::: TSR Weekly Report
2017-05-09 | NO.21(18) 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
Taiwan Wants `Friendly' China Ties Amid Tilt to Southeast Asia, Says Premier (2017-05-08)
(South China Morning Post/Bloomberg) Taiwan’s premier has said he isn’t opposed to stronger economic ties with mainland China, even as the administration looks to boost its trade links with the US and Southeast Asia.

Taiwan Detains Chinese Fishermen in Latest Cross-Strait Spat (2017-05-09)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) On Saturday, Taiwan’s Coast Guard announced that it had detained a group of Chinese fishermen caught “trespassing” in Taiwanese waters near the Penghu archipelago, off southeastern Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait. Two of the fishermen were injured in the process.

Taipei Not Adverse to China Ties: Lin (2017-05-09)
(Taipei Times/Bloomberg, By Adela Lin, Samson Ellis, and Miaojung Lin) Premier Lin Chuan said he is not opposed to stronger economic ties with China, even as the administration looks to boost its trade links with the US and Southeast Asia. Lin’s comments come as President Tsai Ing-wen proposes a new model for cross-strait relations with a focus on structural cooperation.

Taiwan and the WHA

China Is Trying to Bar Taiwan From the World's Top Health Summit. The Consequences Could Be Deadly (2017-05-05) (Time, By Nicola Smith) Taipei has threatened to gate-crash the World Health Assembly’s annual meeting in Geneva this month, after a raucous Chinese protest saw the Taiwanese delegation humiliatingly ejected from an international diamond congress in Australia on Monday.

Groups Slam China for WHA Exclusion
(Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) A coalition of activists and lawmakers called for Taiwanese participation in the World Health Assembly yesterday and condemned China for attempting to exclude the nation from the event. Campaigners and medical groups urged the legislature to issue a formal condemnation of Beijing and support a bid to seek WHA participation under the name “Taiwan” rather than “Chinese Taipei."

No Invite for Taiwan as WHA Registration Deadline Passes (2017-05-09)
(China Post, By the news staff) Taiwan failed to receive an official invite to participate at the World Health Assembly (WHA) later this month as the deadline for registration passed on Monday in Geneva. Yesterday, the Ministry of Health and Welfare stated that the lack of an invitation did not automatically mean the island was not being invited to participate. The ministry vowed to continue pushing for entry until May 22. China continued Tuesday to reiterate that the refusal of Taiwan's government to accept the so-called "1992 Consensus" meant that there was no basis for cross-strait negotiations and hence no prospect for it to participate at the WHA.

WHA Participation Conditional On '1992 Consensus': Beijing (2017-05-08)
(China Post, By the news staff) Beijing issued a reminder to Taiwan that observance of the 1992 Consensus was a requirement to participating in the WHA after no invitation seemed likely to arrive. A failure to observe this is what stalled cross-strait relations according to Beijing's Taiwan Office director. Taiwan has usually participated as an observer at the WHA, but it did not receive an invitation this year.

Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan-Japan Relations Body to Change Name (2017-05-03)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's Association of East Asian Relations, an organization that currently handles affairs between Taiwan and Japan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties, will soon be changing its name to the Association of Taiwan-Japan Relations. The addition of the name of Japan is to signify reaching a new level of bilateral relations between the two countries.

Independence Never an Option for KMT, Hung Hsiu-chu Says (2017-05-05)
(Taipei Times, By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jake Chung) The Chairwoman of the KMT stated that Taiwanese independence from China will never be an option in the eyes of the KMT. She continued to detail that the KMT believes that the Republic of China constitution is the constitution of "one China" and that both PRC and ROC should strive towards unity. She maintained that Taiwan does not have the capability to truly be independent.

Taiwan's 'Pivot South' On Track, Says President Tsai Ing-wen (2017-05-06)
(Straits Times, By Jermyn Chow) Noting a greater flow of tourists from these countries, Ms Tsai announced that Taiwan will launch five new projects to help India and Asean countries develop industrial talent and boost cooperation in medical care, innovative industries and regional agriculture development.

Tsai Briefs Asia Media on "New Southbound Policy" (2017-05-07)
(Taipei Times/CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen clarified on Friday that the "new southbound policy" is about "promoting mutually beneficial development in the region" and not making a competitive or political statement about China. She cited Singapore as an example of a state that overcame the difficulties with its small size and still built a massively successful state due to their leaders' ambitions.

Taiwan Draws Tech Talents To 'Asia Silicon Valley' (2017-05-08)
(Korea Herald, By Joel Lee) The government of Taiwan has been harnessing all efforts to invigorate its economy by launching the Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan, which is to create a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship for the island nation’s knowledge-based economy, according to its representative office in Seoul.

WHA Snub is Tsai's Fault: New Party Chief (2017-05-09)
(China Post, By the news staff) New Party Chairman Yu Mu-ming on Tuesday blasted Taiwan U.N. Alliance president Michael Tsai's call for the Legislature to issue a protest against China's interference on blocking Taiwanese participation in the WHA. Yu said the public opinion should blame President Tsai Ing-wen for Taiwan's exclusion from the world health body meeting. Yu believes that China was aware of former president Ma Ying-jeou's stance on the so-called "1992 Consensus," which included his policy platform of not pursuing independence nor unification, giving Taiwan maneuvering space to participate in the WHA - a policy that has not been continued by President Tsai.

President Tsai Congratulates French President-elect Macron (2017-05-08)
(China Post/CNA) Praising France's values of democracy, liberty, equality, fraternity, and human rights as well as its shared values with Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen extended her congratulations to France's newly elected President, Emmanual Macron. She expects the welfare of French citizens to improve under Macron's leadership. She also looks forward to better bilateral agreements with France.

U.S. to Impose Anti-Dumping Tariffs on Taiwan Steel Makers (2017-05-08)
(China Post/CNA) Due to Taiwan selling carbon and alloy steel plates at "unfairly low prices" in the United States, Taiwan will be facing trade sanctions from the U.S. Along with seven other countries, Taiwanese companies will be facing an extra tariff. These eight countries are accused of damaging their U.S. counterparts.

U.S.-China Relations
Tillerson Says Goodbye To Human Rights Diplomacy (2017-05-05)
(Brookings Institution, By Ted Piccone) With some nice words about values as an enduring guide to U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week made crystal clear that when it comes to actual policies, national security and economic interests come first. Well-meaning principles like freedom and human rights sit on our shoulder like some guardian angel whispering in one ear to do the right thing…but only if it’s convenient to more important security and economic interests.

China Urged U.S. To Fire Pacific Command Chief Harris In Return For Pressure On North Korea
(Japan Times) China urged the United States to sack the head of the U.S. Pacific Command in return for exerting more pressure on North Korea amid concerns over its growing nuclear and missile threats, a source close to U.S.-China ties said Saturday.

China Probes the Limits of Trump's Transactional Deal-Making Approach to Foreign Affairs (2017-05-08)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) While I remain skeptical that the Kyodo account of Cui’s request regarding Harris went down as described, it’s not unreasonable that China will look to make the most of Trump’s propensity to draw linkages across issues in the interest of deal-making.

China Cries ‘Fake News’ In Reaction To Report About U.S. Navy Chief Harris (2017-05-09)
(Japan Times, By Jesse Johnson) China’s Foreign Ministry has labeled as “fake news and not worth refuting” a report that Beijing urged Washington to fire the top U.S. naval commander in the Pacific in return for boosted pressure on North Korea.
South China Sea Disputes and Other Regional Issues
The U.S., China, and the Korean Peninsula

North Korean Media, in Rare Critique of China, Says Nuclear Program Will Continue
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) A commentary carried by the North’s official news agency said the country would not halt its nuclear program, even if it risked its friendly relationship with China.

North Korea Accuses South and U.S. of Plotting to Kill Kim Jong-un
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) The North said that the South had hired a man to infiltrate the North to kill Mr. Kim. The South’s spy agency denied the accusation.

No, South Korea's New President Is Not 'Anti-American' (2017-05-10)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) South Korea’s new president may seek more independence within the alliance, but he’s not anti-American.

Freedom of Navigation Operations in the South China Sea

Trump’s Turn Toward China Curtails Navy Patrols in Disputed Zones (2017-05-02)
(New York Times, By Helene Cooper) In a shift from a promise to reverse an Obama policy, three Navy requests to sail a warship near a shoal in the South China Sea were rejected.

US Freedom of Navigation Challenges in South China Sea on Hold (2017-05-08)
(The Diplomat, By Steven Stashwick) But contrary to earlier rhetoric, the Trump administration appears to be following the Obama administration’s model of deferring FONOPs in favor of broader aspects of the Sino-U.S. relationship, like Chinese cooperation against the North Korean missile and nuclear programs.

US To Keep Challenging Beijing's Claims To South China Sea, Says Navy Commander (2017-05-09)
(South China Morning Post/Bloomberg) The US Navy will still challenge claims by nations such as China to exclusive access in the South China Sea, Pacific Fleet Commander Scott Swift said, insisting a hiatus in “freedom of navigation” patrols doesn’t mean the disputed waterway is a lower priority for the Trump presidency.

South and East China Sea Disputes

Creating Facts on the Sea: China’s Plan to Establish Sansha City (2017-04-17)
(CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, By Shinji Yamaguchi) Although many analyses focus on China’s military build-up on Woody Island, it is also important to explore non-military developments. China has a comprehensive plan to develop a prefectural-level government with jurisdiction over the Paracels, the Spratlys, Scarborough Shoal, and Macclesfield Bank, with its base on Woody Island.

After Trump’s Phone Call to Philippines Leader, China’s President Calls Him (2017-05-03)
(New York Times, By Javier C. Hernández) President Xi Jinping of China praised President Rodrigo Duterte, part of an effort to woo an American ally and strengthen China’s claims in the South China Sea.

Why Did China’s Warships Visit the Philippines? (2017-05-05)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) But given how much ties have progressed thus far during his first year in office, one ought not to dismiss the possibility of a joint drill occurring during Duterte’s single six-year term.

Trump and Southeast Asia: Sustaining the Maritime Pivot (2017-05-06)
(The Diplomat, By Koh Swee Lean Collin) All in all, a recalibrated form of deterrence/coercion in the SCS focusing more on the Coast Guard instead of Navy, coupled with a more collaborative framework between the United States and its allies and partners in building maritime security capacities amongst ASEAN governments, may well be a new “maritime pivot” for Trump to consider for reassuring and reengaging Southeast Asia without unnecessarily imperiling his newfound friendship with Xi.

China Coast Guard’s New ‘Monster’ Ship Completes Maiden Patrol in South China Sea (2017-05-08)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) The world’s largest coast guard vessel, the 12,000-ton China Coast Guard (CCG) cutter 3901, has successfully completed its first patrol in the South China Sea this month, according to Chinese government reports.

East China Sea: 4 China Coast Guard Vessels Enter Territorial Sea Near Disputed Islands (2017-05-09)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) On Monday, Japan’s coast guard said that four China Coast Guard patrol ships entered the territorial waters around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. The uninhabited islands are administered by Japan, but claimed by China. According to the Japanese Coast Guard, the latest incursion took place in the morning before 10:00 a.m., with the Chinese vessels passing within 12 nautical miles of Uotsuri island — one of the islets in the Senkaku group.

PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
 Ministry Tracks Chinese Warships in Pacific Ocean (2017-05-05)
(Taipei Times, By Aaron Tu and Jake Chung) The Ministry of National Defense is tracking a group of Chinese warships which have sailed through the Miyako Strait into the Pacific Ocean. These ships were monitored due to their close location to where the Han Kuang exercises will be carried out later this month.

Choppers Land at Defense Ministry Compound (2017-05-05)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) To test Taiwan's readiness in combat readiness and emergence responsiveness, a military helicopter landed at the Ministry of National Defense headquarters in Taipei on Thursday. The drill was intended to test the capability of the Ministry to move the Defense Minister quickly in the event of an outside attack. It was carried out as a part of the annual Han Kuang exercises.

Taiwan Arms Deal in Limbo As Trump Courts China (2017-05-07)
(Washington Post, By Josh Rogin) The Trump administration must resist the temptation to sacrifice long-term objectives for short-term aspirations. There will always be some imperative with Beijing that seems more urgent. But as Reagan well understood, the U.S. commitment to Taiwan’s defense is too important to deal away.

China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China’s New Jetliner, the Comac C919, Takes Flight for First Time (2017-05-05)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) The first Chinese-built passenger jetliner symbolizes the industrial might of an emerging superpower — and its ambition to take on Boeing and Airbus.

What Kind of Think Tanks Does China Want to Establish? (2017-05-05)
(The Diplomat, By DD Wu) China aims to establish think tanks with Chinese characteristics and enhance national soft power.

How Can China Convince India to Sign Up for 'One Belt, One Road'? (2017-05-05)
(The Diplomat, By Rajiv Ranjan) In the end, it’s worth reckoning with the fact that if India doesn’t have an allergy to the OBOR initiative, it at least has serious and enduring concerns. Beijing might reconsider its approach to convincing India and bring it to the OBOR table yet as a credible stakeholder. By joining OBOR, India will not only deepen the pool of mutual trust, but both countries could build a real strategic partnership to usher in a new type of bilateral relationship paving the way for a truly Asian century.

Meet China's Emerging Number 2 (2017-05-05)
(The Diplomat, By Zi Yang) A biography of Li Zhanshu, the right-hand man to Xi Jinping.

Can China Lead the World in Fighting Climate Change? (2017-05-06)
(The Diplomat, By Li Shuo) Now, as the Trump administration in the United States appears closer than ever to quitting the Paris Agreement on climate change, another major development is underway in China, but one that seems to originate from policymakers themselves. Discussions in Beijing suggest China is edging into a global climate leadership position. The question now is what the United States is doing to keep up.

China Burnishes Anti-Piracy Credentials Without Clarifying Possible Use of Lethal Force (2017-05-08)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The Chinese Ministry of National Defense clarified the extent of the Chinese Navy’s anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean.

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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