Harvard University will relocate its intensive summer language program to Taiwan from China.
The move, which comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China, will be implemented next summer, according to The Associated Press.
Through Harvard’s program, about 60 students will complete eight weeks of language coursework at National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taipei, the university confirmed to the AP.
Harvard’s student paper, The Crimson, reported that the decision to relocate was “due to a perceived lack of friendliness” from the previous host school in Beijing.
The paper reported that Harvard’s 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 Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU), which served as the host university, said it could not host the event in 2019.
The director of the Harvard program, Jennifer L. Liu, told the paper that other logistics were also factored into the ultimate decision to move the program to Taiwan instead.
“BLCU did not provide a single dorm for all the students, instead requiring the program split the students into two different dorms of different quality, or to find a hotel that could keep their students together,” Liu said.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, told AP that he was not familiar with the issues the Harvard program faced.
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