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12 questions, 12 answers, 1 video

Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou has not been talking to the foreign press in English since he felt being misquoted by AP a few years ago. In order to give non-Chinese-speakers an impression of what a press conference with Ma is like, I recorded today’s event with the English simultaneous interpretation. Just watch the video below.

Ma Ying-jeou press conference

When I received the invitation, it read: (mehr …)

One of the world’s most celebrated directors explores Taiwan’s great outdoors

„Silence“ brings Martin Scorsese to Taiwan, as well as actors Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield, but what’s the film really about? Read what director Scorsese himself has to say!

A Taiwanese contractor was killed today on the set of Martin Scorsese’s film „Silence“ when scaffolding collapsed. A tragic accident that, hopefully, is not an omen of things to come.

After all, Scorsese’s „Silence“, starring Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield, is one of the biggest Hollywood productions to be shot mostly in Taiwan since Steve McQueen was in Tamsui 50 years ago, filming „The Sand Pebbles“.

Martin Scorsese

Scorsese probably picked Taiwan as the location for the filming because if was recommended to him (mehr …)

Careful when sending Taiwan news via Mailchimp!

(Update December 16: I got a reaction! See below.)

So there I was, hitting the „Send Now“ button to deliver the latest edition of my German Taiwan newsletter via Mailchimp. In case you don’t know, Mailchimp is a great tool for managing mailing lists. It has worked really well for me.

Except that this time, my mail didn’t go through to my subscribers.


Instead, I got this message from the „Mailchimp Compliance Team“: (mehr …)

Taiwan’s president and the Chinese heritage

Taiwan’s president Ma often stresses that Taiwanese are ethnic Chinese, even though this cannot be said of all citizens. With his latest quote on the subject, he might cause new controversy.

Ma Ying-jeou recently gave an interview to several reporters working for foreign media. During this interview, he is quoted as having said:

All our efforts in Taiwan have aimed at showing ethnic Chinese societies around the world that the imported concept of democracy can take root, germinate, and grow into a big tree on purely ethnic Chinese soil.

This quote appears identically in at least two reports:

This could either mean that Ma answered in English and was quoted verbatim, but that is unlikely since he refrains from giving English interviews ever since feeling misquoted by AP a few years ago. Or it could mean that he answered in Chinese and both journalists quoted from the official English translation which is usually provided by the Presidential Office staff who record all interviews.

Tsou Aborigine Taiwan

Taiwanese? Definitely! Ethnical Chinese? No.

Who do you call Chinese?

It probably goes without saying that President Ma calling Taiwan’s society „purely ethnic Chinese soil“ has the potential to be highly controversial. (mehr …)

Driving up Elephant Mountain is only easy if you know how

Of course, the best way to climb Elephant Mountain and enjoy the famous postcard view of Taipei 101 is hiking there. But maybe you need to carry heavy camera equipment, or want to take visitors up there by scooter or car? If time and convenience are of the essence, this is how to drive there.

Elephant Mountain Taipei 101

So just get on your scooter, start your car, and follow these instructions. (mehr …)

Do you agree with #11 ?

I first came to Taiwan in 2008 and moved here in 2009. That doesn’t make me a long-timer, but probably qualified to contribute to the popular genre of „You know you’ve lived in Taiwan too long if…“ lists.

What happened?

So now it’s up to me!

You know you’ve lived in Taiwan a long time when…

1. Those German exchange students you once met and wrote about are all working in cool jobs by now.

Exchange students Taiwan

(mehr …)

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