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Taipei Walking Tours - A Guide To Taipei In 6 Days

Taiwan is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Asia. With about 10.74 million tourists in 2017, it lags behind Asian neighbours like Thailand (35 million), Hong Kong (58 million), Japan (28.7 million), or Indonesia (14 million).
Nevertheless, Taiwan is a great place to visit due to its amazing food, fascinating history, traditional Chinese culture, friendly atmosphere, safety, and natural attractions. Moreover, Taiwan has a very convenient visa policy. Citizens of many countries, including the United States and most European Union members, can travel to Taiwan without a visa and stay there for up to 90 days. You can literally buy a plane ticket and go to Taiwan without doing any paperwork.    
If you travel to Taiwan, your first destination will probably be the capital and largest city: Taipei.




Taipei is the political and economic centre of the island, with lots of attractions ranging from modern skyscrapers and shopping centres to night markets, colonial Japanese architect…
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European far right leaders gather in Yalta to defend Russia's Crimea policy

In early April the Ukrainian embassy in Berlin notified the German government that 22 individuals, including five lawmakers of the far right, anti-EU Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, and two of the socialist Left party, planned on attending the Yalta International Economic Forum in Russia. 
The 5th Yalta International Economic Forum titled "World. Russia. Crimea. New Global Reality" took place in the Crimean city of Yalta on April 17 - 20 for the purpose of attracting investment and promoting relations between Russia and foreign politicians willing to accept Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014. 
At a conference held within the framework of the Forum, Head and Prime Minister of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov urged Friends of Crimea clubs to consolidate efforts to lift sactions imposed on Russia after the annexation of Crimea.  
"We saw how many allies we have," Aksyonov said. "Today we understand that we are not doomed by the sanctions."
Friends of Crimea cl…

Singapore as a pioneer of capitalist authoritarianism

On July 18, 2010, British author Alan Shadrake was arrested in Singapore, two days after the country's attorney general had submitted an affidavit recommending his prosecution on charges of "scandaliz[ing] the Singapore Judiciary."

The 75-yeard-old Shadrake had arrived in Singapore to promote his book 'Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock’, which uncovered alleged bias in the implementation of the madantatory death penalty for drug trafficking by the judicial system. Police detained him after a complaint was lodged by Singapore's Media Development Authority.

On November 3, 2010, Alan Shadrake was convicted for "scandalizing the judiciary." Singapore’s attorney-general argued that "public confidence in the Singapore Judiciary cannot be allowed, in any way, to be tarnished or diminished by any contumacious behaviour." The defendant claimed that his book amounted to "fair criticism on matters of compelling public interest,&quo…

Howard Schultz' Presidency Would Be A National Security Threat Because Of His Ties To China

On January 27 Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, told CBS' "60 Minutes" that he is considering running for president of the United States as an independent
Schultz has hired former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt and Democratic consultant Bill Burton. Schmidt was involved in the presidential campaign of George W. Bush in 2004, while Burton was a member of Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and later served as deputy White House press secretary.
Schultz, who as of January 30 is worth US$3.4 billion according to Forbes, stepped down as executive chairman and board member of Starbucks in June 2018 and is now chairman emeritus. He owns more than 37.7 million shares of the company's stock.
Many have criticized Schultz's presidential bid, worrying that it might help re-elect Donald Trump by taking votes away from the Democratic candidate.


But there is another reason why Schultz's run for president is dangerous: his long-standing ties to the Chinese Commun…

Will The Huawei Case Finally Awaken Democrats To The China Threat And The Danger Of Faux Free Trade Rhetoric?

On January 28 the Department of Justice of the United States unsealed two cases against Huawei, China's largest telecommunications company, and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou. 
Huawei has been accused of trying to steal trade secrets, committing bank fraud, breaking confidentiality agreements and violating sanctions against Iran. One indictment claims that Huawei attempted to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile by promising bonuses to employees who collected confidential information.
Huawei is not a company like any other. Over the years it has benefited enormously from the support of the Chinese Communist regime. The founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, joined China's army during the Cultural Revolution. In 1978 he also joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 
In the early years Huawei's sources of capital were high-interest loans (20%-30%) from Chinese state-owned enterprises. Ren also secured soft loans from the local government of Shenzhen thanks to his personal co…

Wife Of Taiwanese Activist Li Ming-che Seeks US Help After China Denied Her Right To Visit Husband

On 28 November 2017 a Chinese court sentenced Taiwanese human-rights activist Lee Ming-che to five years in prison on charges of subverting state power. The charges were based on statements he had made criticizing the Chinese Communist regime. Li was the first foreign NGO worker detained after China adopted a new Foreign NGO Management Law.
On January 27 Li's wife, Li Ching-yü, received a notification from Chishan prison, in China's Hunan province, informing her that she will not be allowed to visit her husband for three months. The Chinese authorities allege that Li Ching-yü "distorted facts" at a press conference she held on 18 December 2018 after visiting her husband in prison.
The note stated that after visiting Like Ming-che, Li Ching-yü "distorted facts, made public statements that are seriously inconsistent with the truth, interfered with the normal law-enforcement work of the prison, and impeded Li Ming-che's reformation."
In 2017 the US Congr…

China Orders Private Kindergartens To Be Handed Over To Local Authorities

On January 22 the General Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China (PRC) issued a notice stating that private kindergartens in urban residential communities must all be handed over to local education authorities to be turned into public or non-profit kindergartens.
China currently has a system in which public kindergartens, which are run by local authorities and use material provided by the government, compete with private ones, which enjoy a certain independence and can choose their own textbooks. 
Over the past two decades private kindergartens have become a booming business. According to Beijing-based business consultancy ResearchInChina, between 2003 and 2015 private kindergartens grew from 55,000 to 143,000, while only 15,000 public kindergartens were opened during the same period. From 1997 to 2017, the number of children attending public kindergartens decreased from 95% to 44%.
However, in recent years the government has launched a crackdown on private kin…

China Is Releasing A Cartoon About The Life And Times Of Karl Marx To Popularize Communist Ideology

On Monday Chinese video sharing website Bilibi (哔哩哔哩) will be releasing a cartoon about the life and times of the founder of Communism, Karl Marx. The Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCPPD) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences have partnered to create the cartoon, whose aim is to popularize Marxism.
The cartoon, entitled The Leader (领风者), has been realized in a style reminiscent of Japanese anime and consists of 7 episodes of 25 minutes each.  The story focuses on the young Karl Marx' friendship with Friedrich Engels and his relationship with his wife, Jenny von Westphalen. A trailer released in December shows Marx portrayed as a young, handsome and energetic leader. 
The cartoon aims at making Karl Marx more accessible the common Chinese people, who may not be familiar with his theories.
Marx has experienced a revival in China after Xi Jinping took office in 2012 and began emphasizing the importance of Marxist ideology.   
Marxism-L…