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A popular proverb whose origin is attributed to Joseph Kennedy, father of President John F. Kennedy, is "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."
So Taiwan wants to join the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank or AIIB. Join Taiwan must as President Ma Ying-jeou said in an exclusive interview with The China Times on last Thursday.
Dr. Yang Chen-ning, China's first Nobel laureate, came from Beijing to Taipei last week to belatedly receive an honorary doctorate from the National Taiwan University. He was awarded the degree last year, but couldn't come because he was indisposed at the time. He and Dr. Tsung-dao Lee were the co-winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on parity nonconservation of weak interaction in 1957.
Leopold von Ranke, a German historian and a founder of modern source-based history, teaches us history has to be written "wie es eigentlich gewesen" or "as it really is." Perhaps Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan has never tried to understand von Ranke's dictum.
Politicians love political gobbledygook. It's only natural, because they want to say what they don't mean and mean what they don't want to say. One good example is the response Chao Tien-lin, director of the Department of Chinese Affairs at the Democratic Progressive Party, made to what Chinese President Xi Jinping had said at a panel discussion with members of the 12th National Committee of the People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing last Wednesday.
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Japan is lacking in far-sighted diplomats. One really prescient diplomat was Baron Kijuro Shidehara, 44th prime minister. Despite growing Japanese militarism, he attempted to maintain a non-interventionist policy toward China and uphold the principles of the League of Nations.
So Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party, is running for president again in 2016. She did once in 2012, and was defeated by President Ma Ying-jeou.
Kao Yu-jen, formerly the youngest speaker of the now defunct Taiwan Provincial Assembly and father-in-law of Kuomintang Chairman Eric Chu, fired a broadside in June 2013 to blast President Ma Ying-jeou as incompetent when the latter registered for re-election to continue doubling as leader of the ruling party.
"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." It's a misquotation of Alexander Pope, who wrote "A little learning is a dangerous thing" in his "Essay on Criticism."
Lord George Macartney came to China as King George's envoy to be received in audience by Emperor Qianlong at Rehe or Jehol in 1793. The British lord had to follow the Chinese court protocol and presented gifts to the Son of Heaven. Among the gifts were precious clocks. Qianlong, of course, didn't bother to have a look at the gifts. The British diplomatic mission was a disastrous failure.
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