::: TSR Weekly Report
2017-01-30 | NO.21(5) epaper |
Note to Readers
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South China Sea Disputes and Other Regional Issues

Can Asia Pick up the Pieces From TPP? (2017-01-24)
(The Diplomat, By Anthony Fensom) With the U.S. officially out of TPP, what options remain for the Asian signatories?

Trump's Exit Prompts Bids to Save TPP (2017-01-25)
(Taipei Times/Reuters) Following US President Donald Trump's withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Australia and New Zealand expressed hopes to save the agreement by inviting China to join the TPP, despite the fact that the TPP was initially created as a balance to China's rising economic growth levels. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not stated whether or not China would be interested in joining. Although the initial TPP structure allowed for other countries to join, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed concerns that there would be no purpose to the balancing trade agreement without the United States.

US Withdrawal from TPP: Geopolitical and Geoeconomic Gift for China? (2017-01-25)
(The Diplomat, By Eric Gomez) However, the idea that withdrawing from TPP will lead to a geopolitical win for China gives short shrift to additional factors at play in the U.S.-China relationship that work against Chinese interests.

South China Sea

China to Protect South China Sea (2017-01-25)
(Taipei Times/Reuters) Following the White House's assertion that they would defend "international territories" in the South China Sea against aggression, China declared that they had sovereignty over the region and is prepared to defend its claimed territory. A spokeswoman from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the United States does not have a voice in the South China Sea dispute and should not be considered a legitimate player in the conflict. She stated the belief of irrefutable Chinese sovereignty over the region.

Ambiguous Trump Policies Might Accelerate China’s Militarization in the South China Sea (2017-01-25)
(The Diplomat, By Steven Stashwick) China could use threats to block its Spratly bases to bolster their military capabilities.

Selective Revanchist Recognition: Trump, Crimea and the South China Sea (2017-01-26)
(The Diplomat, By Casey Michel) As it is, the Trump team’s approach to territorial integrity in the South China Sea — and to Beijing’s territorial expansionism — presents a stark contrast to Trump’s views on revanchism in Europe.

A US Navy Blockade in the South China Sea Is Not Sound Strategy (2017-01-26)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) Rex Tillerson’s South China Sea comments just don’t make strategic sense.

Survey: Filipinos Want Their Rights Asserted In Disputed Sea (2017-01-27)
(China Post/AP) Most Filipinos want their government to assert the country's rights in the disputed South China Sea after an arbitration tribunal invalidated China's vast territorial claims and ruled the Philippines can fish and exploit resources in the contested waters, according to an opinion poll released Friday. The Dec. 6-11 survey by independent pollster Pulse Asia showed 84 percent of 1,200 adult Filipinos polled nationwide agreed the government should uphold its rights in the disputed waters.

Other Regional Developments

China, Philippines Agree To Cooperate On 30 Projects (2017-01-24)
(Taipei Times/Reuters) China has agreed to cooperate with the Philippines on 30 projects worth US$3.7 billion focusing on poverty reduction, the two countries said after a meeting in Beijing yesterday.

 ASEAN in the Spotlight in Philippine Defense Chief's First Singapore Visit (2017-01-25)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) Regionalism a focus in Delfin Lorenzana’s inaugural official trip to the city-state.

How Far Can China Go in Imposing Sanctions on North Korea? (2017-01-25)
(The Diplomat, By Atsuhito Isozaki) Since the Kim Jong-un regime appears intent on forging ahead with nuclear weapon and missile development, China is likely to gradually strengthen sanctions, but to do so in a calculating way that avoids dealing a lethal blow to North Korea.

After Trump Rejects Pacific Trade Deal, Japan Fears Repeat of 1980s (2017-01-25)
(New York Times, By Jonathan Soble) The apparent death of the multinational trade deal could force Tokyo to negotiate one-on-one with the United States, provoking potentially bruising showdowns.

Where is the New US-Philippines Military Pact Under Duterte? (2017-01-28)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) A closer look at the progress both sides are making on this front.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: A Game Changer for Gilgit-Baltistan (2017-01-28)
(The Diplomat, By Seth Oldmixon and Prateek Joshi) Under the guise of CPEC, Pakistan is pushing nationalist sentiments in a long-neglected region.

China's Myanmar Dam Hypocrisy (2017-01-28)
(The Diplomat, By Tom Fawthrop) China is preserving the ecology of the Nu River within its borders. Downstream in Myanmar, it’s a different story.

U.S. “Pivot” to Asia and Sino-U.S. Engagement
What Does President Trump Mean for China’s Middle East Interests? (2017-01-26)
(The Diplomat, By Wang Jin) Trump's "America First" slogan could force China to play a more active role in Middle Eastern issues.

What's In Store For US-China Relations Under President Donald Trump? (2017-01-25)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) As the U.S. pulls away from the world, does China win? Perhaps not so easily.

China Won’t Run From a Fight With Trump (2017-01-24)
(Foreign Policy, By Michael Auslin) The new U.S. president says he’s ready to stand up to China in its own backyard — but Beijing won’t take that lying down.

News Analysis: Trump Injects High Risk Into Relations With China (2017-01-24)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez and Chris Buckley) As he tosses aside decades of American trade policy, President Trump could also go his own way on other issues with China, including Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Trump Has Nothing to Offer Asia Except Threats (2017-01-23)
(Foreign Policy, By Hunter Marston) The president's all-sticks, no-carrots approach is scaring away allies and empowering America's enemies.

Reboot China’s Foreign Service for the Age of Trump (2017-01-23)
(Foreign Policy, By Qiu Zhibo) With Chinese President Xi Jinping pushing an ambitious foreign policy agenda, and with an incoming U.S. president who defies all convention, China’s old-style diplomats are less suited than ever to getting the job done. It’s time for a reboot. Trump’s ascent could provide both the opportunity and the impetus for this to happen.

Trump’s China Policy: ‘This Is How You Stumble Into a Crisis’ (2017-01-26)
(Foreign Policy, By Dan De Luce) With its confused messages, the new administration is spooking Asian allies and antagonizing Beijing without a strategy.

China-US Relations: Get Ready for a Change (2017-01-26)
(The Diplomat, By Teng Jianqun) Moving forward, both sides will have to make adjustments to their usual approach to the relationship.

What Trump's Trade And Geopolitical Moves Mean For China (2017-01-27)
(China Post/AP) With his rejection of an Asian trade pact, U.S. President Donald Trump has tackled the first in a promised series of far-reaching policy changes that could inadvertently give China room to assert itself as a regional leader and worsen strains over the South China Sea and Taiwan.

Nation Pushes Back On US Ruling (2017-01-27)
(China Post, By Jing Shuiyu) China on Wednesday pushed back against the "extremely unfair" United States ruling on its tire exports, and vowed to take action if its rights were infringed by the creep of trade protectionism.

Are China and the US Set for a Showdown in Space? (2017-01-28)
(The Diplomat, By Peter Garretson and Namrata Goswami) Conversations with Chinese experts highlight several misperceptions about China’s ambition in space.
DPP Searches for New China Stance; Cross-Strait Issues
President Lauds Soldiers For Performance in Face of Chinese Threats (2017-01-23)
(Taipei Times/CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen congratulated and praised the Taiwanese Armed Forces for their quick and efficient response to China's sailing of an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait. The President has a national defense reform to boost efficiency and effectiveness without doing anything extravagant, in the words of the President. Her praise follows the military going on full alert as China sailed the Liaoning aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait, escalating fears.

 Managing Cross-Strait Ties in 2017 (2017-01-26)
(CSIS, By Bonnie Glaser) Most importantly, the United States should do no harm. Radical changes in American policy at this juncture could create instability in relations between Beijing and Taipei.

Tsai Messages Spark Cross-Strait Storm (2017-01-29)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) Lunar New Year messages from President Tsai Ing-wen on Twitter yesterday sparked a war of words between Taiwanese and Chinese netizens. Tsai wrote in separate messages in English and Japanese to Internet and social media users. Her messages drew a torrent of criticism from Chinese netizens, with some leaving vitriolic comments that accused Tsai of pandering to Japan and the US by favoring Japanese and English over Chinese.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
 No "Provocation" Can Stop PLA's Naval Drills (2017-01-23)
(Taipei Times/Reuters) The Chinese Communist Party's official paper stated that the PLA would not bow to international pressures and would continue engaging in military drills and exercises. This comes after widespread international concern on the tensions caused by the aircraft carrier Liaoning's military exercises in the South China Sea and Pacific regions. Taiwan's response involved scrambling fighter jets for possible self-defense if necessary.

Taiwan's Domestic Issues and Foreign Relations
 Chinese Billions Fail to Sway Taiwan's Last Two Allies in Africa (2017-01-24)
(Bloomberg Politics by Pauline Bax, Simon Gongo, and Lungile Dlamini) Both Swaziland and Burkina Faso will not switch their diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing despite Beijing offering billions of dollars in foreign aid to the African nations. Beijing currently adheres to the one-China policy and refuses to engage in diplomatic affairs with any state that recognizes Taiwan as a sovereign state. This follows the cessation of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Sao Tome and Principe last month.

Taipei to Bolster Asia-Pacific Links Amid TPP Fallout (2017-01-25)
(Taipei Times, by a staff writer with CNA) Following the United States' withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Taiwan's government has stated its intention to continue building economic relationships with other states in the Asia-Pacific region. Taiwan will also continue monitoring US President Donald Trump's administration and its trade policies. Taiwan will continue to negotiate bilateral trade agreements with the United States and attempt to relax regulations to promote free trade.

Tsai Government Risks China Wrath Over Uighur Activist's Visa (2017-01-25)
(China Post by Joseph Yeh) The Taiwan Solidarity Union, a pro-Taiwanese independence opposition party, has invited Rebiya Kadeer to visit Taiwan, and they are encouraging President Tsai Ing-wen's government to approve her visa. Kadeer, a Uighur separatist considered by Beijing to be a threat to state security and a terrorist, quickly accepted the invitation and hopes the DPP will approve her application quickly. She was previously denied entry into Taiwan during the KMT administration in 2009 due to national security concerns.

UK Envoy Says Exchanges To Go on Despite Brexit (2017-01-26)
(Taipei Times/CNA) British Representative to Taiwan Catherine Nettleton yesterday said that the UK would continue to promote exchanges in trade, climate change, science and innovation, as well as people-to-people links, based on strong bilateral ties.

MOFA Thanks Two Remaining African Allies Support (2017-01-26)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Wednesday thanked the nation's two remaining diplomatic allies in Africa,Burkina Faso and Swaziland, for their strong support, despite Beijing's attempts to woo them with money.

Former President Ma Ying-jeou To Visit US In February (2017-01-28)
(China Post) Former President Ma Ying-jeou will visit the United States next month to deliver speeches related to cross-strait and Taiwan-US relations. Ma told reporters Friday he will meet with think tank scholars in New York, Boston and Washington during his visit. Ask if he would meet with members of US President Donald Trump team, Ma said: "no."

Economic Performance Mars Tsai's Approval Ratings (2017-01-24)
(China Post) Public dissatisfaction with President Tsai Ing-wen and Premier Lin Chuan's handling of the economy is growing, according to a poll released Tuesday. The Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation poll showed 60 percent of respondents to be dissatisfied with the government's handling of the economy, with close to 70 percent dissatisfied with the current economic situation. The president's approval rating also hit a new low for her time in office, registering at 33.8 percent, down from 69.9 percent when she took office last May.

Trump Understands Special US-Taiwan Relations: Feulner (2017-01-29)
(Taipei Times/CNA) US President Donald Trump understands the special relationship between his country and Taiwan, and is aware of the value of this relationship, Edwin Feulner, a senior adviser to the Trump transition team, said on Thursday. This comes in response to concerns over some of Trump’s remarks suggesting he sees Taiwan as a bargaining chip in Washington’s relations with Beijing.

Former President Ma Ying-Jeou to Visit US in February (2017-01-27)
(China Post by the news staff) President Ma Ying-jeou will visit the United States to deliver a speech and discuss cross-strait affairs as well as US-Taiwan relations. This will be the former president's second trip to the US since leaving office. He has also stated that he will not meet with US President Donald Trump.

China's Rise and Its Domestic Issues
Beijing Is No Champion of Globalization (2017-01-22)
(Council on Foreign Relations, By Elizabeth Economy) In this article Elizabeth Economy analyzes Xi Jinping’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos and argues that the form of globalization promoted by China is not consistent with how the concept has previously been understood.

China Made Mauricio Macri a Deal He Couldn’t Refuse (2017-01-24)
(Foreign Policy, By Luke Patey) Argentina’s president promised to separate his country’s economy from Beijing. That was before Beijing had its say.

Alibaba’s Profile Is Global, but Its Fate Is Tied to China (2017-01-24)
(New York Times, By Paul Mozur) The Chinese e-commerce giant posts strong quarterly revenue, but its businesses abroad are only a minor contributor to its results.

China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Set For Membership Expansion (2017-01-25)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The China-led AIIB is ready for its first large membership expansion.

The Resurgence of China-Vietnam Ties (2017-01-25)
(The Diplomat, By Nguyen Minh Quang) A visit to Beijing by Vietnam’s Communist Party chief underscored a major shift in Sino-Vietnamese bilateral relations.

Sinosphere: The Little-Known Role of Western Economists in Building a Post-Mao China (2017-01-25)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong) The reform period ushered in by Deng Xiaoping also drew on the wisdom of foreign advisers, according to the Oxford scholar Julian Gewirtz.

What's Are China's Stakes in Syria? (2017-01-27)
(The Diplomat, By Uran Botobekov) The presence and activity of Uyghurs in the Turkestan Islamic Party in Syria draws Beijing’s attention to the Middle East

The Obstacles to China's Bid for Soft Power (2017-01-28)
(The Diplomat, By John Ford) Xi’s defense of globalization is certainly appreciated but it is unlikely to lead to a meaningful increase in China’s soft power until people around the world see China further open up its economy and its political system.


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