::: TSR Weekly Report
2017-04-11 | NO.21(14) 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
Activist's Wife Says She'll Head to Beijing April 10 (2017-04-05)
(China Post, By Stephanie Chao) Li Ching-yu, the wife of detained human rights activist Li Ming-che, will be traveling to Beijing on April 10 in an effort to discover information about her missing husband. She claims to still have no "meaningful information" about her husband's disappearance or present whereabouts.

China Scrubs Ministry Inquiry Over Lee Ming-che (2017-04-07)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) The Chinese government did not respond to an official letter from the Taiwanese government requesting information on the status of human rights activist Lee Ming-che, who had been detained by Chinese authorities upon his attempted entry to the PRC. The letter was sent according to principles set by the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement from April 2009, which allowed for better cross-strait communication to deal with criminal issues.

Wife of Detained Activist From Taiwan Is Barred From China (2017-04-10)
(New York Times, By Chris Horton) Lee Ching-yu said that China had canceled her mainland travel permit, meaning she could not fly to Beijing to inquire about her husband’s whereabouts.

Hong Kong Lost Soul of Freedom, Ko Says, Drawing Anger (2017-04-10)
(Taipei Times, By Jonathan Chin) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said that Hong Kong has "lost the soul of freedom" after noting the lack of free elections in the territory. Ko made these comments after concluding a tour of Asia. His intention for calling Hong Kong a "boring, tiny island" was to highlight Taipei as a more enjoyable city.

Activist Wife's Taibaozheng Invalidated by China Ahead of Scheduled Trip (2017-04-10)
(China Post, By the news staff) The wife of human rights activist Lee Ming-che has had her entry permit to the PRC suspended prior to her attempted entry into China. This prevents her from making the trip. She said yesterday that someone had told her that her husband would be released if she kept a low profile.

MAC Pessimistic Over Wife's Plan to See Lee Ming-che (2017-04-10)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council stated that Lee Ming-che's wife may have difficulty entering the People's Republic of China. She stated that she intended to enter China to attempt to visit her detained husband, who has been missing for days. Lee Ming-che, a human rights lawyer from Taiwan, was detained after attempting to enter China from Macau. Beijing has given no official reason for his detention.

Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Trump Meeting "No Concern": Experts (2017-04-07)
(Taipei Times, By Lu Yi-hsuan and Jake Chung) Experts from Taiwan stated that Taiwanese people should not be too worried about the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. They justified that Taiwan would not be a high priority in contrast to North Korea and US-China trade issues. A researcher from the National Chengchi University stated that both the US and China were trying to downplay the importance of the meeting through each leader's visits with other heads of state earlier this week.

Taiwan Unlikely to Come Off US Currency Watch List: Central Bank (2017-04-07)
(China Post, By Kuan-lin Liu) Taiwan will most likely not be removed from the United States's foreign currency watch list in the US mid-April foreign exchange market report. This comes in light of US President Donald Trump suggesting that China may potentially be soon removed from the list. Being placed on the list means that a country is, in the US's eyes, a currency manipulator.

Taiwan Welcomes "No Trade-Off" Assurance From US (2017-04-07)
(China Post/CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Senior officials from the US stated that Taiwan would not be used as a bargaining chip between the US and China during Donald Trump and Xi Jinping's meetings. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has remained in contact with the United States to ensure that Taiwan would not be a negotiable part of the talks between the two heads of state.

MOFA Welcomes Washington's Adherence to TRA (2017-04-10)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Following the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it was happy with Washington's continued observance of the provisions set forth by the Taiwan Relations Act. The US has also stated that no long-term changes in its relationship with Taiwan were to arise, bringing forth happiness from Taiwan.

Number of Vietnamese Tourists to Taiwan Grows (2017-04-10)
(China Post, By the news staff) The number of Vietnamese tourists visiting Taiwan has seen a 22.4 percent increase from 2016 according to Vietnamese government statistics. Taiwan had relaxed visa restrictions on Vietnamese nationals in an effort to bolster tourism efforts from the country.

Taiwan-Japan Working Group on Fishery Cooperation Convenes in Tokyo (2017-04-10)
(China Post/CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that fishing rights and management of resources were discussed at the first meeting of a group focusing on cooperation of fishing between Taiwan and Japan, held in Tokyo. Other discussed topics included fishing and maritime rights on disputed islands between the two countries.

U.S.-China Relations
The Trump-Xi Summit: Realistic Outcomes for 2 Dreamers (2017-04-04)
(The Diplomat, By Yawei Liu) It is not easy for the United States to repeal the Taiwan Relations Act. It is equally difficult for China to promise it won’t use force to reunify with Taiwan, as many in Beijing believe this threat is the only reason Taiwan is not seeking independence. However, many things can be done by both sides to make the Taiwan issue a non-issue in U.S.-China relations.

How Trump Can Strike the Right Tone With Xi and China (2017-04-04)
(The Diplomat, By Joseph Bosco) America cannot afford another weakened president and Putin, Xi, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani — who all see the U.S. as the obstacle to their regional and global ambitions — should be dissuaded from believing that is what they are confronting. Instead, they must be made to understand that the United States as the indispensable nation and America’s president as the indispensable world leader are back and on the job.

The U.S. and China, Sniping in Public, Have Tried in Private to Lower the Volume (2017-04-04)
(Wall Street Journal, By Jeremy Page, Felicia Schwartz, and Carol E. Lee) “Trump’s son-in-law is key,” said Wu Xinbo, director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. “First, he’s our ambassador’s main point of contact with Trump. Second, he’s the main figure for passing ideas and suggestions on China policy.”

A Veteran and China Hand Advises Trump for Xi’s Visit (2017-04-04)
(New York Times, By Mark Landler and Jane Perlez) A dozen years ago, Matthew Pottinger was roughed up by a Chinese state security guard while investigating a corporate corruption case. This week, Mr. Pottinger will be on hand for President Trump’s meeting with President Xi Jinping of China, as the top Asia policy maker in an administration desperately short of his kind of on-the-ground experience.

With China’s Xi at Mar-a-Lago, Will Trump Forget Taiwan? (2017-04-04)
(Washington Post, By Emily Rauhala) Taiwan officials and analysts are not sure what to make of the shift but speculated that it tracks changes­ in who is advising Trump, with Taipei-friendly GOP old-timers losing ground to the president’s daughter and son-in-law, who seem to favor better relations with Beijing.

Taiwan Not For Trade at Summit: Academics (2017-04-05)
(Taipei Times, By Lu Yi-hsuan, Chung Li-hua and Jonathan Chin) Academics have stated that US President Donald Trump will not trade away Taiwanese interests in exchange for Chinese cooperation on the contentious North Korea issue, coming in light of a summit between Trump and Xi Jinping. The summit was called for by Beijing in order to restore relations between the U.S. and China to the levels which were enjoyed under President Barack Obama.

No Surprises Foreseen on Taiwan Issue at Trump-Xi Summit: White House Officials (2017-04-05)
(China Post, By the news staff) A White House official stated that no unplanned conversation or statements about Taiwan would be made during the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Donald Trump has already reiterated his commitment to the "one China" policy and that no changes were anticipated.

Weathering the Coming Storm in the South China Sea (2017-04-06)
(The Diplomat, By Patrick M. Cronin and Anthony Cho) The United States needs a coherent Asia strategy if it is to avoid ceding the initiative to China.

China Tech Investment Flying Under the Radar, Pentagon Warns (2017-04-07)
(New York Times, By Paul Mozur and Jane Perlez) An internal Pentagon report urged action to guard against Chinese efforts to acquire American technology that may underpin future military weapons and tools.

Syria Strikes Overshadow Trump Summit With Xi Jinping (2017-04-07)
(Foreign Policy, By Emily Tamkin and Robbie Gramer) Few details emerge from the two-day meeting, which was interrupted by U.S. strikes in Syria.

What Trump Calls Strength, China Calls Stupidity (2017-04-07)
(Foreign Policy, By James Palmer) Donald Trump’s Syria strike may have upstaged Xi Jinping’s summit, but Beijing is only too happy to see the United States trap itself again in the Middle East.

After Xi Leaves U.S., Chinese Media Assail Strike on Syria (2017-04-08)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) An unflattering assessment reflected China’s official opposition to military interventions in the affairs of other countries, but it was also a criticism of President Trump.

Trump-Xi Summit: Much Ado About Nothing? (2017-04-08)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Despite the purposefully positive spin from both sides, there was no denying that the meeting had been overshadowed by U.S. missile strikes on Syria, which Trump announced just after his dinner with Xi on Thursday evening.

South China Sea Disputes and Other Regional Issues
No Record of North Korean Cyberattacks on Taiwanese Banks (2017-04-05)
(China Post, By Kuan-lin Liu) Following a CNN story suggesting that North Korea may be attempting to attack Taiwanese banks, the Financial Supervisory Commission found no records of any cyberattacks being carried out upon the banks. The North Koreans had previously been found to have carried out attacks upon Bangladesh, Ecuador, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

US, China, and Duterte’s ‘Independent Foreign Policy’ (2017-04-06)
(The Diplomat, By Mico A. Galang) In the complex security landscape of the 21st century, it is more difficult for most countries to have clear-cut strategic alignment, as many states did during the Cold War. As such, the overall objective of an independent foreign policy, according to Sta. Romana, is finding a “geopolitical sweet spot” — i.e. “a middle ground between the U.S. and China so that we can maximize our national interests."

AIIB Official: Regional Integration Creates Much Richer ASEAN (2017-04-07)
(The Diplomat, By Maurits Elen) An interview with Joachim von Amsberg, vice president at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Despite Political Worries, Asia Still World’s Economic Powerhouse (2017-04-08)
(The Diplomat, By Anthony Fensom) Asia is set to remain the world’s biggest contributor to global growth in 2017, with activity picking up in two-thirds of the region’s developing economies, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The growth outlook has reassured investors amid rising geopolitical tensions in the world’s most economically dynamic region.

Will Chinese Dominance of the South China Sea Necessarily Lead to Shipping Disruption? (2017-04-09)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) Why commentators may be overstating the risk to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

Language a Bar to Southeast Asian Tourism (2017-04-11)
(Taipei Times, By Hsiao Yu-hsin and William Hetherington) Following President Tsai Ing-wen's relaxed visa restrictions on tourists from Southeast Asia, tourism numbers have increased. However, a big factor stopping tourism is still a lack of guides proficient in Southeast Asian languages. They cannot meet demand and are struggling to keep up.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
No Word on Whether US Will Sell Taiwan F-35s: Officials (2017-04-05)
(China Post, By the news staff) The United States has not yet made official word stating they will sell Taiwan the F-35 fighter jet. A Defense Ministry Inspector said the advanced capabilities of the jet were needed for Taiwanese security and that the island would welcome the sale of the jet. Rumors exist claiming that the Trump administration would open up the possibility of arms sales to Taiwan.

Why Selling F-35s to Taiwan Is a Terrible Idea (2017-04-07)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) Consequently, while the F-35 may be a formidable weapons platform, Taiwan would do very well not to acquire the warplane for the time being given current budgetary realities and its limited use in a conflict. Instead, the Republic of China should invest in asymmetrical capabilities including new SAM systems to deter Beijing or repel an invasion.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Ex-CIA Director's Take on THAAD in South Korea Will Vindicate China's Skepticism (2017-04-05)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Michael Hayden’s recent comments on THAAD will vindicate Beijing’s view on the missile defense system.

China Investigates Regulator of Fast-Moving Insurance Industry (2017-04-09)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) Xiang Junbo, who oversaw an industry that has been behind a wave of blockbuster global deals, faces an inquiry by the Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency.

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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