::: TSR Weekly Report
2016-03-01 | NO.20(9) epaper |
South China Sea Disputes and Other Regional Issues
China Has Installed Radar Systems in Spratlys: US Report (2016-02-24)
(AP) The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs reasserted Beijing’s right to develop its South China Sea island outposts following a US think tank report that China has built new radar facilities in the disputed Spratly Islands. 

Possible Radar Suggests Beijing Wants ‘Effective Control’ in South China Sea (2016-02-24)
(New York Times, By Michael Forsythe) China may be building a series of radar facilities on artificial islands in disputed waters in the South China Sea, which would help it to establish “effective control” over sea and air in one of the world’s busiest waterways, according to a report issued this week.

ASEAN Echoes US Over Developments in South China Sea (2016-02-28)
(Reuters) The group agreed to seek a meeting between China and ASEAN’s foreign ministers to discuss the South China Sea and other issues, Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong said.

Australia Boosts Defense Spending Amid Rising Tensions (2016-02-26)
(Reuters) Australia plans to increase defense spending by nearly A$30 billion (US$21.6 billion) over the next 10 years, seeking to protect its strategic and trade interests in the Asia-Pacific as the US and its allies grapple with China’s rising power.

CGA Reveals Troop Numbers in ROC's South China Sea Islands (2016-02-25)
(China Post) Nearly 400 Taiwanese coastguardsmen are currently listed as assigned to Taiwan-controlled islands in the disputed South China Sea, according to public information recently released by the R.O.C. Coast Guard Administration.

South Korea Tells China Not to Intervene in Missile-Defense System Talks (2016-02-25)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) Tensions between South Korea and China over how to deal with the North have flared into an unusually blunt diplomatic dispute, with Seoul telling Beijing not to meddle in its talks with the United States over the possible deployment of an American missile-defense system here.

U.S., China Agree to Sanction North Korea on Nuclear Program (2016-02-25)
(Wall Street Journal, By Farnaz Fassihi) The U.S. and China agreed to a United Nations resolution that diplomats said would impose significant new sanctions on North Korea in response to its recent nuclear and missile tests.
East China Sea Disputes and Japan Policy
Japan's Foreign Minister Cancels Plans to Visit China (2016-02-22)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) In a manifestation of rising tensions, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is calling off his plans to visit China this spring, Kyodo News reports, citing Japanese government sources. Kishida’s decision came after the Chinese government informed Japan that it was not planning to arrange a visit for Japan’s top diplomat. 
U.S. “Pivot” to Asia and Sino-U.S. Engagement
Chinese Deals Feel the Chill from Washington (2016-02-24)
(New York Times, By Steven Davidoff Solomon) As growth slows at home, more and more Chinese companies are looking to do deals in the United States. And they are increasingly running smack into the American national security apparatus. Such scrutiny will have implications for United States and China relations, as well as for mergers and acquisitions more broadly. 

Xi Jinping on the Global Stage: Chinese Foreign Policy Under a Powerful but Exposed Leader (2016-02-25)
(Council on Foreign Relations, By Robert D. Blackwill and Kurt M. Campbell) Xi's dominance of the decision-making process has made him a powerful but potentially exposed leader. To protect his position, Xi will most probably stimulate and intensify Chinese nationalism—long a pillar of the state's legitimacy—to compensate for the political harm of a slower economy, to distract the public, to halt rivals who might use nationalist criticisms against him, and to burnish his own image.
DPP Searches for New China Stance; Cross-Strait Issues
China Touts Taiwan Constitution (2016-02-27)
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi on Thursday said Beijing did not “care that much” who was in power in Taiwan, but added that as president-elect Tsai Ing-wen was elected based on Taiwan’s Constitution, she should abide by it — marking the first time that a Chinese official has publicly recognized the Constitution.

DPP Says New Government Will Maintain ‘Status Quo’
(Taipei Times) In response to a call by Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi for president-elect Tsai Ing-wen to abide by Taiwan’s Constitution, which says both Taiwan and China are parts of the Republic of China, the DPP reiterated that it would maintain the cross-strait “status quo” within the constitutional framework.

China Acknowledgment Helps Ties: Ma (2016-02-28)
(Taipei Times) The Presidential Office said Ma made it clear to Xi at their meeting last year that the Constitution does not allow for ‘two Chinas’ or Taiwanese independence.

US Urges China to Remain Flexible in Cross-Strait Ties (2016-02-28)
(CNA) US National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink reiterated US calls for China to show flexibility in its relations with Taiwan, but did not comment on the latest remarks by Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, which were seen by some in Taiwan as conciliatory.

TAO Warns Against Destabilization of ‘Status Quo’
(Taipei Times) China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng’s proposal that Sun Yat-sen be removed as the nation’s founding father is a move aimed at de-sinicization that threatens the “status quo” of peaceful development on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

New Government to Welcome Tourists ‘from All Countries’ (2016-02-26)
(Taipei Times) The Democratic Progressive Party said that it welcomes tourists not only from China, but from all countries.

Chinese Investment in Taiwan Increases 38 Percent in January
(China Post) Taiwan's investment regulator approved 21 direct investment projects in Taiwan from mainland China totaling US$6.405 million in January — nearly a 38-percent increase compared to the same month a year ago. 
Military Balance and Arms Sales
US Has Taiwan's Back: Admiral (2016-02-25)
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) “We continue supporting Taiwan’s security. Continued arms sales to Taiwan are an important part of that policy and help ensure the preservation of democratic government institutions,” Admiral Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command, said. 

US Not Cowed by China's Military Ramp-up: Carter (2016-02-28)
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) “Our treaty obligations to Taiwan are very strong — we’re constantly adjusting them,” Carter testified before the US House Committee on Appropriations.
Taiwan's Domestic Issues and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's 'Third Force' Makes Its Presence Known in Legislature (2016-02-24)
(The Diplomat, By Linda van der Horst) It still remains to be seen how the NPP’s legislators perform as the new “third force” voice in parliament. But Huang’s questioning on issues of nuclear waste and labor laws on Friday is perhaps only the beginning of the NPP’s active role as watchdog in parliament. 

DPP Urges Passage of Transition Bill (2016-02-24)
(Taipei Times) DPP reiterated the urgency of passing a presidential transition act, following its meeting with representatives from the Presidential Office on Friday last week.

Taiwanese Presidential Transition Needs Less Turbulance (2016-02-18)
(PacNet #21, Pacific Forum CSIS, By Harry Krejsa) Tsai and her team will need an exceptionally smooth transition in the months between now and her May inauguration. Yet she will require specific tools to do so – including a desperately-needed modern presidential transition law modeled after the United States, a politically inclusive Cabinet, and, crucially, the support of those Ma Ing-jeou administration officials who helped stabilize cross-strait relations.

DPP Think Tank Member ‘reassures‘ US about Tsai, DPP (2016-02-24)
(CNA) Taiwan will not be a “troublemaker” in the Asia-Pacific region under the next DPP administration, a member of the DPP’s New Frontier Foundation think tank said in Washington.

Office for External Trade Talks to Be Set Up: President-Elect (2016-02-25)
(CNA) President-elect Tsai Ing-wen said that after her administration assumes office May 20, it will set up an office under the Executive Yuan that will be in charge of external trade negotiations.

Many Laws, Policies Must Change Before Taiwan Can Join TPP: Tsai Ing-wen (2016-02-25)
(Taipei Times) President-elect Tsai Ing-wen said that the most important issue for the nation to deal with in its attempt to join the TPP is to adjust its industrial and trade policies, as well as its laws.

US Support for Taiwan's TPP Bid 'Conditional on Pork Issue' (2016-02-27)
(CNA) Premier Simon Chang said that the United States has lent "conditional" support to Taiwan's membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with opening Taiwan's market to U.S. pork being one of the conditions.

Taiwan's TPP Odyssey (2016-02-27)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Domestic issues (like pork imports) pose just as much of a challenge to Taiwan’s TPP dreams as Beijing does.

Manufacturing Sector Slide Continues (2016-02-24)
(Taipei Times) The nation’s manufacturing production value plunged 10.84 percent year-on-year to NT$12.86 trillion (US$384.1 billion) last year, dragged down by sluggish demand for consumer electronics worldwide and the falling price of crude oil, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said.

Foreign Orders Plunge in January for 10th Straight Month: Economics Ministry (2016-02-25)
(China Post) Due to slow growth and weak smartphone sales, foreign orders tumbled for the 10th straight month in January to 12.4 percent, the Economics Ministry reported.

Taiwan, Myanmar Scheduled to Hold Second Bilateral Business Council Meeting, Says Official (2016-02-25)
(CNA) Taiwan and Myanmar are scheduled to have their second joint business council meeting in the first half of 2016 to explore opportunities for strengthened bilateral economic ties, a Taiwanese foreign affairs official has said.

Ma to Meet with Allies in Trip to Central America (2016-02-27)
(Taipei Times) Local media have been rife with speculation that the president is unable to make transit stops in the US’ east due to his visit to Itu Aba.
China's Rise and Its Domestic Issues
A Looming Crisis for China's Legal System (2016-02-22)
(Foreign Policy, By Jerome A. Cohen) The party’s role in criminal justice has become particularly evident in the current anti-corruption drive. In dealing with its approximately 90 million members, the party has been more important than the formal criminal justice system.

China's Excess Production Has Intensified Slowdown, Business Group Says
(New York Times, By Javier C. Hernandez) The failure of Chinese leaders to tackle the problem of excess industrial production has intensified an economic slowdown in the country and threatens to wreak havoc on global markets, a prominent European business association said in a new report. 

As China's Economic Picture Turns Uglier, Beijing Applies Airbrush (2016-02-26)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong and Neil Gough) As financial and economic troubles threaten to undermine confidence in the Communist Party, Beijing is tightening the flow of economic information and even criminalizing commentary that officials believe could hurt stocks or the currency.

China Earmarks $15.3 Billion to Combat Unemployment from Industrial Reform (2016-02-26)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) China is preemptively moving to blunt the impact its supply-side reforms will have on the labor market. According to Feng Fei, a vice minister in China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China is setting up a fund worth 100 billion renminbi ($15.3 billion) to assist workers who lose their jobs as a side effect of China’s quest to reduce industrial overcapacity and eliminate “zombie companies.”

China Gives Glimpse of Its Solution to Economic Problems (2016-02-26)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) Speaking to leaders of the world’s biggest banks and institutional investors at a financial conference, officials described how they would use government deficit spending to spur growth. A senior Chinese central banker also pledged to preserve the value of China’s currency by firmly tying its value to a range of other currencies.

G-20, Rejecting Major Policy Shifts, Plays Up Basic Strengths (2016-02-28)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) The ministers turned aside suggestions that they embark on any radical changes in policy, like realigning the exchange rates of major currencies. They endorsed instead a stepped-up combination of monetary policies, government spending and structural changes.

Xi Jinping's Virtual Political Reality (2016-02-27)
(The Diplomat, By Elizabeth Economy) Xi wants a mirror that only reflects back what he wants to see, not reality. Alternatively, perhaps Xi sees reality but he is worried that if others see it, there will be growing doubt about the leadership’s capabilities, even more capital flight, and greater social unrest.

Contact: Dalton Lin, Executive Editor 

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