Sat, Jan 27, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Johnny Neihu's NewsWatch: Taiwan needs more foreign affairs

Johnny outlines a radical strategy to get Taiwan out of its diplomatic doldrums — all inspired by the romantic tangling of a convicted US State Department official with a Taiwanese agent who is back out in the cold. Come back inside, dear lady: It's time to get soft, warm and wet.

By Johnny Neihu

It's all the rage now for music super-groups (and some not so super) to sign up for private performances for vast amounts of money. But because Taiwan doesn't have any super-groups, we have to make do with the idea of catching Jay Chou (周杰倫) picking his nose at a KTV brunch.

But as always with Taiwan, women lead the way. If you believe the insinuations of Next Magazine (and you have every reason not to), Z-list starlet and part-time dopehead Suzanne Hsiao Shu-shen (蕭淑慎) has been traipsing around China -- but not strumming a guitar or braying into a feedback-crippled microphone. No, say the drool-dripping reports on a cross-strait prostitution racket, she's been relieving rich men of vast amounts of money for a bit of tango in the mango. Now that's what I call a "direct link."

Assuming there's any truth to the report, it must be tough work. Not the traveling from shithole to shithole and dodging China's great wall of humorless police, paramilitary police and soldiers. No, I mean insufferable conversation.

Before proceeding to seven minutes of perfunctory lust, you just know that every one of her partners would say something like: "Hey baby, you Taiwanese compatriots are quite cute, but of course the most beautiful girls in China come from my province. Now take off that Les Enphants boob tube and get down on all fours."

Unlike her well-funded alleged clients, I think the media should climb off her back. If it's all true, at the very least she's making a tremendous effort to restore respectability to Taiwan's shrinking trade balance with the Chicoms.

But that's the economic side. There's another side to Taiwan's international lovemaking that has the potential to benefit this hemmed-in nation. Some might call it "espionage." I call it "keeping your friends close and your benefactors closer."

Last week saw top US State Department official Donald Keyser sentenced to a year and a day in jail for illegal removal of classified documents, lying to investigators and submitting a misleading customs declaration. But the real story -- and the angle that prosecutors followed up to try to nail him for espionage -- was his undeclared relationship and movements with an intelligence officer attached to Taiwan's de facto consulate in New York.

A Taiwanese Mata Hari? Really?

Keyser's downfall was Isabelle Cheng Nien-tzu (程念慈), who, if you believe the salacious coverage of Taiwanese and Chinese newspapers, has a certain combination of "Oriental features" that Western men just adore, which is odd, because there are millions of women in Taiwan who look pretty much the same as her.

Anyway, the Chinese-language media have gone to some lengths to depict Cheng as a slut -- dating back to her high school days. Which high school? Where else but Taipei First Girls' High School, where the cream of this great nation make their start. Isn't it funny how women with apparently more than a passing interest in sexual activity are depicted as especially dissolute if they have an IQ above 50?

Anyway, did Keyser compromise the US' national security? Technically, yes, though prosecutors seemed unaware that passing on secrets to Taiwanese intelligence agencies is like whispering the secret recipe for the Colonel's finger-lickin' chicken to a mangy dog munching on a leftover dinner box in a trash heap.

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