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 2016.1 Comment
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.
Mudfish are so called because they can survive for a long time during drought by burying themselves in mud. They used to be served as a delicacy in Taiwan and Japan as well as Korea, though restaurants in large cities rarely offer the eel-like fish on their menus.
Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang (KMT) and Mao Zedong's Chinese Communist Party (CCP) were engaged in the long Chinese Civil War. When Chiang was almost ready to crush Mao's Red Army in Yenan in 1936, he was kidnapped in a rebellion at nearby Xian and forced to join in the second KMT-CCP united front against Japan.
It's time for former president Chen Shui-bian to go back to prison. There's no reason why he is allowed to stay at home on compassionate release from jail where he is required to serve a 20-year sentence for corruption and graft as well as money laundering while he was in office from 2000 to 2008.2 Comments
Dear President Lee: It has been a very long time since I last wrote you. Hence this belated letter.1 Comment
"Characterization" (月旦評) is a collection of portrayals of heroes of the "Epoch of the Three Kingdoms" by Xu Shao (許劭) in conversations with his cousin on the first day of the first moon.
"Frenemy" is a portmanteau of "friend" and "enemy" that can refer to either an enemy pretending to be a friend or someone who really is a friend but also a rival. The term is used to describe personal, geopolitical, and commercial relationships both among individuals and groups or institutions.