The appropriateness of cross-strait political discussions


I’m interested to know the following from the Flob people:

  1. On bringing up cross-strait politics in the workplace:
    Never? Only to certain co-workers? Only when the time and the place is right?

  2. When you are back in your own home country:
    Do you feel compelled to stand up for your position on cross-strait relations? Do you feel compelled to “educate” your fellow compatriots more about Taiwan and cross-strait relations?

  3. On disagreements:
    You meet somebody who sits on the opposite side of the table on these contentious political issues. How far do you go? Or do you simply just let it go?


As a foreigner in Taiwan, I only discuss politics when someone else brings it up first. I figure I have more to learn from them on the topic than they do from me.

In the US, I educate about Taiwan to people who are interested in knowing more about it.

I don’t really meet many pro-Beijing people in either Taiwan or the US, so I haven’t had any contentious discussions.

  1. I’ve often discussed this with Taiwanese co-workers as well as Chinese who live here and it has never felt like a taboo argument.

  2. Only if people ask me about it, or if I ear/read something completely wrong.

  3. In nearly every discussion about micro/macro economics and political systems, there are usually 2 sides of the coin (sometimes more, like a cube-coin or whatever) and the “right” one is always based on personal views and interests rather than clear facts. Occasionally there will be someone who supports system X because he doesn’t know all the facts*, and a discussion with that kind of person can be very very important, in order to give him/her a chance to make corrections. In general, an argument shouldn’t necessarily be about enforcing your point of view and making the other person change his/her mind. Explaining your train of thought and giving the reasons why you believe in a certain thing is the start, and if the other person thinks your point of view is better then he/she gets the chance to change.

  • = back in the old country I often mentioned the fact that Venezuela leaning towards socialism was a mistake for them, while Chile aiming for a more capitalistic/free market driven society was the way to go. Many people told me:“No! Look at Cuba! Their hospitals! Socialism in South America is clearly the way to go!”. Eh.


If I bring up politics, it’s from a bust-the-frame angle. Scott Adams talks about this a lot. Facts and logic don’t matter per se in forming opinions. Weaken the worldview that the opinions emerge from. Throw shade on the hidden assumptions.

Actually, facts do matter sometimes - but never in conjunction with logic. Use facts to surprise and discombobulate. Pray the mindset apart at the cognitive dissonance fault lines.

And don’t talk politics at work if you need that job. In fact, don’t talk facts and logic at work if you need the job.