reunification?"

The DPP ruled for eight years. Its "Avoid Haste, Be Patient policy" stalled our economy for eight years, undermining its competitiveness. Doe it now intend to impose a policy of "Avoid Haste, Be Patient" in academic affairs? We have no problem admitting global talent. Why must we exclude talent from the Mainland? The rise of Mainland China is a reality that cannot be ignored. Cross-Strait exchanges are an unstoppable historical trend. The two sides cannot return to Cold War confrontation. We must confront and cope with all manner of cross-Strait relations, including education and culture. The DPP was once in office. It hopes to be in office again. It is aggressively promoting its "Platform for the Coming Decade." Therefore it cannot avoid dealing with cross-Strait relations. If it does, that will be the Achilles Heel that prevents the Democratic Progressive Party from ever returning to office.

中時電子報 新聞
中國時報  2010.04.23
都什麼時代了 還在鎖國拒陸生
本報訊

恐懼讓人退縮,退縮造成保守,保守的結果就是封閉。台灣面對崛起的中國大陸,不能恐懼,更不能退縮,因為台灣退無可退,我們只能正面迎戰,以更堅強的競爭 力,穩住台灣的優勢。要塑造競爭力,保守絕對不是辦法,相反的,台灣更要以無比信心,相信民主體制的吸引力。從這個角度出發,台灣不但不必拒絕陸生來台, 還要發揮台灣的光與熱,吸引大陸年輕人接受台灣、喜歡台灣,從而把台灣的好處帶回大陸。

然而,承認大陸學歷與開放陸生,討論兩年,全國公私立大學都做好準備,就是卡在立法院無法放行。最遺憾的是,當全國各公私立大學校長列席立法院,了解委員 會審查進度的時候,立法院竟是以爆發四波肢體衝突收場,委員會如此,可以想見,未來相關法案送進院會二、三讀的時候,衝突只會更大。

民進黨立委為什麼堅持反對開放陸生來台?說法是他們擔心教育資源遭到排擠,陸生讀完書在台工作,考公職、拿證照,更排擠台灣年輕人的工作機會,還有,兩岸 一開放,陸生還沒來,台生就跑光光。這樣的反對完全沒有道理。第一,陸生來台在教育部的規畫裡,是附加名額,完全不佔台灣考生的缺;第二,教育部的規畫裡 不給陸生一毛錢補助,沒有獎學金這檔子事;第三,考試院多次申明,陸生不能考公職,事實上,根據中華民國的法律,只有中華民國的國民才能考公職;第四,教 育部沒開放陸生前,已經有台灣優秀的高中生,選擇赴大陸,甚或赴歐美,年輕人都擴大視野與全球接軌的企圖心,決定政策的大人何須憂心;第五,只要台灣大學 具有競爭力,理應有更大勇氣和魄力,吸引全世界優秀年輕人,包括大陸,不必擔心自己的子弟出國或到大陸,人才交流是潮流、是趨勢,只有迎向這個潮流,才能 創造台灣不斷成長的動力,永遠讓台灣站在世界頂端的浪頭上。

台灣民主開放廿多年,創造了經濟奇蹟和寧靜革命,還有什麼可畏懼的?即使漢賊不兩立的年代,台灣從沒對大陸心生恐懼,相反的,台灣一貫有強烈的信心,走在 民主開放的正確道路,事實也證明,中國大陸終於也從專制封閉的體制,走向民主開放和市場經濟,這步路既已向前,台灣更應該發揮強大的影響力,不要讓中國大 陸回頭。教育,當然是強化影響力、不可或缺的一環。民進黨人擔心,大陸大張旗鼓派出年輕人來台,有統戰的因素,從字面上看,「統戰」很恐怖,其實統戰一點 不可怕,就是統一戰線,讓你站在我這邊,從這個角度看,開放陸生來台,就是讓大陸年輕人站在台灣這一邊,有什麼不好?有什麼可怕?

恐懼,可能是一種天性,就像老鼠怕貓一般。但是,台灣不是老鼠,台灣與中國大陸的關係,不論從歷史或文化淵源看,也不該是老鼠與貓,而是大貓與小貓,誰是 大貓、誰是小貓,因為歷史情境的推移互有消長,本來該與中國大陸平起平坐的台灣,何必自己矮一截,誤認自己是老鼠,見貓就躲呢?

拒絕陸生來台的民進黨人,從新回味兩岸關係史,不要忘記,當年,還是民進黨人(黨外)站上街頭,呼籲蔣經國開放老兵返鄉探親,開放兩岸交流,民進黨創黨大 老們登陸交流者,所在多有;晚近親友赴大陸修習學位者,更歷歷可數,民進黨人不怕自己被洗腦,為什麼怕更勇於迎向世界的年輕人,會經不起「統戰」?

民進黨執政過八年,戒急用忍讓台灣經濟競爭力停滯了八年,難不成現在還要搞學術的戒急用忍?台灣可以接受全球人才,為什麼要排斥來自中國大陸的人才?中國 崛起,已經是無法忽視的事實;兩岸交流,已經是擋不住的歷史方向,兩岸既回不到漢賊不兩立的年代,就要正視、處理各種類型的兩岸關係,教育文化當然是無法 迴避的一環。曾經執政、還準備再執政的民進黨,既積極討論準備提出「十年政綱」,就不能迴避處理不可逆的潮流下的兩岸關係,因為這將是民進黨再執政的最大 罩門。