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On October 28, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said during the Global Views Business Forum that the number of Chinese students in Taiwan have grown 40 times more during his time in office. Ma hopes to amend the regulations so that the Chinese students can also enjoy health insurance as other foreign students.

Newtalk reports, Ma Ying-jeou says that before he took office, there were 823 Chinese exchange students in Taiwan. This number rose to 30 thousand people last year, including not only exchange students but also those enrolled in Taiwan universities.

Ma says that the Chinese student policy has been gradually becoming more open. In the beginning, only about 40 universities accepted Chinese students and now there are 140 universities. Chinese students can also study in graduate schools in Taiwan.

However, he also pointed out that Taiwan regulations still have some limitations upon the Chinese students, and the students take these limitations as discrimination. For example, the Chinese students have no health insurance according to the current regulations. Ma asks if other foreign students can have health insurance, why can’t the Chinese students?

On October 24, Ma Ying-jeou expressed his opinions regarding including Chinese students into the health insurance system during an interview with ETtoday. He thinks it’s unreasonable for some people to be against it. Ma says in the US, foreign students enjoy the same public welfare as the local American students, and paying taxes is not a prerequisite for it. Chinese students consider Taiwan to be free and democratic, but how come the people become so stingy when discussing these problems?

Ma points out that the Chinese students are all young people, and it’s impossible for them to spend more on health care than the elderly. He says if they are included in the health insurance system, it’s likely that we will earn a bit more. He also admits that the policy still needs working on and may encounter difficulties in the Legislative Yuan since it is a rather sensitive issue.

Ma also says he believes the younger generations in both China and Taiwan should establish friendships in early stages of their lives in order to reduce misunderstandings and maintain peace.

Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang