History Archive

  • 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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  • The Cold War history behind Nicaragua’s break with Taiwan

    The Cold War history behind Nicaragua’s break with Taiwan

    The following piece appeared as the leader today in The Diplomat magazine: We touched down in Managua, Nicaragua, shortly before 7:50 p.m. on July 18, 2014. The tickets were originally booked for a cheaper flight the following day, but Pablo Morales was having none of it. “It’s Liberation Day,” he said. “You have to be […]

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  • Amidst Ukraine’s broad steppes: three views from a warzone

    Amidst Ukraine’s broad steppes: three views from a warzone

    The following piece appeared in today’s Taipei Times: It wasn’t until 7am that Masha Gorenkova realized something serious was up. The first explosion had woken her at 4:30am, and several more had occurred in the interim; but like most of the neighbors in her Kyiv apartment block, she hadn’t twigged. Given the tone of inevitability […]

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  • Tears, disbelief, and solidarity as Taiwan’s Ukrainians speak out

    Tears, disbelief, and solidarity as Taiwan’s Ukrainians speak out

    The following article appeared in today’s Taipei Times:  Solidarity and steadfastness. These qualities were evident among Ukrainians long before missiles began pulverizing their cities early Thursday morning. They were on display again on Friday and Saturday in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義), where hundreds of people gathered outside the building housing the Russian representative office. Ukrainians […]

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  • Globetrotting entrepreneur brings a taste of the Baltics to Taiwan

    Globetrotting entrepreneur brings a taste of the Baltics to Taiwan

    The following article appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Once Peter Young (楊良棟) gets going, you can’t be sure where he’ll end up. One minute, it’s eighteenth-century Baltic history, the next, the health benefits of chokeberry wine. A discussion of the current situation in his native Hong Kong kicks off a sweeping tour of Chinese history that […]

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