About us


| Mission | History | Activities and Accomplishments | Organization |
| Funds Entrusted to Us | A Few Final Comments |
 
● Mission:
The China Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture (the “China Foundation”) was established in 1924 to have custody and control of the second remission of Boxers Rebellion reparations paid to the United States by China, and to apply these funds for the promotion of Chinese education and culture.  In the beginning, the Foundation’s emphasis was on the development and dissemination of scientific education and knowledge in China. Gradually, the China Foundation also expanded its work to include cultivating the humanities and social sciences.
 
● History:
The China Foundation traces its root to the indemnities paid by the Ching Dynasty to eight foreign powers, including the Unites States.  The indemnities were in compensation for the Boxers’ killing of many foreign embassy staff members and missionaries in 1900.  In capitulation, the Ching Government agreed to pay an
enormous sum of indemnity to the eight nations involved.  The United States received a 7% share of the total compensation.  However, American diplomats, educators and missionaries in China lobbied the U.S. government to remit a portion of indemnities back to China to promote education in China.  The effort bore fruit in 1908, when President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law the first remission of the indemnities to fund a school to send Chinese children to the Unites States for advanced study. The National Tsing Hua University was established with the financial support of this fund, which is still known as the Tsing Hua University Fund.  The American friends who lobbied for this fund were happy with the result and urged the U. S. government to make a second remission to China for the promotion of science and culture. The major promoters included Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Professor Paul Monroe of Columbia University, and Miss M. E. Wood, a missionary in China. As a result of their efforts, President Calvin Coolidge signed into law in 1924 the grant of just over
US$12.5 million funded by the remittances over the period of 1917 to 1940. This represented a large sum at the time.  The reparation was made by a joint resolution of the 68th Congress, approved on May 21st, l924. With this, the Chinese government appointed 10 Chinese and 5 Americans to form a board of trustees, with a constitution stipulating that the board is self-perpetuating. This guaranteed its future independence from government interference, a prescient stipulation. Thus, for more than eighty years, the China Foundation has been a symbol of the friendship of the American government and its people to the Chinese. Throughout that period and continuing today, the China Foundation has carried out its mission by fostering the development of Chinese education and culture.

 
Activities and Accomplishments
  1. First Period (1924 – 1949).   With the first installments received, the Foundation helped save National Peking University from the brink of financial collapse, by subsidizing the payroll to its teachers and staff.  The Foundation single-handedly established the National Library of Peiping, by funding its building and the purchase of rare books. The Foundation conducted social surveys and soil surveys in China. It provided science fellowships in teaching colleges.  It gave grants and subsidies to 233 universities and colleges, 139 research institutes and 147 cultural and other organizations. The Foundation provided science research professorships and fellowships for prominent professors and outstanding young professors, to conduct research domestically and abroad, especially in the United States. Most of the important professors in China during this period received grants from the Foundation.
  2. Second Period (1950 – 1970).   After the Communists took control of mainland China in 1949; the Foundation’s assets lost most of their value.  With this small sum, the Foundation nevertheless was able to play an important role in subsidizing education in Taiwan, during a period when the Government was so short of foreign exchange.  The foundation provided research grants and fellowships to various universities and cultural institutions, with total payments of about US$1 million during the period.
  3. Third Period (1971 – Present).   As Taiwan’s economy took off, the government’s resources relative to the foundation increased dramatically. The Foundation refocused its activities toward areas without sufficient government subsidies, such as the short-term visit program at the National Science Council. During this period, the Foundation provided more than US$5 million for various grants. Eventually, the Council acquired sufficient budget to fund the program itself. At present, the Foundation has following ongoing grants: Dr. Hu Shih Memorial Chairs at both National Taiwan University and Academia Sinica; the Institute of International Relations at National Cheng Chi University;  the Institute of Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica; and travel grants to faculty members and PhD candidates for presenting papers to international conferences.
 
Organization
The Board of Trustees governs the Foundation. The board consists of 11 Chinese trustees and 4 American trustees.  The board meetings are held semi-annually, in April and in October or November.  To save expenses, the April meeting is only attended by the Chinese trustees, while the fall meeting is attended by all trustees.  The fall meeting is considered more important, as major decisions such as election of new trustees are usually decided at that time.
 
● Funds Entrusted to Us
Beside China Foundation Fund, the following other funds are entrusted to the China Foundation for custody and management: (1) Tsing Hua University Endowment Fund. Entrusted to the China Foundation in 1929, the income of this fund is paid to Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, from which the China Foundation receives a management fee.  (2) The Fan Memorial Institute of Biology Endowment Fund. This fund produces a small amount of income which is used as a grant to the Institute of Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica. (3) The Chinese Social and Political Science Association Library Endowment Fund.  Its income is used as a grant to the Institute of International Relations, National Chengchi University. The grant to the Institute proves to be very effective in improving the Cross-Strait relations between Taiwan and the Mainland China over the years.  The institute has held a number of the Cross-Strait and international conferences emphasizing East Asia foreign relations.  The Institute also invites Mainland Chinese scholars to visit Taiwan to deepen their understanding of the local political and social aspects. Conversely, the Institute also sends their staffs to Mainland China for study.  As a result, the Institute contributes mightily to the improvement of the relationship across the Taiwan Strait.
 
A Few Final Comments
The China Foundation is unique in the educational history of China and Taiwan. Its uniqueness comes from the confluence of one of the most turbulent periods in modern Chinese history and a great gesture of friendship from the American people.  Its trustees have been some of the most distinguished intellectuals and diplomats in either country. Among its founding trustees were John Dewey, a household name in the world of the American intellectuals, and Roger S. Green, a Vice Chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation.  Its Chinese trustees have also been top scholars and diplomats of their time.  For example, Dr. Hu Shih, father of the modernism movement in China, was for many years the Director and the driving force of the Foundation.  Even though the Foundation’s resources are limited, its significance is enormous.  It represents a beacon for the advancement of science and culture in China, with a determination to carry on its work and add to the list of its past contributions.
 
 
 
 
China Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture
TEL:02-23697386  FAX:02-23697387
address: 6th F., 266, Sec. 1, Hepihng E. Road, Taipei, Taiwan 106
E-mail:cf3477@seed.net.tw