People Archive

  • Playing with Fire: Taiwan and India’s Long Courtship

    Playing with Fire: Taiwan and India’s Long Courtship

    The following piece appeared in the Fall 2017 (Vol.12, No.3) issue of Global Asia: The visit to India by a group of Taiwanese parliamentarians in February drew predictable guard-dog growls from Beijing. Any country foolhardy enough to flout the sacrosanct one-China policy can expect a swift rebuke. But, for a powerful neighbor and competitor with […]

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  • Working the fields: Wooster Group’s performance invites parallels with Taiwan’s indigenous folk music

    Working the fields: Wooster Group’s performance invites parallels with Taiwan’s indigenous folk music

    The following piece appeared in the features section of today’s Taipei Times:  Taiwan owes Kurosawa Takatomo. Without his efforts, much of Taiwan’s indigenous music would be lost. In 1943, while Aborigine soldiers were packed off to fight Japan’s war in the Pacific as part of the Takasago Volunteers (高砂義勇隊) squadrons, Kurosawa was recording the songs […]

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  • Taiwan’s Female Athletes Still Fighting Institutionalized Sexism

    Taiwan’s Female Athletes Still Fighting Institutionalized Sexism

    Anyone who kept half an eye on local media coverage of the 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade that closed on Aug. 31 will likely have noticed the sometimes cringe-worthy manner in which Taiwan’s female athletes were “feted” for their achievements. It didn’t take long for this brand of patronizing sexism to rear its head at the […]

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  • Taiwan’s stellar Universiade needs qualification

    Taiwan’s stellar Universiade needs qualification

      Update: Massive apologies to the subs at Taipei Times. I sent the wrong draft. This one’s completely my fault! Chowing down on a stodgy piece of humble pie as I type this! Sorry, guys. Not for the first time, Taipei Times used the first draft of a piece I sent them. It’s kind of […]

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  • Business as usual for Chinese Panamanians despite Taiwan rupture

    Business as usual for Chinese Panamanians despite Taiwan rupture

    The following article appeared in today’s News Lens: When Taiwan’s former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) attended the inauguration of his Panamanian counterpart Juan Carlos Varela in July 2014, cross-Strait relations had never been better. “Ma invited everyone in the Chinese community,” Juan Tam (譚堅) told me on my visit to the isthmus just two weeks […]

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  • Our man in Panama

    Our man in Panama

    Below is the original version of my op-ed in today’s Taipei Times. I had a feeling they’d chop the paragraph about the corruption during the Chen years, and what do you know? They also made a complete pig’s ear of the headline.   As General Manuel Noriega’s fortunes fluctuated with the whims of the U.S. […]

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  • Sticky issue: Taipei’s solvent abuse problem not to be sniffed at

    Sticky issue: Taipei’s solvent abuse problem not to be sniffed at

      The following is the original of an article that appeared in the News Lens. If there’s a more accomplished flâneur in Taipei than my old pal Bede, I have yet to meet the person. Anchoring his perambulations around convenience-store pit stops, he literally stumbles upon scenes and characters that most Taipei natives would scarcely […]

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  • In the shade: Exploring Taipei’s ‘Little Indonesia’

    In the shade: Exploring Taipei’s ‘Little Indonesia’

    From  the News Lens, 11/05/2017: Aside from their banality, clichés such as “hidden gem” and “best-kept secret,” are nonsensical descriptors. Unless you’re the sole customer on opening day, someone knows about that restaurant. In Taipei where almost every dank back-alley eatery has been blogged, there are no secrets. But there still are places that get […]

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  • From Caracas to Taipei: The strange world of Ignacio Huang

    From Caracas to Taipei: The strange world of Ignacio Huang

    With Venezuela in the midst of economic and social meltdown, “El Peor Hombre de Mundo (The Worst Man in the World)” might seem about as far removed from the average Caraquenian experience as imaginable. Released at the end of 2016, this corny comedy depicts the travails of a serial philanderer on a trail of redemption. […]

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  • Changes to Nationality Law irk Taiwan’s foreign-born residents

    Changes to Nationality Law irk Taiwan’s foreign-born residents

    My article from today’s News Lens (27/03/2017). An old friend and mentor of mine still likes to say that I quit a journalism degree 20 years ago because I didn’t like talking to people on the phone. Like the work of our mutual hero, Ryszard Kapuściński, this claim lurks in an anteroom between reality and fiction: […]

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