An antecedent organization of the Ministry of Culture, the Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA) was established on November 11, 1981 and tasked with planning the nation’s cultural infrastructure, promoting development of national and local culture, and drawing up and implementing related policies.
With the rise of the greater China region in the 21st century, Taiwan must contend with global competition, digitization and industrialization. In addition are the numerous challenges posed by shifting trends in the Asian cultural landscape, and challenges associated with the rise of mainland China.

In response, Taiwan is looking to its unique features and environment, and implementing long-term developmental policies to carve out a space for the cultural sphere to thrive amidst strong competition.
On May 20, 2012, the Council of Cultural Affairs was upgraded to the Ministry of Culture as part of a larger governmental reorganization. This move served to rectify long-standing issues concerning personnel and resource allocation that had plagued the cultural sector.

As a result, agencies, and parts of agencies from across the government responsible for cultural issues now come together under one organization. More saliently, the Ministry is working to create an environment in which cultural activities thrive, where our cultural heritage is preserved, and all people — regardless of background or status — are given opportunities to express themselves culturally and become more culturally refined.
To achieve these goals, the Ministry will continue the work done by its predecessor in preserving cultural assets and promoting literature, community building, cultural infrastructure construction, the performing arts, the visual arts, the cultural and creative industries and cultural exchanges.

To this, it will add supervision of the publishing, pop music, film, broadcasting, and cross-strait exchange policy functions of the Government Information Office and the printing of government publications.

The National Museum of History, National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, National Museum of Prehistory, and the National Theater and Concert Hall, all of which were previously overseen by the Ministry of Education, will also come under the Ministry’s supervision. A total of 18 agencies will fall under the Ministry’s supervision, up from 14 overseen by the CCA.
The Ministry will work to break free from the constrained modes of thinking or focuses on departmental missions that in the past hampered cultural growth. Plans will be drawn up with flexibility, inclusiveness and the necessity of integrating resources in mind.

The art of living, shaping local culture, cultural dissemination and the economic value of culture are all elements shaping the vitality of culture in Taiwan. These new measures will help society and related industries build on the present and achieve even greater integration and cultural wealth.

  • Research, planning and execution of cultural policy.
  • ​Setting in motion, overseeing, managing, supporting, rewarding and otherwise promoting cultural construction.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding and promoting the preservation of cultural assets, establishment of museums and development of communities.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding and promoting the cultural and creative industries.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding and promoting the film, broadcast, television and pop music industries.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding and promoting literature, publishing, government publications and varied forms of culture.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding and promoting the visual, public, and performing arts as well as the art of living.
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding and promoting international and cross-strait cultural exchanges
  • Planning, supporting, rewarding and promoting the cultivation of talented people in the cultural sector.
  • Other culture-related work.

Tasked with cultivating culture as an instrument of national power, the Ministry's main policy objectives are:
1. Ensuring the cultural rights of citizens
Cultural rights, like political, economic and social rights, are basic human rights to be enjoyed by every citizen. Administering and allocating resources to the cultural sector therefore requires paying attention to ensuring that grassroots organizations and disadvantaged groups are catered for. It also requires that resources be divided fairly between urban and rural areas.

All citizens must be empowered to participate in the cultural life of the nation, as inclusion is what creates bonds within communities, society and the nation at large. While cultural rights are the property of every citizen, society and the nation as a whole become the beneficiaries, as social cohesion is founded on having citizens engaged in their country’s cultural life.

2. Creating an environment that fosters creativity
Cultural policies can more effectively shape a nation and help it achieve a higher ranking on cultural indexes. Cultural policies must be aimed at creating an environment supportive of artists and creators, such that they will be able to realize their full potential.

3. Building and maintaining cultural values
Cultural policies must make allowance for the preservation of cultural artifacts, heritage and national memories. They also play a key role in promoting democratic values such as freedom, open-mindedness and diversity. This must be true for every area of culture; from publishing negotiations, community development and arts education, to international exchanges and cross-strait talks. All of these must be pursued with the enrichment of Taiwanese values in mind.

4. Bolstering the cultural and creative industries’ competitiveness
Even as they train more personnel in the art of operating and managing a business, the cultural and creative industries must keep culture at the heart of their activities. Tapping into the commercial value of culture with the aim of bolstering the country’s soft power and international influence brings a number of challenges. These include commercializing cultural and creative goods, developing new markets, cultivating talented individuals and establishing the necessary mechanisms for global deployment.
To help the nation achieve these objectives, the Ministry will adhere to the following three fundamental objectives when developing cultural policies:
Staying true to the roots of culture
Building the nation’s international image
Harnessing the power of technology
Cultural policy and its implementation must serve the people by helping to expand culture into the international realm and build the nation’s soft power. Policies should also employ the latest technology to more effectively spread the knowledge of Taiwan’s unique culture and customs both domestically and internationally.