Planned Workouts and scheduled races
Every Saturday: Bigfoot Swim Workout (Dali) 6:00 am
8/28 Vision Bigfoot Duathlon (Qingshui) 8:00 am
9/4 Taiwan P.E. University Cup 5000m 4:00 pm
10/1 Beauty of Taidong Triathlon (Olympic Distance) 8:00 am
10/30 Gaomei Wetland Marathon (Qingshui) - (Marathon distance) 6:00 am
11/5 NeverStop West Coast Bike Race (200km) 5:00 am *
11/13 Taoyuan National Marathon (Marathon distance) - TBA 11/20 Mizono Marathon Relay
12/18 Fubon Taipei Marathon (Marathon distance) 7:00 am (Boston Marathon qualifying attempt)
* reconsidering the NeverStop race due to the date change to November, which would result in four race weekends (perhaps five if the Supau Cup is on 11/27) in a row.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
The San Francisco Peace Treaty, the document recognized by the Allies, Japan, and the United Nations as the document legally ending World War II, provides no transfer of sovereignty from Japan to China. Its reference to Taiwan is rather brief, limited to Chapter II, Article 2, Clause b of the treaty, which reads:
(b) Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the
In this clause, Japan clearly relinquishes its sovereign rights to Taiwan, acquired in 1895 via the Treaty of Shimonoseki from the Qing Dynasty. However, there is also no mechanism for transfer.
The situation in which this left Taiwan is akin to two other territories in the last half of the twentieth century: Western Sahara and East Timor.
Western Sahara was a Spanish colony along the west coast of Africa, south of Morocco and west of Mauritania. Spain relinquished its authority over the territory in November of 1975, but did not declare another state to be the recipient of the territory. The Madrid Accords were signed by the governments of Spain, Morocco and Mauritania following an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice that neither of the African neighbors of the territory had a right to claim it following Spanish de-colonialization of the territory. Clauses two and three of the Madrid Accords read as follows:
· 2. In conformity with the aforementioned determination and in accordance
with the negotiations advocated by the United Nations with the affected parties, Spain will proceed forthwith to institute a temporary administration in the Territory, in which Morocco and Mauritania will participate in collaboration with the Djemaa and to which will be transferred all the responsibilities and powers referred to in the preceding paragraph. It is accordingly agreed that two Deputy Governors nominated by Morocco and Mauritania shall be appointed to assist the Governor-General of the Territory in the performance of his functions. The termination of the Spanish presence in the Territory will be completed by February 28, 1976 at the latest.
· 3. The views of the Saharan population, expressed through the Djemaa, will be respected.
There is no transfer of sovereignty. In fact, in clause three of the Accords, all three parties agree to respect the views of the Saharan population. Regardless, both Morocco and Mauritania illegally invaded the territory and fought a war over it. Local forces known as Polisario drove out the Mauritanians, but the Moroccans have been entrenched in most of the territory ever since. The Moroccan claims are recognized by the Arab League, but not by the African Union (a decision which resulted in Morocco leaving its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity).
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic was declared in 1976, but is in effective control of only the extreme interior parts of the country, with the rest under Moroccan occupation. It is currently recognized by 58 states, most of them from Africa. The United Nations formed the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (UNMURSO), which was authorized by Security Council Resolution 690. To this day, the United Nations does not recognize Moroccan claims to the territory and recently extended to ongoing mandate of UNMURSCO in Security Council Resolution 1979.
East Timor was formerly a colony of Portugal. Portugal divested itself of most of its colonial holdings following the Rose Revolution in 1974. East Timor was one of those holdings. There was no transfer of sovereignty to any other state when Portugal decided to leave its East Timor territory. Indonesia invaded the country in 1975, an action widely condemned as illegal and violating the rights of the East Timorese people. This action was condemned by the United Nations Security Council in resolution 384 in 1975 and again in resolution 389 in 1976.
The United Nations regarded East Timor as a non-self-governing territory whose people had a right to self-determination. While the ICJ did not rule directly on Indonesia’s invasion of the territory, there is one ICJ ruling that is of interest. In 1995, the ICJ did rule on a case between Australia and Portugal arising out of a treaty signed between Indonesia and Australia concerning natural resource extraction in the Timor Gap. The ICJ refused to rule on the case because of the contentious nature of the Indonesian participation in the treaty and the fact that East Timor was regarded as a non-self governing territory.
East Timor was granted a referendum and independence in a United Nations monitored process that culminated in 2002.
How do these relate to Taiwan? Like Taiwan, both were surrendered by their prior sovereign without designating another state to assume sovereignty over them. In the cases of Western Sahara and East Timor, the United Nations ruled that both were entitled to self-determination. Why is this not the case with Taiwan? Well, in both cases, the United Nations Security Council was involved. Neither Morocco nor Indonesia have veto power in the Security Council as China does, so as China claims Taiwan as its territory much in the same way Morocco claims Western Sahara and Indonesia once claimed East Timor, the Security Council is unable to take any action. So, that is a non-starter.
The other option is the International Court of Justice. The ICJ directly ruled on the Western Sahara matter and indirectly so on East Timor, and in both cases, confirmed the right of the two territories to self-determination. So, obviously, this is where Taiwan must look.
However, in accordance with Article 35, the International Court of Justice is only available to UN members who have ratified the Statute for the ICJ.
1. The Court shall be open to the states parties to the present Statute.
Taiwan is not a party to the statute as it is not a member of the United Nations. However, Article 36 provides some assistance, specifically clause 2:
2. The states parties to the present Statute may at any time declare that they
recognize as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to
any other state accepting the same obligation, the jurisdiction of the Court in
all legal disputes concerning:
a. the interpretation of a treaty;
b. any question of international law;
c. the existence of any fact which, if established, would constitute a breach of an international obligation;
d. the nature or extent of the reparation to be made for the breach of an
Both sub-clauses a and b to clause 2 are relevant here. The fact is that the result of the San Francisco Peace Treaty as regards Taiwan has never been judicially adjudicated. Any signatory to that treaty would have clear standing with the ICJ for an interpretation of Article 2 clause B of that treaty. Of the signatories of that treaty, eight (Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay,) currently have diplomatic relations with Taipei. Now, it is a sad liklihood that two of them will switch over the Beijing (Nicaragua and Panama) in the event of a Tsai victory, showing the disingenuousness of the so-called “diplomatic truce”. However, that still leaves six states with clear standing to request a legally binding interpretation of the San Francisco Peace Treaty as it regards Taiwan and its legal right to self-determination. As China is not a signatory to the treaty, it has no standing to object to such a consideration of the case as it should not be named as a party to the case.
Given that in the long history of territorial transfers between states, it occurs through the mechanism of treaties (and not through wartime communiqués and hostilities-ending armistices), it seems clear that the ICJ must rule in favor of Taiwan’s right to self-determination. The result of the recent advisory opinion confirming the legality of Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia (which frankly surprised me) gives even stronger credence that the ICJ would rule on Taiwan’s favor. While such a ruling is not likely to calm Beijing’s claims over Taiwan, it will give a significant boost to Taiwan’s efforts to win over the international community to support the legitimate rights of the island. This is the best way to ensure Taiwan’s long-term sovereignty in the face of an increasingly bellicose China.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Looking up the hill along Xiangshang Road
Saturday, July 16, 2011
But China still regards Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, although the island has governed itself since the end of the civil war in 1949.
This stock statement is not as bad as some, but the last part of the statement is gravely inaccurate. Yes, there was a civil war in China, but Taiwan was not a part of it. For nearly the entire Chinese civil war, Taiwan was a part of Japan and administered by the same. In 1949, when the Chinese Nationalists lost the war, Japan was still the de jure sovereign pending the peace treaty (which was signed in 1951 and went into effect in 1952). Republic of China forces were in belligerent occupation on behalf of the Allies following Japan's defeat in 1945. Sovereignty over Taiwan had not been transferred to China by 1949 (and in fact, never was transferred to either entity claiming to be China.)
Friday, July 15, 2011
5:06 am - First district crossing as I crossed into South District on Zhongming South Road.
The first hour was spent primarily in the urban core districts, so the going was rather slow. Some of the areas were in areas I don't normally go in, so I got to see things I haven't seen in a while and some new things that are being built in the urban districts.
The construction of a new elevated highway in Tanzi District.
I descended to the Long'an Bridge in Dongshi which crosses the Dajia River. This was used by Stage Five of the Tour de Taiwan earlier this spring and the mountain climb to the "down"town part of Xinshi District was the main climb of the stage. I have to say, the climb went much easier for me this time than the last time I did this climb in April. I am becoming a better climber, which is good given that it looks like I am going to do the race in Nantou next month. It did rain during the ascent and when I got to the 'KOM' marker (still painted in the road), it was a feeling of elation. The climb isn't as long as the climb to Guguan, but it is much steeper with numerous switchbacks. Fortunately, the traffic was light and the few motor vehicles I did encounter gave me plenty of space to make my attack on the mountain.
Coming down into Dakeng, I stayed on route 129 through Beitun and over into Taiping and Dali districts. The traffic in these part of these two districts is much less than in the more urban parts of the districts. The ride went pretty smoothly, though I had a hard time finding my road from Dali to Wufeng districts. Just by luck and asking a local, I was able to stay on the road to Jifeng Elementary school in Wufeng and make the turn toward Wuri district and what I would come to call the "Southern Cross" from the mountainous eastern part of the city to the western side nearer the coast.
After the "Southern Cross" I made my way over to Taiwan Route 1 (I know, Michael Turton would kill me for this decision) and made my way through Dadu and Longjing districts, in both cases veering off route one to go through the downtown sections of the districts. By the time I got into Dadu, it was getting pretty hot. I had put on some sunscreen in Wuri and it was getting a bit uncomfortable. Then, some light rain in Dadu which cooled things off just enough to help out. Slow going due to lights, but was feeling pretty good. I proceeded to through through Shalu and Qingshui (the sight of a duathlon I will run next month) to go to Dajia district in the northwest part of the city.
I then rode back into Dajia. It was about 1:30 and I was ready to eat. I wanted fried noodles, but I was having a hard time finding it. I found a little local shop next to the train station and while the bowl above is not exactly what I was looking for, it was actually quite good. Anyway, I love fresh noodles. Just keep those instant noodles from 7-11 away from me thank you very much.
By the time I finished lunch, it had started raining lightly outside. This was not unexpected, but at 2:00, it was a bit earlier than it had started the past few days. I was hoping it was stay light for a while, at least until I got down the ridge in Houli after climbing it in Waipu. Looking toward the east, I say that wasn't likely and then as I entered Waipu, I heard thunder and saw lightning. I put my camera in the plastic bag I brought and prepared for the worst. About half way up the hill in Waipu, the heavens simply opened up. It wasn't raining 'cats and dogs', it was more like 'blue whales and large dinosaurs'. We have had some intense storms the past few days, but I think this was the most intense storm of the year so far. It didn't affect the climb at all but once I finished the climb and crossed into Houli, I had to be careful on the descent. No problems and made it to Taiwan Route 13 to begin the final push for home.
Wanhe Temple in one of the oldest parts of the city. Great for history buffs like myself.
As I was approaching the Wanhe Temple, I heard an explosion behind me as I was waiting for the light at Nantun Road. I knew an IED wasn't exactly likely, but was able to identify what it was immediately on looking back. Some local eatery's stove had just exploded. Smoke was billowing out from it. While it scared the crap out of me, I am sure it was more startling to the proprietor of the business. Fortunately, based on how he was frantically putting out the smoke, he seemed perfectly all right.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Earlier this year here in Taichung, innocent people lost their lives in an illegally operating nightclub that was registered as a restaurant. These type of businesses have been an open secret in Taichung for years, yet the government did little or nothing to address the problem. That changed with the high profile deaths of innocent patrons and the decreasing popularity of an already relatively unpopular mayor.
This morning's Taipei Times addressed the topic in this morning's editorial. Compass Magazine has also commented on this situation, both showing considerable sympathy to the bar owners. Unlike those media outlets, I have absolutely ZERO sympathy for those business owners.
The Taipei Times claimed that "(the) pub owners, who in some cases had been operating openly for 10 years or more, used a legal loophole set up by the government". Factually, this is not the case. The pub owners did not use a legal loophole. A legal loophole is using provisions within the law in order to circumvent the spirit of the law. This is not what happened. Many of these pub owners actually violated the law. They registered as restaurants but operated as pubs. This is in contravention to the law, not exploiting a loophole. There is a fundamental difference. The fact that the local government overlooked it for many years does not change the fact that they were operating illegally.
I used to live in a building with one of these illegally operating pubs on the ground floor. Such operations are illegal in residential buildings for a reason and it caused no small amount of problems for us, who had a newborn infant at the time of our residence there. One morning, we were all awakened at 5AM to a pub fight in which the front facade was shatterred in a drunken rage. At that point, we moved out of the building. This business was allowed to keep operating despite many calls to the police and despite the clear fact that it was operating illegally.
Who do I blame? I blame the business owners for operating illegal businesses in residential buildings/areas. I also blame the local government and Mayor Jason Hu for a lack of enforcement of laws designed to protect the legitimate rights of residents of the city. I feel no sympathy at all for the business owners or the patrons of these illegal establishments. They made lives miserable for thousands of residents for many years. It is too bad that it has taken a tragedy to get the local government to enforce the law, but I fully support the efforts of the local government to do this, as belated as it is.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
0.0 HOME – 精誠路 西區(1) West District
0.2 Right onto 忠明南路
1.8 Cross 南屯路 南區 (2) South District
2.2 Left onto 三民西路
2.7 Cross 美村路 西區
3.4 Right onto 自由路 (136)
4.9 Left onto 民權路 中區 (3) Central District
5.2 Right onto 三民路
5.9 Cross 公園路 北區 (4) North District
6.0 Veer right onto 精武路
6.4 Right onto 雙十路
6.8 Left onto自由路 東區 (5) East District
7.9 Left onto 南京東路
8.8 Cross 自強街24巷 北屯區 (6) Beitun District
10.8 Right onto 東光路892巷
11.1 Left onto 東山路50巷
11.2 Right onto東山路
13.1 Left onto 軍功路
14.8 Veer right onto 豐興路 潭子區 (7) Tanzi District
18.4 Becomes 鎌村路 豐原區 (8) Fengyuan District
19.8 Becomes 田心路
20.2 Right onto 豐原大道
23.9 Right onto 台3線
27.0 Crosses into 石岡區 (9) Shigang District
33.6 Cross 大甲溪 東勢區 (10) Dongshi District
33.8 Right onto 台8線
48.6 Crosses into 和平區 (11) Heping District
67.6 Optional ride to 谷關
67.6 Turn around
84.7 Back into東勢區
91.0 Left onto 龍安橋
91.1 Cross大甲溪 新社區 (12) Xinshe District
91.7 Right onto 豐埔產業道路
93.4 Veer right onto 興和產業道路
109.4 Left onto 協中街
114.2 Merge into 東山街 (129)
114.4 Becomes 東山路 (129) 北屯區
122.5 Veer left onto 中興巷 (129)
122.9 Becomes 部子路 (129)
123.8 Veer left onto 部子巷
124.4 Veer left onto 北坑巷
125.2 Merge onto 太原路 (129)
125.3 Becomes 廓子巷 (129)
125.9 Becomes 大興路 (129) 太平區 (13) Taiping District
127.7 Turn left onto 中山路 (129)
129.7 Left on 東平路 (136/129)
130.2 Cross 一江橋
130.4 Right onto 光興路 (129)
135.0 Becomes 健民路 大里區 (14) Dali District
135.4 Veer right onto 健東路
137.1 Becomes 民生路(小溪後) 霧峰區(15) Wufeng District
137.4 Right onto民生路 (國小後)
140.0 Right onto 萊圓路
140.3 Becomes 四德路 (127)
144.2 Becomes 太明路 烏日區 (16) Wuri District
145.4 Veer right onto太明北路
146.2 Merge into 溪南路 (127)
149.6 Veer left onto 溪南橋 (127)
150.2 Left onto 環河路
156.5 Right onto台1線(沙田路)大肚區 (17) Dadu District
162.2 Veer left off 台1線 to stay on沙田路
164.5 Merges back onto台1線
165.3 Cross river into 龍井區 (18) Longjing District
165.6 Veer right off 台1線 to stay on沙田路
170.4 Turn left onto 中興路(136)沙鹿區 (19) Shalu District
170.5 Cross river into 龍井區 (136)
170.7 Cross river into沙鹿區 (136)
171.1 Cross river into 龍井區 (136)
171.6 Turn right onto台1線 (中華路)
171.6 Cross river into 悟妻區 (20) Wuqi District
175.1 Cross 大勇路 清水區 (21) Qingshui District
179.9 Merge onto 中山路 -台1線
182.4 Veer right off台1線to stay on中山路
183.9 Merge back onto台1線 –大甲溪大橋
185.0 Cross 大甲溪 大甲區 (22) Dajia District
185.3 Becomes 中山路
185.7 Left on 東安路
Becomes 中山南路 – 大安區 (23) Da'an District
188.9 Right onto 中松路
191.4 Left on 大安港路 (132)
192.5 Right on 南北七路
192.6 Right on 東西八路
193.8 Cross 南北五路 – 大甲區
196.6 Cross on台1線 – 新大安溪橋
196.6 Turn right on中山路
198.9 Left onto 民生路
199.0 Becomes 甲后路 (132)
199.9 Crosses into 外埔區 (24) Waipu District
205.1 Cross 高鐵 – 后里區 (25) Houli District
211.2 To 后里火車站
211.2 Right onto 圳寮路
211.4 Left onto 梅里路
211.6 Becomes 大山路
212.6 Left onto 台13線 (三豐路)
215.4 Cross 大甲溪 豐原區
217.8 Right onto 圓環西路 -台13線
219.4 Right onto台10線 – 中正路
220.7 Becomes 中山路 – 申岡區 (26) Shengang District
222.1 Veer left onto 民生路 - 台10線
223.1 Becomes民生路四段 - 大雅區 (27) Daya District
226.7 Left onto 中清南路
227.6 Becomes 中清路 – 西屯區 (28) Xitun District
229.7 Right onto 環中路
233.3 Left onto 青海路
233.7 Right onto 黎明路
234.3 Left onto 中港路
235.9 Right onto 文心路
236.7 Cross 市政路 南屯區 (29) Nantun District
238.2 Right onto 向心路
238.5 Right onto 五權西路
239.0 Left on 萬和路
239.3 Left on 南屯路 (136)
240.9 Left on 精誠路
241.5 Cross五權西路 – 西區
Red Card and Penalty Retake
In the 65th minute, with the USA leading 1-0, Brazilian striker Marta is pushing into the penalty area with Rachel Buehler apparently having position shielding the ball. Both make contact and there seems to be jersey pulling by both. Should have clearly been a no-call. Yet, not only is a penalty called against Buehler (resulting in a Brazil penalty kick), Buehler was shown a red card, forcing the United States to play short-handed for the remainder of the match.
Then, Hope Solo made an amazing save on the subsequent penalty kick. However, she was called for coming off her line before the kick. It should be noted that some have claimed that an American was called for encroachment. It is true that one American player entered the box a fraction of a second before the kick, but have you ever seen that called? It happens all the time. (Without the referees report, we don't really know what was called) There was slight movement on her part before the kick, but was actually very modest, something that in decades I have never seen called. Solo was given a yellow card, the kick was retaken and made, tying the match at 1-1. Both plays can be seen on this YouTube link.
Thrilling Game-Tying goal
Abby Wombach scored a thrilling goal in the second minute of extra time added time to tie the match at 2-2 and send the match into a penalty kick tiebreaker. This despite the stalling and delaying tactics that have become such a hallmark of Brazilian football over the past twenty years. We have become used to cynical football from the men - fake injuries and diving - but this is the first time it has been seen from the women who were desparate to keep a short-handed American team off the board. To the delight of most outside of Brazil, it failed.
Hope Solo is the superior goaltender and Brazil's chances of winning this was never good. However, there was one controversial moment which really reveals the farce of Solo's yellow card on the first spot kick. You can see how little she moved before the kick on that penalty.
On the final kick, the U.S. needed to score to win the match and advance to the semi-finals. Watch this video. Look at all of the movement off the line by the Brazilian keeper. The ref made no move to call her for anything, though the movement was blatant and with how early it was made and how far forward she jumped, clearly illegal. No call. Not biased? You be the judge.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Taichung is a Candidate City to host the 2017 East Asian Games . I am sure that I speak for many sports enthusiasts who would absolutely love to see East Asia's largest quadriennal sporting event to be hosted in our wonderful city.
However, there are three major obstacles to Taichung being selected as the host city. The first is that while we have numerous sporting facilities in the city, many of them are aging and will require significant renovation to upgrade them to facilities worthy of hosting an international event.
The second obstacle is transportation. Taichung has a horrible transportation system. We have no rapid mass transit system (nor will the line supposedly under construction be ready by then) and traffic can turn many roads into long parking lots several times a week.
The above two obstables are surmountable. The third may not be. That obstacle is China. There are eight voting members who participate in the Games (Guam also participates, but as it is not a member of the Olympic Council of Asia, it does not get a vote.) Four of those votes are throught to be controlled by China. China, Hong Kong, and Macau each have a vote. It is also widely believed that the DPRK vote is also controlled by China. So, China is the king maker. And thier recent record regarding international sporting events and Taiwan is not encouraging.
In 2006, Taiwan hosted the IBAF Intercontinental Cup. Despite qualifying as the bronze medal winner of the 2005 Asian Baseball Championships, China was a no-show. The same is true in 2010. China qualified, but was a no-show. China was a no-show for the 2007 Asian Baseball Championship despite winning the bronze in 2005 (played in Japan). They played in 2009, again in Japan, finishing fourth.
Taiwan hosted two important international sporting events in 2009. China sent delegations to the World Games in Kaohsiung and the Deaflympics in Taipei, but in neither case did China send a full-strength delegation.
Our mayor, Jason Hu, is currently on the tail end of a trip to China and Japan in which he hopes to lobby with Chinese sports officials to support Taichung's bid. Japan will likely be far more sympathetic to a Taiwanese bid given the goodwill that exists between the people of the two countries, but China will be a much tougher sell.
It is a reality of the region that China has so much undue influence. The 2005 and 2009 Games were in China's SARs and the 2013 Games will be in Tianjin. The other two candidate cities are Jeju in Korea and Ulan Bator in Mongolia. It would be great for Taichung to get the games, but given the undue weight China has in choosing the host, don't hold your breath for the region's best athletes to be making a visit to our wonderful city in 2017.
July 10, 2011 - my first relay with Bigfoot, though running with a team that was a composite set up by one of our leaders.