Writer Lung Ying-tai (???) suggested that young people in Taiwan and mainland China need humble hearts and open minds to better understand each other, at a forum in Taipei on Sunday.
Asked her opinion on Taiwanese actor Leon Dai (???) being dropped from a Chinese film after his political opinions attracted the ire of Chinese netizens earlier this year, Lung said that what was most likely to bring the people of Taiwan and China together was not political deals or military occupation, but rather cultural communication.
Lung said she hoped Chinese leaders would recognize the importance of culture and become more confident culturally and hoped Taiwanese leaders would be wiser. Failure to do so could have disastrous results for both sides, she said.
About 500 people attended the meet-and-greet, titled "Literature, Ask Me Anything," in Zhongshan Hall organized by a publishing company, the first direct encounter Lung, minister of culture from 2012-2014, has had with readers in four years. About half of the audience were visitors from mainland China, according to a local newspaper report.
A Chinese student from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology said that after living in Taiwan for two years he felt it was a truly multicultural society, but was puzzled how such uncivilized behavior as the vandalizing of artifacts at the National Palace Museum Southern Branch late last year could happen in such a society.
Lung said that all democratic, free and pluralistic societies contain extreme and irrational elements, but should seek to minimize those aspects.
An open society has no end point, but is rather a process of ongoing improvement, Lung said and advised young people in Taiwan and China to try and better understand each other with humble hearts and open minds.
A Chinese student who attends Taipei University of the Arts asked Lung for her opinion on Chinese students studying in Taiwan. In response she said that while Chinese young people can of course study in Japan, Europe and the United States, one thing they might learn in Taiwan is how to address social problems that arise when seeking to transplant institutions from a foreign culture into local society, as Taiwan has had much experience in that area.
A local high school teacher asked Lung whether she considered legislators, media and talking heads to be the three scourges of Taiwan, to which Lung said that she was all too aware of such problems from her time as minister of culture.
However, the root cause of these problems is the people, so the real answer is to improve the quality of the people, said Lung.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel