Taipei-A recent survey showed that Taiwan's secondary school and college students lacked adequate global vision and understanding when it comes to international matters, an organization said Thursday.
The non-profit King Car Cultural and Educational Foundation conducted the survey in September among secondary school and college students nationwide and found that 50.3 percent of those polled do not fully understand China's One Belt and One Road Initiative, while 46.9 percent are unfamiliar with the South China Sea regional dispute.
Asked about the biggest challenge they faced with regard to citizen diplomacy, 62.5 percent of the students said they lacked proficiency in foreign languages for communication.
At the same time, 46.4 percent of the students cited their limited knowledge of other countries as one of the toughest obstacles for them to conduct citizen diplomacy, and 45.4 percent of the respondents admitted they did not have a clear understanding of global affairs.
Meanwhile, 74.2 percent of the respondents believed that Taiwanese youths could only gain knowledge on international affairs by traveling abroad.
The polled students also recognized Japan (72.4 percent), the United States (43.1 percent), and South Korea (24.8 percent) as the friendliest countries to Taiwan.
In terms of foreign languages besides English, 40.5 percent of the polled said Japanese is the language Taiwanese people need to learn, followed by other European languages at 20.9 percent, Korean at 13.8 percent, and Southeast Asian languages at 13.1 percent.
Commenting on the King Car survey, foundation general director Joyce Tseng (???) said the poor understanding of international matters amongst youths in Taiwan can be attributed to the lack of motivation to learn.
Schools and institutions across Taiwan need to encourage students to know more about global matters, whether it's through international news broadcasts or programs such as student exchanges, she said.
The survey collected 2,501 valid samples with a 97 percent confidence level and a margin of error of plus and minus three percentage points.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel