Resolutions Urging US Universities to Relocate Chinese Language Programs from Mainland China to Taiwan


This model policy supports the relocation of university-level Chinese language immersion programs from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to Taiwan. Mandarin is considered a “critical language” to US national security and is the official language of both the PRC and Taiwan. Shifting Mandarin study from the PRC to Taiwan is consistent with the Taiwan-US Education initiative, a Memorandum of Understanding signed by both our democracies to promote bilateral educational exchanges, will help to strengthen the economic and strategic bonds between the United States and Taiwan and is likely to create a more positive learning environment for American students studying Mandarin overseas.

Resolutions Urging US Universities to Relocate Chinese Language Programs from Mainland China to Taiwan

Model Policy

WHEREAS, students benefit enormously from overseas educational programs that promote cultural and language learning and these benefits are typically realized by the students’ home countries; and

WHEREAS, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is an American top three trading partner and is a global economic and strategic power; and

WHEREAS, English language education is compulsory for students in the PRC while comparatively few US students study Chinese languages either domestically or overseas; and

WHEREAS, many US institutions of higher education have foreign language and culture programs in the PRC, however the number of US students studying Chinese languages in China has declined steadily since 2011; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan has developed the educational infrastructure to accommodate and enlarge foreign exchange programs including the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) establishment of the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship and the Taiwan Scholarship Program in 2004 to encourage foreign students to study Mandarin or pursue their degree studies; and

WHEREAS, Taiwanese universities are rising in the QS World University Rankings; and

WHEREAS, Mandarin has been designated by the US government as a critical need language to maintain US national security making it more important now than ever for Americans to study Mandarin; and

WHEREAS, Mandarin Chinese is the official language of both the PRC and Taiwan; and

WHEREAS, the United States and Taiwan launched the Taiwan-US Education Initiative in December 2020 in order to expand access to Mandarin and English language instruction between our two democracies and to highlight Taiwan’s potential to provide Mandarin language instruction to American students and students around the world; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with the Taiwan-US Education initiative, Taiwan’s Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) has already opened Taiwan Centers across the United States to provide Chinese language courses for American adults; and

WHEREAS, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with National Taiwan University (NTU) which will enable Northwestern University undergraduates to travel to NTU for language instruction in accordance with the Taiwan-US Education Initiative; and

WHEREAS, American universities have begun to identify operational challenges and quality concerns with language programs in the PRC, including lack of proper facilities and the rise of unfriendly sentiment toward American institutions; and

WHEREAS, Harvard University decided in October 2021 to relocate their highly-regarded Chinese language program from Beijing Language and Cultural University in Beijing, China to National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan in part due to what university officials described as “a perceived lack of friendliness” on the part of their counterparts at the Beijing institution; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan’s economic and strategic partnership with the United States is strengthening in contrast to the increasing strains in US-China relations; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan is a likeminded, liberal democracy that adheres to free market principles and is among America’s most important economic and strategic partners in the Asia-Pacific.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, this legislative chamber encourages institutes of higher education to relocate Chinese language and cultural programs from the PRC to Taiwan to advance US national security interests, strengthen ties between our two democracies and promote a positive learning environment to enhance comprehensive Mandarin language education for American students.