Issue II+III/2023 - Precious Freedom. Voices from Taiwan

Precious Freedom. Voices from Taiwan (Issue II+III/2023)

Topic: Taiwan

“Today an invasion is more likely than ever”

Interview with Shieh Jhy-Wey

Taiwan’s diplomatic representative Shieh Jhy-Wey strives to promote his country’s interests in Berlin. A conversation about democratic alliances, the country's authoritarian legacy and Xi Jinping.


What's different elsewhere

Talk of the town in Mexico City

by Camila Martinez

Mexican perpetrators of acid attacks, in particular against women, are often punished with light sentences or released on bail. A new draft law wants to change all that. 


Stories by the fire

by NoViolet Bulawayo

Orature has a long history in Africa, and has taught generations of children vital lessons.


Topic: Taiwan

“We’re in the middle of an information war”

Interview with Ho Hui-An

Manipulated images, cyberattacks and viral fake news: in Taiwan, digital disinformation is commonplace in Taiwan. Ho Hui-An of the Taiwan FactCheck Center explains how this threat is being combatted


“Take care of yourself, Ming-Yi”

by Yan Lianke, Wu Ming-Yi

The Taiwanese author Wu Ming-Yi and the Chinese writer Yan Lianke exchanged letters for us. The result is a very personal exchange about censorship, loss, and the pain that is expressed between the lines.



Lonely island

by Kai Schnier

A close up look at life in Taiwan beyond the Chinese threat.


A house in …

A house in Bangladesh

by KM Asad

How can our homes deal with climate change? This abode in the Munshiganj region can simply be moved when the floods come.


How I became me

Law as a tool for freedom

by Navi Pillay

From the South African slum to the top of the United Nations: Judge Navi Pillay reflects on an eventful life.


Cultural spots

The kite festival in Subiya

by Gabriele Cecconi

Kuwait City locals flood the desert landscape to fly kites of all shapes and sizes on their national day.


Topic: Taiwan

Military service and cats

We asked eight Taiwanese people what's on their mind.


The world’s chip maker

by Kristy Hsu

Taiwan rapidly emerged as the most important supplier in the global digital economy. But the small island republic has made waves beyond the high-tech sector.


The sand pirates

Will Yang, Yian Lee

Chinese freighters are hunting for one of the world's most coveted raw materials off the Taiwanese coast. But the search for sand doesn’t only pose a problem for Taipei, but also for Beijing.


A night in Tapei

by Hsuan

Our author drifts through the city, meets people in nightclubs and drinks sweetened soy milk with a date early in the morning. A story about being young in Taiwan.


In Taiwan’s two-party system

by Lin Chia- Hsing, Wu Pei-Yi

The Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party are the only two people's parties in Taiwan. What do they stand for? Two delegates talk about their political life.


What we don’t talk about in Taiwan

by Li Ang

Taiwan is often portrayed as a model Asian democracy by the West. But how free and open-minded is the country really? The author Li Ang has been asking this question for decades.


“Metal saved my day”

an interview with Freddy Lim

Heavy metal star and politician Freddy Lim knows the Taiwanese music scene like no other. A conversation about the quirks of Taiwanese music – and which ten songs represent it.


Beyond batman

by Aho Huang

Comics are booming in Taiwan and go far beyond pure entertainment. Publisher Aho Huang explains what makes the genre so special.


Taiwan: A curious country

Beethoven, bubble tea and vertical cemeteries: everyday life in Taiwan is often funny, sometimes strange, but never boring. Here are eight examples.


World report

Where old enemies meet again

by Charlotte Wirth

Almost thirty years have passed since the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Since then, not only many victims but also some perpetrators have found refuge in Belgium. A fresh start is hard to imagine.


Colombia’s elusive peace

by Juan Álvarez

Hopes ran high that President Gustavo Petro would finally end violence in Colombia - but a year later, blood continues to be spilled.




“Children have more imagination than us”

Interview with Sahba Aminikia

Circus, theatre and performances for children - all in the middle of a conflict-torn area? The Flying Carpet Festival on the Turkish-Syrian border offers just that.


World report

Why should we keep going to the opera?

commented by Fatma Said

Why should we keep going to the opera? We ask the soprano singer Fatma Said.



“One good book isn’t enough”

Interview with Margaret Busby

More than half a century ago, Margaret Busby began to upend Britain's literary scene as the country's first black woman publisher – and her job is far from done.



The magical metropole

by Thomas Hummitzsch

Xi Xi's novel “My City” takes readers back to Hong Kong in the 1970s.


Caste systems abound

by Sieglinde Geisel

What does the caste system have to do with modern society? A lot, argues the U.S. journalist Isabel Wilkerson.


“Americans blame poverty on the poor”

Interview with Jakob Guanzon

In his debut novel, Jakob Guanzon explores the reality of the “working poor” in the US. An interview about fathers and sons, money troubles and the dangerous legacy of the American Dream.