Heard what the new ‘problem‘ is for Douglas H. Paal. It’s not something that’s really a ‘problem’ per se or something that’ll likely keep him from going to Taiwan. Someone at the State Department is just getting him to jump through another hoop. My read is that there are still folks at State trying to delay his departure, hoping something else turns up. Also, from my sources in Taiwan, I hear the following: after Paal’s announcement the government in Taipei was trying to make the best of it, trying to extend the hand, and so forth. But that seems to have changed. They’re now back in suspicion mode and also, it would seem, thinking they may still have some levers to pull in DC. Are these two developments connected? Not clear.