Due to the Lunar New Year holiday, from Wednesday, Feb. 10, through Wednesday, Feb. 17, there will be no features pages. The paper returns to its usual format on Thursday, Feb. 18, when features will also be resumed. Kung Hsi Fa Tsai!
Last week the news broke that Time magazine selected Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) as one of the global top 100 emerging leaders, “individuals who are shaping the future.” Chiang, who will be 48 in a couple of weeks, heads a dying former authoritarian party that opposes independence for Taiwan and advocates annexing it to China, and is not so much shaping the future as trying to prevent it from happening. Johnny Chiang? Can the reader name any of the half-dozen or so interim chairs the KMT has had since Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) resigned in 2005? Comically,
Whether or not the Formosan clouded leopard still exists in some hidden mountain fastness somewhere in Taiwan is a question that has fascinated the scientific community for many years. Taiwanese researchers attempted to put the question to rest a decade ago by scouring the Dawushan Nature Reserve (大武山) in Taitung County, but came back empty-handed. The survey ran from 1997-2012 and used over a thousand camera traps, but did not turn up a single cat, and the species was declared extinct in 2013. Renowned Taiwanese conservationists Chiang Po-jen (姜博仁) and Kurtis Pei (裴家騏) conducted the field work and published a
With such a disastrous 2020, many are hoping that the “ox would turn the heavens and earth” (牛轉乾坤, a pun on a Chinese idiom signifying a reversal of fortunes used as a Lunar New Year of the Ox greeting). According to Taiwan’s soothsayers, however, don’t bank on it. The 2021 Good Luck Bible (2021開運聖經) predicts another calamitous year for the world, full of natural and human disasters ranging from bad harvests to political crises and surging unemployment. Meanwhile, the prognosticator Wisdom Tsai (蔡上機) foretells large-scale international scandals, increased bullying by stronger countries and a continued shift toward authoritarianism. Major financial emergencies
Taiwan’s oldest surviving Christian house of worship stands in a village at the base of the Central Mountain Range. Upgraded to a basilica minore by Pope John Paul II in 1984, Wanjin Basilica (萬金聖母聖殿) was established in what’s now Pingtung County’s Wanluan Township (萬巒) in 1863. The church’s founder, Dominican priest Father Fernando Sainz (郭德剛), was one of the first missionaries to enter Taiwan after the signing in mid-1858 of treaties between Qing China (which ruled the island between 1684 and 1895), France, Great Britain, Russia and the US. These agreements, collectively known as the Treaty of Tianjin (天津條約), compelled