Chinese academics mix China and Taiwan *
Translated by Eddy Chang，刊於2015/3/2Taipei Times, Opinion, Page 8
China has always used its relative economic advantage to attract investment from Taiwanese industry and to purchase a lot of Taiwanese products. If this were treated as normal foreign direct investment and trade exchanges, there would be nothing wrong with it.
However, industrial relocation to China has caused an outflow of Taiwan’s technology. China often lures Taiwanese companies by promising to make purchases without later placing orders, and this is creating problems for local industry that relies heavily on the Chinese market.
This phenomenon has started to spill over into the world of academia. Exchanges between Taiwan’s and China’s academic circles are nothing new. Some Taiwanese academics travel more frequently to Beijing, Nanjing or Shanghai than to Kaohsiung or Taichung.
After having influenced a large number of Taiwanese academics, China has switched its focus to Taiwanese university students. In recent years, private Chinese companies and government agencies have offered opportunities for so-called “internships” to Taiwanese university students during winter and summer vacations, furnishing free transportation, accommodation and even allowances. Under the banner of cross-strait exchanges and broadening horizens, some students chase after these schemes like flocks of ducks.
Meanwhile, some Chinese academics are submitting papers to Taiwanese journals in an attempt to “exchange views.” I am the editor-in-chief of a Taiwanese journal, and it has received submissions from several Chinese academics in recent months.
However, their papers are all written using simplified Chinese characters and they fail to follow the journal’s writing format and style. Furthermore, some papers begin with the words: “Our country.” Based on the concept that academic exchange transcends borders, the journal has asked submitters to change the simplified Chinese to traditional Chinese characters, revise the text to meet the requirements of our journal’s format and change “our country” to “China.”
The response from academics in China is that their papers conform with international standards and follow the “national format.” Some said that they did not know how to change the format and asked us to do it for them.
We courteously replied that there is no international standard for such publications, and that we were not sure which country they referred to when they said that they followed the “national format.” We also told them clearly that if they did not change the format, we would not submit their papers for review.
Domestically published articles that contain the term “our country” clearly refer to Taiwan, and it is clear that the intention of these Chinese academics is to conflate Taiwan with China in order to confuse readers. If Taiwanese journals publish these kind of papers, the nation will soon turn into a Chinese province without even realizing it.
Who has distorted academic exchanges with their arrogant attitude? Who has allowed academic exchanges to take on political overtones? Who has pushed talented Taiwanese to China, while then complaining about the outflow of local talent?Through such deification, Taiwanese politicians have placed themselves above the gods in temples, chapels and churches, while politically influential businesspeople calculate the rate of return of their political donations and distribute the products of their tainted and inferior brands. Do you really know what you all are doing?
* Translated by Eddy Chang，刊於2015年3月2日Taipei Times, Opinion, Page 8