Monday, April 04, 2005

Taichung Favorite Son

"'Every day 600 to 900 vessels pass through the Taiwan Strait,' Mr Tsai says. 'Most are Japanese and foreign ships, mostly carrying oil. There are also more than 1,000 commercial flights in the zone every day.'"

Michael Tsai Ming Xian ran for mayor of my hometown Taichung three or four years ago, narrowly losing to Jason Hu Zhi Qiang. It was a race between two talented, admirable candidates, and Tsai was undone by the fact that the miserable DPP incumbent, Zhang Wen Ying, having lost the DPP primary to Tsai, left the party and mounted a third party campaign, chipping away at his base. I actually worked with Tsai briefly. Eleven years ago, the YMCA started a school with curriculum all in Taiwanese, teaching Taiwan language and culture - Taiwan Cultural College (don't know if they're still around). Tsai was the law professor and I taught English - the only class not in Taiwanese. He the real deal - gives the lie to the usual lazy, cynical observation that all politicians are the same.