::: TSR Weekly Report
2015-11-03 | NO.19(44) epaper |
South China Sea Disputes
A Pivotal Moment in the South China Sea (2015-10-27)
(Wall Street Journal, By Andrew Browne) By sending a U.S. warship within 12 nautical miles of one of China’s artificial islands, Washington has signaled the start of an open contest for the future of a critical waterway that carries more than half of the world’s maritime trade, connecting the oil riches of the Middle East with the powerhouse economies of the Western Pacific.

China Says It Warned U.S. Warship in South China Sea
(Wall Street Journal, By Chun Han Wong) The comments were the first confirmation from Beijing that a U.S. Navy vessel passed close to Chinese-controlled islands and reefs in the Spratlys.

China Left Fuming Over US Sail-by in Disputed Waters in South China Sea (2015-10-29)
(AFP) Chinese media denounced the US after Washington sent a warship into disputed South China Sea waters and vowed to do so again, while netizens filled the Internet with angry diatribes, demanding a far stronger reaction from Beijing.

China Naval Chief Warns US of Conflict Risk in South China Sea (2015-10-30)
(AFP) China's navy chief warned his US counterpart encounters between their forces could spiral into conflict, state media reported, two days after a US destroyer sailed close to Beijing's artificial South China Sea islands.

A U.S. Naval Signal in the South China Sea  (2015-10-28)
(Council on Foreign Relations, By Jonathan Masters) Recent U.S. naval maneuvers in the South China Sea signal how the United States plans to safeguard its interests in the Asia-Pacific region, says Capt. Sean Liedman, CFR’s Navy fellow and an expert in maritime strategy.

White House Moves to Reassure Allies with South China Sea Patrol, but Quietly (2015-10-28)
(New York Times, By Helene Cooper and Jane Perlez) Even as it was authorizing the naval patrol, which China promptly called a “deliberate provocation,” the White House tried to play down the episode, anxious to avoid escalating a conflict between the nations, a pair of adversarial Pacific behemoths.

Gov't Calls for Resolution of S. China Sea Disputes
(CNA) Taiwan on Tuesday called for peaceful resolution of the territorial issues in the South China Sea, in response to reports of a United States warship patrolling within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built in the area by mainland China.

Indonesia Calls for South China Sea Restraint amid US-China Tensions
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) Indonesian president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called for restraint in the South China Sea in Washington, D.C. just hours after the U.S. navy carried out much-anticipated freedom of navigation operation near China’s controversial artificial islands there.

How the Rest of Asia React to US Navy Patrol Near China's Man-Made Island
(The Diplomat, By Jake Douglas) American diplomats and military officials worked hard behind closed doors to garner support before playing a card many consider risky and provocative. On the other hand, the United States is also reportedly taking this opportunity to challenge what it views as excessive maritime claims by some of its own allies and partners. 

Military Can Defend Islands, Officials Say (2015-10-30)
(Taipei Times) Top defense officials said they are monitoring the South China Sea situation closely, and that Taiwan’s armed forces have contingency plans in place and are capable of defending the nation’s island outposts if a conflict breaks out.

A First: Japanese and US Navies Hold Exercise in South China Sea (2015-10-31)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Navy are holding a joint naval exercise in the South China Sea, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

In Victory for Philippines, Hague Court to Hear Disputes Over South China Sea (2015-10-31)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) The ruling would be useful in the Philippines' diplomatic negotiations with other countries that oppose China’s actions in the South China Sea, emboldening and bringing unity to the other claimants.

ROC Does Not ‘Recognize’ UN Tribunal (2015-11-01)
(Taipei Times) The government said that it does not recognize or accept a ruling by an international arbitration panel that it could hear a case brought by the Philippines against China over disputed territory in the South China Sea.

Beijing Charts Course Between Nationalism, Diplomacy in South China Sea (2015-10-30)
(Wall Street Journal, By Chun Han Wong) China’s response to a U.S. warship’s patrol in the South China Sea shows the balance it must strike between satisfying nationalism at home and projecting firm diplomacy abroad without escalating tensions.

How China Maintains Strategic Ambiguity in South China Sea (2015-10-29)
(The Diplomat, By Graham Webster) By avoiding the term “territorial sea” and any explicit statement about the basis for calling the U.S. action illegal, officials for the most part maintained China’s carefully cultivated ambiguity about the nature of Chinese claims in the South China Sea. By doing so, they deny U.S. planners one of their most likely goals in conducting FON operations, to force reluctant Chinese officials to put forth claims that are unlikely to find support in international law.

Is China Moving towards Compromise in the South China Sea? (2015-10-31)
(Chatham House, By Bill Hayton) Beijing’s responses to recent challenges show it may be prepared to bring its maritime claims in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. This could greatly reduce tensions in Southeast Asia and with the US.
U.S. “Pivot” to Asia and Sino-U.S. Engagement
DSEI: Chinese Expansionism Presents Challenge and Opportunity, Says Admiral (2015-09-15)
(USNI News, By Jon Rosamond) Addressing a conference in London, Rear Adm. Jeff Harley, the Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, pointed out that the United States’ recently revamped tri-service maritime strategy has identified China’s military expansion as a “challenge and an opportunity” rather than a threat to US interests.

Indonesia's Leader Says His Country to Join Asia Trade Pact
(AP, By Matthew Pennington) Indonesia's leader looked to cement his nation's growing ties with the United States, declaring after a meeting Monday with President Barack Obama that Southeast Asia's largest economy intended to join a sweeping U.S.-backed Pacific Rim trade deal. 

China Stance Critical in ROC's TPP Membership: Deng (2015-10-29)
(China Post) Beijing's stance is critical to Taiwan's potential membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Economics Minister John Deng said.

Taiwan Urged to Prove Worth in US ‘Rebalancing’ (2015-10-31)
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) Taiwan should step up efforts to prove it can be a useful partner in the US’ foreign policy in Asia, but refrain from implementing any radical changes that could unsettle cross-strait relations, Hudson Institute director of Chinese strategy Michael Pillsbury said.

China Pushes Back Against U.S. Influence in the Seas of East Asia (2015-10-29)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) China, analysts say, is seeking to establish a sphere of influence in these waters — and edge out the United States.

U.S. Tech Giants May Blur National Security Boundaries in China Deals (2015-10-31)
(New York Times, By Paul Mozur and Jane Perlez) While the cross-border partnerships, under which American tech companies share, license or jointly develop advanced technologies with Chinese counterparts, are a growth area for business, security experts are increasingly questioning whether the deals harm United States national security.

Interview: Joseph Nye (2015-10-30)
(The Diplomat, By Emanuel Pastreich) The U.S. and China are deeply entangled, and that state is largely a good thing.
DPP Searches for New China Stance; Cross-Strait Issues
Mainland Says It Will Stay Out of Presidential Elections (2015-10-29)
(AP) Mainland China won't get involved in Taiwan's upcoming elections, a Chinese government spokesman said, underscoring the sensitivity surrounding polls in which the island's pro-independence opposition is expected to make a strong showing. 
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
MND Releases Biennial Defense White Paper (2015-10-28)
(Taipei Times) China has been upgrading its major weapons systems and building up the PLA as part of its goal to have a strong enough fighting force to attack Taiwan by 2020, according to the Ministry of National Defense’s 2015 National Defense Report. 

Government Extending the F-16 Training Program: Defense Minister (2015-10-29)
(China Post) Taiwan is the only non-diplomatic ally of the U.S. to be allowed to send its pilots to the training program on American soil.

Grounded: Taiwan's US-Made Attack Helicopter Fleet Is Rusting Away (2015-10-30)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) In addition to the nine helicopters grounded due to corrosion, twelve Apaches are also not operational due to missing spare parts, leaving only eight AH-64E Apache gunships operational. (One AH-64E was lost when it crashed into a three-story building during a training flight in bad weather conditions in April 2014.)

Navy to Acquire 10 MH-60R Seahawk Helicopters from US (2015-10-30)
(Taipei Times) The military confirmed that it is looking to purchase several MH-60R Seahawk marine patrol helicopters from the US to replace the nation’s aging fleet of MD500 helicopters.

Seahawk Proposal Likely to Get Approval (2015-10-31)
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) A military expert predicted that Taiwan’s request to buy 10 Seahawk anti-submarine helicopters would win quick approval in Washington.

Tsai Unveils Ambitious National Defense Policy (2015-10-30)
(Taipei Times) The DPP said that plans to manufacture weapons domestically would generate NT$400bn. It also said that it would take action on building submarines.

Navy Looks to Europe for Submarine Tech (2015-11-01)
(China Post) Taiwan is looking to Europe as an alternative to the United States as a source of technological assistance in an effort to build submarines domestically, a report said.

China's Military ‘Aimed at Preventing US Intervention’ (2015-10-30)
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) The growth of China’s military capabilities is specifically oriented toward countering the US’ ability to assist in the defense of Taiwan, a new Heritage Foundation report says.
Taiwan's Domestic Issues and Foreign Relations
Tsai Dominates Polls with 48.1% Support (2015-10-28)
(Taipei Times) Tsai leads with 48.1 percent support, while KMT presidential candidate Eric Chu is in a distant second place with 16.3 percent support and PFP presidential candidate James Soong has 10.4 percent support, according to the poll, which was commissioned by Taiwan Thinktank and conducted by Trend Survey and Research.

More Than Half of Taiwanese Have Favorable Opinion of Tsai's  (2015-10-29)
(TISR) More than half of Taiwanese have a favorable opinion of the words and deeds (言行) DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has expressed and advocated in her campaign for the country’s highest office, according to the latest Taiwan Mood Barometer Survey (in Chinese).

Chu Fares Worse Than Hung in Poll (2015-10-30)
(Taipei Times) The poll, conducted by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research, showed that nearly 57 percent of respondents feel unfavorably toward Chu, with only 24 percent saying they had a good impression of the KMT chairman.

Taiwan Mood Barometer Survey, Second Half of October 2015 (2015-10-29)
(TISR) President Ma Ying-jeou's approval rating dropped 1.9 percentage points over the latter part of October, according to the latest Taiwan Mood Barometer Survey (in Chinese).

Economy Posts First Fall in Six Years
(Taipei Times) The economy contracted for the first time in six years last quarter, falling 1.01 percent from the same period last year.

Equal Treatment for Parties: AIT's Moy
(Taipei Times) The US will continue to engage with all major Taiwanese political parties and treat their candidates equally, American Institute in Taiwan Director Kin Moy said. 

TRA ‘Reaffirmation’ Sought (2015-10-31)
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) In a move aimed to reinforce US-Taiwan relations, Republican Representative Steve Chabot introduced legislation to the US Congress to “reaffirm” the Taiwan Relations Act and the “six assurances.”
China's Rise and Its Domestic Issues
China's Fifth Plenum: What You Need to Know (2015-10-29)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) The fifth plenum of the 18th Party Congress wrapped up in Beijing. This particular meeting of China’s top leaders was centered around finalizing details of the country’s 13th Five Year Plan, the outline that will shape economic and social policy in China from 2016-2020.

China Ends One-Child Policy, Allowing Families Two-Children (2015-10-30)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) Driven by fears that an aging population could jeopardize China’s economic ascent, the Communist Party leadership ended its decades-old “one child” policy, announcing that all married couples would be allowed to have two children.

Experts Weigh Likely Impacts of China's ‘One Child’ Reversal (2015-10-30)
(New York Times, By Javier C. Hernandez) The “one child” policy change announced by the Communist Party left some economists and investors wondering how the government would address longer-term financial and economic pressures.

China Will Feel One-Child Policy's Effects for Decades, Experts Say (2015-10-31)
(New York Times, By Karen Zraick) After 35 years in force, experts say, the policy was having undesirable side effects: It upended traditional structures for supporting older adults and led to a widening imbalance in the number of men and women, one that could sow social unrest.

Criticism of the UK's New Approach to China Is Midplaced
(The Diplomat, By Rebecca Fabrizi) At least George Osborne, the assumed architect of the UK’s new uninhibited approach, seems to have a strategy: to give China more clarity and predictability; and to focus on supporting British interests, both at home and in terms of global governance and security. We can assume he would prefer to deal with a democratic China, but has recognized Britain cannot change the fact that the world’s second biggest economy is a one-Party state. 

Contact: Dalton Lin, Executive Editor 

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