Many people, including former President Ma Ying-jeou, profess that the Republic of China established in Nanjing on Jan. 1, 1912 is Asia's first republic. They are wrong. The first republic in Asia is Taiwan.
A funny thing happened to me on the way to today's column, "funny" in the sense of "odd" or "coincidental."
From ancient times, amphibious military invasions are rightly regarded as especially challenging. Early summer includes the 72nd anniversary of the greatest such operation, the Allies' invasion of France in World War II, on June 6, 1944 -- D-Day.
Last Tuesday, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte presented his Cabinet-in-waiting to the public for the first time. The rite of political passage was quickly overshadowed, however, when Duterte's news conference took a by-now-familiar turn for the bizarre.
Words cannot begin to describe the devastation and suffering that has befallen Syria, now in its fifth year of civil war. Upon his return from the ravaged country, the U.N.'s humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien, solemnly told the U.N. Security Council, "I have run out of words to fully explain how the actions of the parties to the conflict have led to the devastation of a country and its people."
When a group of Asian editors met Chinese leaders on Tuesday, they got right down to business.No, they did not discuss the state of China's economy or prospects for its reforms. Nor did they dwell on China's internal reforms or crackdown on corruption.
The visit to Hong Kong by Chinese leader Zhang Dejiang -- third-ranking official of the Chinese Communist Party, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the top official responsible for Hong Kong affairs -- was clearly an attempt by Beijing to appear to be conciliatory, with Zhang holding a brief meeting with four pan-democratic legislators.
The Executive Yuan, or Cabinet, announced last Monday that a marine cooperation dialogue mechanism would be set up between Taiwan and Japan before the end of July to solve the inane political squabble touched off by the Japanese detention of a Taiwanese long-line fishing boat in the part of the open sea where Tokyo claims as the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Okinotori Atoll in the West Pacific.
"Tsai is 'extreme' because she is single: China."
Tsai Ing-wen has been formally inaugurated as the new president of Taiwan. She is the first woman to hold this top government position, a milestone of tremendous importance.