Keith Richburg, director of the Journalism and Media Studies Center at the University of Hong Kong, and former Africa Bureau Chief for the Washington Post, will give a lecture, “Dragon Among the Lions: What Does China Really Want From Africa?” in Taipei on Sept. 9. The lecture will be moderated by Lung Yingtai (龍應台), writer and former Taiwan Minister of Culture. China has surpassed the US as Africa’s largest trading partner, investing some US$7 billion each year in infrastructure projects around the continent. Is China really looking for a long-term relationship of “equality and mutual respect,” or does it want to be merely a “friend with benefits,” like so many of the Western colonial powers that came before? How much do ordinary Africans really benefit from China’s economic largesse? Richburg will discuss his perspective on China-Africa relations, their economic partnership and the geopolitical implications of the country and continent drawing ever closer.
■ Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance (台灣金融研訓院), 2F, 62 Roosevelt Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路三段62號2樓)
■ Sunday from 2pm to 3:30pm; free admission, but those wanting to attend must pre-register at www.civictaipei.org/registration.php (English and Chinese). For more information, call Yuan Ti at (02) 3322-4907, Ext. 14. The lecture will be held in English.
Photo courtesy of Lung Yingtai Cultural Foundation
Over a million years in the making, the outdoor playground that is Kaohsiung’s Shoushan (壽山), commonly known as “Monkey Mountain,” is a rich geological and ecological resource that visitors to the city should be sure not to miss. Many are familiar with the area’s hiking trails and resident monkey population, but even locals may be surprised to learn of the extensive system of caves here, full of classic examples of speleothems like stalactites, stalagmites, draperies and flowstones, as well as cave-dwelling fauna. These caves are the result of hundreds of thousands of years of erosion slowly dissolving the mountain’s limestone.
April 12 to April 18 Hsieh Hsueh-hung (謝雪紅) stuffed her suitcase with Japanese toys and celebrity photos as she departed from Tokyo in February 1928. She knew she would be inspected by Japanese custom officials upon arrival in Shanghai, and hoped that the items would distract them from the papers hidden in her clothes. Penned with invisible ink on thin sheets, it was the charter of the Taiwanese Communist Party (台灣共產黨, TCP), which Hsieh and her companions would launch on April 15 under the directive of the Soviet-led Communist International with the support of their Chinese, Japanese
The Brave Girls were losing courage just weeks ago, on the verge of breaking up and abandoning their dreams of K-pop stardom after years of going nowhere. Then a pseudonymous YouTuber called Viditor uploaded a compilation of them performing on South Korean army bases — and saved their careers. Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’/I am waiting for you/Babe just only you, they chant, as wildly enthusiastic uniformed conscripts dance and wave glow-sticks. It went viral and struck millions of chords across the country. Less than a month later the song reached number one in South Korea and topped the Billboard K-pop 100 in
It’s official: Trees are good for the mental health of city dwellers. According to a study published in Scientific Reports at the end of last year, individuals living within 100m of a high density of street trees in Leipzig, Germany, were prescribed antidepressant prescriptions at a lower rate than those who didn’t have many trees in their neighborhood. The study noted that more distant clusters of street trees didn’t appear to have any impact on antidepressant use, and that, even at 100m, the correlation was merely “marginally significant.” However, the researchers found, for individuals with low socio-economic status, trees no more