Politics and polemic Archive

  • Taipei’s Little Burma and the legacy of the KMT ‘jungle generals’

    Taipei’s Little Burma and the legacy of the KMT ‘jungle generals’

    The distinctive red and yellow paving of Huaxin Street has been uprooted since my last visit. It’s one of those head-scratchers that define local government decision-making in Taiwan. “Why would they do that?” asks my younger son. Why, indeed? The design gave the road a pedestrian-friendly feel, a refreshing contrast with the rest of New […]

    Read More

  • How do Taiwanese Americans feel about Donald Trump now? (SCMP piece)

    How do Taiwanese Americans feel about Donald Trump now? (SCMP piece)

      The Surmaitis family’s dog has become a pawn in a genuinely civil war. “She’s Trumpy Dog,” insists Judy, the matriarch. “Mom, she’s depressed when she’s Trumpy Dog,” her daughter Alison Chan replies. “She’s a Cubs’ fan, which means she’s Obama Dog.” Why not “Hilldog”, à la South Park?   [Read the full South China Morning […]

    Read More

  • The Ugly Side of Taiwan’s Olympics

    The Ugly Side of Taiwan’s Olympics

    This is the original of my op-ed piece from today’s Taipei Times. I’ve also added stuff that I would have included but, based on experience, guessed wouldn’t make the cut for style and length reasons: Taiwan was overjoyed by weightlifter Hsu Shu-ching’s (許淑淨) gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last Monday. […]

    Read More

  • East Asia Forum piece: Taiwan’s friend buying days are over

    East Asia Forum piece: Taiwan’s friend buying days are over

    Forgot to post this up. It’s a pared down, edited version of my Global Asia piece. Actually, it’s really a completely different article, which is why I’m sticking it up separately. I’d like to give the editors at East Asia Forum (based out of the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University) a hearty slap on […]

    Read More

  • Global Asia Feature: Looking Back, Moving Forward: Foreign Policy Challenges for Taiwan’s New Leader

    Global Asia Feature: Looking Back, Moving Forward: Foreign Policy Challenges for Taiwan’s New Leader

    My piece in the summer issue of Global Asia. (The line calling Chiang Kai-shek the “KMT founder” is not mine. It stayed in despite me changing it after the piece was returned to me for a final proof).   Taiwan’s newly inaugurated president, Tsai Ing-wen, faces a conundrum when it comes to foreign policy. If she […]

    Read More

  • Taipei’s Vicious Cycle: Snatching Space from Pedestrians is Not the Answer

    Taipei’s Vicious Cycle: Snatching Space from Pedestrians is Not the Answer

    Below is the original version of my editorial/whinge from today’s Taipei Times:   Years ago I was tinkled by a cyclist on the sidewalk outside the student dorms at Shida. In response, I engaged in my version of what soccer goalies call “making yourself big” – deliberately positioning my body to obstruct passage. Why? Well, […]

    Read More

  • George H. Kerr Exhibition at City Hall

    George H. Kerr Exhibition at City Hall

    My last post featured a man I ran into at the 228 commemoration event in Taipei a few weeks back. In this dipstick’s revisionist version of events, Taiwanese thugs started the whole thing by targetting Mainland Chinese. His placard branded these alleged miscreants rapists and murderers. It’s easy enough to counter such ludicrous claims, but […]

    Read More

  • Of Taiwanese Tolerance

    Of Taiwanese Tolerance

    One of the things that makes Taiwan a great country to live and raise a family in is the remarkable tolerance that is shown toward diverging opinions, particularly in the face of provocation. I’m speaking of all aspects of society here, though what I really is have in mind is politics. As I wrote that […]

    Read More

  • Rebel yell: Curriculum protesters shouldn’t drown out other voices

    Rebel yell: Curriculum protesters shouldn’t drown out other voices

    When Cheng Nan-jung (鄭南榕) burned himself to death at the office of his outlawed Freedom Era Weekly in 1989, he became an instant martyr for the democratic cause. Not for the first time, the police had come to arrest him and shut down his operation. Even with the martial law period in its death throes, […]

    Read More

  • Sympathy for the Devil: Taipei Times Book Review

    Sympathy for the Devil: Taipei Times Book Review

    My review of Cambridge historian Barak Kushner’s book Men to Devils, Devils to Men from today’s Taipei Times (9/7/2015). A fascinating analysis of how competing visions of postwar justice shaped relations between Japan, China and Taiwan Early Saturday June 19, a group organized by Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society gathered on Lane 44, Jinshan South […]

    Read More

  • RSS Global Voices Taiwan Feed