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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a Chinese name; the family name is Lung.
A Taiwanese woman speaking at a lecturn
Lung Ying-tai giving a lecture at Zhongshan Hall in Taipei in September 2009
Born 1952
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Language Chinese, German and English
Nationality Taiwanese
Alma mater National Cheng Kung University
Kansas State University
Subjects Social and cultural criticism
Notable award(s) 2009 K.T. Li Chair Professor Award
Children Two sons

Lung Ying-tai (Chinese: 龍應台) (born 1952 in Kaohsiung) is a Taiwanese essayist and cultural critic.[1] She occasionally writes under the pen name 'Hu Meili'.[2]

Lung's poignant and critical essays contributed to the democratization of Taiwan[1] and as the only Taiwanese writer with a column in major Chinese newspapers, she is an influential writer in Mainland China. She has written 17 books.[3][4]


Early life

Lung's father, Lung Huai-sheng (龍槐生), was a Kuomintang soldier and the family had to escape to Taiwan after the KMT lost the civil war in China in 1949.[1] She is her parents' second child and has four brothers. The first character of Lung's given name, ying (應), is her mother's family name, and the second character, tai (台), is to signify that she is the first child in the family to be born in Taiwan.

After attending National Tainan Girl's Senior High School (國立台南女子高級中學), Lung received her bachelor degree in Foreign Language and Literature from the National Cheng Kung University[5] and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University in English and American Literature.[6]


After returning to Taiwan, she began writing an op-ed column in China Times (中國時報) on the various conditions in Taiwan. Her essays were published together in 1985 in a book of social-political criticism, “The Wild Fire,” (Ye Huo Ji 《野火集》) when Taiwan was still under Kuomintang’s one-party rule, which cemented her role as an intellectual in Taiwan. She moved to Germany in 1987,[7] partly due to the response to her work that included death threats.[8] Her translated essays had appeared in European newspapers such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Her work has appeared in mainland Chinese newspapers since the early 1990s.[9] Her essays include "Children Take Your Time," "Silver Cactus", "Rise of thinking," and in 2006, "Please Use Civilization to Convince Me", an open letter to Hu Jintao following the temporary closure of Freezing Point.[6][10] She criticised Singaporean minister Lee Kuan Yew and the government's restrictions on personal freedom in 1994 in an article titled, "Thank God I Am Not Singaporean".[8]

She returned to Taiwan to become the first Director of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taipei in September 1999,[11][7][12][13][8] and her policies increased the visibility of the arts in Taipei during her four-year term.[3] She resigned in March 2003 to return to writing, noting that "being an official is suffocating. I could hardly breathe."[14]

She joined the Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong in August 2004. In July 2005, she established the Lung Ying-tai Cultural Foundation and used the foundation as a platform to sponsor literary and artistic endeavours as well as academic lectures.[3] Since 2008 Lung Ying-tai has undertaken the position of Hung Leung Hao Ling Distinguished Fellow in Humanities of University of Hong Kong[4] and Chair Professor of National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan.[6] She received the 2009 K.T. Li Chair Professor Award from NCKU.[5]

Her 2009 book “Da Jiang Da Hai 1949” (“Big River, Big Sea — Untold Stories of 1949”) is about the 1949 civil war and the escape to Taiwan of supporters of the Kuomintang.[1] It sold over 100,000 copies in Taiwan and 10,000 in Hong Kong in its first month of release, but discussion of her work was banned in mainland China following the book launch.[1][15][16]

Personal life

She married a German man after moving there in the late 1980s, with whom she has two sons.[8] She was also known as Ying-tai Walther.[2] They were eventually divorced.[citation needed] One of Lung's books, Dear Andreas (《親愛的安德烈》), is a collection of letters and e-mails between her and her older son.[17]


  1. ^ a b c d e Yu, Verna (5 October 2009). "Untold Stories of China and Taiwan". New York Times. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Wu, Helen Xiaoyan (2004). "Long Yingtai". Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. Routledge. ISBN 0203645065. 
  3. ^ a b c Buchan, Noah (2 March 2007). "Making rebels with a cause". Taipei Times. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Adjuncts". Journalism and Media Studies Center. Hong Kong University. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Academician Paul Chu and Prof. Ying-Tai Lung Honored with K.T. Li Chair Professor Award by NCKU". National Cheng Kung University. 10 November 2009.,r20-1.php. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c Chen, Elaine. "向胡錦濤嗆聲的心路歷程" (in Chinese). Business Week. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Chu, Monique (4 September 1999). "Writer appointed cultural head". Taipei Times. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c d Ling, Connie (2001). "Former Taiwan Social Critic Works To Promote Taipei's Urban Culture". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Snyder, Charles (10 December 2006). "Lung Ying-tai slams Taiwan's isolation". Taipei Times. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  10. ^ Luard, Tim (23 February 2006). "China's censored media answers back". BBC News. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "Asiens Öffnung zur Welt - Gespräch mit Lung Ying-tai, Kulturdirektorin der Stadt Taipeh" (in Germany). Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland). 11 August 2001. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  12. ^ "Editorial: Culture and politics inseparable". Taipei Times. 15 May 2000. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  13. ^ Shu-ling, Ko (2 August 2000). "Cultural Affairs Bureau takes over art museum". Taipei Times. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  14. ^ Huang, Sandy (20 March 2003). "Taipei's cultural head makes good with two books". Taipei Times. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  15. ^ "Lung Ying-tai becomes an internet pariah in China". China Free Press. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  16. ^ Ping, Wan (22 September 2009). "A History of 60 Years of China, Banned on Communists’ 60th Anniversary". Epoch Times. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  17. ^ Yan, Tay Tian; Translated by Soong Phui Jee (14 January 2008). "Mother And Son And Life". Sin Chew. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Lung Ying-tai (Chinese: 龍應台) (born 13 February 1952 in Kaohsiung), is a celebrated essayist and cultural critic, with a total of 17 published titles to her credit in Chinese. She was the Cultural Minister of Taipei in 1999. During her 4-year term as cultural architect of the city she has designed as well as practiced a new concept of cultural policy. Lung's poignant and critical essays contributed to the democratization of Taiwan and as the only Taiwanese writer with a column in major Chinese newspapers, she is considered one of the most influential writers in Mainland China as well.

Voa chinese Lung Ying-tai 27sept09.jpg

Reference to Hu Jintao

  • 錦濤先生,作爲一個臺灣人,我實在不在乎團團和圓圓來不來臺北,雖然熊貓可愛得令人融化。
    • Mr.Hu Jintao, being a Taiwanese, I don't really care much about the Pandas coming to Taipei or not, even though these cute things melt our heart.(Source:請用文明來說服我──給胡錦濤先生的公開信)

On democracy

  • 民主是什麼?民主就是發表了任何意見不怕有人秋後算賬;民主就是權利被侵犯的時候可以理直氣壯地討回,不管你是什麼階級什麼身份;民主就是不必效忠任何黨,不必討好任何人...
    • Translation:What is democracy? Democracy is to be able to publise any opinions without fear, knowing that there aren't going to be any persecution at a later time; Democracy is for anyone, from whatever social class, to be able to maintain one's rights if there was violation; Denocracy is knowing that we don't have to pledge loyalty to any political party, don't have to please anyone.(Source:請用文明來說服我──給胡錦濤先生的公開信)


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