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The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange was formally established on January 12, 1989, being supported by both the ROC government and private organizations, while also earning distinction as Taiwan’s first international academic organization.

The inspiration for establishing the Foundation dates back to the year 1986, when Choyun Hsu, Ying-shih Yu, Kwang-chih Chang, and other scholars of Chinese descent at major North American universities felt increasing concern for the decline of Chinese Studies, and wrote a joint letter urging ROC President Chiang Ching-kuo to establish an international foundation to promote Chinese Studies worldwide. President Chiang Chingkuo concurred with their views and instructed Premier Kuo-hwa Yu and Minister of Education Huan Li to do a feasibility study.

Preparations gathered steam when Kao-wen Mao became Minister of Education and recognized the need to make better use of existing resources for international scholarly exchange in the latter half of 1987. President Chiang Ching-kuo passed away on January 13, 1988. He was unable to see his vision come true, nor would he ever have imagined that the foundation he supported would assume his name, with the official and private bodies that helped found this organization deciding that it be named the “Chiang Chingkuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange” a year later. Minister Mao and other leading figures devoted themselves to establishing an organization that would support pure scholarship while also working towards the preservation of Chinese culture, believing that such ideals would do honor to the memory of President Chiang Ching-kuo. Their efforts came to fruition when the late K. T. Li was appointed to serve as the Foundation’s first Chairman of the Board and Professor Yih-yuan Li as its first President. The Foundation’s American Regional Office was established in October 1989, with Cho-yun Hsu serving as its Chairman.

The Foundation’s mission involves more than supporting and encouraging research in Chinese Studies, but also encompasses promoting international scholarly exchanges. Under the leadership of former Chairmen K. T. Li, Kuo-hwa Yu, Yih-yuan Li, and Kao-wen Mao, as well as current Chairman Fredrick F. Chien and President Yun-han Chu, the Foundation has striven diligently over the past 30 years to adhere to the principle of awarding grants solely on the basis of academic merit, while also promoting the globalization of academic research. The Foundation has earned a sterling reputation, while its support of international scholarly exchange has resulted in numerous concrete achievements. Today the Foundation stands as a model grant-making organization, while also working to promote leading research projects in Chinese Studies.

On June, 2019, Dr. Fredrick F. Chien succeeded Dr. Kao-wen Mao and became the Chairman of the Foundation. Chairman Fredrick F. Chien remains resolutely committed to the Foundation’s goal of promoting pure scholarship worldwide, adhering to the Foundation’s mission while also preserving its hard-earned reputation. The Foundation will endeavor to help Taiwan assert its rightful position in the global scholarly arena, while also adopting a global perspective and perpetuating the development of Chinese culture. The Foundation’s goals further include the promotion of cooperative research both at the Cross-Strait level and among other Chinese communities, adding new life to Chinese cultural traditions while also assuming responsibility for leading the further development of human civilization during the 21st century.