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 23.1 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.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.2 Comments
When Chen Shui-bian was first elected president in 2000, his election was hailed as a triumph for democracy that put an end to Taiwan's half a century of one-party rule by the Kuomintang.
Professor Ko Wen-je said last Monday, three days before he assumed office as mayor of Taipei, that he could not understand what the "Consensus of 1992" is, and proposed a "2015 Consensus" to supercede the one reached 22 years ago as a modus vivendi for the conduct of relations between Taiwan and China.