::: TSR Weekly Report
2017-03-21 | NO.21(11) epaper |
Note to Readers
TSR is pleased to announce newly published books about Taiwan and East Asia on its website and in its weekly newsletter. If you're a scholar or your book is coming out from an academic press, please send the title of your book and a link to the publisher's web site to TSR's Senior Editor, James Lee (JL18@princeton.edu).
Cross-Strait Relations
HK Protesters Jailed Over Anti-China Clashes (2017-03-18)
(Taipei Times/AFP) Three young Hong Kong protesters yesterday were jailed for three years on “riot” charges for their part in anti-China protests last year as tensions rise ahead of a vote for the territory’s next leader. The sentencing came just over a week before a vote for Hong Kong’s new chief executive, which pro-democracy campaigners dismiss as a rigged election weighted toward Beijing.
If Taipei Not Involved, S China Sea Code Futile: MOFA (2017-03-19)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that no code of conduct in the South China Sea would be binding on Taiwan if Taipei is not included in negotiations and dialogues aimed at creating a set of rules to avoid conflict among rival claimants in the region.The declaration was made on Friday after Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose told the Central News Agency that all ASEAN members adhere to the “one China” policy. As a result, regarding Taiwan’s claims in the South China Sea, ASEAN sees China as the representative in negotiations concerning the claims, Jose said.

Sunflower Activists Rally On Three-Year Anniversary (2017-03-19)
(Taipei Times, By Abraham Gerber) The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should swiftly pass supervisory articles requiring transparency and civic participation in any negotiations with China, protesters said yesterday at a rally commemorating the three-year anniversary of the Sunflower movement.

319 SHOOTING: Lu Urges Probe into "319 Shooting," Points at Beijing
(Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) Former Vice President Annette Lu suggested that Beijing may have had reason to plot the assassination attempt upon herself and former President Chen Shui-bian thirteen years ago and called upon the government to relaunch an investigation into the shooting. The shooting had taken place one day before the 2004 elections as the two were campaigning in Tainan. Numerous conspiracy theories surround the incident to this day.

Beijing Piling On Pressure Against Taiwan Independence: MAC (2017-03-20)
(China Post/CNA, By the news staff) A Mainland Affairs Council report stated that Beijing had increased its anti-independence efforts against Taiwan and intensified its insistence upon the one-China policy since President Tsai Ing-wen took office. The report also states that cross-strait talks have frozen and relations are currently in a regressive state.

Cross-Strait Trade Dipped Slightly in 2016: MAC (2017-03-20)
(China Post, By the news staff) The Mainland Affairs Council stated that trade between the PRC and Taiwan had dipped 0.7 percent in 2016. The report released attributed falling economic investments to the rising costs of doing business in China. Furthermore, the report claimed that since the inauguration of Tsai Ing-wen as the Taiwanese President, China has used "noneconomic means" of reducing the number of tourists who visit Taiwan.

China Expands Its Spying Against Taiwan (2017-03-21)
(The Diplomat, By Aaron Jensen) By using Chinese students to recruit spies on Taiwan’s university campuses, China is seeking to plant spies in Taiwan’s government, military, and intelligence agencies.

Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 Taiwan Growing Closer to Order of Malta: Report (2017-03-15)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) A report from Forbes suggests that Taiwan and the European country of Malta have grown closer and deepened collaborative ties. Furthermore, a spokeswoman from the Foreign Ministry has stated that Taiwan and Malta have worked together on humanitarian issues for years. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were not mentioned, however, and do not currently exist.

4th Communique Only A Rumor: MOFA (2017-03-15)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) The Foreign Ministry stated that the reports of a Fourth Joint Communique was "pure rumor." The communique would have made it a binding policy for the US to honor the "one China" policy. This comes following confirmation that the White House in the US is discussing with Beijing on planning for a meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

Cabinet Launches Anti-Money Laundering Office  (2017-03-17)
(Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) In an effort to improve financial transparency, the Executive Yuan launched the Anti-Money Laundering Office to crack down on money laundering within Taiwan. This makes Taiwan the first nation in the Asia-Pacific region to legislate against money laundering.

Ministry to Continue Visa-Free Policies for Southeast Asian Countries (2017-03-20)
(China Post, By the news staff) Following a sharp increase in the number of Southeast Asian tourists visiting Taiwan, the Foreign Ministry is expected to continue a policy of offering visa-free entry to citizens of Thailand and Brunei, two countries that send a large number of tourists every year. The policy may also be expanded to cover several other ASEAN member states.

Reporter's Notebook: Deciphering the Rumors on Taiwan-US-China Ties (2017-03-20)
(Taipei Times, By Nadia Tsao) The Taiwanese government has been surrounded by rumors regarding potential arms sales from the United States to Taiwan as well as the possible signing of a fourth US-China communique when US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet next month. Both affect the US's "one China" policy and may lead to a different future.

Taiwan-Japan Relations Are A Priority: President (2017-03-21)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) President Tsai Ing-wen yesterday said that her administration has listed Taiwan-Japan relations as a diplomatic priority and is determined to carry them to the next level, as the Executive Yuan approved a proposed name change for the agency handling bilateral ties.

Locally Built Submarines Could Enter Service In A Decade (2017-03-21)
(China Post News Staff) Local shipbuilder CSBC Corporation estimated Tuesday that domestically built submarines could be completed in eight years and be part of the national fleet within 10 years.
U.S.-China Relations
"Pivot to the Pacific" is Over, Senior U.S. Diplomat Says (2017-03-14)
(DefenseNews, By Aaron Mehta) A top State Department official stated that the Obama administration's Asia-Pacific rebalancing strategy, officially known as the "Pivot to the Pacific," is over. The official, however, went on to reiterate the Trump administration's commitment to the region. These comments come right before US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's first visit to the region.

U.S. Reaffirms Its One-China Policy Ahead Of Tillerson's China Visit
(China Post/CNA) The United States reaffirmed on Monday its commitment to the one-China policy, which is based on the three Sino-U.S. communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, ahead of a visit by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Beijing scheduled for later this week.

A Breezy Resort, and a Thorny Agenda, for Trump’s Meeting With Xi Jinping of China (2017-03-14)
(New York Times, By Mark Landler) The list of issues that could open a new rift between Mr. Trump and the Chinese leader is long, including the deployment of American antimissile batteries in South Korea and trade tensions.

U.S. May Soon Increase Pressure on China to Constrain North Korea (2017-03-15)
(New York Times, By David E. Sanger and Michael R. Gordon) A senior administration official said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would warn China to restrain North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

China’s Premier, Li Keqiang, Strikes Upbeat Tone Amid U.S. Tensions (2017-03-15)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley and Keith Bradsher) Mr. Li stressed common interests at his annual news conference despite differences over hot spots in Asia and President Trump’s anti-China rhetoric.

Sebastian Rosato on the US-China 'Collision Course' (2017-03-17)
(The Diplomat, By Zhang Juan) Why the Notre Dame professor believes the U.S. and China cannot avoid security competition.

China, US Vow To Cooperate To Solve N. Korea Nuke Crisis (2017-03-19)
(China Post/ By Patrick Baert of AFP) The U.S. and China pledged on Saturday to work together in addressing the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear program, as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned regional tensions had reached a "dangerous level." The language from Tillerson and his Chinese counterpart after talks in Beijing was notably conciliatory after a run-up in which U.S. President Donald Trump accused China of doing nothing to control its rogue neighbor while Beijing blamed Washington for fuelling hostilities.

In China debut, Tillerson appears to hand Beijing a diplomatic victory (2017-03-19)
(Washington Post, By Simon Denyer) But some critics say Tillerson has bent too far, handing Beijing what Chinese news media reports are calling a “diplomatic victory.” After meeting China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday, Tillerson voiced Chinese catchphrases about the relationship, including the avoidance of conflict and confrontation and the need to build “mutual respect” and strive for “win-win” cooperation.

China’s Fear of U.S. Missile Defense Is Disingenuous (2017-03-20)
(Foreign Policy, By Abraham M. Denmark) Beijing knows that THAAD in South Korea doesn’t pose a military threat to China. Its objects are entirely political.

China’s Taxes on Imported Cars Feed Trade Tensions With U.S. (2017-03-20)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) Autos are emerging as a potential point of contention ahead of President Trump’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart, but the industry sees no easy answers.

US Secretary of State Tillerson Meets Chinese President Xi (2017-03-20)
(The Diplomat, By Cal Wong) In the meeting, Xi said that important opportunities to further develop China-U.S. relations remain and that the common interests between the two nations are weightier than their disagreements. Cooperation is the only correct choice, Xi said. He emphasized the importance of focusing on the long term and the need for strategic negotiations, and stressed the need for the two countries to respect each other’s core interest and concerns.

How China Lost the United States (2017-03-20)
(The Diplomat, By Kerry Brown and Meghan Iverson) Beijing misread Obama and set the relationship back. It must avoid repeating the same mistake.

Tillerson, China and the North Korea Question (2017-03-20)
(The Diplomat, By Christine Guluzian) The U.S. must leverage resources and relationships wisely, rather than rely on force when it comes to North Korea.

U.S. Stands By Its 'One China' Policy Ahead Of Trump-Xi Summit: Official (2017-03-21)
(China Post News Staff) Following Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing last week, the US State Department spokesman Mark Toner reiterated that the U.S. does not intend to renegotiate the 'One China' policy. He said, "Our stance on Taiwan is, apart from encouraging good, increasingly strong cross-strait relations, that we stand by our 'One China' policy," in response to a reporter's question on whether Tillerson's use of phrasing in Beijing signaled a shift on issues such as Taiwan or Tibet.
South China Sea Disputes and Other Regional Issues
South China Sea: China Continues Construction Work on North Island in Paracel Group (2017-03-16)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Satellite imagery shows additional Chinese work on its island possessions in the Paracel group.

A Closer Look at China's Critical South China Sea Submarine Base
(The Diplomat, By Damen Cook) A deeper look at Yulin-East, China’s burgeoning submarine bastion in the South China Sea.

US Military An 'Option' Against N. Korea (2017-03-18)
(China Post/By Park Chan-Kyong of AFP) Military action by the United States against nuclear-armed North Korea is an "option on the table" if the threat from the rogue regime escalates, Washington's top diplomat Rex Tillerson said Friday. The strong comments from the secretary of state, in Asia for his first foray into crisis management, appear to signal a sea change in American policy towards the isolated country.

Abe To Visit Russia Next Month For Putin Summit (2017-03-21)
(Taipei Times/AP and Reuters) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russia late next month for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the summit, Prime Minister Abe says he hopes to resolve a decades-old territorial dispute with Russia over a string of western Pacific islands, seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II. Resolving these strains on Russo-Japanese relation is considered particularly germane given the political realities of a rising China. The feud has precluded a formal peace treaty between the two countries.

Vietnam Seeks South Korean Backing in the South China Sea (2017-03-21)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Vietnam’s prime minister asked for South Korea’s support in ongoing disputes in the South China Sea.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
 Snapshot: China's Eastern Theater Command (2017-03-14)
(China Brief/Jamestown Foundation, By Peter Wood) China’s ability to “deal” with Taiwan involves political and economic pressure. These tools have already seen some success as the number of countries that recognize Taiwan shrinks, and Taiwan’s participation in international organizations is severely restricted. However, as China’s military becomes more effective, military coercion is increasingly a viable option. An overview of China’s Eastern Theater Command (ETC) provides some insight into the Chinese military’s current capabilities against Taiwan.

US to Sell "More and Better" Weapons to Taiwan: Report (2017-03-15)
(China Post, By the news staff) According to a new US report, the United States is planning on sending a new weapons package to Taiwan, including "more and better" weapons. A White House official also was quoted saying that the Trump administration takes US involvement in Taiwanese security very seriously.

Military "Can Strike Deep in Chinese Territory"  (2017-03-17)
(China Post/CNA, By Joseph Yeh) A Defense Ministry official stated that the Taiwanese military is capable of striking Chinese bases up to 1,000 kilometers away if a cross-strait war broke out. However, further details were not revealed on the grounds of national security.

China Has Medium Range Missiles Trained on Taiwan: Defense Ministry (2017-03-20)
(China Post, By the news staff) Defense Minster Feng Shih-kuan confirmed that the PRC was targeting Taiwan with Dongfeng 16 missiles, a type of medium range precision strike missile, in an effort to intimidate the Taiwanese. He stated that these were a symbol of increased military pressure against Taiwan and that the US should adjust its stance on Asia-Pacific security issues following increased tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 China Pushes Legal Overhaul That Would Bolster State Power (2017-03-15)
(New York Times, By Javier Hernández and Owen Guo) After failed efforts by other leaders to put in place a national civil code, the Chinese president is reviving the idea as he seeks to remake China’s legal system.

In Australia, a Call for Closer Ties to China Gains Support (2017-03-16)
(New York Times, By Damien Cave) Stephen FitzGerald, Australia’s first ambassador to China, said that the world had reached the end of an era defined by American and European leadership.

Can China and India Warm Up to Each Other? (2017-03-17)
(The Diplomat, By Xie Tao) People-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two neighbors remain shockingly low.

China’s Quest for Cybersecurity Causes Headache for Foreign Companies (2017-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Nabil Alsabah) In fact, Xi’s link between cybersecurity and national security reflects a widely accepted view in China. This view is clearly articulated in government programs — on the national as well as subnational level. The direction Chinese leaders are taking is clear: strictly regulate untrustworthy foreign technologies and strive for developing national substitutes.

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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