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  • Flight of the Aztec Eagles: When Mexico bombed Taiwan

    Flight of the Aztec Eagles: When Mexico bombed Taiwan

    An abridged version of the following article appeared in yesterday’s Taipei Times:  “Stand up anyone who didn’t learn anything just now,” says Michael Hurst. Nobody moves from the seats they’ve been glued to for the past 90 minutes. “I certainly learned a whole lot,” says Hurst, director of the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society. “But […]

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  • The glorious contradictions of Lee Teng-hui

    The glorious contradictions of Lee Teng-hui

    The following article was published in The Diplomat on August 18: “It was one of the few days in my life when I wore a suit,” remembers Hans Breuer. Back in 1996, Breuer, then a freelance translator, was contacted to work as an interpreter for German TV network ZDF, which was in Taiwan to cover […]

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  • Not quite Chinese (Taipei Times review of Russia’s Chinese Princess)

    Not quite Chinese (Taipei Times review of Russia’s Chinese Princess)

    The following book review appeared in today’s Taipei Times: “Though Chiang was born in Siberia, she displayed the virtues of a traditional Chinese woman,” said then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) following the death of Chiang Fang-liang (蔣方良) in 2004. “She was a good mother and a good wife who always put her family first.” Leaving aside […]

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  • The inside-outs of J.W. Henley’s ‘Migrante’

    The inside-outs of J.W. Henley’s ‘Migrante’

    The last time Joe Henley signed a book for me, he made it out to his “colleague in debasement.” Sounding like a possible song title for his next musical project, this was surely an accolade. We had worked – individually, together – on a series of textbooks, and the process had indeed been soul-destroying. Never […]

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  • Understanding remains key to changes in refugee situation

    Understanding remains key to changes in refugee situation

    A slightly edited version of the following feature appeared in today’s Taipei Times: A recent exhibition in Taipei highlights the lack of comprehensive refugee legislation — an issue politicians are unwilling to tackle In his 1958 book, A Nation of Immigrants, then United States Senator from Massachusetts John F. Kennedy wrote the following words: “Little […]

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  • Despite Covid-19 success, Taiwan still struggles for international legitimacy

    Despite Covid-19 success, Taiwan still struggles for international legitimacy

    The following article appeared in the June 2020 issue of Global Asia: Two recurring themes in Western media analysis of the Covid-19 pandemic have been the inherent untrustworthiness of China and the near unparalleled success of Taiwan in tackling the disease. Strangely, few commentators have expressly connected these strands. The West, we are repeatedly told, […]

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  • Mature response to WHO required

    Mature response to WHO required

    The following op-ed appeared in today’s Taipei Times: It is hardly surprising that WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is on the defensive. He is taking hits from all angles — the most recent and high-profile example is a broadside from US President Donald Trump, who attacked Tedros’ organization for moving too slowly and being “China-centric.” […]

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  • Shadows at Yangmingshan

    Shadows at Yangmingshan

    The following article appeared in today’s Taipei Times: On the 45th anniversary of his death, Chiang Kai-shek’s footprints can be found all over Taipei’s national park Nowhere are the effects of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) postwar Sinification campaign more visible than in the toponymic revisions that the regime undertook after assuming power. Taipei’s streets […]

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  • Mask claims fly in face of science

    Mask claims fly in face of science

    The following op-ed appeared in today’s Taipei Times. In June 1918, as it became evident that a deadly strain of influenza was spreading through military cantonments in the US, a group of the nation’s premier medical scientists visited Camp Grant to conduct an inspection. Constructed just the year before, this huge army training center was […]

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  • James Soong: The end of an (authoritarian) era in Taiwan

    James Soong: The end of an (authoritarian) era in Taiwan

    The following piece appeared in The Diplomat today: Amid the coverage of Tsai Ing-wen’s resounding victory and re-election as president of Taiwan last week, scant attention was given to political veteran James Soong’s showing. The former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) heavyweight finished a distant third place with just 4.25 of the vote. This represented a […]

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