Something to be proud of
With the non-event centennial of the exiled state of the Republic of China (ROC) fast approaching, now would be a perfect time for this government and president to seize the opportunity to catch the attention of the world and raise Taiwan’s profile as a truly progressive Asian republic. To this end, may I humbly suggest the following five policies:
First, Taiwan could ban the catch, sale and consumption of all shark meat and fins. Second, it could abolish the death penalty. Third, it could legalize, regulate and tax the production and sale of most currently illegal narcotics. Fourth, Taiwan could scrap the Referendum Review Committee and radically lower the 50 percent threshold for passing a referendum. Finally, Taiwan could abolish the practice of keeping any animal more than 5kg in weight in zoos or aquariums.
These policies would have the world’s journalists immediately rushing here to see what an empathetic and humane country looks and feels like.
Of course, there is no chance any of those ideas can become realities, which I think speaks volumes for the real “achievements” of the ROC thus far in its 100 years of despotic, corrupt, environmentally destructive and inhumane existence.
If the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) wants Taiwanese to identify with and be proud of the ROC, perhaps it might first think about achieving something truly inspiring for Taiwanese to be proud of.
Insult to human intelligence
I am happy to see that Bo Tedards kept fighting his battle with the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) over his demotion (“TFD fined for violating labor laws,” Oct. 1, page 3).
He has done so much through the foundation for democracy all over Asia, including Taiwan and China, but also through his long stint at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Research and Planning Committee, where he worked hard on to help turn two UN covenants on human rights into national law, assisting former deputy minister of foreign affairs Michael Kau (高英茂) in establishing the foundation and doing so many things to set up the World Forum on Democracy in Asia, arguably one of the foundation’s largest flagship projects. And this is not to mention his years working at the Taiwan Association for Human Rights.
I will pass over the rest of what he did and does, such as having articulated for the foundation the recently internationally piloted Asia Human Rights Award.
As Albert Camus once wrote, “life is sometimes nothing but an insult to intelligence” (my translation from French).
The KMT proved Camus right when it chased out a number of top TFD people when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took power, not to mention the thousands of contractual employees more or less associated with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at any level of government in less than two years. So much for Ma’s “Taiwan Cheers, Great” slogan.
Politics in Taiwan is becoming more like in the US, with extreme polarization that leads nowhere. It is high time for the KMT and DPP alike to face the inevitable need for a certain degree of consensus, which workers from all walks of life desperately hope to see for the sake of not only the economy, but life in general in Taiwan.
Good luck Tedards and don’t give up.
Again, the misguided political judgement that led to your secretive demotion during your parental leave is like what Camus said: an insult to human intelligence.
It is a plot that could have come straight from the pages of a John le Carre novel. The head of a nation’s secret intelligence service is caught in a honeytrap: captured on camera with a mysterious younger woman at Bangkok International Airport and covertly followed to their hotel. A secret liaison in an exotic location, used to blackmail the spymaster of an adversary, who misappropriated public funds to pay for the clandestine affaire d’amour. This is what the Chinese Ministry of State Security wants people to believe after it used a Thai-language “cutout” Twitter account to release a “leaked” photograph
In a China-US war over Taiwan, paradoxically the greatest loss of life could be inflicted on the Muslim Uighurs. Uighurs constitute 45 percent of the Xinjiang population of 25 million people, with over 1 million incarcerated in internment camps in accordance with a policy initiated under Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平). Another half-million children have been placed in state-run boarding schools. Forced sterilization has led to a 24 to 60 percent drop in the birthrate, leading officials from many countries to describe the mass detention as genocide. Estimated annual death rates in the camps of between 5 and 10 percent could
Starting from November, and in line with recent amendments to the Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance Act (強制汽車責任保險法), electric bicycles (e-bikes) and other small electric two-wheeled vehicles must be licensed with mounted license plates before they can be ridden on the road. This change should resolve some existing problems, such as the difficulty that e-bike owners have faced in receiving help to find their bikes if they are stolen, and the difficulty that road users have in holding anyone accountable when an accident occurs. It would also allow the more than 600,000 e-bikes that are currently being ridden on Taiwan’s roads to
The United States may soon find it somewhere between difficult and near impossible to maintain a sufficiently favorable balance of power against the People’s Republic of China in the Western Pacific. That is, unless our leaders in Washington can evaluate past policy decisions with a critical eye and begin to integrate Taiwan into an overarching plan to maintain regional stability. For its part, Taiwan simply cannot ensure its long-term survival unless it is able to obtain a greater degree of support from America. War and peace in the Taiwan Strait will likely turn on whether or not Washington and Taipei