Taiwan’s U.S. ambassador visits Alabama for education memorandum signing

Education memorandum of understanding signed between Taiwan and Alabama. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 6:46 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Bi-khim Hsiao, Taiwan’s ambassador to the United States, was in Montgomery Thursday where she witnessed the signing of a memorandum of education cooperation with Taiwan by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and the Alabama Department of Education.

Alabama is now the second state to sign such a memorandum with Taiwan, which follows the 2020 launch of the “US-Taiwan Education Initiative.”

ALSDE says the aim of the initiative is to “establish a language cooperation platform to promote Mandarin Chinese and English language learning, a teacher-student exchange, as well as also holding innovative academic programs to cultivate international talents.”

The memorandum will now be sent to Taiwan’s Ministry of Education to complete the signing.

While visiting the Alabama Capitol, Hsiao also officially accepted a joint friendship resolution, which was unanimously passed by the Alabama Legislature and presented by House speaker Mac McCutcheon.

The resolution supports the promotion of bilingual exchanges and Taiwan’s participation in international organizations. It also calls on the United States to begin negotiations with Taiwan on a bilateral trade agreement.

Taiwan, located in East Asia, is a country with a democratically-elected government that’s closely aligned with the United States. China, however, does not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation, rather as a wayward province that will ultimately be reunified with the Chinese mainland.

Hsiao said Taiwan is looking for ways to strengthen its U.S. ties and supply chains and noted, “we have a common understanding that when you have to do business, it’s better to do businesses among fellow democracies. We need to be less vulnerable, less dependent on authoritarian regimes,” she added, “and the best way to preserve our freedom, our way of life, especially in a time like this, is to strengthen our relations with other fellow democracies.”

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