Taiwan…Would that all of China was you. I spent only a week there but what a place, and what I time I had. My friend Lin Yanting, my roommate in Pyongyang when we ran a half marathon there, is from Taipei – the city I spent most of my week in with lovely Lisa. He studies at Waseda University in Japan and unfortunately, we missed him by one day. But fortunately, I got to have dinner with his beautiful sister and mother, who are great. And his friend Harold Lu, who is also great. And Farrah from California, who put us up for a couple of nights, showed us some cool spots around town. I know this means nothing to you dear reader, so what I’m trying to say is, Taiwan is great. An island of hard won goodness, decency, consideration, conscientiousness and freedom in a crazy ass world. It pains me to know that my government does not officially recognize this country’s sovereignty. Such is the give and take of The Great Game. In any case, all the best to Taiwan.
From the second to last meeting between Mao Zedong and the American delegation on October 21, 1975:
MAO: It’s better for (Taiwan) to be in your hands. And if you were to send it back to me now, I would not want it, because it’s not wantable. There are a huge bunch of counter-revolutionaries there. A hundred years hence we will want it [gesturing with his hand], and we are going to fight for it.
KISSINGER: Not a hundred years.
MAO: [Counting with his hand] It is hard to say. Five years, ten, twenty, a hundred years. It’s hard to say. [Points toward the ceiling] And when I go to heaven to see God, I’ll tell him it’s better to have Taiwan under the care of the United States now.
KISSINGER: He will be very astonished to hear that from the Chairman.
MAO: No, because God blesses you, not us. God does not like us [waves his hands] because I am a militant warlord, also a communist. That’s why he doesn’t like me. [Pointing at the three Americans] He likes you and you and you.
On a side note, I want to comment on one thing. When we returned to Beijing, we had a long layover in Hong Kong. In one day I was in Taipei, Hong Kong and Beijing. As you know there is some tension between these cities. If you’ve been to all three, you know the differences and what I’m about to say. Hong Kong to me has become a special life treat. A place I couldn’t live in because that would ruin it, but a place I could die in, and that I like to daydream about. Taipei has taken on a similar role in my mind. All I’ll say is it will break my heart if Beijing wins out over these other cities. Not that I don’t like Beijing but…ah forget it. Here are some photos I got from a week in Taiwan.