26 February 2013
Taiwan’s Minister of Culture Dr Lung Ying-tai visited SOAS last week to speak at the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies.
The event, promoted as ‘Face to Face with Lung Ying-tai’, attracted more than 350 people, making it the largest event ever held by the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies.
Dr Ying-tai gave a short speech outlining the work and challenges facing Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and she discussed the role culture plays in both developing Taiwan’s democracy and soft power and relations with China.
Dr Ying-tai was welcomed by SOAS Director Paul Webley and the Director of the Centre of Taiwan Studies, Professor Robert Ash. Dr Lung’s party included Taiwan’s Representative in the UK, Dr Shen Lyushun.
Dr Ying-tai is a celebrated writer, literary critic and public intellectual. She is one of the most widely read authors in the Chinese-speaking world and has written 30 books. Her critical essays have often been published simultaneously in Taipei, Hong Kong, and New York City.
Her 2009 nonfiction work Big River Big Sea- Untold Stories of 1949, about the Chinese Civil War, sold half a million copies in the Chinese-speaking world. Although banned in mainland China, pirated copies of the book were hugely popular on the black market.
On this official visit, Dr Ying-tai visited France to inspect the Taiwan Cultural Centre in Paris before hosting the 2013 Taiwan-France Cultural Award at the Institute of France.
The Culture Minister will also visit Cambridge University to deliver a speech where she will continue to focus on the mechanisms used to promote the culture and creative industries and arts festivals.