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An Invisible, Visible Country



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So, I’m reading the news, and I see a headline that irks me. “That’s nothing new,” my regular readers would say — and they’d be absolutely right. But this particular instance of irking has a special meaning this week. The headline in question is “Palestinians mull non-member state status at UN”; the article is here.

“Palestine” is already a “permanent observer” at the U.N. Last fall, they tried to become a full member, and failed. So now they’re going for this “non-member state” deal.

Taiwan, meanwhile, is not a “permanent observer.” Why, as I say on the homepage today, Taiwanese journalists in New York are not even allowed credentials to cover the U.N.! The PRC seems to want Taiwan invisible, and the rest of the world goes, “Okie doke.” Taiwan is a robust liberal democracy, with a free economy. It is one of the most interesting and admirable countries on earth.

Anyway, I am in Taiwan this week, and my “Taiwan Journal” starts today, and when I think of this country’s treatment on the world stage — Irk City, as Bush 41 might say.

P.S. Not very often am I ashamed of my country. But when we forbid the democratically elected leaders of Taiwan to refuel their planes on American soil, for fear of offending the delicate souls who lead the Chinese Communist Party — jailers of the 2010 Nobel peace laureate, keepers of a gulag — the shame creeps in.



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