Taiwan is considering abandoning its long-standing policy of recognizing Mandarin Chinese as the island’s only official language, the premier said Tuesday, in a move that would likely anger rival China.
Su Tseng-chang said the Cabinet is examining a draft for a “National Language Development Act” to promote the use of local dialects and prohibit linguistic discrimination. “Taiwan is a plural society, and all languages should have equal standing and be respected and supported,” Su said, indicating an intention to confer equal status on the Taiwanese dialect of Chinese, as well as Hakka, another Chinese dialect.
Such a move would likely be renounced by Beijing, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory and opposes any efforts by the island’s leadership to loosen cultural and other bonds. [Full Text]