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NTNU and Peking U look to work together on promoting tai chi

'National Taiwan Normal University is already known for being the birthplace of academic culture on tai chi,' NTNU President Chang Kuo-en (張國恩) said Tuesday. 'Now, by joining hand-in-hand with Peking University, we will together build a foundation for the internationalization and scientific study of the tai chi movement.'


Chang, speaking from the campus of Peking University in Beijing, was referring to tai chi or taijiquan (太極拳), a traditional martial art practiced in measured, slow movements meant to bring about better health in the practitioner.


Equally enthusiastic were Peking University's Party Commitee Secretary Zhu Shanlu (朱善璐) and University Vice-President Liu Wei (劉偉), who said they hope for closer ties with NTNU in sports, arts, and education.


NTNU brought curriculums and an academic approach on tai chi to mainland China in 1994. Since then, it has become a major focus of Peking University, with mandatory classes required for its students. The martial art also brought international attention to the school in 2008 during the Beijing Olympics, when an exposition on tai chi and statues showed tai chi off to the world.


In recognition of NTNU's effort to promote tai chi, Peking University officials presented Chang with a 2.5-meter-tall statue, the largest art piece the school has given to an institution outside of mainland China. Chang said that the martial art represents the essence of Chinese culture, and he looks forward to working alongside Peking University to promote it in the everyday lives of people across the world.


Also during the ceremony, Chang led all in attendence in a moment of silence for the victim of the major April 20 earthquake in Sichuan Province.