::: TSR Weekly Report
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2016-03-08 | NO.20(10) epaper |
South China Sea Disputes
Japan Signs Pact to Supply Defense Equipment to Philippines (2016-02-29)
(AP, By Jim Gomez) Japan signed an agreement to supply defense equipment to the Philippines, the first such Japanese defense pact in a region where the U.S. allies have been alarmed by China’s advance in disputed territories. 

China: Yes, We Sent Ships to Jackson Atoll in Spratlys (2016-03-03)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) If China intends to permanently control access to the fishing grounds at Jackson Atoll, it will mean Beijing has, for the second time in four years, used coercion to increase its holdings in the South China Sea at the Philippines’ expense.

US, China Trade Words Again Over South China Sea (2016-03-03)
(Reuters) Ashton Carter said Beijing’s actions have fueled trilateral pacts that a few years ago would have been ‘unthinkable,’ and that the US has ‘plans.’

US Navy Aircraft Carrier, Escorts Arrive in South China Sea for ‘Show of Force’ (2016-03-06)
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) Fox News said that “multiple defense officials” told it the move was “a show of force” and a signal to China.
East China Sea Disputes and Japan Policy
ROC and Japan Set to Talk Fishing Regulations in Overlapping Waters (2016-03-02)
(China Post) Taiwan and Japan will engage in talks over fishing regulations in overlapping waters in the East China Sea, at a meeting between fisheries officials from both countries that will kick off today in Taipei. 

Taiwan Retains Its Fishing Rights North of Yaeyama (2016-03-05)
(Taipei Times) The fifth Taiwan-Japan meeting on fishing rights north of the Yaeyama Islands concluded with Taiwan retaining its right to fish in the inverted triangle zone north of the islands.
U.S. “Pivot” to Asia and Sino-U.S. Engagement
U.S. Proposes Reviving Naval Coalition to Balance China's Expansion (2016-03-03)
(New York Times, By Ellen Barry) The chief of the United States Pacific Command, Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., proposed reviving an informal strategic coalition made up of the navies of Japan, Australia, India and the United States, an experiment that collapsed a decade ago because of diplomatic protests from China. 
DPP Searches for New China Stance; Cross-Strait Issues
Report on Taipei Forum's Visits to Mainland China (2016-03-06)
(Taipei Forum) In the wake of the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) electoral victories in Taiwan, focus is now on how the DPP and the Chinese Communist Party might handle their potentially confrontational relations. To gain a deeper understanding of mainland China's thinking, the Taipei Forum organized visits to think tanks and Taiwan-affair institutions in Beijing and Shanghai between February 23 and 27, 2016. Here is the report on the visits' outcomes (in Chinese).

'Don't Misread' China External Affairs Head's Remarks on the ROC
 (2016-03-02)
(CNA) People should not misread the core message behind remarks in Washington by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi when he talked about Taiwan's constitution, said Zhang Zhijun.

China's Mention of ROC Constitution No Landmark: Academic (2016-03-01)
(Taipei Times) China is seeking to control how “maintaining the ‘status quo’” should be interpreted and to confine the incoming administration’s ability to maneuver by equating any move away from the “one China constitution” with breaking the “status quo.”

Speech Shows Beijing Concerned Over DPP
 (2016-03-06)
(China Post) Mainland China executive chief Li Keqiang reiterated mainland China's stance against Taiwan's "separatist" movement, but observers said there were some subtle changes to his rhetoric that reflected Beijing's concerns over the election victories for Taiwan's pro-independence party.

‘Status Quo’ Backed As Beijing Postures
 (2016-03-06)
(Taipei Times) Politicians in Taiwan backed the “status quo” after Beijing stepped up its rhetoric against Taiwanese independence, with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang warning against “separatist activities” and pledging to safeguard China’s “territorial integrity.”

DPP & Mainland Yet to Begin Deep Communications: Scholar (2016-03-06)
(CNA) "There is nothing new in terms of fresh ideas," indicating that the DPP and CCP have yet to have a clear or deep dialogue, or even if they have, they have yet to make positive progress, Chang Wu-yuch of Tamkang University said.

The “1992 Consensus” – Adapting to the Future? (2016-03-01)
(China Leadership Monitor #49, Hoover Institution, By Alan D. Romberg) One should not expect PRC officials to express joy over Tsai’s positions in her Liberty Times interview. She obviously did not repeat the mantra as Beijing would have liked,and however far forward she in fact did lean, the fact is that she remained somewhat vague about the exact wording. That said, one might hope that, as many have urged, Beijing will be creative and flexible, and will reciprocate what they must see as, if a small step for them, a significant step for her. But the continuing references to uncertainty and the doubt hanging over the future of the relationship merit close attention.

NPP Caucus Tables Bill on Monitoring Cross-Strait Pact
 (2016-03-02)
(CNA) The New Power Party caucus proposed its version of the draft act on an oversight mechanism for cross-strait agreements, titling the draft “the act governing the signing of agreements between this country and the People’s Republic of China.” 

Supervisory Law May 'Stop Cross-Strait Negotiations' (2016-03-05)
(China Post) Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Andrew Hsia expressed concern that proposed supervisory laws for cross-strait agreements could bring negotiations between Taiwan and China to a standstill.

Chang Denies Fall in Chinese Tourist Numbers (2016-03-02)
(Taipei Times) While the past two months saw a drop in the number of Chinese group travelers, the number of independent travelers increased, the premier said.

China Preparing to Cut No. of Tourists to Taiwan on 'Implicit Gov't Orders' (2016-03-05)
(China Post) Taiwan's Travel Quality Assurance Association said Chinese travel agents were preparing to cut the number of Taiwan-bound tourists on the basis of implicit government orders.

Only 24 Mainlanders Transited Via Taiwan in First Month: SEF (2016-03-03)
(China Post) Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation said that only 24 mainland Chinese passengers transited via Taiwan in the first month of a cross-strait pilot program.
PLA and Military Balance
China's Defense Budget to Slow in Line with Economy (2016-03-05)
(Reuters) China’s defense budget this year is likely to rise at its slowest pace since 2010, in line with the decelerating economy and by a much lower figure than had been expected in military and diplomatic circles. 

China Military Budget to Rise Less Than 8%, Slower Than Usual (2016-03-05)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley and Jane Perlez) Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, said it was “very possible” that the People’s Liberation Army would be disappointed in the single-digit spending increase, but he noted that the military would continue to see benefits from significant expenditures announced in recent years. “In the coming two or three years China will get a lot of new equipment,” he said. “The impact of this slowdown will be five years ahead.”

The PLA’s New Organizational Structure: What is Known, Unknown, and Speculation (Part 2) (2016-02-23)
(China Brief 16(4), Jamestown Foundation, By Kenneth Allen, Dennis J. Blasko, and John F. Corbett) One of the biggest unanswered questions so far is who will be on the “new” Central Military Commission and when will it reflect the new PLA force structure.
Taiwan's Domestic Issues and Foreign Relations
Taiwan Mood Barometer Survey, February 2016 (2016-02-25)
(TISR) President Ma Ying-jeou's approval rating dropped 2.5 percentage points during the month of February, according to the latest Taiwan Mood Barometer Survey (in Chinese).

Party Identification Tracking Analysis in Taiwan, February 2016
 (2016-03-05)
(TISR) Taiwan Indicators Survey Research released its February survey results (in Chinese) on the public's party identities. The percentage of Taiwanese who expressed support for the KMT or other Pan-Blue parties fell 1 percentage point to 28.2%.

Tsai to Stay on As DPP Leader
 (2016-03-03)
(Taipei Times) President-elect Tsai Ing-wen confirmed that she is to double as Democratic Progressive Party chairperson after she is inaugurated on May 20.

Legislators Agree on TV Broadcasts for Transparency (2016-03-06)
(Taipei Times) Lawmakers agreed to commission a TV station to broadcast legislative proceedings, a move aimed at improving legislative transparency that is expected to be carried out in the coming months, Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan said.

Taiwan Cooperation Won't Change Despite China: EBRD
 (2016-03-03)
(China Post) Close cooperation with Taiwan won't change despite China's recent membership to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a visiting EBRD spokesman said. 

Taiwan Can Help Solve Problems, US Official Says (2016-03-04)
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) “Taiwan has a lot to offer in the way of capacity, expertise and resources and that is why we continue with our efforts to elevate Taiwan’s international profile and dignity,” US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Tong told a roundtable discussion on the Taiwan-US Global Cooperation Training Framework agreement at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University.
China's Rise and Its Domestic Issues
Xi Jinping's Remedy for China's Economic Gloom Has Echoes of Reaganomics (2016-03-04)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) With the world looking to China for assurance that it can manage its slowing economy and tumultuous stock market, President Xi Jinping has begun pushing a remedy that sounds less like Marx and Mao than Reagan and Thatcher.

As Economy Slows, Experts Call on China to Drop Growth Target (2016-03-05)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong) China is the only major world economy to set a hard annual growth target. The number has been critical to China’s economic planning in the post-Mao years. Communist Party leaders believe that the nation’s perceived ability to meet or exceed the annual number is an important element in lending legitimacy to the party, which offers citizens economic opportunity in exchange for their agreeing to the party’s monopolization of political power.

In New Economic Plan, China Bets That Hard Choices Can Be Avoided (2016-03-06)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley and Keith Bradsher) As economic growth has fallen while debts and excess industrial output have risen, Chinese leaders have faced growing questions about whether they will carry out the painful policy surgery many experts say is needed to cut away the financial dead weight on the economy.

China's National People's Congress: Key Points (2016-03-05)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) The Chinese government laid out its priorities for the year on Saturday, when Prime Minister Li Keqiang gave his annual state-of-the-nation report to the legislature, the National People’s Congress. Here are highlights from that report and other government documents released at the legislative meeting in the Great Hall of the People.

Chinese Views on Global Governance Since 2008-9: Not Much New (2016-03-01)
(China Leadership Monitor #49, Hoover Institution, By Michael D. Swaine) Arguments insisting that China since 2008–9 has adopted a new approach to global governance, and that this approach involves the overturning of the LIO can find almost no support among open Chinese sources of whatever type.

China Deletes Microblog of Critic of President Xi Jinping (2016-02-29)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong) The microblog account of an outspoken property tycoon and critic of President Xi Jinping, which had nearly 38 million followers, was deleted by China’s Internet control bureau on Sunday. 

In Xi Jinping's Tears, a Message for China's People (2016-03-04)
(Sinosphere. By Austin Ramzy) It appears to be part of a broad effort to humanize Mr. Xi and build a cult of personality around him, an endeavor that has gone beyond anything dedicated to recent Chinese leaders.

Q. and A.: Minxin Pei on the Future of Communist Rule in China (2016-03-01)
(Sinosphere, By Michael Forsythe) Minxin Pei argues that the odds are high that by 2030, China’s government will be quite different, pushed to change by the endemic corruption of the current party system. In an interview, he discussed why he believes one-party rule in China is unsustainable.

Contact: Dalton Lin, Executive Editor 
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