Follow by Email

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mental forecast: cloudy, with a chance of resignation

Like the photographs below, my mood hasn't cleared much since returning to Taiwan last Monday.

It certainly didn't take long for the rut to set in again, now that I'm back to the daily routine of teaching mornings, afternoons and some evenings. My students are as friendly and interesting as ever, but I've been at this for far, far too long. Unfortunately, the ennui of life on Formosa hasn't been alleviated by any good news from back home. Worries over the health of one parent remain an ongoing concern, and I feel a strong sense of guilt for being so far from home when I could/should be making myself useful in some capacity back in the States. However, suddenly uprooting a family from one country and plopping them down in another without sufficient time to prepare for the uncertainties regarding income, education and cultural readjustment doesn't seem like the right thing to do just this moment.

I do prattle on...

Speaking of money, we've been relieved of NT30,000 ($1018) to fix an oil leak in our Nissan Cefiro 日産・セフィーロ. I've never been very good with matters of engineering and mechanics, which is another way of saying I'm hopeless when it comes to cars, and especially, the workings of their engines. Add to my general ignorance the fact that all the repair matters were handled in Mandarin Chinese by my wife, and I'm almost completely out of the loop here. All I know is this was the wrong time (as if there were ever a right one), financially speaking, for our automobile to fail on us. Having missed half the month of January in order to go back to the U.S. for our annual visit, our revenue stream for the next pay period is about to shrink considerably. The forecast for the next four weekends or so calls for lots of domesticity.

Finally, there's Amber. Not to worry, she's in good health and still her usual energetic self. However, this morning she asked if she could change kindergartens because "the other kids don't want to play with me". I'm sure this is only one of life's minor episodes, and just a normal part of growing up, but I'm understandably sensitive to my daughter's situation. She is, after all, the only bi-cultural child in her entire kindergarten - there may be other students whose mothers might be Vietnamese, for example, but they wouldn't be so obviously "different" as my little girl. As one of my Facebook friends pointed out, Amber will never be considered as "one of us" by her Taiwanese friends and classmates (though probably not in a hostile way), and as long as we stay here, she's just going to have to learn how to handle that. Or we could move back to the U.S. where people like my daughter are more commonplace and therefore more likely to be accepted for who they are. 

Bi-cultural offspring have been having a hard time of it lately in Taiwan, as this AP article in Wednesday's Japan Today pointed out:

Prosecutors say Taiwanese-Japanese starlet Makiyo 川島茉樹代 has been barred from leaving Taiwan pending a probe into her alleged involvement in the beating of a taxi driver in Taipei.

The Taipei Prosecutors Office said Tuesday the 27-year-old singer is accused of kicking a taxi door after her companion, who allegedly was drunk, dragged the driver out and beat him.
Makiyo has apologized and pledged to stop drinking in the wake of the Thursday night incident.
Takateru Tomoyori of Japan was released on bail pending formal charges, possibly attempted homicide, according to prosecutors.
The driver suffered a brain hemorrhage and two fractured ribs.
News reports said the taxi driver asked Tomoyori and Makiyo to get out after they refused to wear seat belts. 

This story has dominated the headlines here, which isn't surprising as celebrity-related scandals grab the attention of Taiwanese just as much as they do the citizens of other countries. For those of you who don't know, Makiyo is what the Japanese call a tarento タレント, an entertainer of minimal talent who nonetheless becomes a celebrity, and is constantly seen on vapid talk and variety shows. The product of a Japanese father and a Taiwanese mother, she became famous here because of a combination of having a nice body paired with a Japanese background (though she speaks Mandarin fluently). As to whether she has any actual singing abilities, you can do a YouTube search to listen and decide for yourself (or just watch this). What's disturbing here is the undercurrent of xenophobia that appears to be fueling the hype over this "scandal". Sure, entertainers in Asia do seem to have an exaggerated sense of themselves, and as a result, are constantly getting into scrapes with the common people, but the outrage in this case might well be amplified by the fact that Makiyo isn't "one of us" (her companion most certainly isn't). It's a strange situation when a reactionary rag like the China Post actually comes to her defense, sort of.

At least the weather cleared up enough earlier this week to allow for a bit of hiking. I'm getting flabby again after a long period of relative inactivity combined with a poor diet (plus my Taiwan-related insomnia has returned in the post-jet lag period), so it was with some sense of relief to be walking again along the trails in the  Dàkēng 大坑 area. The photos below didn't turn out very well, but I really didn't want to post any pictures of Makiyo, so here you go:

Looking down from Trail 7 towards the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 臺中市洲際棒球場
Trails 1-5 are shrouded in mist

Don't even get me started on how I missed what, by all appearances, was a very exciting Super Bowl XLVI. The last couple of years our trips back to the States coincided with the biggest sporting event on the American stage, but the calendar wasn't working in my favor this time. The Giants-Patriots clash was televised in a number of other countries, but Taiwan wasn't one of them. I certainly couldn't find the game on my local cable provider. Unlike in Japan, where the American game of football アメフト is popular at the university level (there's even a Rice Bowl to decide a champion!), the gridiron game is virtually unknown here. In fact, the only NFL game I've ever attended was a preseason clash between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams (before they moved to St. Louis) at the Tōkyō Dome 東京ドーム in August of 1989 (the American Bowl, which the Rams won 16-13 - thanks for the getting the tickets Jun!), while my Australian friend Josh and I once attended a college all-star game at the Yokkaichi Dome 四日市ドーム circa 2005. Yet here in Taiwan...

Enough whingeing already. I'm back, and I'm just going to have to deal with it.


  1. People are against her because she's a psychopath who kicked an innocent guy repeatedly in the head while he was on the ground putting him into a coma and then had the gall to lie about it.

    1. She's no different from other local celebrities who've gotten into alchohol- or drug-fueled trouble. But would the vitriol being directed against her be as strong if she were "pure"?

    2. This case is a lot worse than previous problems with celebrities and alcohol/drugs, with much more serious injuries sustained by the victim.

      Other than a certain xenophobic segment of the DPP, people in Taiwan are generally unconcerned with people who aren't "pure". If you're hearing vitriol because of that, is probably coming from some of the hicks in the south.

  2. Makiyo deserves whatever the fallout from this incident will bring. But I disagree about people not caring about ethnic identity. There's a strong undercurrent of xenophobia in this society, and not only among the so-called southern "hicks" - just ask your neighborhood Filipina caregiver or Thai factory worker. How can a pro-Blue supporter, for example, go along with the KMT's nationalistic ideology and not have any feelings of cultural or racial superiority?

    BTW, your condescension towards people living south of the Zhuoshui River kind of says something, wouldn't you say? :-)

    1. KMT ideology is not racially based though - BSR, WSR, Hakka, Aboriginal, caucasian etc all get treated equally.

      It's nothing to do with everyone south of the Zhoushui river. It's a certain vocal minority who tend to be DPP supporters that play the Hoklo race card every chance they get. It's not all by any means but they are the only major party that looks at where someone was born and makes that an issue.

  3. "KMT ideology is not racially based though - BSR, WSR, Hakka, Aboriginal, caucasian etc all get treated equally."

    Yeah, equally badly! (rimshot)...

    No, seriously, that was a joke, right? A pretty funny one, too. I've posted the remark on Facebook because I like to share humorous things I come across. You must be kidding - I mean, how can a group whose English name is the Chinese Nationalist Party, and which promotes a Greater China ideology, not be racially based? You're a pretty good comedian (or a troll).

    All political groups in Taiwan play the race card. The KMT receives overwhelming support from the Hakka and Aboriginal groups by playing up to their fears of Hoklo domination - ironic considering how the Nationalists did their best to promote a chauvinistic Han Mandarin-speaking identity at the expense of these groups' cultures and languages while they were running a one-party dictatorship. And during the martial law era, being born in China, or to parents who came from China after 1949, gave you definite advantages when it came to university placings and civil service postings under the apartheid-like system the KMT had in place. Being a Waishengren is still the way to get to the top of the party even now.

    But I suppose you're right - everyone does get treated equally, as long as the Baishengren, Hakka and aborigines know their proper places. Or to paraphrase Orwell: In Taiwan, all are equal - just some are more equal than others.

    I'm curious, though, as to how a Caucasian like myself is being treated equally under the correct and benevolent guidance of the KMT? Would you care to elaborate on how wonderful my life is here in this paradise on earth that is Taiwan?

    1. If everyone is being treated so equally, there would have been no need for Aborigines to have united under the ATA to become a singe ethnic group.

      If all were being treated equally, then employers would not be allowed to with hold 18% of your monthly salary... simply because you are a "foreigner".

      Sun Yat-sen ideology is rooted in racialism and social darwinism. If you have ever actually read the Three Principles of the People, you might see Sun's overt racialism.

      “Considering the law of survival of ancient and modern races, if we want to save China and to preserve the Chinese race, we must certainly promote Nationalism. To make this principle luminous for China's salvation, we must first understand it clearly. The Chinese race totals four hundred million people; of mingled races there are only a few hundred million Mongols, a million or so Manchus, a few million Tibetans, and over a million Mohammedan Turks. These alien races do not number more than 10 million, so that, for the most part, the Chinese people are of the Han or Chinese race with common blood, common religion, and common customs-a single, pure race.”
      Sun Yat-sen in San Min Zhu Yi (1927)

    2. That Sun Yat Sen quote is about China not Taiwan. They are different places - Taiwan is an independent sovereign nation. It is not China.

      If you're going to try to argue with something I say, at least make sure you're talking about the right country.

      And I just checked my husband's most recent payslip and the tax is around 5-6% not 18%. The same as it is for me.

    3. Your Quote: "KMT ideology is not racially based though - BSR, WSR, Hakka, Aboriginal, caucasian etc all get treated equally."

      Ummm... KMT ideology IS Sun Yat-sen Ideology with a hint of the fascist New Life movement thrown in for good measure.

      Read my comment again... employers are ALLOWED to withhold 18%-20% if you are a "foreigner".

    4. If you truly believe that something written almost a century ago about another country is relevant to today's Taiwan then I'd suggest you go back to the sticky balls and leave the politics to the grown ups.

    5. Then please tell that to the Chinese Nationalist Party. Furthermore, you might want to re-read the ROC constitution.

      Article 1.
      The Republic of China, founded on the Three Principles of the People, shall be a democratic republic of the people, by the people, and for the people.

      Furthermore, let me continue:

      Sunism combined with Chiang Kai-sheck's fascist inspired New Life ideology was imported to Taiwan in 1945. Sunism and Chinese nationalism a modernist movement, but Sun Yat-sen was in desperate need of support from the anti-Manchu secret societies and thus employed the popular racialist beliefs of social darwinism to rally support behind a "Han-Chinese" racial nation. You can see from the quotes above, he has also made Han Chinese the preferred ethnic group of China and thus the standard bearer of his modernist project.

      The Definitions of Chineseness were still vague until the 1930s, when the New Life movement codified national culture and it was at this point that the KMT state positioned itself as the powerful center of citizens lives.

      The KMT believed in a nation with a strong centralized culture rooted in Chinese Nationalism, especially after its two decade battle against warlords and regional nationalisms. This is congruent with Sun's themes, which sought to unite a disparate empire into a modern nation state... despite local rivalries, animosities and autonomy movements. The KMT part state positioned themselves at the center and others at the periphery. The closer an individual adhered to KMT ideology (with state defined Han Chinese modernism at its center) the more access that individual would have to state power and social mobility. What this means is that the KMT were, in effect, modern, and all others were "backward".

      True to form as any civilizing project (read: colonial project) the KMT used its own belief in its cultural superiority as "modernists" as a mandate to "transform" groups of people from "backwardness" and drag then through teleological time into the "modern present".

      When the KMT arrived on Taiwan the nationalists encountered Taiwanese people who both represented Japanese post Meiji modernism, as well as local traditionalism that threatened the KMT's system of strong centrality and class superiority.

      That is not to say that Taiwanese were not allowed into the KMT. Very early on there were Taiwanese KMT party members who were referred to as "Half Mountain People", a term to designate their incomplete transformation into Chinese nationalists. They were "halfway up the mountain to the pinnacle of state belief". This still designates how the state apparatus perceived a difference between people from Taiwan and the polyglot of other people from China.

    6. The second hurdle for most Taiwanese was the belief that their experience as Japanese subjects had (a) tainted them or (b) they had betrayed the race by collaborating with the Japanese. These two popular perceptions of Taiwanese by the KMT gave the state a pretext to institute discriminatory policies that favored Waishengren for their loyalty to the party. It was also used as a pretext to barring local Taiwanese representative elections or any Taiwanese presence at the constitutional congress in Nanjing in 1947 as Taiwan was still under martial law and required a "period of political tutelage".

      After the ROC retreat in 1949, ethnicity became one of the key grammars for understanding access to state power and social mobility. Political and appointments in the civil service were representational of provincial affiliation leading to a system where Waishengren made up an overwhelming majority of the civil service. Their access to the preferred language, customs, beliefs and ideology of the state made them elevated members of society. This experience also forged a new ethnic identity in Taiwan as the diverse languages and cultures of China merged into a single Waisheng ethnicity with the state at its center. The state worked hard to transform Taiwanese to become more like the Waishengren and better identify with the ROC state as the center of their social, political and cultural lives.

      Each contact point between the citizen and the state became a checkpoint for colonization and ideological indoctrination. In many cases the colonizing or civilizing of Taiwanese was carried out through education and the use of Mandarin Chinese; a language created as the official language of the state, which was promulgated through the nationalization policies of the Education Reform Movement of 1953, which sought to transform Taiwanese into Chinese and promote Chinese nationalism through recognition of state symbolism. Other times the colonization was more overt in the Lifestyle Improvement Movement of 1951, which sought to replace traditional "local" beliefs and customs with customs the state deemed more "modern". It really wasn't until the Chinese Cultural Renaissance Movement of the late 60's in the face of growing challenges for legitimacy against the PRC, that the KMT really embraced Chinese "traditionalism".

      These projects clearly placed Taiwanese people at a disadvantage and put the onus or burden on non-Waishengren to become more inline with Waisheng values. This was especially true in the country and in the indigenous communities, where the KMT sought to "tame" the aborigines. Still, there are stereotypes of indigenous peoples promoted by the state to advance tourism.

      For the duration of martial law the Waisheng dominated state culture resided at the center of Taiwanese cultural life; seated unchallenged by the threat of state violence.

      As the cracks in KMT state power became more apparent and the threat of violence receded due to an ever more precarious mandate as defender of Free China, the KMTs ethnic and cultural policies came under increasing attack. One of the earliest examples may be the formation in 1984 of the ATA or Alliance of Taiwanese Aborigines. Later, other political groups wouldrise up to challenge the KMT orthodoxy.

    7. This is especially salient for the fact that these groups would have had no reason to form if their members felt they were not the subject of state discrimination. The ATA provides an excellent example as Taiwan's indigenous communities had formerly been referred to as Mountain Compatriots. The perpetuated state of inequality in their contact with the KMT party-state actually necessitated the first union of different tribes, villages and languages into a common ethnic group known simply and singularly as "Aborigines". Prior to this period there were no "Aborigines" in Taiwan. They were certainly not united or represented under a singular caucus.

      The legacy of KMT cultural hegemony still exists in the education system and in the places of contact with the state. We still have Hua Qiao representatives. We still have Confucian Culturalism in schools. We still have a president who speaks of a common Chinese Culture. We still have a Hakka channel. We still have no indigenous autonomy. My own Taiwanese child is viewed as a "foreigner" as the promotion of the ROCas a racial nation continues.


      Ahern, Emily Martin & Gates, Hill, ed. 1981.The Anthropology of Taiwanese Society. California, Leland Stanford Junior University Press. ISBN 957-638-401-X

      Blum, Susan and Jensen, Lionel M. eds. 2002. China Off Center: Mapping the Margins of the Middle Kingdom. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press, Hawaii. ISBN 0-8248-2577-2

      Dikotter, Frank. 1992. The Discourse of Race in Modern China. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA. ISBN 0-8047-2334-6

      Duara, Presenjit. 1997. Rescuing History From The Nation. University Of Chicago Press, 978-0226167220

      Faure, David, ed. 2001. In Search of the Hunters and Their Tribes. Taipei, Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines Publishing. ISBN 957-30287-0-0

      Harrell, Stevan, ed. 1995. Cultural Encounters on China’s Ethnic Frontiers. University of Washington Press, USA. ISBN 0-295-97528-8

      Hsiau, A-chin. 2000. Contemporary Taiwanese Cultural Nationalism. London, Routledge Press. ISBN 0-415-22648-1

      Phillips, Steven E. 2003. Between Assimilation and Independence: The Taiwanese Encounter With Nationalist China 1945-1950. California, Stanford University Press, ISBN-0-8047-4457-2

      Teng, Emma Jinhuang. 2004. Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683-1895. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, ISBN 0-674-01451-0

      Wachman, Alan M. 1994. Taiwan: National Identity and Democratization. New York, M.E. Sharpe, Inc. ISBN 1-56324-399-7

      Wilson, Richard W. 1970. Learning To Be Chinese:The Political Socialization of Children in Taiwan. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

    8. Damn! Sorry for so many errors. I really shouldn't have written this all in the text box. Anon-troll just doesn't deserve the full investment of time or resources to give it a wholly thoughtful treatment.

    9. 1. I just sent your essay to my father who is almost 70, born and raised in Pingdong and has lived in Taiwan all his life and he said you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

      2. Even if you did, none of it is about Taiwan in 2012. It's all martial law era which ended almost 30 years ago. Taiwan is a completely different place today.

      3. Almost none of your references are by Taiwanese people.

    10. Chin A Hsiao is Taiwanese.

      One reason to avoid too many local sources, is their propensity for political bias, either being on one side or the other of the Taiwanese independence debate.

      I would like you to counter with sources and/or intelligent argument.
      Please no polemics. Look at the publishers behind my source list and you should provide something similar. I have done my part.

      Until there is a new constitution or a declaration of independence, there is still a continuity. Lee Teng-hui did a lot to neutralize the old guard, but they are still in the KMT Central Standing Committee. It was Lee who was ousted. If there is not a continuity with the Sunism, the ROC in China and the bad old days... then why on earth did we just celebrate the ROC centennial... if you failed to notice. Now get to work. You have a lot of reading to do. I'll meet you in the work room. You have a budget of $200 and I will join you at Mood.

      If you can't provide academic sources I'll have to fail you.

    11. If you wish to disregard the experience of people who lived through it, and want instead to focus on foreign academics then I'll leave you to it. Your argument is meaningless.

  4. I don't know about your life but based on your blog posts stating how you hate so much about Taiwan, I'd say your problem is with you not with Taiwan.

    My family traces itself back in Taiwan a couple of centuries yet both of my parents, who were born in the 1940's, are NTU graduates. Under your reasoning they shouldn't be because they're not WSR. Unlike you, they lived here through that era.

    My husband is English. He's been in Taiwan 20 years and has never experienced any of the top-down prejudice you seem to think exists.

    Don't you see the inherent contradiction in saying that the KMT has nationalistic ideology based on racial superiority (Han) and then stating that they receive overwhelming support from Hakka and Aboriginal?

    I'm not sure if you are aware but the people of Taiwan recently overwhelmingly voted for the KMT in elections giving them a mandate to continue their policies. The people of Taiwan obviously don't not agree with the views you hold.

  5. You’re right, you don’t know about my life, but that doesn’t stop you from passing judgment on it, does it now? If your reading comprehension skills weren’t so poor (more on that later), you would have trouble finding where I actually wrote that I hate Taiwan so much. There’s much to be said about life here, but it just doesn’t suit me. I would leave at once if I could, but if that hurts your feelings, and it makes you feel better to label me a “Taiwan hater”, then go ahead.

    Both your BSR parents graduated from NTU? Good for them for succeeding despite having the deck stacked against them. I never said the BSR were excluded from college admissions and so on, only that the WSR were deliberately overrepresented in these areas as a result of KMT-directed government policies (reading comprehension, Anon, it all comes down to reading comprehension). Of course, the WSR benefitted from having much of the Taiwanese intelligentsia wiped out in the 228 Incident, opening up a lot more doors for them, and in the process ceding the ground to those “Southern hicks” you so look down upon.

    I’m glad your husband has never had to go through what I’ve had to endure. Of course, things are different for Westerners than they are for the Southeast Asians I mentioned in an earlier comment. I envy many resident Westerners in Taiwan for their abilities to focus only on the good things here, and use their blinders to ignore the bad and the ugly. I only wish I could.

    Now let’s work on those poor reading comprehension skills of yours. There is no “inherent contradiction in saying that the KMT has nationalistic ideology based on racial superiority (Han) and then stating that they receive overwhelming support from Hakka and Aboriginal” because I pointed out the KMT “play(s) up to their (Hakko and aboriginal) fears of Hoklo domination”. People of different ethnic and socioeconomic groups in many societies often vote against their own best interests (look at who votes for the Republican Party in the US). It isn’t all that difficult to comprehend, really. This leads us to the fact that your political comprehension abilities aren’t much better than your reading skills.

    To wit, you wrote:
    “…the people of Taiwan recently overwhelmingly voted for the KMT in elections giving them a mandate to continue their policies. The people of Taiwan obviously don't not agree with the views you hold.”

    Now I was a Political Science major in college, so maybe I’m wrong in assuming this should be easy to understand, but I’ll give it a try. In 2008, Ma received 58.45% of the popular vote compared to 41.55% for the DPP’s Hsieh. In 2012, Ma’s share of the popular vote dropped to 51.60%, while the DPP’s rose to 45.63%. In the legislative elections, the KMT lost 8 seats in 2012 compared to 2008, and saw their share of the popular vote drop by 9%. Where is the overwhelming mandate?

    And, of course, the people of Taiwan don’t agree with the views I hold. If they did, the air and water would be much cleaner, and gangsters wouldn’t dominate politics at the local, and to some extent, the national levels, as they do now.

    Have a nice Greater China day, Anon.

    1. I wasn't passing judgement on your life, and I don't care at all whether you stay or go. As you repeatedly mention that life doesn't suit you here, I don't know why you don't pack up and move somewhere you enjoy. I can relate - living in England didn't suit me and so we moved back here. No big deal.

      In the election, the winning margin was large enough for the win to be considered a mandate by experts.
      "You can only interpret this as an unequivocal mandate … The KMT must be delighted," said Jonathan Sullivan, an expert on Taiwan at the University of Nottingham"

  6. I'm sorry, but you were making a judgement statement. As to why I don't go, it isn't so simple in my present situation to just "pack up and move somewhere (I) can enjoy". Just because leaving England was "no big deal" for you doesn't make it so for others.

    I stand corrected - the KMT lost 17 seats in the legislature in 2012, not 8. Yes, some experts consider Ma's reelection a mandate, but there are plenty of other observers who don't:

    "Ma did have a victory. He won the election, but in no way can that be considered a mandate. Ma could claim a mandate in 2008, but if his policies were even halfway decent his vote count would have stayed even or even possibly increased. It did not. The KMT had controlled 70 percent of the seats in the legislature — that gave it the power to implement any and all of Ma’s policies.

    This year, the KMT has a greatly diminished majority in the legislature; it has lost its power to push through legislation unopposed. The opposition gained the advantage of being able not only to present changes to the Constitution, but also to put forth recommendations to censure and recall the president. Is this a mandate for Ma and his party or a new mandate for the opposition to be a better watchdog and monitor the president and his policies?"

    It isn't a black-and-white world out there.

  7. Quoting from the DPP's newspaper doesn't really help your point. I mean, what else are they going to say?

  8. The Taipei Times isn't the DPP's newspaper - that was the Taiwan News. The Taipei Times is an independent publication that is middle-of-the-road in outlook, which naturally makes it more critical of reactionary political elements like the KMT (which can rely on the China Post to be its English-language mouthpiece). When you told the above commenter to leave politics to the grown-ups, you should've been looking in the mirror while you were writing it.

    I'm off to Yunlin County today. You know - that area south of the Zhuoshui River. I'll tell the "hicks" there you said hello.

    1. Ah no, that's not right. The Liberty Times is actually the DPP newspaper, and its sister paper in English is the Taipei Times. It is not an independent publication.

  9. According to the Wikipedia entry (, the Liberty Times takes "a Pan Green pro-independence political stance." That doesn't mean it's the DPP's newspaper, only that it shares many of the same views as the party. In the same regard, the China Post isn't the KMT's paper, either. Fox News in the USA is notorious for its bias towards conservative viewpoints and politicians, but no rational person would call it the Republican Party's TV network.

    On the other hand, I had a friend who used to work at the Taiwan News (before it disappeared into online obscurity). He told me that the DPP was closely involved with that publication.

    Reality. It's a complicated bitch at times.