I'll withhold a rant about local cuisine, after all, it is New Year's again. Suffice to say that somehow, weirdly, on an island full of coconuts, the Taiwanese never learned to use coconut milk in their cooking. Oh for a Sri Lankan curry!
- My friend Jacob G flipped me this link to a Simpsons episode with the Taiwan flag at the Olympics.
- Taiwans ITRI is the leading recipient of US patents among all research institutes in the world.
- Jamestown Briefing with a report on China's expansion into the South China Sea.
- Once again, the common pattern: China uses a Taiwan-related event to put stress on the US Taiwan relationship by blaming it for something that has already occurred. In this case, recall the threats to dump US treasuries in the wake of the arms sale to Taiwan? Already happened prior to the announcement. The "arms sales provoke China!" whine is just like the "Chen Shui-bian provokes China!" whine -- a way to snow US commentators into taking China's side.
- We're observing the WHA again this year. Whooppee!
- Fish from the Taiwan Reef in the middle of Lake Malawi. Taiwan is everywhere.
- Martin Jacques in the NY Times on what everyone is starting to recognize as the new dangerous period in US-China relations. He's also in CSM. Japan Times on similar. David Shambaugh on same topic. D'oh -- finally commentators are starting to wake up to what they are dealing with. Hello to the new dangerous world of Chinese expansion and hegemonic warfare. Of course, some people do get it.
- My friend Sean Su pointed out the contradiction in this Ma comment at RTI: "Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou made four New Year's wishes for Taiwan Saturday night. The wishes were for economic recovery, political transparency and national and global peace." Transparency? This from the man who has relentlessly worked to keep ECFA out of democratic oversight and away from the public eye? ROFL.
- Buddhist "mercy release" religious practice drives huge market for animals in Taiwan. Money quote: "The society said that nearly 60 percent of bird shops it interviewed for a study in 2004 admitted to catching or breeding animals to cater to the vast "mercy release" market."
- Robert Samuelson in WaPo on Our Good Cooperation Partner, China. Money quote: "China's worldview threatens America's geopolitical and economic interests. Just recently, 19 U.S. trade associations wrote the Obama administration warning that new Chinese rules for "indigenous innovation" could "exclude a wide array of U.S. firms" from the Chinese market -- or force them to turn over advanced technology. (British firms are so incensed by "overwhelming protectionism" that some may quit China, reports the Telegraph newspaper.)"
- Cash, cars, and hookers. Why didn't I become a baseball player in Taiwan?
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