Saturday, March 03, 2007


Taipei, March 3 (CNA) Facing the challenges of globalization, preserving cultural diversity should be Taiwan's priority, a French official said in a conference Saturday.

At the same time, contrary to what most people think, France is not resisting globalization, according to Jean-Claude Poimboeuf, director of the French Institute in Taipei, in the conference titled "Globalization: How Do the French Do It?"

"The uniqueness and the richness of Taiwan is precisely its cultural diversity, " Poimboeuf said. He pointed out that Taiwan is a mix of Chinese and Japanese heritage, the cultural influence of the U.S. and local cultures, including Hoklo, Hakka and indigenous cultures, adding that France has likewise absorbed influences from other European countries.

Cultural diversity is what makes Taiwan unique in Asia and why Taiwan should preserve it. "You are the result of this unique combination," he said.

On how French deal with globalization, Poimboeuf admitted that France is sometimes perceived as a country that fears globalization and is seen by many as unable or unwilling to adapt to change as a declining power. This "oversimplified view" is far from the actual France, he said.

"France is aware that it is a major actor and beneficiary of globalization... and has also its own strong view on how globalization impacts the planet, " he said.

To meet the challenge of globalization, France places emphasis on its education, he said. The French education system asks students to learn at least two foreign languages to prepare for the world and puts strong emphasis on science, engineering and technology.

Spreading the use of the Internet is also one of the keys, he added.

The conference was part of the Taipei Salon, organized by the Lung Ying-tai Foundation.