::: TSR Weekly Report
2016-08-09 | NO.20(32) epaper |
South China Sea Disputes
Beijing Warns On ‘Illegal’ Fishing (2016-08-03)
(Taipei Times/Reuters) The Chinese Supreme Court yesterday ruled that people caught illegally fishing in Chinese waters could be jailed for up to a year, issuing a judicial interpretation defining those waters as including China’s exclusive economic zones.

China Must Ready Itself For 'People's War At Sea': Minister (2016-08-03)
(China Post/AFP) Mainland China's defence minister has urged preparations for a "people's war at sea" to counter offshore security threats and safeguard sovereignty, state media reported Tuesday.

U.S. South China Sea Policy After the Ruling: Opportunities and Challenges (2016-07-22)
(Brookings, By Prashanth Parameswaran) The ruling could reveal the fragility of the informal diplomatic coalition that Washington has helped assemble in defense of the rules-based international order. If regional activism following the verdict is weak, the coalition risks being seen as “getting ahead” of the claimants themselves, thereby strengthening the Chinese narrative that outside actors are trying to stir up trouble in the South China Sea.

How the US Misjudged the South China Sea, Part II (2016-08-07)
(The Diplomat, by Xue Li and Xu Yanzhuo) Even though some Chinese analysis has suggested taking full control by claiming the nine-dash line as a maritime boundary line, the government is unlikely to follow this advice. Such an approach is not only incompatible with China’s long-term interests, but also harms China’s OBOR strategy and peripheral diplomacy.

Fishermen Return From Taiping Island (2016-08-01)
(China Post) Fishery authorities said penalties were awaiting the crew of five fishing boats who returned to Taiwan Sunday from a voyage intended to assert sovereignty over Taiping Island in the South China Sea.

Veterans' Application To Visit Taiping Under Review
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) An application by group of retired military personnel to visit a Taiwan-controlled island in the disputed South China Sea is still being processed and no final decision has been made, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on Tuesday. 

Tribunal Recognized Taiwan's Special Status: Scholars (2016-08-07)
(China Post) Local scholars said on Saturday that the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague was quite careful in dealing with the status of Taiwan because the court had indicated that "Taiwan is not completely part of China" but a special political entity, although the court had used the term 'Taiwan Authority of China' when mentioning Taiwan.

Hague Ruling Destablizing: Experts (2016-08-07)
(Taipei Times, By Alison Hsiao) A ruling in The Hague, Netherlands, over South China Sea features has precipitated more tension among claimants, academics said yesterday at a seminar titled “South China Sea Arbitration and Taiwan.”

National Status Issue Crucial: Academic (2016-08-07)
(Taipei Times, By Alison Hsiao) Taiwan should face the thorny issue of its “national status” in international lawsuits, an academic said in Taipei yesterday, adding that the nation could “seriously entertain the possibility of partly accepting an arbitral tribunal’s ruling on the South China Sea.”
East China Sea Disputes and Japan Policy
Japan’s Defense White Paper Highlights Growing Threat From China (2016-08-02)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) Japan’s 2016 Defense White Paper expresses “deep concern” over China’s growing assertiveness in the maritime domain. 

Mainland China Holds Live-fire Navy Drills In East China Sea (2016-08-03)
(China Post/AP) Mainland China's navy has fired dozens of missiles and torpedoes during exercises in the East China Sea that come amid heightened maritime tensions in the region, underscoring Beijing's determination to back up its sovereignty claims with force if needed.

Tokyo's Governor Praises Taiwan-Japan Aid Relations (2016-08-05)
(China Post/CNA) Yuriko Koike, the newly elected governor of Tokyo, said Thursday that Japan and Taiwan have built a solid partnership for mutual assistance in times of natural disasters.
U.S. “Pivot” to Asia and Sino-U.S. Engagement
New Report Details Why a War between China and America Would be Catastrophic (2016-08-01)
(The National Interest, By Dave Majumdar) A war between the United States and China would cause severe losses on both sides, but—today at least—Beijing would bear the brunt of the casualties. However, as China’s anti-access/area denial capabilities continue to improve—the balance of losses would shift more towards Beijing’s favor by 2025. Nonetheless, China would still suffer more losses than Washington even at that stage—according to a new report from the RAND Corporation. 

RIMPAC 2016: Bringing China Closer while Displaying Combat Prowess (2016-08-03)
(The Diplomat, By Steven Stashwick) As the 2016 RIMPAC comes to a close, Chinese participation appears to have served two ends in the U.S. approach to China: providing a forum for inclusion, cooperation, and understanding, as well as an opportunity to display new capabilities the United States and its allies can bring to a regional conflict as a reminder that peace is in everyone’s interest.

Is Primacy Overrated? (2016-08-07)
(The National Interest, By Robert D. Kaplan) A country of rich and poor - with a diminishing middle - that, nevertheless, continues to intervene militarily abroad is by definition imperial. That is something that should trouble us. America has been throughout much of its history in an imperial-like situation, but never to the extent that we might be if our middle class continues to erode. Primacy, therefore, could become morally more problematic.

The High Costs and Limited Benefits of America’s Alliances (2016-08-07)
(The National Interest, By Barry R. Posen) The foreign-policy establishment insists that all of U.S. alliances are central to our security. The reasons offered since the end of the Cold War to support this judgment are seldom clear, and the costs are always buried, if acknowledged at all.
DPP Searches for New China Stance; Cross-Strait Issues
Arrivals From China Drop By Double Digits In May, June (2016-08-04)
(China Post/CNA) Passengers from China accounted for nearly 40 percent of the foreign visitors to Taiwan in the first half of the year, although the total number represented a double-digit drop of more than 10 percent in May and June. 

Beijing, Taipei Envoys Clash In Kenya (2016-08-03)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) Diplomats from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait had a brief confrontation in a Kenyan court last month, after the Kenyan authorities postponed the trial of five R.O.C. nationals suspected of telecommunications fraud, a Foreign Ministry official said on Tuesday.

Gov't 'Trying To Bring Back 5' From Kenya (2016-08-07)
(China Post/CNA) The government is still working to bring home five Taiwanese who were acquitted of criminal charges in Kenya on Friday, Premier Lin Chuan said Saturday, amid worry that the five people would be handed over to China.
PLA and Military Balance
Growing PLA Transparency as a Means of Employing Soft Power, Part 1: PLA Internal Signaling Since the 18th Party Congress (2016-07-06)
(China Brief 16(11), Jamestown Foundation, By Kenneth Allen) The information identified by the PLA in this article has clearly helped shape the view of the PLA from a military soft power perspective, and forms an important part of its domestic propaganda mechanism, by being transparent on issues about which it wants to increase social attention to, such as “military building” and framing information about its developing military capabilities through the use of foreign media attention.

Growing PLA Transparency as a Means of Employing Soft Power Part 2: PLA External Signaling since the 18th Party Congress
(China Brief 16(12), Jamestown Foundation, By Kenneth Allen) China, as with all countries that participate in them, use such exercises to practice real world skills, improve domestic and foreign interoperability and signal resolve.

Cabinet Forms Department For Cyber Security
(China Post) The Cabinet announced the formation of a new government agency dedicated to information security on Monday. 

Taiwan Sets Up Submarine Development Center (2016-08-04)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) Taiwan-based China Shipbuilding Corporation inaugurated a new submarine development center in Kaohsiung to support the company’s bid for a government contract to build the Republic of China Navy’s new fleet of six to eight diesel-electric submarines.
Taiwan's Foreign Relations
Trial Lets Thais, Bruneians Enter Taiwan Visa-free (2016-08-02)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) Thai and Bruneian citizens can now visit Taiwan visa-free under a one-year-trial program aimed at strengthening relations with Southeast Asia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced, Monday.

Taiwanese Lawmaker Held In Vietnam Airport (2016-08-02)
(China Post, By Sun Hsin Hsuan) A legislator visiting Vietnam to seek cooperation opportunities for Taipei's "New Southbound Policy" was held for nine hours at an airport while en route to a Taiwanese-built steel plant that in April was blamed for that country's "most serious environment crisis."

Education Fair Highlights ‘New Southbound Policy’ (2016-08-07)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) The Taiwan Higher Education Fair, which opened on Friday in Kuala Lumpur, bears symbolic value for the “new southbound policy” formulated by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen, Deputy Minister of Education Chen Liang-gee said.

Vice President To Make Two State Visits (2016-08-02)
(Taipei Times, By Chung Lee-hua) Vice President Chen Chien-jen is to visit the Dominican Republic later this month and the Holy See next month, which would set a record for the frequency of state visits by the nation’s vice president.

Vice President To Transit In New York (2016-08-06)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday unveiled the detailed itinerary for Vice President Chen Chien-jen’s first state visit, which begins next week, during which he is set to visit the nation’s diplomatic ally the Dominican Republic and make two transit stops in New York.

Gov't Confident Despite Report of Breakthrough In Holy See-China Ties (2016-08-06)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) The government is striking a confident tone in the face of a report on a breakthrough in relations between mainland China and the Vatican, Taiwan's only European diplomatic ally.

Taiwan Seeks to Join Global Aviation Body (2016-08-05)
(China Post, By Yuan-Ming Chiao) The government confirmed Thursday that it had applied to participate in this year's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) meeting in September, hoping for a continuation of cross-strait "goodwill," under which Taiwan attended as "Chinese Taipei" in 2013.
China's Rise and Its Domestic Issues
China, Not Silicon Valley, Is Cutting Edge in Mobile Tech (2016-08-03)
(New York Times, By Paul Mozur) China’s tech industry — particularly its mobile businesses — has in some ways pulled ahead of the United States. Some Western tech companies, even the behemoths, are turning to Chinese firms for ideas.

New Report Details A Possible Big Threat to China's Economy: Massive Corporate Debt (2016-08-07)
(The National Interest, By Ivan Roberts and Andrew Zurawski) A mitigating factor is that China’s non-financial corporate debt is primarily domestically owned. Although Chinese corporations have issued foreign currency-denominated bonds in sizeable volumes in recent years, the use of cross-border funding remains relatively low, accounting for around 10 per cent of total non-financial corporate debt by the end of 2014.

China Reins In Communist Youth League, and Its Alumni’s Prospects (2016-08-04)
(Sinosphere, By Chris Buckley) President Xi Jinping of China in effect wrote an epitaph to the shrunken influence of his predecessor and former rivals this week when the Communist Party announced major changes to its once-powerful Youth League, a training ground for many officials who have been marginalized under Mr. Xi.

China Sentences Hu Shigen, Democracy Advocate, to 7 Years in Prison (2016-08-04)
(New York Times, By Javier C. Hernandez) The authorities made clear that Mr. Hu’s religious activities and support for Western ideals had contributed to his harsh sentence.

Week of TV Trials in China Signals New Phase in Attack on Rights (2016-08-06)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) The trials serve two purposes: to punish the activists, but also to use them to bolster President Xi’s claims against Western influence and liberal political ideas.

Hong Kong Restricts Election Candidates, Renewing Fears of Lost Rights (2016-08-04)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy and Alan Wong) Moves by the government of Hong Kong to bar candidates from a coming legislative election over the issue of independence from China have raised worries in this semiautonomous city about the deterioration of political freedom and the potential for renewed conflict with Beijing.

British Decision on Nuclear Plant Angers China and France
(New York Times, By Steven Erlanger) It has become clear that Mrs. May's main concerns are with the Chinese involvement, and she seemed to be signaling an end to the British willingness to be China’s best Western ally in return for Chinese investment.

China Should Push for American-Style Hegemony
(The National Interest, By Steven Kopits) If China behaves as a legitimate system operator, then squeezing out the United States becomes an attainable goal. It would do so by providing hegemonic services to the East Asian community better and cheaper than the United States does. 
New Releases
Hong Kong in the Shadow of China: Living with the Leviathan by Richard C. Bush (Brookings Institution) 

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Recent Publication Kharis Templeman, Yun-han Chu, and Larry Diamond (eds.), Dynamics of Democracy in Taiwan: The Ma Ying-jeou Years (Lynne Rienner Publishers)
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