The View from Taiwan

Commentary from Taichung - Taiwan

Entries for February, 2008

Daily Links, March 2, 2008

A DPP banner is carried through the streets to the 2-28 rally at Chungshan Soccer Stadium in Taipei.
The election season is finally getting into full swing for the DPP, kicked off by the 2-28 rally in Taipei. Look for more intensive campaigning by the DPP to overcome the KMT’s massive election advantage — everyone I’ve [...]

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Notes from Taipei

Apologies for the lack of blogging — been spending a ton of time in Taipei this week. Much to report….
Speaking of Taipei, the NYTimes has an article on Taipei as a travel destination (hat tip to reader JS).
TAIPEI, the vibrant capital of Taiwan, distills the best of what Asian cities have to offer — great [...]

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Art Theft and Taiwan

A reader pointed to this one sentence in a recent and utterly fascinating piece on art theft that illuminates an entire world, like a searchlight spotting a plane ducking and weaving among dark clouds….
Much of the art ends up in northern Cyprus or Taiwan, because the islands are not officially countries, and have no extradition [...]

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Notes from the US

Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the US, had an opinion piece on our democracy here in a US paper.
Taiwan’s democracy is young and vibrant, though by no means perfect or fully matured.
In Taiwan, for example, the public has become increasingly dissatisfied with its media’s turn toward sensationalism.
Media companies in Taiwan seem more interested [...]

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Catapulting the Propaganda

The powerful effect of pro-China propagandizing is seen in this translation of a piece from the Asia Times on the US Nimitz deployment to Japan, arguing that it is linked to the Taiwan election in March:
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz of the US Navy arrived in Japan on 11 February. An analysis maintains that [...]

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Taiwan Saxophones from Houli

My friend Clyde pointed out this wonderful article from NPR on the saxophone industry in Houli, right where the toll booth is on Highway 1 just north of Taichung. Taiwan is one of the world’s most important producers of the instrument….
There are a dozen assembly lines — small, family operations like this one — throughout [...]

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Polls and Budgets and Gravel

The Central News Agency has a nice bit of reporting out on the Hsieh-Ma debate. Among the local news organizations its reporting is generally the most balanced. The first half of the article offers a report on the polls:
Ratings released by two major local dailies after Sunday’s debate, however, offered different public views on Ma’s [...]

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Kingming Liu in PostGlobal

Kinming Liu, former Washington-based columnist for Asian newspapers, asks that Washington stand up to China the way it has stood up to Russia on the Kosovo issue, in the Washington Post forums:
I could only wish the U.S. and Europe would have the same courage to poke a stick to another big power in order to [...]

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Debate, Hsu, Cure Insomnia

NOTES FROM A SUCKY ECONOMY: …the NT is hitting a 30-month high, and the Taipei Times noted the other day after the Central Bank dumped a half a billion NT into the market to hold the NT down….
“This is the way our central bank tells market participants to behave,” one dealer said. “But the central [...]

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The Lighter Side of Meeting Frank Hsieh

My friend the writer, artist, and sometime visitor to Taiwan Joel Haas dropped me a line to describe an encounter with Frank Hsieh several years ago….
True story. Frank Hsieh taught me the Mandarin word for “ocean.” When I was one of the artists at the Kaoshiung Steel Sculpture Festival, I made all [...]

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Report: US Should Enhance Ties With Taiwan

A new report out from the Taiwan Policy Working Group, a joint project of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Armitage International, argues that the US needs upgrade and expand its ties with Taiwan and stop enabling Beijing’s suppression of Taipei. Taiwan News describes:
The report argues that the issue is urgent now that U.S.-Taiwan [...]

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The Road to Taipei Goes Through Washington

Ting-i Tsai, a longtime and always excellent commentator on Taiwan affairs, had another choice piece in the Asia Times on Beijing’s use of Washington to suppress Taiwan:
Unlike its previous approach of directly threatening Taiwan over its holding of referendums in 2004, Beijing pressured Washington this time around to deliver its message.
“Beijing’s approach is brand new [...]

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Hsieh to lose?

Will Hsieh win? Everyone I talk to says exactly the same thing: no (in fact the question is usually met with laughter). Why? I spent this evening conversing with a longtime democracy activist with deep connections into the DPP, and the person says what everyone else is saying: the Hsieh camp is running an awful [...]

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Get Taipei in Global Monopoly Edition!

Maoman over at Forumosa alerted me to this:
Hasbro is creating a global edition Monopoly, and Taipei has a crack at making it on as a wild card entry. The 20 pre-selected cities with the highest worldwide votes will make it onto the board. Plus, you will have from February 29 to March 9 2008 to [...]

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Economic Contrasts

Mislabeled product #4501: reads “baking powder” in English, and “American Rising Powder” in Chinese, but it is actually yeast. If you can’t find yeast, shake the baking powder and listen for the kitsch-kitsch of yeast.How’s our economy? Listening to the Blues, you’d think we were in economic free fall. Asia Media hosts an article from [...]

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