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Where ruining people is still considered sport

19 0 0
01.10.2018

Last week I was invited to participate in an international conference in Taipei that was hosted by several of Taiwan’s private think-tanks and governmental ministries. For me, it was not only a great honor but also a sentimental journey, since it was during the winter of 1976-1977 in Taipei that I, at the age of 23, first studied Chinese abroad.

The two-full-day conference, titled “2018 Asia-Pacific Think-Tank Summit,” was attended by presidents and senior scholars of research institutions from 18 countries/entities. It was a golden opportunity for me, and probably for many other participants as well, to rediscover Taiwan’s strategic and geopolitical values.

One Japanese participant, a former Cabinet member, for example, stated in his keynote speech as follows: “Historically, the island chain starting from Japan to Taiwan, the Philippines and all the way to Indonesia has long been preventing aggression or maritime advances by the continental powers.

“What we must protect now,” he continued, “is such universal values as the free market, freedom of speech and democracy, human rights and the sovereignty of each nation. It is, therefore, imperative for us in the Indo-Pacific region to secure the island chain that connects the peoples who value a just and open international order.”

Although the sessions were fun and intellectually stimulating, I once again tested my stamina, which is not so powerful anymore, in Taipei. It was not because the meeting schedule was so tight that we had no time to rest, but because I had to sit up late to watch CNN coverage of the Kavanaugh-Ford testimonies in the U.S. Senate.

“I........

© The Japan Times