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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

As the World Turns in Taiwan II: More Games than One In Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung, Taiwan is gloriously hosting the 8th World Games this year and some 105 countries are here to participate. But the World Games are not the only game in town. Last year when Chen Yunlin from China visited the country, Ma Ying-jeou did not want to admit he was president in front of him. He was introduced as Mr. Ma so as not to offend China. This year, however, things are different. Ma opened the games as the President of Taiwan. So why the change?

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China and Chinese are al-Qaeda's new target

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an Algeria-based offshoot of al-Qaeda, has reportedly threatened to target Chinese interests overseas in retaliation for Beijing’s crackdown against Uighurs in Xinjiang last week in which 192 people were killed.

Quoting a security consultancy, the South China Morning Post wrote that while AQIM — a loose umbrella for North African extremist organizations, according to terrorism experts — was the first al-Qaeda-linked group to issue such a threat against China, others were likely to follow.

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Let's play a game: Slap our president

Were it not for the need to maintain decorum and show Taiwan’s best face to the sporting world, the boycott by Chinese athletes of the World Games opening ceremony would warrant symbolic retaliation. No matter the reason for the boycott — refusing to recognize President Ma Ying-jeou at the ceremony, or just boycotting for boycotting’s sake — and no matter how predictable such Chinese behavior may be, the snub directed at a democratically elected leader and the country he represents was deeply offensive and violated the goodwill that underlies international sporting competition.

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The limits of Ma's achievements

President Ma Ying-jeou has touted the Maokong Gondola and the Mass Rapid Transit system’s Neihu Line as two major achievements of his eight-year stint as the mayor of Taipei. To highlight his role as a key figure in making these projects possible, Ma was invited by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin to take part in the inauguration of the gondola in July last year and the Neihu Line earlier this month.

But neither project has covered itself with glory, with the former struggling to justify the massive amount invested to provide the public with a sound and safe mode of transportation.

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Newsflash

The Taipei 228 Memorial Museum is reopening its doors to the public this morning after a 10-month renovation, but its efforts to reveal the truth of the 228 Incident met with challenges as pro--independence activists and family members of the incident’s victims yesterday accused the museum of glorifying the acts of the then-government and distorting the truth with its selection of documents.

The renovated interior design and the documents on display in the permanent exhibition, they said, turned the museum into a bright and beautiful hall that reflected little of the tragic event, and described the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime’s bloody crackdown on demonstrators in 1947 as the government’s exercise of authority.