Decline in university students from China

The number of short-term university students from China has declined in Taiwan this academic year in what some fear is retaliation by Beijing against a president who takes a guarded view toward relations, writes Ralph Jennings for Voice of America.

The number of university students from China to Taiwan for non-degree programmes, often lasting a single semester, fell from 34,114 in the 2015-16 academic year to 32,648 in the current year, according to Taiwan Ministry of Education figures. The number had risen steadily from 823 just 10 years ago, and it more than doubled from 2011 to 2013.

Chinese officials do not acknowledge a role in pushing down the number, but academics in Taiwan suspect a political motive. China has bristled toward Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May. Tsai disputes Beijing’s view that the two sides belong to a single China, making any talks impossible. China has seen self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s. Public opinion polls indicate most Taiwanese oppose Beijing’s steadfast goal of eventual unification.
Full report on the VOA site