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There is one very apt proverb in the Book of Proverbs that warns against hubris. “Pride goeth before a fall,” it runs. Hubris, to which ancient Greek playwrights attributed the fall of heroes in classic Greek tragedies, spelt the doom of mortals who had become so powerful as to think they were equals of Olympians who, then, punished the human upstarts.
In Jane Austen's memorable Pride and Prejudice, Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy overcame their respective prejudice and pride leading them both to surrender to the love they have for each other in nineteenth century England. In twenty-first century Taiwan, the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party do not even want to try to overcome their pride and prejudice, respectively, to get the country ticking on in an increasingly dangerous world where economic globalization is ruthless.
Thucydides was a Greek historian and Athenian general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth century B.C. war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 B.C. He is known as the father of scientific history, whose Melian Dialogue remains a seminal work of international relations theory still studied at advanced military colleges worldwide.
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They are very much alike. Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea and Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan were born four years apart in the former Japanese colonies. Roh and Chen both studied law, were defense lawyers before turning to politics, and got elected president of their respective countries with an anti-corruption agenda almost at the same time.
Beijing will be hosting next year's APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum, and China's scholars and Taiwan experts are talking about whether President Ma Ying-jeou may attend its informal summit meeting. Opinions were exchanged at a seminar at Peking University sponsored by the Taiwan Office of the State Council last week.
Professor Nicolas Koss, dean of the College of Foreign Languages and Literature of Fu Jen Catholic University, asked me a question shortly after a New York Times correspondent described the Criminal Investigation Bureau's final report on the mystery-shrouded March 19 shooting at President Chen Shui-bian in 2004 as “the sort of story once found in dime store novels” in 2005,
Toru Hashimoto, ultranationalist mayor of Osaka, was right when he said last week Japan was not alone in using what are euphemistically called comfort women as sex slaves for soldiers. He said soldiers living with the daily threat of death needed some way to let off steam, which was provided by the comfort women system.
As a matter of fact, most of the people in Taiwan take it for granted that they are Chinese. Sure, seven out of every ten people will claim they are Hoklo.
There is a nuclear reprocessing plant in the village of Rokkasho in the prefecture of Aomori at the northern tip of Honshu, Japan's largest island. Capable of putting out 9 tons of weapons-grade plutonium and 800 tons of uranium a year, it is due to complete active tests — the last stage before it starts commercial operation.
Taiwan Democracy Watch, an association of scholars organized in Taipei in 2008, held a “Free Man Declaration” forum last Tuesday.Dr. Yao Jen-to, a Tsing Hua University professor and a former aide to Tsai Ing-wen.
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