If you are in Taiwan long enough, you are certain to hear some local explain to you that Taiwanese aren’t racist.

Here’s a sign that warns on avian flu, distributed by our university and placed all over campus. Note how the bottom right-hand warning, against eating uncooked bird meat, is depicted. A pair of hands, three pictures of an attractive young woman, a bird, and…..

But don’t worry. The Taiwanese aren’t racist at all.

UPDATE: My wife reminded me of a similar incident involving African ambassadors that occurred a while back:

Taipei - Taiwan has instructed its ambassadors in seven African nations to apologise for a racist design on cups that offended African diplomats, a Taiwan newspaper said on Thursday.

The Foreign Ministry instructed Taiwan ambassadors in the seven African nations to explain the incident to prevent it from snowballing into a major incident, the Liberty Times reported.

The incident occurred on April 7 when the Foreign Ministry took foreign diplomats on a tour of southern Taiwan. When the diplomats sat down for a meal, they saw that their cups were printed with animals and a man in loin-cloth identified in English as an “African native”.