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Yang Jianli, September 22, 2017     Recently, the long detained Taiwanese citizen and human rights activist Lee Ming-che appeared in a bogus trial in Chinese courts and was forced to plead guilty to “subverting (Chinese) state power”. Outraged family members and Taiwanese supporters might want to come to the United Nations’ human rights mechanisms for help — but they can’t. This is because they, as citizens of Taiwan, are not represented at the world governing body. With pressure from China, even Taiwanese tourists are routinely excluded from visiting the UN Headquarters with Taiwanese passports. Egregious and ridiculous as such is the reality facing us today. The only thing preventing Taiwan, a full democracy, from taking its rightful seat in the UN is China, and China’s aggressive posture on the international stage with respect […]


March 31, 2017 Taiwanese pro-democracy activist Lee Ming-che disappeared on March 19 after clearing immigration in Macau. China has confirmed that Lee is being investigated on suspicion of ‘pursuing activity harmful to national security.’ This is an unauthorized translation of his wife’s statement. — The Editors   Lee Ching-yu’s Press Release: I’ve been a historian of Taiwan’s period of political violence, the “White Terror,” for many years. Now that my own my loved one is detained, terror grips my heart. I’ve tried so hard to calm myself, to carefully compose my thoughts. I know from the history of the White Terror in Taiwan that when a country’s system of rule of law hasn’t risen to international standards, all attempts to offer defenses according to the […]


By Hu Ping, published: January 24, 2016 The “1992 consensus,” the outcome of a meeting between representatives of the Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), refers to the putative agreement that there is only “one China,” but that each side is able to interpret the meaning of that one China differently. For the KMT, this means that the Republic of China represents the only “one China,” whereas for the CCP, it means that the People’s Republic of China is the sole representative of the “one China.” The status of the agreement, or even its existence, has been controversial. — The Editors.   In May 2004 in the overseas Chinese-language magazine “Beijing Spring”(《北京之春》)  I published an essay titled “Looking at Taiwan’s plight from […]


By Lu Chiou-yuan, published: March 23, 2014   In Taiwan, a large-scale student protest against a trade pact (CSSTA) with China has escalated. Local time Sunday night and Monday morning, riot police drove out students who had occupied the Executive Yuan (video), injuring scores. With a translation of this short essay by a Taiwanese lawyer, we wish to afford our readers a glimpse at the Taiwaneses’ deep-seated fear and why they are on the streets now protesting against the pact (NYTimes) that the Kuomingtang government has been pushing forcefully. – The Editor   The truth is, many people don’t know much about the content of the service sectors trade pact with China, so they don’t know why people are opposing it. People no longer read about […]


By Chang Tieh Chi A rebuttal to some Mainlanders’ tendency to romanticize Chiang Ching-kuo in the discussion of Taiwan’s transition to a democracy in late 1980s. Chang Tieh Chi (張鐵志) is a Taiwanese commentator on politics and music and authors of multiple books. He’s currently the editor-in-chief of City Magazine in Hong Kong.   Perhaps out of disappointment in their own society and expectations for change, in mainland China, Chiang Chang-kuo (蒋经国) has been adored by many for his contribution to Taiwan’s democratization. Opinion pieces on the subject tend to ignore his suppression of the democratic movement in mid 1980s. Or even when they do acknowledge his authoritarian rule, they still believe he made great decisions in the mid- 1980s out of a “sudden” epiphany of conscience. Mr. Shu Tong’s […]


Now, I generally know better than to go sticking my neck out on issues like this, but I actually agree that China should be in control of the Diaoyu islands. The problem is that I was tempted to side with the Japanese after witnessing the disgusting display of mindless nationalism over the weekend (which in some cases included calls for wiping out all Japanese, and seemed to be state-sponsored). Hidden behind the calls for boycotts and sanctions, and the embarrassing claim based on the policy of “first come, first serve,” (which can be found in legal texts between “Dibs” and “Finders keepers”) makes it seem like this entire issue is nothing more than a ploy to drum up support for the Party. Or, that perhaps […]


By Yaxue Cao …Continued from yesterday Components of a He Cha Session When the state security police descended on these law-biding citizens, often in plain clothes, asking to have a talk with him or her, they didn’t bother to show their ID and did so only reluctantly in some cases when the interrogatee insisted. Never mind the warrant. There was none. In one case, the wife of an interrogatee opened the door to find policemen asking her husband to go with them. When she asked why, she was told “it’s inconvenient to say.” When she insisted the police show a warrant, the police said there was no warrant, threatened to use force, adding, “You are in China.” The Interrogation: The security police asked an interrogatee’s name, […]


Those of us who grew up in Christian homes are all familiar with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Sadly we learned this week that the tale has a very different ending in China: A toddler was going down to the street to play, she was run over by an inattentive driver, who paused a moment to consider what to do and then departed, leaving her half dead. By chance, a certain merchant was going down that way. When he saw her, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a mother also, when she came to the place with her own child, and saw the injured toddler, passed by on the other side. Sixteen others did the same, but a certain […]


In addition to “The west doesn’t understand China,” the second refrain you’ll hear when it comes to defending some of the Party’s more draconian policies is that “China is a big country with a large population.” For example, a comment on an old post: “China insists on having solution that is suitable for the conditions in China, and I bet the shape the hospitals are in is one of these solutions – right for China. When anyone complaints about anything wrong with China, the size of the population will always come up as the trump card – no other country has as large population as China, and therefore China’s problems are always unique. And I suspect that these hospitals are part of the solution to […]


I’d like to apologize for the large number of links today, but when it comes to sensitive topics it’s best to be prepared. The other day I quietly asked my co-workers where exactly Dr. Sun Yat-sen (or Sun Zhongshan in pinyin) was during the Xinhai revolution, when Imperial China was overthrown. The intern quickly replied “Nanjing” which was a good choice, since that is where his mausoleum is, and where Sun set up the Republican gov’t (his presidency lasted 3 months). My other co-worker guessed “Beijing” then switched to “Beiping”, the name used during the republican era, just in case it was a trick question. Their mouths fell open when I told them he was in the far away city of Denver, a fact that […]


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