The government has engaged in a conscious effort to raise awareness of Southeast Asian cultures and traditions, writes Wei Chun-ying.
The News Lens
By Wei Chun-ying
The long-anticipated Culture White Paper 2018 was officially published last December following the National Cultural Congress in 2017. I had the privilege to serve as member of the advisory committee in congress and would like to share some observations during the process, along with some relevant content concerning the Culture White Papers.
In the previous Culture White Papers published in 1998 and 2004, both had mentioned cultural exchange and promoting culture. This is instrumental for Taiwan’s cultural diplomacy. The 1998 Culture White Paper stated that the principle of the Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA) should be to ‘nourish new culture, establish the new Central Plain, re-construct new society’. This slogan demonstrated an enduring recognition of Chinese culture.
In terms of ‘cultural exchange’ (wenhuajiaoliu), the CCA claimed the arts and culture should be the means to participate actively overseas. Therefore, the main objective was to introduce Taiwanese culture to international audiences, and foster understanding among Taiwan’s allies.
The rhetoric of ‘national competitiveness’ mentioned in this Culture White Paper implied that culture has the potential to be an asset enabling Taiwan to ‘compete’ with others. I argued that although the term soft power was not used in the document then, the government recognized culture as an important asset. [FULL STORY]