Politics and polemic Archive

  • 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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  • 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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  • Democratic maneuvers in the twilight (review of ‘Democracy and Rule of Law in China’s Shadow’ for Taipei Times)

    Democratic maneuvers in the twilight (review of ‘Democracy and Rule of Law in China’s Shadow’ for Taipei Times)

    The following book review appeared in today’s Taipei Times: For those countries and states unfortunate enough to lie within China’s penumbral fringes, “the space within which democracy and the rule of law operate is fraught with tensions.” This observation from Amy Barrow’s conclusion to this fine collection summarizes the unifying preoccupation of the book’s 11 […]

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  • Creating hope: perspectives on reporting from Russia’s war in Ukraine

    Creating hope: perspectives on reporting from Russia’s war in Ukraine

    The following article appeared in N3 Magazine, the magazine/website for the annual conference of the Asian American Journalists Association.  “On February 24, all journalists in Ukraine had to become war reporters,” says Ivan Verstyuk, editor of New Voice of Ukraine. “Before that, all of us had different beats. Some of us were writing about politics, […]

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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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  • Taiwan and Ukraine: parallels, divergences and potential lessons

    Taiwan and Ukraine: parallels, divergences and potential lessons

    The following piece appeared in the June issue of Global Asia. In the preface to her 2004 work Visible Ghosts, Li Ang explains how the spectral dreamscape that her characters inhabit symbolizes Taiwan. “Such a ghost island is borderless and not a country, and its voices are outside the center of the grand national body and […]

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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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  • Why Taiwan can’t copy Ukraine’s civil defense blueprint

    Why Taiwan can’t copy Ukraine’s civil defense blueprint

    The following article went live on The Diplomat website today.  Ukraine’s successful deployment of Territorial Defense Forces (TDF) has brought renewed focus to the possibility of creating a similar military reserve in Taiwan. Yet, much of this discussion has ignored the constitutionality of such a move. A March 15 commentary in War on the Rocks […]

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  • Toward a healthier information environment in Taiwan

    Toward a healthier information environment in Taiwan

    The following piece appeared in today’s Taipei Times: What lessons can Taiwan learn from the disinformation campaigns that have surrounded the war in Ukraine? At an Amnesty International Taiwan event in Taipei on Wednesday night, four speakers offered compelling insights into this and related questions. One of the main takeaways was the observation that disinformation […]

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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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