At a casual glance, the recent string of events on the Korean Peninsula is puzzling. However, if we heed the notion that there is a method to North Korea's madness, the events of the last few weeks pertaining to Pyongyang and Seoul are no longer an enigma.
When people talk about Deng Xiaoping, some of his most famous quotes come to mind: "hunker down to bide time" (韜光養晦) and "never seek hegemony" (永不稱霸). There are many other admonitions that Deng wanted his comrades to bear in mind, like "friends must be made, but know them in your heart" (朋友要交, 心中有數).
Few mayors in Canada could put their cities on the map like Toronto Mayor Rob Ford did. In the past three weeks, the heavyweight (weighing 320 pounds) mayor of Canada's largest city has grabbed no less world attention than Italy's Silvio Berlusconi or New York's Anthony Weiner, albeit for a different reason. Mayor Ford was involved in a crack-smoking scandal which had little to do with the kind of racy, titillating sex stories that brought down the former Italian prime minister and dashed the hopes of the once front-running candidate in New York's mayoral race.
Mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping has often likened the challenge of China's reform to chewing" hard bones" -- a tough and daunting task that he said he is not afraid to bite into. The just-concluded Chinese Communist Party leadership conference in Beijing proved his courage, though he didn't bite off a lot.
Does anyone still remember K. T. Li (Kwoh-ting Li, 李國鼎)? The name sounds so remote, seemingly from a bygone era in some of Taiwan's halcyon days.
Of late, President Ma Ying-jeou has been dogged by flying shoes thrown at him by protesters and hecklers, so frequent and threatening that Taiwan's police spent about US$16,000 to buy 149 "shoe-catching nets" to protect the safety of the president, although none of these projectiles has yet hit the bull's-eye.
Although half a world apart, America's opposition Republican Party (a.k.a. the Grand Old Party, GOP) and Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) look eerily alike in many ways: both of them are able to do the impossible of turning majority rule into minority rule.
By the way, does any one in Taiwan still remember the APROC -- Asia Pacific Regional Operations Center? For those who don't, it was an ambitious plan to transform and upgrade Taiwan's economy for long-term competitiveness and sustainability.1 Comment
Bo Xilai stood tall, even though he was dwarfed by two Yao Ming-stature cops when he was led into a courtroom in Jinan in eastern China on Sunday where a life-sentence was handed down exactly one month after "the trial of the century" was held there in a cascading drama that riveted the world. The defendant, in handcuffs and an open-neck white shirt, looked nonchalant and dignified.
President Ma Ying-jeou, whom the Economist called a "bumbler" for his ineffectualness and timidity as a national leader, has proved the magazine wrong when he vindicated himself by slaying a political giant in a duel that looked like a modern-day David vs Goliath.