Today is New Year’s Eve and we thought we would embrace the Western tradition of making resolutions for the New Year, or rather coming up with resolutions we think others should make.
First, we would like lawmakers on all sides to remember that they were elected to represent their constituents rather than their parties (that is what legislators-at-large are there for) and finally realize that they are paid to engage in debate and pass legislation, not to make big-character posters and flyers to decorate the legislature.
We would like to see lawmakers resolve to do research, or to have their assistants do some, so that the next time a legislator wants to score political points against a rival, it can be backed up by certifiable proof for them to pontificate about.
We would like to see the media, both print and broadcast, actually question lawmakers, government officials, politicians and others about the sources and data they use, not just accept their word for it.
We would like to see the government, lawmakers and the judiciary resolve to enact the Judicial Reform Association’s reform plan so that the nation will finally have a truly independent and qualified judiciary that includes judges with real-life experience, not just experts at passing exams.
We would like to see the government resolve to favor people and the environment over developers and corporations when it comes to construction projects along the east coast and at other scenic spots. If the coast and mountains are covered in concrete, few tourists are going to want to visit, no matter how many luxury resorts are built. If there is little sea life left, the government’s (ludicrous) dream of competing with other Asian countries for tourist dollars will fail even faster than its silicon hub plan.
We would like to see the government resolve to respect Aborigines and their claim to self-government and land rights.
On behalf of the animals, both domesticated, stray and wild, we hope Taiwanese resolve to respect all forms of life and take better care of the four-footed, clawed and finned creatures that live with and around them. We would like to see the catch-neuter-release program for strays widely adopted, instead of catch, abuse/neglect and destroy.
We would like the people and the leadership of Taiwan and China to resolve to keep the peace, without arguing over who is more right. We would like to see the “status quo” respected and see politicians worry less about their place in the history books.
On behalf of the Chinese, we hope that after the leadership transition next year, those residing in Zhongnanhai will resolve to feel a little bit less paranoid and start allowing people the right to express themselves and practice their religion openly, both of which are rights theoretically guaranteed by China’s Constitution.
We also hope that Chinese resolve to become a little less sensitive, so their spokespeople do not have to talk about how their feelings have been hurt every time someone looks at them cross-eyed or tells Beijing to start acting like a grown-up.
On behalf of the Egyptians, we hope the military will resolve to hand over power to an elected government. In the meantime, we hope it will teach its troops to respect the right of protesters to disagree and to stop shooting demonstrators and conducting humiliating and illegal “virginity tests” on women.
On behalf of the Syrians, we hope the government will resolve to stop shooting their own people.
On behalf of the North Koreans, we hope their new “leader” will not feel the need to demonstrate his machismo by firing missiles or staging a provocation. We also hope that he will resolve to start feeding his people so that he won’t be the only chubby person in the country.
We could go on, but you get the idea.
What resolutions could you make that would help this nation, this world be a better place?
Burger King Taiwan on Wednesday last week posted an update on Facebook advertising a new “Wuhan pneumonia” (武漢肺炎) home delivery meal, catering to customers hankering for a Whopper, but who wished to avoid visiting one of its outlets. “Wuhan pneumonia” is the term commonly used in Taiwan to describe COVID-19. Beijing has been waging an extensive propaganda campaign against the use of the words “Wuhan” or “China” in reference to the novel coronavirus, calling it racist and discriminatory. Meanwhile, Chinese officials have claimed that the coronavirus might have originated in the US. The intention is obvious: to distract attention from the Chinese Communist
Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force Shaanxi KJ-500 airborne early-warning aircraft and Shenyang J-11 fighters on March 16 conducted a nighttime exercise in the waters southwest of Taiwan and, in doing so, came close to the nation’s air defense identification zone. Three days later, the PLA Navy’s fleet for Gulf of Aden escort mission sailed north in the Pacific off Taiwan’s east coast via the Miyako Strait on its way home. Meanwhile, the US carried out freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea and assembled the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group with the Expeditionary Strike Group to conduct
Having returned to the UK late last year and with a Taiwanese spouse remaining in Taiwan, I have been afforded the chance to compare and contrast the UK and Taiwanese governments’ responses to the COVID-19 crisis. My early conclusions are that Taiwan benefits from a rational, competent government, which quickly recognizes, adapts to and confronts large-scale disasters. It is led by a government that does more than just talk of respecting democracy and human rights, one that is scrutinized and responds to criticism, one that is concerned about public opinion, and one that is used to dealing with emergencies on
Italy, Spain, France, the UK and the US are all depending on social distancing to fight COVID-19 and have fallen into terrible situations, with mounting positive cases and many deaths. Social distancing might flatten the curve, so that the peak is not so high that hospitals are overwhelmed with patients, the problem is that the pandemic could extend further into the future, hurt the economy more and become unbearable for society. Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Singapore have controlled the spread of COVID-19, and the main reason is that most Asians wear masks. It can be illustrated as follows: If someone contracts the