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The Crusades were a series of military missions, organized and promoted by popes, which began in 1095 and took place through the 11th and 13th centuries. Historians regard a few such missions until the 15th century as Crusades, though. The original intent of the Crusades was to recapture "Christian" lands that had been invaded by Muslims.
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More often than not, my American and Japanese friends would ask me what is wrong with Taiwan's politics. My answer is simple. We don't have far-sighted leaders. Not even capable ones. But I would never fail to add that I took comfort in the fact that Taiwan, with a population of only 23 million, naturally has no able leaders, yet the United States with ten times as many voters and Japan with five times as many also haven't elected good national leaders.
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The Parthians were an ancient Iranian people. Parthian archers mounted on light horse, while retreating at a full gallop, would turn their bodies back to shoot at the pursuing enemy.
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As tensions mount in the South China Sea, the Japanese are worried their self-defense forces will be involved in armed conflicts between the United States and the People's Republic of China.
Taiwan's "Retrocession Day" was not marked yesterday. It was proclaimed as a national holiday in 1946 by Gen. Chen Yi, administrator-general of Taiwan, who accepted the instrument of surrender from Rikichi Gen. Ando, governor-general of Taiwan and commander of Japan's Tenth Area Army, as representative of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek on Oct. 25 of the year before.
President Ma Ying-jeou enumerated the achievements of his Kuomintang (KMT) government in his Double Tenth Day speech on Oct. 10, and noting Tsai Ing-wen's presence at the celebration, quipped that maintenance of the status quo is the "Taiwan Consensus" his administration has helped to reach over the past seven years.
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Mayor Eric Chu of New Taipei City made an unforgivable mistake right after the party had been routed in Taiwan's first nationwide local elections. As the only Kuomintang (KMT) mayor of Taiwan's six special municipalities, he is the hope of the party defeated in last year's nine-in-one elections for remaining in power after increasingly unpopular President Ma Ying-jeou steps down in May next year. When he declared his candidacy for KMT chairman, Chu promised not to run for president in 2016.
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One thing that has surprised me most since retirement as Taipei's representative in Italy in 2000 to resume teaching English in universities in Taipei is that all of my graduate students majoring in English and English literature cannot sing "Auld Lang Syne" in English. It is a Scots poem composed by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a press conference last Friday at the end of the current Diet session to tout the enactment of the two laws to exercise Japan's right of collective defense as a step for the country to contribute to world peace. He defended the security bills aimed at expanding the role of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces overseas, saying the security laws were not "war legislation" as labeled by some critics but were paving the way to prevent the outbreak of wars.
Unlike the Chinese, the Japanese do not tend to make a big fuss for something unimportant. The Confucian Chinese love to argue for the rectification of names, which, in fact, is much ado about nothing, but the not so equally Confucian Japanese are much more practical.
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