Category Archives: Taiwan

Sweet & Sour

Hu Jintao has issued a brilliant edition to what I call “Sweet & Sour” – the kind of rhetoric that comes out of the PRC that sounds sweet and flowery at first glance, but which is a sour and distasteful statement under the hood:

“We would like to make a solemn appeal,” Hu said at the opening of the ruling Communist Party’s five-yearly Congress.

On the basis of the one-China principle, let us discuss a formal end to the state of hostility between the two sides, reach a peace agreement, construct a framework for peaceful development of cross-strait relations and thus usher in a new phase of peaceful development.”

Wow, great job at saying basically: “Bend over and surrender to your PRC masters.” Here’s another gem from Zhang Qingli, the Communist Party boss of occupied Tibet:

“Such a person who basely splits his motherland and doesn”t even love his motherland has been welcomed by some countries and has even been receiving this or that award,” Tibet”s Communist Party boss, Zhang Qingli, told reporters during the congress.

“We are furious,” Mr. Zhang said. “If the Dalai Lama can receive such an award, there must be no justice or good people in the world.”

This on the other hand is pure sour. And really, you have two types of sour: The good kind, like a lemon drop shaken and served up. And the bad kind, such as sour milk – spoiled, curdled, and nasty. This falls squarely into the sour milk category, does it not? I include it here for a bit of contrast, and also to illustrate the huge amount of pure unfiltered crap that this country is capable of spewing from the mouths of their politicians, which almost rivals our own Bush administration in its outlandishness and downright fictitious nature. Gruber provides the clarification:

Where by “no justice or good people”, Zhang means “justice and good people”.

The PRC apparently has much stronger crack than they sell here, and they’re passing it out freely at the party congress.

Update: Best law ever: Chinese authorities issued a new regulation in July 2007 that requires all reincarnations – including the Dalai Lama – to be approved by the government. Now that is funny. When people unearth this civilization tens of thousands of years from now, they will be laughing their asses off…

Play Misty For Me

Come and see the show:

Benefit Concert Nov. 7 at 1 PM at 1755 Sunnyvale Ave in Walnut Creek, California, featuring members of the Taiwanese Bay Area community.

As of this writing, my pieces appear to be the Rossini Duetto for cello and bass, Koussevitsky’s Chanson Triste for bass and piano, and the last two or three movements from the Dvorak quintet. Yingwen is working on a Brahms Rhapsody, will accompany me on the Koussevitsky, and is accompanying a soprano soloist, a tenor soloist, and her choir. Should be fun!

Pot, Kettle, Black

Check out this headline:

China says it opposes threatening Iran with war

Now check this out:

China renews Taiwan threat of war

Or this:

China Threatens War Escalation Over Bush Handshake

Or this:

China Threatens War With Taiwan by 2008

Maybe if China backs off on saber-rattling Taiwan then we can talk about your Iran concerns…

UPDATE: It never ends… China warns U.N. Taiwan independence moves “gravely endangering” peace

Mixed Messages

Michael Turton makes an excellent point: Why is it that the United States will rebuke Taiwan for supposedly violating the status quo between them and China by asserting their sovereignty with things I would consider entirely peaceful – i.e. requesting Taiwan be admitted into the United Nations or the World Health Organization, while we rebuke them for not purchasing hordes of American-made weaponry, then at the same time delay the sale of weapons already approved to Taiwan, all the while ignoring the fact that China has dozens of nuclear-capable missiles pointed at the island solely for the purpose of threatening to take the island by force? Never mind the fact that we don’t recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation, or that our executive branch has pretty much become the hand puppet of Chinese foreign policy with regards to Taiwan…

In what parallel universe does this make sense?

It seems to me that U.S. foreign policy needs a return to principle-centered leadership. What would a principle-centered policy look like? What would be The Right Thing To Do� What would Jesus do? What would Brian Boitano do? What would you do?

I know what I’d do.

GF American Food in Taiwan

Chocolate Sin CakeOne of the great things about Taiwan is the unlimited amount of excellent food that there is to eat. You could literally design a vacation in this country exclusively based on food. Unfortunately for me because of the celiac, 90% of it is all off limits to me, mostly because of the prevalence of soy sauce which is loaded with wheat for flavoring, and other unknown sources of gluten contamination. So Last night we went to Ruth’s Chris Steak House – a very GF-friendly restaurant chain that just so happens to have a branch right here in Kaohsiung. (Taipei and Taichung also have locations.)

That isn’t to say that I haven’t found a ton of good food to eat here in Taiwan so far – I have. The roasted chicken from Dongshan was excellent, and tonight we’re going to a local restaurant that is owned by a family friend where they are preparing just for me a gluten-free banquet. But I can’t just go out to any old restaurant or street food cart and pick something up to chow down on, and celiac is almost unheard of in Taiwan.

And hence, an excursion to Ruth’s Chris: A a gastronautical vacation from the vacation. Everything on the menu is made with simple ingredients. Gluten-free in SD has a good list of GF recommendations and pretty much all the good stuff is safe. I had a salad with the remoulade (so delicious!) a 12 oz fillet mignon, mashed potatoes, a few glasses of Mondavi’s Cabernet Sauvignon, and finished it with the Chocolate Sin Cake.

Yes, I did say “cake.” The Chocolate Sin Cake is made with no wheat flour or gluten-containing products of any kind. Just chocolate, eggs, and sugar apparently. It is unbelievably good. It is especially good considering that it it is gluten-free without even knowing it. This is how all food should be.

When I searched on Google for gluten-free dining options in Taiwan, restaurants or otherwise nothing really solid came up. And so, there is at least this one now: A little taste of home far away from home, gluten-free.