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【NTU Day Special】Largest-ever Delegation of Taiwan University to Visit PKU

Peking University, Dec. 16, 2010: Prof. Lee Si-chen, president of Taiwan University (NTU), is heading a 100-member delegation to visit Peking University on Dec. 20, lifting the curtain of the “NTU Day” at PKU.

 

The event includes a speech by NTU President Lee Si-chen, an exhibition of student associations of NTU, and a joint performance by PKU and NTU students, according to an announcement released by PKU Office for Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan Affairs on Dec. 15.

 

With an unprecedented scale in the cooperative fields of scientific research, student exchange, and administrative communication, the “NTU Day” will be marked as a grand banquet in the intercommunication history of PKU and NTU, as well as for both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

 

 

 

 

 

Original ties between PKU and NTU 

Peking University was preliminarily established in 1898, while “Taihoku (Taipei) Imperial University,” precursor of NTU, was founded by Japanese colonists in 1928 during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan (1895-1945). Despite the discrepancy in their original backgrounds, the two prestigious universities in China managed to succeed to identical spirit, mission, and core values, and even sharing scholars and other significant figures, in a dramatic modern history of China.

 

Prof. Fu Sinian (Fu Szu-nien), former president of NTU, is widely known on the mainland for his leadership of the May 4th Movement when he was a student at PKU. He served as professor of history and Chinese literature in PKU from 1929. After China’s victory of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in 1945, he preceded Hu Shi as acting president of PKU for one year. During Fu’s short presidency in NTU (1949-50), he presided over the foundation of its institutional frame, which was to a great extent based on the traditions of PKU. He also emphasized the internal spirit of NTU mainly as an all-embracing attitude to the freedom of thoughts and the pursuit of truth — "Cultivate virtue, advance intellect; love one's country, love one's people," now motto of the University. After his death, NTU built “Fuyuan Garden” on campus in memory of his pioneering contribution.

 

NTU "Fu Bell" on campus in memoriam of late president Fu Sinian

 

Prof. Qian Siliang (Chien Szu-liang), a famous chemist and educator who filled Fu’s seat in 1951, was also closely connected with PKU.

 

The faculty of Chinese studies is a mirror for PKU scholars in NTU in the 1940s and 50s. Prof. Tai Jingnong (Tai Ching-nung) was an example. He studied at PKU Institute of Chinese Learning in the 1920s, went to Taiwan in 1946, and later became dean of NTU Department of Chinese Language and Literature. Another was Prof. Mao Zishui (Mao Tzu-shui), former president of PKU Library, who has devoted his last years to teaching at the Chinese department of NTU.

 

Subjected to the political situation of that time, both the two universities suffered and overcame difficulties, laying a foundation for the following era of frequent communications.

 

 

Bilateral exchanges from the 1990s 

After the reform and opening up of the mainland from 1978, the icy wall between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait was gradually melting, as both the mainland and Taiwan started to seek for reconciliation despite geographical and historical barriers.

 

In 1994, Prof. Chen Wei-jao, then president of NTU, started an ice-breaking visit to PKU. The historic tour resulted in a memorandum a year later for academic exchanges between the two sides. Afterwards, they have explored and practiced cooperation in various fields, such as an agreement on student exchange in 2007, providing the students with a cross-Strait study experience.

 

Then President Xu Zhihong at NTU in 2005 (File photo)

 

With the coming of the 21st century, more opportunities arise for both sides to stretch and develop the exchanges. The last two presidents of PKU — Prof. Xu Zhihong and Prof. Zhou Qifeng, visited NTU in 2005 and 2009 respectively.

 

In two months, Prof. Lee’s delegation will take another visit to PKU — just as he decided with Prof. Zhou on Oct. 27 that a “NTU Day” would be held in PKU, and NTU would hold a “PKU Day” earlier next year.

 

 

 

Extended Reading:

PKU and NTU to Forge "Strategic" Alliance

Office for Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan Affairs, Peking University

A brief introduction to Taiwan University

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Reported By: Jin Ludi

Edited By: Jacques

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