Leopold von Ranke, a German historian and a founder of modern source-based history, teaches us history has to be written "wie es eigentlich gewesen" or "as it really is." Perhaps Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan has never tried to understand von Ranke's dictum.
Politicians love political gobbledygook. It's only natural, because they want to say what they don't mean and mean what they don't want to say. One good example is the response Chao Tien-lin, director of the Department of Chinese Affairs at the Democratic Progressive Party, made to what Chinese President Xi Jinping had said at a panel discussion with members of the 12th National Committee of the People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing last Wednesday.
2015/3/9, 1 Comment
Japan is lacking in far-sighted diplomats. One really prescient diplomat was Baron Kijuro Shidehara, 44th prime minister. Despite growing Japanese militarism, he attempted to maintain a non-interventionist policy toward China and uphold the principles of the League of Nations.
So Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party, is running for president again in 2016. She did once in 2012, and was defeated by President Ma Ying-jeou.
Kao Yu-jen, formerly the youngest speaker of the now defunct Taiwan Provincial Assembly and father-in-law of Kuomintang Chairman Eric Chu, fired a broadside in June 2013 to blast President Ma Ying-jeou as incompetent when the latter registered for re-election to continue doubling as leader of the ruling party.
"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." It's a misquotation of Alexander Pope, who wrote "A little learning is a dangerous thing" in his "Essay on Criticism."
Lord George Macartney came to China as King George's envoy to be received in audience by Emperor Qianlong at Rehe or Jehol in 1793. The British lord had to follow the Chinese court protocol and presented gifts to the Son of Heaven. Among the gifts were precious clocks. Qianlong, of course, didn't bother to have a look at the gifts. The British diplomatic mission was a disastrous failure.
It may just be a coincidence that last year's Taipei Metro attack occurred a little more than a month after the Sunflower Movement in which young student activists occupied the debating chamber of the Legislative Yuan from March 18 to April 10 and broke into and ransacked the Executive Yuan on March 23.
2015/1/26, 1 Comment
Now that the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) has been doomed to bankruptcy, tongues are wagging over what's really wrong with it. Lawmakers shot off the government's THSRC financial restructuring plan, without which in effect bankruptcy had to be declared, albeit the bullet train line is running in the black.
2015/1/19, 1 Comment
I was at the ceremony where the national flag of the Republic of China was lowered at Twin Oaks in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 31, 1978. A U.S. Department of State Taiwan desk officer was at the historic estate to watch the lowering of the flag. He was jeered at by one of us in attendance who was sad and angry. Some of us wept. On the following day, New Year's Day of 1979, the United States cut off diplomatic relations with the Republic of China.
2015/1/12, 2 Comments