|South China Sea Disputes and Other Regional Issues|
| South China Sea Guidelines for the New Administration (2017-01-27)|
(CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, By Amy Searight and Geoffrey Hartman) U.S. goals to uphold regional alliances and partnerships, defend international rules and norms, and maintain a productive relationship with China remain valid. China has seized the initiative in the South China Sea, however, and the United States needs to revamp its strategy to reverse current trends and escape the trap of reactive and ineffectual policymaking.
PacNet #8 - Trump must reassert US leadership in the Asia Pacific (2017-01-27)
(CSIS, By Jon Huntsman, Charlene Barshefsky, and Evan Greenberg) As a Pacific power, the United States has an enduring interest in an Asia-Pacific region that is stable, free, and prosperous. To advance these objectives, the Trump administration will need a coherent strategy that draws on all tools of our power – military, diplomatic, and not least economic.
Trump Tells South Korea That Alliance With U.S. Is ‘Ironclad’ (2017-01-30)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) President Trump spoke by phone with Hwang Kyo-ahn, the acting president of South Korea, and the two agreed to strengthen joint defenses against North Korea.
Steve Bannon on Trump's NSC Should Concern US Allies and Partners in Asia (2017-01-30)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Elevating Steve Bannon to the National Security Council suggests “America First” is here to stay.
Gauging Trump's Approach to the Koreas (2017-02-01)
(The Diplomat, By Kim Tae-woo) So far, the new administration is signalling a stronger approach toward Pyongyang.
After the ‘Blockade’: China’s Push into Nepal (2017-02-01)
(The Diplomat, By Biswas Baral) The damage done to Nepal-India relations lingers, opening the door for China.
The Korean Pivot: Seoul’s Strategic Choices and Rising Rivalries in Northeast Asia (2017-02-01)
(Council on Foreign Relations, By Scott Snyder, Darcie Draudt, and Sungtae "Jacky" Park) For the United States to effectively manage rising regional tensions, South Korea's ability to deftly navigate Northeast Asia's rivalries and coordinate with the United States and regional partners will be critical. Simultaneously, the United States and South Korea will need an even closer alliance and improved multilateral cooperation to deal with the North Korean threat and to prepare for any scenario of instability in North Korea.
Steve Bannon and Prospects of a US-China War in the South China Sea (2017-02-02)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Less than a year ago, Steve Bannon saw war in the South China Sea as “five to ten” years away. That matters.
Can China Patrols Help Duterte in the Philippines’ Terror War? (2017-02-02)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) “And by the way, I also asked China if they can patrol the international waters without necessarily intruding into the territorial waters of countries,” Duterte said in remarks at an oath-taking ceremony of Philippine military officers at the presidential palace.
In Japan, James Mattis May Reiterate US Commitment to Senkaku Defense (2017-02-01)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Trump’s defense secretary will reaffirm U.S. commitments to Japan under Article V when he visits this week.
Jim Mattis Says U.S. Is ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ With Japan (2017-02-03)
(New York Times, By Michael R. Gordon and Motoko Rich) The new defense secretary, visiting Tokyo, sought to dispel any doubt about the American commitment to the countries’ mutual security treaty.
China Assails U.S. Pledge to Defend Disputed Islands Controlled by Japan (2017-02-04)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s assurances to Tokyo about the islands prompted China to accuse the United States of putting regional stability at risk.
The US-India-Japan Trilateral: Economic Foundation for a Grand Strategy (2017-02-04)
(The Diplomat, By Hemal Shah) The absence of a robust economic foundation is stunting its strategic potential. A deeper economic engagement will enmesh each other’s priorities, giving shape and form to their strategic goals in the Indo-Pacific region.
China: New White Paper, Old Asia Conundrum (2017-02-04)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) Beijing is getting better at selling Asia a benign vision, but most of the region is still having trouble buying it.
(The Australian, By Bruce Jacobs) With the election of President Donald Trump and his acceptance of a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, the phrase “one-China policy” has dominated commentary about the region. This so-called “policy” is based on several historical falsehoods.
Op-Ed Columnist: Make China Great Again (2017-02-01)
(New York Times, By David Leonhardt) President Trump’s early actions are a strategic gift to America’s rivals and enemies.
Deal Professor: MoneyGram Deal May Test Trump’s View on Chinese Investment (2017-01-31)
(New York Times, By Steven Davidoff Solomon) An Alibaba spinoff sees the American money transfer business as a path to greater global reach — if its plans pass muster with an administration leery of Beijing.
Rethink on Trump Hits Asian, World Stocks (2017-02-01)
(Taipei Times/Reuters) Following US President Donald Trump's controversial ban on citizens of seven countries from entering the US, the US dollar has fallen in value in comparison to other major world currencies. Asia-Pacific currencies hold strong against the US dollar, and the dollar is projected to continue falling.
Trump Aide’s Deal With Chinese Firm Raises Fear of Tangled Interests (2017-01-31)
(New York Times, By Sharon LaFraniere, Michael Forsythe, and Alexandra Stevenson) Anthony Scaramucci, who has been named the White House liaison to the business community, is selling his firm to a company with deep ties to China’s Communist Party.
Is China Preparing to Test Trump White House? (2017-02-02)
(Council on Foreign Relations, By Jennifer M. Harris) After the Trump administration's early missteps on the South China Sea conflict, Jennifer Harris has three recommendations on how Washington can head off a crisis with Beijing.
How Trump Can Win With China (2017-02-03)
(Foreign Policy, By James McGregor) My advice to the Trump administration is to suspend the JCCT and the S&ED.
The Future of China-US Relations in the Trump Era (2017-02-04)
(The Diplomat, By Shen Dingli) How will the Trump administration influence US-China ties in the political, economic, and security spheres?
(The Diplomat, By Neil Thompson) Amid President Trump’s other moves, don’t forget the possibility of the frozen conflict over Taiwan turning hot.
PacNet #6 - President Tsai: respect the will of the people and accept the ‘1992 consensus’ (2017-01-19)
(CSIS, By Dennis V. Hickey) For starters, when asked whether they support the idea of Taiwan and China conducting relations under the “one China with own interpretation” formula, the survey found that 62.67 percent of respondents either “agree” or “strongly agree” with the proposition. In other words, polling results show that a solid majority of Taiwanese do support the “1992 consensus."
Response to PacNet #6 “President Tsai: respect the will of the people and accept the ‘1992 consensus’” (2017-02-01)
(CSIS, By Michael J. Fonte and Dennis V. Hickey) When it was pointed out to Hickey at a recent Wilson Center presentation that the “92 consensus” is not explicitly mentioned in the question, he demurred, saying that “92 consensus” was a trigger word that would, presumably, skew the answers to the question. Those who have followed the framing of the “92 consensus” discussion know that the Chinese side has never used “respective interpretations."
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) China may be looking to develop its first carrier-capable AEW&C aircraft
China’s Intelligent Weaponry Gets Smarter (2017-02-03)
(New York Times, By John Markoff and Matthew Rosenberg) The United States no longer has a strategic monopoly on a technology that is widely seen as the key factor in the next generation of warfare.
Military Aviation Bill Proposed in Place of Civil Act (2017-02-06)
(Taipei Times by Lo Tien-bin and Jonathan Chin) A new bill was proposed that would institute a five-year prison sentence for civilians found guilty of damaging military aircraft or aircraft-related equipment. Other components of the bill institute various other punishments for related offenses, which the Ministry of National Defense says are not covered yet.
(China Post by the news staff) Stanley Kao, the Taiwanese representative to the United States, reassured the country on the stability of ties between the US and Taiwan in a speech for a Lunar New Year parade. He restated the two countries' commitment to their long and prosperous friendship and hopes that they continue to grow.
KMT Website Offers "Chinese" Birthplaces (2017-02-02)
(Taipei Times by Lin Liang-sheng, Shih Hsiao-kuan and Jonathan Chin) Other than Taipei and Kaohsiung, no Taiwanese location is listed as a birthplace able to be selected when registering for membership to the KMT Party. For the most part, the options listed are cities found on the Chinese mainland or are locations which have since been renamed.
MOFA has not asked Japan to deny passports with 'Taiwan' stickers (2017-02-02)
(China Post/CNA) Some Taiwanese passports have been modified by supporters of the independence movement to display a "Taiwan Republic" name rather than "Republic of China," the official name of Taiwan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not instructed Japan to confiscate or deny these passports, contrary to a popular rumor. However, the official design of the passports has been submitted to foreign governments to provide as a reference.
"Too Early" to Back a Candidate: Ex-President Ma (2017-02-03)
(China Post by James Lo) While former President Ma Ying-jeou has not yet announced who he wishes to support for the KMT chairperson election, he stressed the importance of maintaining the "1992 Consensus." He declared that the ideal candidate would put the needs of the party first and foremost.
Tensions Rise Before KMT Election (2017-02-03)
(Taipei Times by Jake Chung) The KMT's Lunar New Year meeting was interwoven with tensions as it appeared all thoughts were on the upcoming chairperson elections, which are scheduled to take place on May 20 as well as who will receive the support of former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou. All the chairperson candidates except Han Kuo-yu were present at the meeting.
Protestors Call for Oversight Laws on Cross-Strait Talks (2017-02-03)
(Taipei Times by Abraham Gerber) People have been protesting the DPP's inability to pass legislation establishing supervision of cross-strait negotiations. President Tsai Ing-wen had promised to pass oversight laws in 2015 when she first announced her candidacy for the presidency. However, cross-strait discussions have been largely frozen since Tsai took office.
Ministry to Subsidize "Custom" Southeast Asia Programs (2017-02-03)
(Taipei Times by Sean Lin) The Ministry of Education plans to subsidize courses offered to Indian and Southeast Asian students at Taiwanese vocational schools. In line with the government's "new southbound policy," the Ministry has been promoting exchanges with other schools in the region.
Solomon Islands Minister Reaffirms Taiwan Alliance (2017-02-06)
(Taipei Times by Lu Yi-hsuan) Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manassah Sogavare stated that Taiwan's commitment to floral protection makes it a "close ally." He thanked Taiwan for their continued humanitarian aid and development assistance. He restated the Solomon Islands' continued support of Taiwan's bid for UN recognition.
Cabinet Shuffle Criticized as Ineffectual to Leadership (2017-02-06)
(Taipei Times by Chen Wei-han) Wu Li-pei, former national policy advisor, criticized the effectiveness of recent changes in Cabinet positions, claiming that the shifts were not enough and that a complete overhaul of the Cabinet was necessary for effective DPP governance. He wishes to see a completely new Cabinet with a new "Taiwan mindset" leading the country into the future.
David Lee to Attend Haiti Presidential Inauguration (2017-02-06)
(China Post/CNA) The Minister of Foreign Affairs is visiting Haiti as the head of the Taiwanese delegation to Haitian President-elect Jovenel Moïse's inauguration. Haiti and Taiwan have maintained diplomatic relations for over 60 years and continue to cooperate on many fronts.
Party Seeks to Loosen Candidate Eligibility Rules (2017-02-06)
(China Post by James Lo) Mo Tien-hu, Secretary-General of the KMT, will head a conference that would loosen the bylaws for eligibility for candidates in the party's chairperson election. The changed rules would state that the party only must announce the 3% of signatures being achieved and not have to release all of the signatures constituting the 3% necessary to reach eligibility.
(New York Times, By Michael Forsythe) The Chinese-born tycoon Xiao Jianhua, who holds Canadian and Antiguan passports, is in police custody on the mainland, a person close to him said.
China’s Economy: The New Normal and the Virtuous Circle (2017-02-02)
(The Diplomat, By Yanfei Li) Today, Chinese President Xi Jinping is emerging in a series of international events – first at APEC in Beijing, then at the G20 in Hangzhou, and more recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos – as a global leader calling for a deepening of globalization. This emergence could represent a new game, and a departure from the classical dogma of economics textbooks.
What's the End Game for Xi Jinping's Political Moves? (2017-02-02)
(The Diplomat, By Cal Wong) Five of the seven Politburo Standing Committee members, excluding only Xi and Premier Li Keqiang, are expected to step down, as they will reach the unofficial retirement age of 68. But there is uncertainty regarding Xi’s apparent desire for power; some circles believe he may break party rules to try to consolidate his power.
China's Response to the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (2017-01-30)
(Council on Foreign Relations, By Yanzhong Huang) Yanzhong Huang argues that the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa highlighted the role of China in addressing public health emergencies of international concern (PHEIC).
Malaysia’s New China Warship Deal: Promises and Prospects (2017-02-04)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) That said, the fact that LMS is integrated into the 15-to-5 transformation program which was advanced by the navy makes it a priority purchase and makes it more likely that it will be realized soon.
Many Belts, Many Roads: How China's Provinces Will Tweak a Global Project (2017-02-04)
(The Diplomat, By Adrian Raftery) OBOR may be a national-level plan, but the provincial governments will mold the project to suit local needs.
Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor
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