Blackburn resolution supports education exchange between U.S., Taiwan

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Sept. 26 introduced a bipartisan resolution that would support the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative as a censorship-free alternative to Confucius Institutes funded by the Chinese International Education Foundation.

“Communist China has had a strong presence at American colleges and universities,” Sen. Blackburn said. “Our institutes of higher learning must be free from China’s grasp while still teaching students about the culture, history, and language, and Taiwan can help fill this critical void.”

Sen. Blackburn sponsored Senate Resolution (S.Res.) 363 with lead original cosponsor U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) to support continued United States and Taiwan cooperation in education, according to the resolution’s text.

If enacted, the resolution would support the initiative’s goals to expand opportunities for U.S. students to learn Mandarin from Taiwanese teachers, to promote Taiwan as a destination for U.S. teachers to teach English, and to deepen educational ties between the two countries, the text says. 

“Congress should continue doing all we can to support Taiwan and increase ties between our two nations,” said Sen. Blackburn. “I appreciate Senator Markey joining me in this bipartisan effort.”

S.Res. 363 would resolve that the Senate supports the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative, encourages U.S. institutions of higher education to continue partnering with Taiwan to meet the demand for Mandarin instruction and learning programs, and to host teacher exchange programs between the two nations, among other provisions.

“If we want to continue building a strong relationship with Taiwan, then we need to support foreign language exchange between our two nations,” said Sen. Markey. “I thank Sen. Blackburn for her work to strengthen our friendship with Taiwan, underscored by the languages that we use to communicate with and learn from one another.”

Taiwan’s Ambassador to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim supports the resolution.