Saturday, April 11, 2009

April Meetup Saturday April 18

I laughed myself silly at Johnny Neihu's ripping of American Samoa's representative to Congress, Eni Faleomavaega, who has been the object of much derisive commentary in the Taipei Times recently for his unswerving support for the wrong side. Johnny points out that Eni "I don't want good American boys to die for Taiwan" Faleomavaega is from a place that sends troops to fight in Iraq in grossly disproportionate numbers, and originally supported the Iraq War. There's a good article at JapanFocus that talks about the issue of Samoans fighting in Iraq (Vltchek also talks about Fijian mercenaries in Iraq). Meanwhile, Jerome passed the news about the upcoming April meeting of the breakfast club:


We missed our March meeting because two desired speakers had to unfortunately postpone to a later date. However we are back in April and have people lined up for the next couple of months.

First: This Saturday, April 18th, at 10 am.we have an interesting speaker from the UK, Michael Rand Hoare Ph.D.

Mike is one of those patient and persistent chaps who can root around through archives researching items political and otherwise. He is Emeritus Reader in Theoretical Physics in the University of London and Honorary Research Fellow in Royal Holloway College at the same. He may soon be an Hon Res Fellow at the SOAS in London,--that is pending. He is here having just given a presentation on Kinmen and Matsu in the 50s and 60s for Academia Sinica etc.

Topic: 'The Rise and Fall of Britain's Hong Mao Cheng Consulate" It almost reads like a spy novel with intrugue and competitive powers galore. We see the Brit side of the 2-28 happengs and reports.

The British Consulate in Tamshui, housed in the 'Hong Mao Cheng' building
was re-opened in 1946. It had functioned throughout the Japanese period until the outbreak of the Pacific War

Though very small as consulates go, it immediately came to special prominence in the '228' period, when it sent daily reports to Nanking and London on the developing situation in Taiwan. These reports, mainly sympathetic to the Taiwanese people, were played-down in London, however, where the KMT had its own friends in the Foreign Office.

In 1951, when the British Government recognized Beijing and diplomatic relations with the ROC were cut, the Consulate surprisingly remained open, reporting as before while scrupulously avoiding any contact with the Taipei regime. This highly anomalous situation led to absurd, and sometimes farcical events as the pretence was kept up. Strangely the authorities in Beijing, though sometimes expressing annoyance, did not threaten any retaliation.

In the late 1960s the continuation of the Consulate was threatened from another direction altogetuer--Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Authorities kept up an underhand campaign, behind the backs of Tamshui, to have the Consulate closed, for fear it jepoardized their situation. This was not successful, but the Consulate was eventually disbanded in 1972 as part of the deal whereby the UK upgraded its Beijing Consulate to Embassy status.

Mike is giving us the fruits of his going through the UK Archives which are governed by their version of the Freedom of Information Act.

The meeting location is the restaurant 婷婷翠玉 at 174 AnHe Road, Section Two. (rough translation of name is Tender, Pretty Green Jade.) You will be able to tell the restaurant by the lace curtains on the window--it was used in a TV commercial a while back. (We will have the downstairs room--breakfast cost will range between NT$100 and NT$200. Phone if lost 2736-8510.

Restaurant is between Far Eastern Plaza Mall/Hotel and HePing East Road--about a half a block north of the corner of HePing East Road Sec. 3 and AnHe Road. or a half a block south of Far Eastern Plaza on the AnHe Road side.

Take the MRT Mucha Line to the Liuchangli Station exit there, and walk west on HePing East Road 3/4 of a block till you reach where AnHe Road dead-ends into it.Then go north on AnHe Road; it is a half a block up on the west side of that street.

Or take any bus down HePing East Road and get off at the first stop that is east of Tun Hua South Road. That will put you at the corner of HePing and AnHe.

You can also take a bus down Tun Hua South Road to the stop right across from Far Eastern Plaza and walk over to AnHe Road.

Or if you take the 235 bus east, it turns off of HePing onto AnHe Road and the first stop is right across from the restaurant.

Keep me abreast of headcount if you anticipate coming.

Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!

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