::: TSR Weekly Report
2016-04-14 | NO.20(15) epaper |
South China Sea Disputes
US-Philippine War Games Begin As China Warns US (2016-04-05)
(AFP) Xinhua said the exercises ‘cap Manila’s recent attempts to involve outsiders in [a] regional row, calling it an ‘untimely’ provocation.

US Kicks Off New Maritime Security Initiative for Southeast Asia (2016-04-10)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) U.S. officials have released the first year of funds for the five-year, $425 million dollar Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative, which involves five main ASEAN states – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – along with Singapore, Brunei and Taiwan, and aims to improve the ability of these countries to address a range of maritime challenges, including China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea.

China Unveils New South China Sea Lighthouse on Subi Reef
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) Subi Reef is also the feature where the U.S. guided missile destroyer the USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of late October, drawing fierce protests from Beijing but also leading to weeks of uncertainty about exactly what Washington had sought to do. 

Harrowing Trip for Chinese Trawler Before Bump in Territorial Tensions (2016-04-10)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez and Yufan Huang) At the dock, the boat owner said he was confident the Chinese government had the power to arrange the return of the detained crew.

US Hopes for Clarification on South China Sea Claims (2016-04-09)
(Taipei Times, By Nadia Tsao and Jake Chung) The US hopes Taiwan’s new government can make available relevant historical data on the South China Sea and shed light on the status of the Republic of China’s “U-shaped line” in the region in the face of international law, National Taiwan Ocean University’s Institute of the Law of the Sea director Robert Chen said.

No Cross-Strait Pact on South China Sea, but ROC 'Open to Talks' (2016-04-09)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) President Ma Ying-jeou stressed that there is no cooperation between both sides of the Taiwan Strait over the South China Sea issue, but that Taiwan is open to negotiations in resolving sovereignty disputes in the disputed region.

The South China Sea Disputes: Past, Present, Future (2016-04-09)
(The Diplomat, By Young China Watchers) Joint development is possible if you agree that the other side has a legitimate claim or might have a legitimate claim. The problem in the South China Sea is that the Chinese only ever want to do joint development in other nations’ exclusive economic zones.
U.S. “Pivot” to Asia and Sino-U.S. Engagement
Return of Asia's Quad ‘Natural’: US Defense Chief (2016-04-09)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) The revival of the defunct U.S.-Australia-India-Japan quadrilateral security dialogue is “natural,” U.S. defense chief Ash Carter said. 
DPP Searches for New China Stance; Cross-Strait Issues
Ex-US Diplomat Calls on Taiwan's President-Elect (2016-04-07)
(CNA) Richard Armitage, a former deputy secretary of state of the United States, and other former foreign policy officials visited President-elect Tsai Ing-wen at Democratic Progressive Party headquarters in Taipei.

Tsai Promises to Step Up Exchanges with Mainland (2016-04-07)
(CNA) President-elect Tsai Ing-wen said that her administration will step up exchanges and communication with the Chinese government and will commit to maintaining peaceful and stable relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

KMT Report Tackles CCP Forum, Asset (2016-04-04)
(Taipei Times) The KMT should abrogate the party’s annual forum with the CCP and donate all party assets except for those that it legally acquired, former KMT secretary-general Lee Shu-chuan said in a party reform proposal.

KMT Members Split on Fate of CCP Alliance
(China Post, By Yuan-Ming Chiao) High-ranking members of the KMT expressed differing views on the fate of its annual party summits with CCP after a report detailing a series of recommended reform measures called for the scaling down of such events in the future. 

Lawmakers Allow 'Republic of Taiwan' Passport Stickers (2016-04-07)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) Lawmakers revoked legislation that prevents pro-Taiwanese independence activists from putting "Republic of Taiwan" stickers on their Republic of China passports.

Minister Sees Drop in Chinese Tourism (2016-04-08)
(Taipei Times, By Shelley Shan) The nation could see a double-digit percentage drop in Chinese visitors because Beijing has restricted the issuance of travel permits to Taiwan, Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Jian-yu said.
PLA and Military Balance
Navy Proposes Upgrade Program for Two Submarines (2016-04-06)
(Taipei Times, By Lo Tien-pin) The military has proposed a US$12.35 million program to upgrade the nation’s two aging Dutch-made Zwaardvis-class submarines, in which the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology would supervise the “life extension program” that would be contracted out to foreign defense companies.

Taiwan 'in Good Position' to Become a PLA Research Hub
(CNA) Taiwan should build itself into a global knowledge and research hub with regard to China's People's Liberation Army, given that the PLA constitutes a serious threat to Taiwan's national security and Taiwan and China speak the same language, a Taiwanese expert on China's military said. 
Taiwan's Domestic Issues and Foreign Relations
Support for DPP Hits Record High (2016-04-10)
(Taipei Times, By Alison Hsiao) The latest poll by National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center showed a record-high 31.2 percent of respondents support the Democratic Progressive Party, a significant increase from 19.5 percent in 2009.

US and Taiwan Announce Expedited Travel Program
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) The program will allow preapproved frequent travelers a quick route through customs and immigration, starting by the end of this year. 

Gov't Confident about Membership of TPP: Tsai Cabinet Member (2016-04-09)
(China Post) Taiwan is confident that it will be accepted into the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade bloc, a minister-designate who will be in charge of trade talks for the incoming government said.

President Visits Pengjia Islet to Aver Sovereignty (2016-04-10)
(AP) President Ma Ying-jeou visited a small island in the East China Sea to reassert Taiwan’s sovereignty and its role in the contested region, one of the key issues of his administration that ends next month.
China's Rise and Its Domestic Issues
Decoding China's Five-Year Plan (2016-04-05)
(Project Syndicate, By Martin Feldstein) While China remains a complicated puzzle, the authorities are clearly pursuing pro-market reforms designed to produce real annual growth of 6.5 percent or more during the next five years, leading to the doubling of real per capita income by 2020 that the Chinese Communist Party called for in 2010.

Western Mistakes, Remade in China (2016-04-10)
(Project Synicate, By Adair Turner) In theory, bank-led resource allocation should have ensured that only viable projects were financed. In fact, much investment has been wasted: Huge new apartment blocks in some third-tier cities are unlikely to ever be occupied and heavy-industry sectors, such as steel and cement, now suffer from severe overcapacity. With many firms in those sectors now relying on new loans to cover operating losses, large bad debts are inevitable.

Digital Paper in China Covers Contentious Issues, Now in English (2016-04-06)
(New York Times, By Didi Kirsten Tatlow) The Paper is overseen by the Chinese Communist Party, prospering at a time when China’s leaders are increasingly restricting what their people read and watch. It is set to publicly kick off an English-language version called Sixth Tone in hopes of making its recipe for success in China work abroad.

Initium's Ambition: A Digital Magazine for All Chinese
(Foreign Policy, By Tabitha Speelman) Initium is a Hong Kong-based digital start-up founded in August 2015. The start-up declares its mission to be providing quality news “for Chinese people worldwide.” It aims to stake out a neutral terrain among Chinese readers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, and abroad, creating an inclusive virtual space for all of Greater China. 

China: Superpower of Superbust? (2016-04-09)
(The National Interest, By Ian Bremmer) For the moment, China is more stable and resilient than many realize, and its political leaders have the tools and resources they need to manage a cooling economy and contain the unrest it might provoke.

Contact: Dalton Lin, Executive Editor 

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