The Western Pacific suddenly looks ominously turbulent these days when dark clouds have been gathering over a string of tiny, barren islets which are claimed simultaneously by three neighboring states as their "inherent territories."(固有領土) The dispute over the Diaoyu (meaning fishing) Islands in the East China Sea, which are called the Senkakus by Japanese, could spark a military conflict if the situation is allowed to escalate unchecked.
Many of the Olympics in the past had an epithet, like "the best ever" or "the most exceptional," or "the safest." The London Olympics which is winding down after 17 spectacular days, should be remembered as "the most inspiring Olympics."
There is no denying that Taiwan has hit the skits and is in a bind. You don't have to look any further than the "Occupy Legislative Yuan" pandemonium at the nation's highest legislature.
The oft-quoted Chinese saying, "people's eyes are snow-brilliant," (人民的眼睛是雪亮的) has a ring of truth, after all. The adage, attributable to Chairman Mao Zedong, asserts that the eyes of people are piercing and sharp, able to see the difference between right and wrong, and to penetrate the smoke and mirrors of the reactionaries and counterrevolutionaries.
Of Mao Zedong's many pithy quotes, one impresses me the most: "I'm a monk holding an umbrella" (我是和尚打傘). Those were the words he told Edgar Snow four decades ago at the height of the Great Cultural Revolution, but the late American journalist and author of "Red Star Over China" did not get it and interpreted these cryptic words as "a lonely old monk walking on a gloomy rainy day."
Now it has turned out in China that not only power corrupts, but also money. And what if the two join hand in hand?
At a time when many people in mainland China are preoccupied with "getting rich quickly" and enjoying their newly found wealth thanks to Deng Xiaoping's bold economic reform and opening-up in 1978, perhaps only a few, if any, are interested in Premier Wen Jiabao's call for political reform.
Three decades after China's perestroika and glasnost, the country's politics have remained as inscrutable and opaque as ever. The erstwhile "bamboo curtain" seems still there, awaiting to be hoisted one day.
You can describe the recent Jeremy Lin phenomenon -- his meteoric rise as a basketball superstar in America and the media hype about it -- as Linsanity or Linderella, but a more appropriate word to characterize the sensation would be Linspiration.1 Comment
Taiwan's presidential election last Saturday was widely regarded by observers and analysts as a de facto referendum on the "1992 Consensus" -- a contentious issue that is at the core of the current cross-strait rapprochement.