|A view of the campus of Harvard University on Jul 8, 2020 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (File photo by= AFP)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] TAIPEI: An intensive summer language program hosted by Harvard University in Beijing will relocate to Taiwan in the summer of 2022, as the US-China relationship remains strained. AP reported that the program is moving to Taipei and will kick off next summer with about 60 students who will take eight weeks of classes, National Taiwan University confirmed on Wednesday (Oct 13).
The decision was in part "due to a perceived lack of friendliness from the host institution" in Beijing, according to Harvard's student paper the Crimson, which first reported the move.
Every summer, according to the Crimson, the program "would typically host a small party to celebrate the Fourth of July, during which students and faculty would eat pizza and sing the national anthem". But in 2019, the host university, Beijing Language and Culture University, said it could no longer host the event, program director Jennifer L Liu told the paper. Liu didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment outside of business hours.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said he didn’t know the particular issue with the program when asked about the move. The program is designed for intermediate and advanced Chinese language learners, and like many other studies abroad programs, it features trips to local cultural and historical landmarks.