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MAC Minister Wang Presents Speech at Nanjing University Encouraging Cross-Strait Youth and Students to Honestly Confront Differences and Sincerely Form Friendships

  • Date:2014-02-12

February 12, 2014
Mac News Release No. 019

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech presented at Nanjing University (NJU) this afternoon (February 12, 2014) that exchanges between youth on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are conducive to mutual understanding. He urged the two sides to pragmatically confront their differences and form friendships in sincerity and good faith so as to truly put aside differences, seek common ground, and create a new future, which would also conform to the spirit of the verse from NJU's anthem: "What greatness, to move the world with our sincerity!"

Minister Wang visited NJU on the second day of his Mainland visit and presented a speech entitled "Moving the World with Sincerity" at the university's Business School to an audience of more than 190 NJU students and teachers. He opened the speech with a recount of his first experience with cross-strait exchanges 24 years ago. At that time, he represented Taiwan at an Asian college debate tournament in Singapore and met students from NJU during the finals. That special encounter was the reason he chose NJU to make his speech during this visit to the Mainland. Minister Wang said that cross-strait exchanges were still in their nascence at that time, and though many cultural, social and educational barriers existed between the two sides, they could not diminish the enthusiasm of youngsters from across the Strait to form friendships.

Minister Wang noted that he has always highly heeded youth issues throughout his government service and has been especially concerned about Mainland student issues since becoming Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council. He said that allowing Mainland students to study in Taiwan would enable young people on the two sides to form friendships before entering society. Therefore, if sustained progress were made on promoting medical coverage for Mainland students in Taiwan through inclusion in the National Health Insurance program, and both sides were to kindly treat students of the other side, it would demonstrate that the power of friendship could, in the long run, overcome differences and usher in lasting peace.

Minister Wang also shared Taiwan's achievements in developing democracy and freedom over the past more than 60 years. He encouraged young students across the strait to discuss reforms in the spirit of "chivalry" and "compassion." Therefore, not only should the rights and interests of Mainland students and spouses be treated without discrimination, but priority should also be given to discussion of granting Taiwan's institution to be established in the Mainland humanitarian visiting functions, as these issues all represent values of importance to Taiwan.

Minister Wang said that he has recently noticed much discussion in the Mainland about the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The people of Taiwan, who have always treasured traditional culture, hope that the process of Chinese cultural renaissance may be based on three concepts: to promote peace in surrounding region in the spirit of the Chinese Wangdao philosophy; to create a rich and civil people-centered society; and to influence the world with soft power. Minister Wang proposed this perspective from the Taiwan side for cross-strait youngsters to jointly work for Chinese cultural renaissance.

Minister Wang concluded his speech with a quote from the NJU anthem: "What greatness, to move the world with our sincerity!" He expressed the conviction that honesty and sincerity are not merely moral values, but more so represent the attitude in which one associates with others; thus youngsters on both sides should inject more good faith in trying to change the world and maintain sincerity of heart while opening up a new era. Recalling his first acquaintance with NJU students in Singapore 24 years ago, Minister Wang said that the two sides earnestly pondered and debated upon the topic "Peaceful Coexistence of Humanity is an Achievable Ideal." The scenario set then was one of limited time and pressed tension in an unfamiliar setting, where the two sides were competitors and yet desired to befriend one another, encapsulating the spirit of sincerity that Minister Wang hoped to convey. By dedicating more sincerity in overcoming historical barriers and facing the reality of their differences, the two sides may truly put aside these differences, seek common ground and usher in a new future. At the same time, through interaction, the two sides may foster more pragmatic understanding and mutual political trust and forge a real consensus in order to pass down national culture, enrich the people's life and jointly embrace a more harmonious cross-strait relationship.

After the speech, Minister Wang engaged in warm discussions with and accepted questions from participating teachers and students, out of which include two Taiwanese students enrolled at NJU.