Friday, April 29, 2005

I didn't think this up, but I wish I had

Last night I was discussing Lien Chan's (and his wife's) trip to China with a person in government and the conversation hit on the panda bears that China may (or may not) offer to send to Taipei. Now, it turns out that accepting or rejecting the pandas, if they're actually on offer, will be a complicated proposition -- apparently a set of international protocols governs the exchange of all pandas, and these protocols require official state-to-state contact. Taiwan will insist on following those protocols. China will argue that the protocols are not applicable because Taiwan is merely a far-flung province that, while it produces delicious pineapples, suffers under the oppression of a cabal of brutal splittist elected leaders.

But that's not the point. The point is that the above-referenced person in government believes that Taiwan should accept no charity pandas from China -- rather, Taiwan should insist on an even trade, in which two bears are shipped to Taipei in exchange for the two Liens' remaining in Beijing. Now there's a fair deal, say I. Let's insist, though, that the Liens be properly fed, that a special dwelling be constructed for them at a modern zoo facility, and that they receive regular medical care from a qualified veterinarian.

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