The View from Taiwan

Commentary from Taichung - Taiwan

Entries for June, 2008

Wang Jin-pyng Interviewed in the Liberty Times.

Another lovely day of sun and rain here, so I took the afternoon off to go biking and blog. Using Google’s translation tool, I translated this long interview in the Liberty Times with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. Wang is Taiwanese, powerful, a political rival of President Ma, and the unofficial head of the southern legislators [...]

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Cargo Cultists: the gods must be crazy

The waiting is the hardest part Every day you see one more cardYou take it on faith, you take it to the heart The waiting is the hardest part
What do the cargo cultists do when the gods don’t deliver? Most of the cargo cults have disappeared over the years, but my personal favorite, the John [...]

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Aboriginal Education in Taiwan and Canada

A friend pointed me to this long and informative article on aboriginal higher education in Taiwan and Canada:
This study is an attempt to assess directions, goals, and achievements in higher education for Aboriginal people in Taiwan, with comparisons to Indian higher education in Canada. This study will highlight developing relationships between the College of Indigenous [...]

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Sweeping Falun Gong Under the Carpet

Lawrence Chung at the South China Morning Post reports that local governments are suppressing Falun Gong protesters, a common sight at tourist spots all over Taiwan, ahead of visitors from China…[no link, behind paywall]
…He vowed supporters would continue promoting Falun Gong, which they say is a spiritual movement but which is banned on the mainland [...]

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And from Japan….

Japan Focus has some interesting articles this week. First is an insightful piece on North Korea as the canary in the coal mine for the coming food crisis….
….At the time, of course, all the knowing analysts and pundits dismissed what was happening in that country as the inevitable breakdown of an archaic economic system presided [...]

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Tsai Ing-wen on the DPP’s Path to the Future

I have been greatly cheered by what I’ve so far from new DPP Chairman Tsai Ing-wen, whom I always thought would make a great chairman. Today the Taipei Times reported on her talk at the foreign correspondents club….
Tsai — talking to members of the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents Club in Taipei — reiterated the message she [...]

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1953: Renmin Ribao says Senkakus part of Japan

A kind friend forwarded me some images from the past: Chinese newspapers from 1953. I have assembled them into the image above…. Yesterday I blogged on John Tkacik’s piece in the Taipei Times that included a tidbit on China’s pre-1969 attitude toward the Diaoyutai Islands. Tkacik wrote:
A People’s Daily commentary of June 1953, which called [...]

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Further notes on Taiwan’s Status

More on the US position toward Taiwan’s sovereignty, from Bill Geertz at the Washington Times…
Inside the RingBill GertzThursday, June 26, 2008WASHINGTON TIMES
Questioning one China
The Bush administration has backed away from China’s position on Taiwan by declaring in a diplomatic note to the United Nations that the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty remains unsettled and effectively stating [...]

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Musings for Friday

Busy week for me. Only time for a few short hits for today.
John Tkacik has a nifty piece in the Taipei Times that points out that the Chinese construction of the Senkakus as sacred national territory is of very recent vintage:
Japan first claimed the Senkakus in January 1895 after decades of shipwrecks and near disasters [...]

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Armed Services Committee Testimony Did Not Say….

Some of you sent me the testimony of Jim Shinn in front of the Armed Services Committee….
MR. SHINN: You’ll pardon me if I consult my notes very carefully, since anything regarding Taiwan, it gets parsed very carefully, not just here but abroad.
It is true that for a couple years Taiwanese defense expenditures actually decreased in [...]

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Nelson Report on Upcoming Taiwan Problems

Chris Nelson’s latest missive straight from the Beijing-dominated heart of the Washington Establishment (my comments in brackets):
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TAIWAN…we’ve noted in many Reports that while the US has tried for years to encourage a more productive Cross-Strait dialogue, in hopes of reducing tensions between China and Taiwan, there is a built-in potential contradiction.
That is, as much as [...]

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An Island Divided.

The Age out of Australia has an excellent piece on our divided island that refracts the island’s identity politics and democratic transition through the life of Peter Huang, the would-be assassin of Chiang Ching-kuo who now heads Amnesty Taiwan. Huang would have made a second attempt at a nuclear power plant in Nevada, Linda Arrigo [...]

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Tuesday Quickies

As the typhoon howls outside our windows on its way to wreak havoc in south China, a friend reports that finally, the Taiwan High Speed Rail was placed the word “Taiwan” on their tickets. In ordinary print. On the back. *sigh*
Taiwan News pointed out a little ray of light in an editorial today:
In their status [...]

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Prices announced for Cross-Strait Flights

Xinhua reports on the announcement of prices by China Eastern:
China Eastern Airlines announced on Friday flight fares for weekend charter flights from Shanghai to Taipei and immediately started selling tickets.
The carrier is charging 3,700 yuan (US$ 528.6) for a round trip of economy-class flight, while business class costs 5,500 yuan, both including taxes.
Group tickets, for [...]

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Media Changes

The China Post yesterday reported that the China Times, the Chinese language paper that was once the Xinhua of Taiwan and remains ardently pro-Blue, will reconstitute itself in tabloid format in a couple of months:
No date has been fixed for the downsizing, which the paper said is necessary after the rise in the cost of [...]

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