::: TSR Weekly Report
2016-04-21 | NO.20(16) epaper |
South China Sea Disputes
Philippine Official Urges China Restraint (2016-04-13)
(AP) A Philippine diplomat said that any Chinese move to turn a disputed shoal — where the US Navy recently spotted a suspected Chinese survey ship — into an island would escalate the disputes in the South China Sea and asked Washington to convince Beijing not to take that “very provocative” step.

China Pans G7 Comments (2016-04-13)
(Bloomberg) The G7 nations should stop inflaming territorial disputes in Asian waters and focus their energy on dealing with a slumping global economy, China said, in response to G7 calls for countries to stop land reclamation and militarization in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Eye on China, U.S. and Philippines Ramp Up Military Alliance (2016-04-13)
(New York Times, By Floyd Whaley) After a rocky patch of 25 years, the United States and the Philippines will solidify a new, increasingly complex military relationship this week, driven partly by China’s assertive actions in the South China Sea.

U.S. and Philippines Bolster Air and Sea Patrols in South China Sea
(New York Times, By Floyd Whaley) Philippine and American forces began conducting joint naval patrols in the South China Sea last month and will immediately start air operations over the area, United States Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said. 

In South China Sea Visit, U.S. Defense Chief Flexes Military Muscle (2016-04-16)
(New York Times, By Michael S. Schmidt) Over the last week in Asia, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has visited two aircraft carriers, revealed new military agreements with India and the Philippines, and generally signaled that the Obama administration had decided to lean more on military power to counter China’s territorial ambitions in the region.

Chinese General Visits Disputed Spratly Island in South China Sea (2016-04-16)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) China’s most senior uniformed military commander paid a visit in recent days to the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, the country’s Ministry of National Defense said.

Any Downgrade of Taiping Island to a ‘Rock’ Illegal: Ma  (2016-04-16)
(CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou reiterated that Taiwan holds sovereignty over Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island) and said that any international court ruling that downgrades the legal status of Itu Aba from an “island” to a “rock” would be illegal and would hurt Taiwanese sovereignty.

International Scholars Visit Taiping Island in Disputed South China Sea (2016-04-17)
(CNA) The Republic of China's government on Friday took several experts on international law to Taiping Island in the disputed South China Sea, in hopes of buttressing its case that it is an island under international law.
U.S. “Pivot” to Asia and Sino-U.S. Engagement
Did Hillary Clinton's Pivot to Asia Work? (2016-04-15)
(FiveThirtyEight, By Catherine Putz and Shannon Tiezzi) In Clinton's four years as secretary, she made 62 visits to Asian countries, accounting for more than a quarter of all of her trips abroad. Condoleezza Rice, Clinton’s predecessor, made 47 during her four years as secretary. Not only did Clinton make more visits, she also visited the region more widely. Rice traveled to 18 Asian countries; Clinton visited 26.

A Dangerous Superpower Showdown Is Brewing: China vs. America in Asia
(The National Interest, By Hugh White) Others with an interest in Asia’s future — and that means not just Asians but everyone else as well — ought to ask what influence can be brought to bear to help manage the transition now underway in Asia much better than it has been so far.

What Might a New Asian Order Look Like?
(The National Interest, By Robert A. Manning and James Przystup) Perhaps the best that can be attained is a framework for strategic stability between the United States and China. In the meantime, to paraphrase Winston Churchill: the existing security architecture is the worst possible system — except for all the others.

U.S. and India Agree to Strengthen Military Ties
(New York Times, By Michael S. Schmidt) The measures announced, however, are largely symbolic. They provide India with few major military capabilities it does not already have. And they do not call for concrete actions like joint patrols in the South China Sea, which China has claimed as its own. 

What 2 Russian Jets Can Teach Us about a US-China Clash in the South China Sea (2016-04-15)
(The Diplomat, By Steven Stashwick) What the Cold War taught, and these latest incidents between the United States and Russia demonstrate, is that when competing navies engage in aggressive posturing and harassment they do not threaten an undesired escalation or the wider relationship; they are merely a reflection of that relationship.

Race for Latest Class of Nuclear Arms Threatens to Revive Cold War (2016-04-17)
(New York Times, By William J. Broad and David E. Sanger) The United States, Russia and China are now aggressively pursuing a new generation of smaller, less destructive nuclear weapons. The buildups threaten to revive a Cold War-era arms race and unsettle the balance of destructive force among nations that has kept the nuclear peace for more than a half-century.
DPP Searches for New China Stance; Cross-Strait Issues
Taiwan Accuses Kenya of Illegal Deportations As More Are Sent to China (2016-04-13)
(New York Times, By Jeffrey Gettleman and Austin Ramzy) China often intervenes to block international recognition of Taiwan. But such acts generally involve vetoing Taiwan’s participation in bodies like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Rarely has it meant laying claim to Taiwan passport holders overseas.

China to Prosecute Taiwanese in Fraud Case Despite Acquittals in Kenya
(New York Times, By Dan Levin) The Chinese government announced that a group of Taiwanese citizens who were deported to China from Kenya would be prosecuted on charges of telecommunications fraud despite having been acquitted of the same charges by a Kenyan court this month. 

Justice Ministry to Send Delegation to China (2016-04-16)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) The government is to send an official delegation to China on Monday to meet with Chinese authorities over the criminal investigation of 54 Taiwanese suspects deported from Kenya and detained in Beijing on charges of engaging in telephone fraud.

Taiwan Asks Malaysia Not to Send Suspects to China (2016-04-16)
(Taipei Times, By Abraham Gerber and Alison Hsiao) A legislator said that Beijing was trying to stop Malaysia from sending 52 Taiwanese fraud suspects back to Taiwan. Last night, 20 returned.

China Criticizes Taiwan for Releasing Fraud Suspects (2016-04-17)
(AP, By Gerry Shih) A Chinese spokesman criticized Taiwan after the self-ruled island released 20 fraud suspects just one day after they were deported from Malaysia, citing a lack of evidence.

Lin Taps Future Heads of Defense, Foreign Affairs (2016-04-16)
(CNA) David Lee, a seasoned diplomat who is currently the representative to Australia, is to take over the foreign affairs portfolio, while another experienced diplomat, Katharine Chang, is to head the Mainland Affairs Council.

Taiwan Banks' Yuan Deposits Down for 2nd Straight Month (2016-04-17)
(CNA) Chinese yuan-denominated deposits held by banks operating in Taiwan fell for the second consecutive month in March in the wake of the Chinese currency's depreciation against the U.S. dollar, according to the central bank.
Military Balance and Arms Sales
Taiwan Denies Role in Spy Case Involving U.S. Navy Officer (2016-04-13)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy) Taiwan’s military denied any involvement in the case of a United States naval officer under investigation on suspicion of providing secret information to Taiwan or China.

China May Be the Big Winner in the Pentagon's Newest Spying Scandal
(Foreign Policy, By Dan de Luce, Elias Groll, and Paul McLeary) It’s not clear if the naval flight officer at the center of the scandal, Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin, meant to help Beijing when he allegedly began slipping secrets to Taiwan. U.S. authorities haven’t yet made public — and may not themselves know — whether they believe Lin was knowingly providing intelligence to China, or whether the information he allegedly gave Taiwan was stolen by Chinese spies inside Taiwan’s security services.

Watch Out: China and Russia Are Working Together at Sea (2016-04-13)
(The National Interest, By Lyle J. Goldstein) Joint Sino-Russian naval drills on an unprecedented and growing scale during 2014 and 2015 imply a new level of seriousness.

Monday's Air Defense Drill to Stop N. Taiwan Traffic
(CNA) An annual air defense drill during which people are required to stay indoors and traffic controls are imposed will be held in seven cities and counties in Northern Taiwan, the National Police Agency said. 
Taiwan's Domestic Issues and Foreign Relations
Taiwan Mood Barometer Survey, First Half of April 2016 (2016-04-14)
(TISR) President Ma Ying-jeou's approval rating rose 1 percentage point over the first ten days of March, according to the latest Taiwan Mood Barometer Survey (in Chinese).

Tsai's Inaugural Speech Should Focus on Internal Affairs: Survey (2016-04-15)
(CNA) The poll conducted by the Taipei based Cross-Strait Policy Association shows that 63.7 percent of those surveyed said Tsai should give weight to internal affairs in her speech, while 19.6 percent said the emphasis should be on cross-strait links, and 16.7 percent did not specify their stance.

Tsai Briefed on Defense during MND Visit
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) President-elect Tsai Ing-wen was given a closed-door in-depth briefing on the country's national defense affairs during a visit to the Ministry of National Defense headquarters in Taipei.

US Congress Marks Taiwan Relations Act Anniversary
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) Members of the US Congress celebrated the 37th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act this week, issuing statements proclaiming that Taiwan and the US shared a “continuing and growing” partnership.

DPP Elaborates on Its ‘New Southbound Policy’ (2016-04-14)
(Taipei Times) The DPP elaborated on its “new southbound policy” at its Central Standing Committee meeting, with president-elect Tsai Ing-wen underscoring it as “one of this nation’s crucial policies” for the near future.

Caribbean Nations Will Send Officials to Tsai Inauguration (2016-04-15)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) All 12 diplomatic allies of the R.O.C. in the Caribbean region will be sending high-level officials, including presidents and prime ministers, to join President-elect Tsai Ing-wen's inauguration ceremony next month, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said. 
China's Rise and Its Domestic Issues
Government Gives Up AIIB Application for ‘Dignity’ (2016-04-13)
(CNA) Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford said that Taiwan would no longer apply to participate in the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank because the nation is not being treated with dignity and equality. 

China's Top Lawyer in Hong Kong Says Secession Advocate Could Face Prosecution (2016-04-13)
(Sinosphere, By Keith Bradsher) The Chinese government’s top lawyer in Hong Kong said that British colonial legislation could be used to prosecute those advocating that the territory secede from China, but he also said that mainland Chinese security agencies have no authority to detain suspects in Hong Kong.

Contact: Dalton Lin, Executive Editor 

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