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  • My business as usual with China

    In November 2021 at the annual meeting of the Europa Forum Lucerne, a coalition of civil society organisations published the ‘Lucerne Manifesto on the People’s Republic of China’, which, summarised in one sentence, says it is time to end business as usual concerning China. The … read more

  • Blackface and irascible conservatives

    As a liberal, which means a person who likes the free interaction between people that inevitably leads to change and progress, I admit that I find the mindset of conservatives entertaining. They arbitrarily and, in most cases, a-historically decide that a period X in the past is the right one, the … read more

  • So I'm meditating. Looks like I've become one of those people in their 40s

    For almost a year now, almost every day in the evening before dinner or before going to bed I do meditation, about 30 minutes. Pretty much every day I take my zabuton and my pillow out from under the bed, sit in front of the Buddha statuette (the one in the photo, beautiful, it is from the 1980s, … read more

  • In praise of the Small Place

    It seems that in recent years we have been going through one tragedy after another. The perception of the past is always sugarcoated but objectively since 2020 the world as a whole has changed, for the worse. Every day it seems that things are getting worse, in different areas: climate crisis, wars, … read more

  • The most ??? place on Earth

    It is alienating to live smoothly for two months in Taiwan and be told in a joking manner by people living in Europe whom you hear on the phone or Zoom/Skype/Meetings things like “ah, haven’t the Chinese landed yet?”. After making the joke they usually get serious and ask things like … read more

  • The will of the Taiwanese exists, deal with it

    I have been in Taiwan for a month with my wife and son, we will return home at the end of August. For work I have been visiting Taiwan regularly for about 15 years, I have people here whom I consider family and I feel at home in Taipei. For an East Asian history lover like me, Taiwan is one of the … read more

  • Europe pretending

    On Wednesday 14 June off the Greek town of Pylos a boat with hundreds of people sank. The victims of the shipwreck are hundreds. These people were women, men and children who were trying to enter Europe. This is yet another devastating tragedy, the latest in a far too long list. For years, Europe … read more

  • My son in 0.8%

    In August 2015 my son was not yet two years old and having seen him strange for a while, we had a check-up and it was confirmed that he was epileptic. Now, you will understand that this is not exactly news one wants to hear, especially if the only things one knows about epilepsy come from the films, … read more

  • Kinda Buddhist

    When I say that I’m kinda Buddhist, I mean first of all that culturally and philosophically I agree with the basic principles of Buddhism, namely the Four Noble Truths. Pain is inherent to life; that also affects moments of satisfaction and serenity, as they are themselves impermanent. Pain is not … read more

  • Koxinga, not the best friend of the Dutch

    Koxinga was a brilliant and sadistic 17th century leader you may not know. Koxinga (real name Zheng Chenggong) was born in 1624. The son of the self-made man who was the head of a East Asia commercial-pirate empire (at the time, things were nuanced) larger than the English and Dutch East India … read more

  • Switzerland-Taiwan friendship to be improved

    On the one hand there is Taiwan, a democracy that the Economist ranks tenth in the world and first in Asia (Democracy Index 2022); on the other hand there is China, a superpower that is a totalitarian regime, i.e. a social system in which political power permeates every sphere of society, in a total … read more

  • Left? Let's say so

    I am not leftist in the economic sense of the word, I mean, I think the free market is a beautiful thing. From a social point of view, however, I consider myself very progressive, since always. For example, I have always been in favour of marriage and adoption for gay people, even when it was a … read more

  • I love grey

    A goal of maturity is to understand that the world in reality and practice is grey. We are all dickheads and we are all good people. We are a lot of people in this world and we have a lot of conflicting ideas; we have to endure each other and understand that we most likely have our fair share of … read more

  • Sweet Home Ticino

    When from the south I pass through Chiasso customs or from the north I come out of the Gotthard tunnel, I have that afterthought that says ‘ohh good, I’m finally back’. I consider this a good indicator that, yes, I feel at home here, in Ticino. This is my home, the place I have … read more

  • How to create a deity

    Sugawara no Michizane (845-903) is one of the most famous historical figures in Japan. He lived during the Heian period (794-1185). During this period, the nobility and the imperial court controlled the Country from Kyoto and leaving the capital to go, for example, to administer a province was … read more

  • After three years still relaxed

    Before the covid pandemic I used to go to Taiwan every three months, plus I spent the summers of 2018 and 2019 there with my family. Now, after this little three-year pandemic break, I have just gone there and plan to start visiting frequently again. I was curious to take the pulse of the situation … read more

  • A consensus that does not exist

    Xi Jinping and the totalitarian Chinese government say openly and like a broken record that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China and will inevitably be reunited with the motherland, by good means or bad. In addition to being statements that are not very faithful to historical reality and that do … read more

  • Against Swiss neutrality

    The Swiss have decided not to mix in the affairs of other states since they were defeated at Marignano (today Melegnano) by the French and the Venetians in 1515. Of course the Swiss continued to go around Europe as mercenaries but the Confederation would no longer try to expand. Switzerland has … read more

  • Borders

    Switzerland is a country of borders. As a small country, you always have the state border not too far away from you. Switzerland’s state borders are not all the same. There are those used by cross-border workers to enter in the morning and leave in the evening, those are generally traffic … read more

  • Lucky

    We discovered that our son was epileptic when he was not yet two years old. The certainty came with the diagnosis on 11 August 2015. Thanks to medication, he leads a normal life and his epilepsy has never caused convulsions. We are currently in Geneva. We arrived here last Saturday and will return … read more