History Archive

  • China exploits the West’s tolerance

    China exploits the West’s tolerance

    The following op-ed appeared in Taipei Times today: It is quite the irony when former British prime minister Boris Johnson — a buffoon who for far too long was taken seriously — is branded a buffoon for saying something deadly serious. Following Johnson’s withering criticism of China at a business forum in Singapore on Wednesday […]

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  • The battle for Taiwan’s constitution

    The battle for Taiwan’s constitution

    The following piece was published on the UnHerd website today: At the Taipei headquarters of the Taiwan Statebuilding Party (TSP), a wall of shame has been erected in dishonour of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) patsies. Towards the bottom of the TSP shit-list sits Elon Musk, whose recent “solution” to the cross-strait standoff was not well-received in Taiwan. […]

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  • Taiwan in the frame

    Taiwan in the frame

    Among the proselytizers, merchants and adventurers from Europe who inserted themselves into Taiwan’s early modern history, George Psalmanazar is notorious. Centuries before the Chinese Communist Party began faking news about Taiwan, this (most likely) French-born hoaxer, who claimed to be a Formosan and invented his own language to prove it, was regaling eighteenth century London […]

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  • Assessing Taiwan’s democracy

    Assessing Taiwan’s democracy

    The following article appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Taiwan ranked eighth in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Democracy Index 2021, behind only New Zealand, Ireland and the Nordic countries. Titled The China Challenge, the report and its accompanying essay touched on notions of a global “democratic recession” and the hope of “democratic renewal” in light […]

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  • Why is China’s English disinformation still so crude?

    Why is China’s English disinformation still so crude?

    The following article appeared in today’s Taipei Times: The comment arrived shortly after I’d posted the link on Facebook. The article, which was my first for Taiwan Business TOPICS, the magazine of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan, was about burgeoning trade between Taiwan and Lithuania. Accompanied by the profile picture of an attractive […]

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  • Conveying the atrocious (review of ‘A Son of Taiwan’ for Taipei Times)

    Conveying the atrocious (review of ‘A Son of Taiwan’ for Taipei Times)

    The following book review appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Unlike Transitions in Taiwan, the previous White Terror-themed collection from Cambria, this latest anthology addresses Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) crimes head on. In Wu Chuo-liu’s (吳濁流) almost novella-length “Potsdam Section Chief,” for example, the depiction of protagonist Fan Hanzhi’s wanton venality is unvarnished. He is shown […]

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  • When the KMT called the shots in the Philippines (review of ‘Diasporic Cold Warriors’ for Taipei Times)

    When the KMT called the shots in the Philippines (review of ‘Diasporic Cold Warriors’ for Taipei Times)

    The following book review appeared in today’s Taipei Times.  In 1950, the overseas Chinese community of the Philippines numbered 230,000 — just over 1 percent of the country’s population. This made it among the smallest overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. In comparison, Thailand had more than 3 million Chinese residents that same year. Yet, […]

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  • An interdisciplinary treasure trove of learning (review of ‘Maritime Landscapes’ for Taipei Times)

    An interdisciplinary treasure trove of learning (review of ‘Maritime Landscapes’ for Taipei Times)

    The following book review appeared in today’s Taipei Times.  Now and then a work appears that ruthlessly exposes the limits of one’s knowledge. Even seasoned students of Taiwan’s history are likely to find this book doing so repeatedly. Whether speculating on the origins of the Pisheye (毗舍耶) raiders who terrorized coastal Fujian in the twelfth […]

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  • Hijacked history (review of ‘The Hijacked War’ for Taipei Times)

    Hijacked history (review of ‘The Hijacked War’ for Taipei Times)

    The following book review appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Outside historical circles, the name Li Da-an (李大安) will be familiar to few Taiwanese. However, there was a time where this lowly soldier was feted as a national hero in Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) propaganda. As one of 155,000 inmates in the UN’s POW camp on […]

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  • The complex tale of Taiwanese identity (Global Asia review of ‘Politics and Cultural Nativism in 1970s Taiwan’)

    The complex tale of Taiwanese identity (Global Asia review of ‘Politics and Cultural Nativism in 1970s Taiwan’)

    The following book review appeared in the June issue of Global Asia: References to Taiwan as the first Chinese democracy have justifiably drawn flak in recent years. With almost 90 percent of Taiwan’s population now identifying as Taiwanese and less than 5 percent as Chinese,​ the description is no longer seen as appropriate. For many, it […]

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