Reporting from the Taiwanese capital, we examine how the Russian invasion has been a wakeup call. And we explore the tradition of ‘Ghost Month,' where spirits come looking for attention.
The war in Ukraine is existential in importance for Ukraine. A freedom loving people, who would like to overcome corruption, is in a fight for existence against a vile, insatiably power hungry, dictator.
But the impact on the rest of humanity is no less significant. Freedom from oppression and corruption is at risk the world over. Evil dictators have taken over in a number of countries (Hungary, Belarus, Venezuela...) and are trying in others - including the United States.
We need to keep track of all of the developments worldwide. The struggle against tyranny in the world is an existential struggle for freedom worldwide.
So bring on insightful coverage of struggles against oppression and corruption worldwide. Please.
I think most of your paying readership are people who care about the threat of autocracy all over the globe. Whether it's Putin trying to destroy Ukraine or Xi trying to destroy Taiwan, it is part of the same problem. I will continue to pay my subscription fee, as long as you continue to cover Ukraine in the mix.
This is the quote from the article which haunts me most :
"when your autocratic neighbor says that you don’t exist as a distinct identity and is willing to use violence to impose this misguided conclusion, you should take that threat seriously."
Have learned so much about Ukraine thanks to you. Look forward to learning more about Taiwan also.
Ukraine was unprepared for invasion. There are still war-weary Americans who want to stop supporting the Ukraine effort. It is Zelensky insisting on their willingness to fight for freedom and the fighters actually doing so who convince larger countries to support Ukraine’s fight. Taiwan need to demonstrate the same grit.
I wholeheartedly support expanding your work to include Taiwan, or other fledgling democracies. I must admit I had a bit of a heart attack when I saw the headline, not sure if something really bad happened overnight.
Again, stay safe and be well. Thank you.
Really fascinating seeing all the parallels... thank you for another illuminating piece
The Counteroffensive could cover any geopolitical encroachment and I'd be a happy subscriber.
I'll be honest: I lived in Taiwan for two separate years and have visited often since then. I am always delighted to see more coverage of Taiwan anytime, but really, really nervous at the way that Taiwan is being flattened to fit into the Ukrainian story line. There's significant (and to me, well-founded) suspicion that the U.S. is harrying Taiwan into a level of military cooperation that benefits American weapons manufacturers rather than Taiwan's best interests, and may bring about the conflict that both the US and Taiwan say they want to avoid. (For instance: what if the U.S. says it has good reason to believe that the PRC is about to launch an invasion, and recommends a pre-emptive strike on China's navy while it is in Taiwanese waters? Only to discover - post-conflict, a la weapons of mass destruction in Iraq - that the US was misinformed?) I love your reporting and have faith that over time, you can tell the complex story that is Taiwan. But please remember that Xi is not Putin, Tsai is not Zelensky, and Taiwan is not just a parallel case!
Kudos to you, Tim on your incredible piece on Taiwan! I have a couple of months of issues I wasn't able to read during my recovery from my second bout of COVID. I'm looking forward it.
Y'all travel safely.
Frankly, Taiwan needs something like the Civilian Marksmanship Program. That program was created by Congress over 100 years ago so that individuals could buy army surplus semi-automatic rifles to keep at home. That’s how you prepare a population to resist an invasion. Switzerland goes further than this, issuing personal machine guns to every household.
Like others, I am happy to support reporting on places other than Ukraine, as long as Ukraine is the main focus. Awareness is a major tool in the arsenal of resisting dictatorships & anti-democracy moves, and one has to wonder if more leaders listened to Zelenskyy when he was telling anyone who would listen about the continuing threat of a Russian expansion of their invasion of Crimea, and the citizenry around the world were aware & agitating for global action by the international community, would things have turned out the same? So - I welcome expanding my knowledge!
I think building in opportunities for covering counteroffensive(s) from other places for a bit is honing resiliency skills. Selfishly, it means I am learning about other places and perspectives. Who knew of the support for Ukraine from Taipei - until today I did not. Thank you.
Thank you so much for this article! After a few years in China, I left without regret, understanding very well that this wasn't a place for me. I then fell in love with Taiwan and went more than 10 times to that country, enjoying each stay, enjoying my meeting with the locals. I always thought the next big war would be there, and I really didn't see the war coming to Ukraine. Unfortunately for Ukraine, it showed us what regimes like the Russian or the Chinese ones can do. I don't know if the Taiwanese needed to be warned, but at least it has shown the world the danger of those autocracies and I hope Taiwan has now more friends than ever. Thank you so much for this article. Hope to see more. Let's hope that Taipei (and Taiwan) and Kiev (and Ukraine) will remain for ever in Taiwanese or Ukrainian hands.
As somebody living in Taiwan and an admirer of your reporting in Ukraine, I'm deeply grateful to you for this post. Thanks for expanding coverage to Taiwan and searching for connections (as well as differences) among democratic countries facing threats of autocratic takeover. And thanks for the generous shout-out to Albert's and my work. Grateful to you, and keep the posts coming!