::: TSR Weekly Report
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2017-06-27 | NO.21(25) 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
US Reiterates Interest in Stable Cross-Strait Relations (2017-06-22)
(CNA) The United States has reaffirmed its commitment to stability in cross-strait relations and would not like to see either side make a move that would be considered destabilizing for the region. Therefore, the U.S. continues to uphold the "One China" policy, the Taiwan Relations Act, and the current status quo.

It's On: Taipei, Shanghai to Hold Forum in China July 2 (2017-06-22)
(CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je and his Shanghai counterpart Ying Yong will hold a forum in Shanghai on July 2. Though members of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are considering paying their own way to attend as well, they have been warned against attending because the Communist Party of China is currently unlikely to engage with members of the DPP.

Did Beijing Just Gain Panama and Lose Taipei? (2017-06-24)
(South China Morning Post, By Cary Huang) Losing ties with Panama may serve to remind all political parties to recalibrate the island’s approach to sovereignty. The development will also encourage pro-independence forces to push Taiwan as an independent state unassociated with the ROC.

Pro-Independence Position Remains Unchanged: Lai (2017-06-24)
(CNA) The mayor of Tainan William Lai confirmed his position regarding China, stating that he loves Taiwan as much as he feels an affinity for China. He believes Taiwan should work toward achieving a friendship with China while also keeping in mind Taiwan's interests, maintaining that a pro-independence stance does not necessarily contradict with obtaining a friendship with China.

Chinese Warships to Pass Taiwan: Report (2017-06-26)
(Taipei Times, By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin) To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Britain's handover of Hong Kong to China, China will be sending its aircraft carrier to Hong Kong. This will necessitate passage through the Taiwan Strait. The Taiwan military has affirmed that it will keep a close eye on Chinese movements in the area, stating that despite its purpose or course, a Chinese aircraft carrier in the Taiwan Strait is a threat to Taiwan's security.

Ma Says ‘1992 Consensus’ Policy Led to Truce (2017-06-27)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Liang-sheng and Jonathan Chin) Former president Ma Ying-jeou yesterday said the official recognition of the so-called “1992 consensus” by his administration did not damage national sovereignty, but resulted in “diplomatic room” and a “diplomatic truce” with China. In addition, he argued that President Tsai Ing-wen’s refusal to recognize the “1992 consensus” is to blame for the nation’s exclusion from some international meetings, its loss of diplomatic allies and the forced relocation of several of its representative offices.

Why Panama Matters (2017-06-27)
(CSIS PacNet, By Dennis V. Hickey) Since Tsai’s election and refusal to endorse the “1992 Consensus,” Beijing has permitted three countries to switch diplomatic relations to the PRC. More will follow. Furthermore, some countries are beginning to downgrade “unofficial” relations with Taiwan.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
One China, Dual Recognition: A Solution to the Taiwan Impasse (2017-06-20)
(The Diplomat, By Edward A. McCord) With the amount of states that recognize Taiwan hovering at 20 and slowly dwindling, there may be another solution that allows for international recognition of Taiwan. This lies in the interpretation of the 1992 Concensus, which calls for a recognition of "one China". The remaining states that carry on official relations with Taiwan could offer dual recognition of both the PRC and of Taiwan under the notion that both are internationally recognized administrations within the territory of "one China". The US could also move to support this and convince the PRC to accept dualrecognition. The PRC may refuse the offer, but the states that would offer dual recognition  have little to lose with the offer, as they lack formal ties to the PRC.

Analysis: Internal DPP Conflicts Over Independence Re-Emerge
 (2017-06-22)
(Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) The former premier of Yu Shyi-kun has welcomed Panama's severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan, seeing it as an opportunity for Taiwan to abandon its association with the ROC framework and giving it a chance to create its own Taiwanese republic. On the other hand, many DPP politicians are beginning to lean toward a more centrist platform, willing to abandon the independence clause of the DPP in return for friendlier relations with China that would put Taiwan in a better position for future negotiations. This change of DPP policy has constantly been a source of conflict within the party.

Panama President Stands By Decision to Cut ROC Ties (2017-06-22)
(CNA) The current president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, stands by its decision to switch its diplomatic ties to China. It had been impressed with China's economic growth and its ability to boost the economic system within Panama. Varela had been satisfied with the diplomatic truce former President Ma Ying-jeou created with China, but now that President Tsai Ying-wen has damaged the truce, Varela decided to pull out of the diplomatic relationship, a possibility he had warned Tsai about during her visit to Panama last year.

Don't Become a Tool of China, Taiwan Tells Panama (2017-06-23)
(CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday urged Panama not to allow itself to become a tool used by China to isolate Taiwan internationally, and said the president of the Central American country had misrepresented the reasons behind the severance of diplomatic links with Taiwan. Panama's decision to cut ties left Taiwan with only 20 diplomatic allies in the world, 11 of which are in Latin America and the Caribbean.

US Opposed to Change in ‘Status Quo’ Across Strait (2017-06-23)
(CNA) The US would not want to see either Taiwan or China make any moves that would be considered destabilizing, US Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton told a foreign press briefing on the US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue that was held on Wednesday in Washington.

Frank Hsieh Meets with Japanese Diplomats in Tokyo (2017-06-24)
(CNA) The representatives in charge of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association from both Taiwan and Japan met to discuss ways to improve bilateral relations. Topics that were discussed included cross-strait relations, Taiwan's role in international organizations, and economic cooperation.

Rumors Chou Hsi-wei to be KMT Secretary-General (2017-06-25)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) Chinese Nationalist Party chairman-elect Wu Den-yih is reportedly considering asking former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei to be the party’s secretary-general, adding variables to the staffing at KMT headquarters and next year’s New Taipei City mayoral election. With Wu preparing to assume chairmanship of the KMT on Aug. 20, a rumor this week emerged that he is considering naming Chou as the party’s secretary-general because he favors New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou Yo-yi over Chou to run for New Taipei City mayor next year.

Ecuador Takes 'ROC' from the Name of Taiwan's Trade Mission (2017-06-27)
(China Post) Ecuador has unilaterally demanded that Taiwan's de facto embassy remove "Republic of China" from its name, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. Taiwan's government deeply regrets Ecuador's decision and has lodged its strong protest at the South American nation's office in Taipei, according to a spokesperson.
U.S.-China Relations
China v US: Who Needs Allies? (2017-05-29)
(The Interpreter, By Hugh White) In the case of the US versus the PRC, the US appears to have a network of allies throughout  the Western Pacific, while the PRC seems to only have North Korea. This, however, is not necessarily a bad thing for the PRC, as it has no need to project its power to far-flung regions of the world, just throughout its own region.  The US, on the other hand, requires allies in the region in order to secure bases to project power. However,  the costs of having to intervene on behalf of allies outweighs the benefits of having said allies.

The Case for Congagement with China (2017-06-19)
(The National Interest, By Zalmay Khalilzad) As the title suggests, the US' best course of action to address a rising China is a strategy that combines both containment and engagement. This would require striking a balance with Sino-American relations, where the US would show China that the US is open to cooperation and mutual accommodation, but also display to them that Chinese steps toward regional hegemony would be met with resistance by both the US and the US' allies and partners.

Former State Department Security Officer Accused of Spying for China
 (2017-06-22)
(New York Times, By Charlie Savage) Investigators say the man, Kevin Patrick Mallory, had classified documents and apparently incriminating messages on a device he brought back from Shanghai.

China Is Taking Trump for a Ride (2017-06-22)
(The Diplomat, By Joseph Bosco) Despite President Donald Trump's insistence that China was not doing anything to solve the North Korean situation throughout his time on the campaign trail, he seems to have had a change of heart recently, tweeting that he knew that China "tried" to solve the issue. Trump should not be so quick to change his position on the matter. Trump has in the past made several concessions to China in an effort to fix its position on North Korea, but it has led to little change from China.

Liu Xiaobo: China Tells US Not to Interfere Over Jailed Dissident (2017-06-27)
(BBC News) Beijing has hit back at Washington for "irresponsible remarks" after the US criticised its treatment of Chinese Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo.

Human Trafficking: US Downgrades China Over Record (2017-06-27)
(BBC News) China "is not making significant efforts" to stop human trafficking, the US says, claiming that fewer people are now being prosecuted than before. The US Department of State released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report on Thursday, and downgraded China to one of the worst offenders. The reports highlights the treatment of North Koreans who may have been trafficked and then sent home by China.

Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Merely Avoiding Conflict in the South China Sea Is Not Good Enough (2017-06-24)
(The Diplomat, By Jonathan G. Odom) Zhou Bo described a Chinese perspective on to avoid conflict in the South China Sea region, which often oversimplified the reality of the international order. He avoids discussing certain ways to solve the issues and cover all perspectives and instead advocates almost for shying away from the issue and avoiding conflict instead of solving the problems. The rules-based order of the international community is significant in how to approach the region.


The U.S., China, and the Korean Peninsula

China ‘Willing to Work With US’ to Ease Tensions Over North Korea, Top Diplomat Tells Trump (2017-06-23)
(AFP) China’s top diplomat told Donald Trump that Beijing was willing to keep working with Washington to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula, days after the US leader implied that Chinese efforts had failed. The meeting between State Councillor Yang Jiechi and Trump at the White House on Thursday also came after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged China to step up diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea over its nuclear weapons.

South Korea Tests Missile Capable of Striking Any Part of the North
 (2017-06-23)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) President Moon Jae-in of South Korea attended the test firing of a new ballistic missile that he believes can add leverage to talks with the North over its nuclear program.

A Peace Regime on the Korean Peninsula? (2017-06-27)
(East Asia Forum, By Stephan Haggard) A crucial element would be mutual recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and North Korea. The peace regime would no doubt include understandings between South and North Korea as well, building on the two North–South summit documents of 2000 and 2007 and perhaps security assurances from China.


Other Regional Issues 

Europe and Japan Near Trade Deal as U.S. Takes Protectionist Path
 (2017-06-23)
(New York Times, By Hiroko Tabuchi and Jack Ewing) The European Union and Japan are close to an agreement that would bring together two giants encompassing a quarter of the world’s economy.

The Next Chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (2017-06-26)
(East Asia Forum, By the Editors) Pragmatism, ambition and creativity are needed in response to negative pressure from the United States. No single country can take over the leadership role that the United States has played over the past seven decades, but in Asia a coalition of open economies would have sufficient heft to underwrite the global trading system.

Trump Enamoured By an Abe Charm Offensive (2017-06-27)
(East Asia Forum, By Gerald Curtis) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s courting of Donald Trump, so far at least, has been a political success for Japan and for Abe’s style of personal diplomacy. Abe moved with impressive speed to get on Trump’s good side as soon as the US election results were in. He called him the following day and visited him at Trump Tower 10 days later, determined to establish a personal relationship with an incoming president whom neither he nor anyone else in Japan’s leadership circles knew well, if at all.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
Pentagon Report Highlights Chinese Submarine Buildup (2017-06-20)
(Asia Times, By Bill Gertz) With the PRC steadily developing its naval forces, one cause of concern is the development of more modern and increasingly quiet submarines. The PRC has been constructing more submarines of all types, producing more anti-ship cruise missile submarines, long-range cruise missle submarines, nuclear submarines, and submarines with the capability to carry ICBMs. Particularly concerning to the US are the Jin-class ballistic missle submarine. According to the US DoD, these ICBM-fielding submarines and their JL-2 missiles are capable of reaching the continental United States.

A Decision on Arms Sales for Taiwan is Needed (2017-06-20)
(CSIS PacNet, By David G. Brown) Given the president’s penchant for changing his views and given the uncertainty of who can speak with authority for his administration, it is truer than ever that action speaks louder than words. An early notification of new arms for Taiwan is necessary to put to rest doubts that are undermining the credibility of US support for Taiwan’s security.

Orion Squadron to be Activated near Double Ten (2017-06-21)
(Taipei Times, By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin) The air force is to formally activate a squadron of Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft in October after training for ground personnel is completed and the last of the 12 aircraft ordered from the US are delivered next month, a Ministry of National Defense official said yesterday. The activation of a complete Orion squadron would upgrade anti-submarine capabilities, which military leaders have said are critical for the nation’s defense.

China Deploys New Anti-submarine Aircraft to Fringes of South China Sea (2017-06-22)
(Defense News, By Mike Yeo) According to satellite photos taken on May 10 and May 20 by commercial satellite imagery company DigitalGlobe, four Shaanxi Y-8Q turboprop have been deployed by the PLA to their Lingshui Air Base on Hainan Island. Also found were three Harbin BZK-005 high-altitude, long-range UAVs, the largest number of BZK-005s to have been seen at Lingshui since they were first noted in 2016

Air Force Reports Another Missile Glitch (2017-06-23)
(China Post/CNA) The Air Force confirmed another missile glitch during a military drill in Pingtung County on Friday, one day after two MIM-23 Hawk missiles veered off course after launch, as part of the same annual military exercise to test precision weapons at a military base in the southern county. After the incidents, the Air Force pledged on Friday to undertake a comprehensive review of procedures and make improvements.

Pride of PLA Navy to Make Port Call in Hong Kong (2017-06-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang and Minnie Chan) The People’s Liberation Army is to make its most visible ­appearance in Hong Kong in 20 years, marking the handover anniversary with an unprecedented port call by its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, sources told the South China Morning Post.

Has China Developed the World’s Most Powerful Submarine Detector? (2017-06-24)
(South China Morning Post, By Stephen Chen) Chinese scientists claim to have made a major breakthrough in magnetic detection technology that could bring unprecedented accuracy to the process of finding hidden metallic objects – from minerals to submarines.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China's Foreign Relations

China's Vision for the World: A Community of Shared Future (2017-06-22)
(The Diplomat, By Fu Ying) China's recent foreign policy initiatives have taken a focus of a "shared future" for the world, involving much community cooperation with various world powers. It truly focuses on including the entire world, leading to global prosperity instead of solely Chinese prosperity. This must be done through three pillars according to President Xi Jinping: Collectives security, common development, and political inclusiveness.

Xi Jinping Is Set for a Big Gamble With China’s Carbon Trading Market (2017-06-23)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) A carbon trading program is shaping up as a big policy retort to President Trump’s decision to quit the Paris accord. But getting local industries on board will be a challenge.

China 'Asks India to Withdraw Troops' From Nathu La Pass (2017-06-27)
(BBC News) China has accused India of incursion into its territory between Sikkim and Tibet, in a dispute which has raised tensions between the countries. Officials said Indian border guards had obstructed "normal activities" on the Chinese side, and called on India to immediately withdraw them.

China’s Inside-out Climate Leadership (2017-06-28)
(East Asia Forum, By Fergus Green) But this heavy industry-focused economic strategy created immense economic, financial, social and environmental problems. And gradually, China’s leadership came to understand that many of the domestic responses to these problems also happen to mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions.


Domestic Issues in Mainland China

Shares Plunge as China Voices Concern Over ‘Systemic Risks’ (2017-06-22)
(New York Times, By Sui-lee Wee) Without naming specific companies, a senior banking official said that regulators were looking into the affairs of large companies that could trouble Chinese banks.


Beijing and Hong Kong

President Xi Jinping’s Visit to Hong Kong for 20th Anniversary of Handover Confirmed – Details of His Packed Itinerary Revealed
 (2017-06-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Clifford Lo) It’s confirmed. Xi Jinping will visit Hong Kong for the first time since becoming president in 2013 to join the 20th anniversary marking the handover and has a packed itinerary that includes touring the People’s Liberation Army garrison and a high-profile infrastructure project, the Post has learned.

Hong Kong Was Supposed to Liberalize China. How Did the Opposite Happen? (2017-06-23)
(Washington Post, By Keith B. Richburg) Two decades ago, it seemed that China needed Hong Kong as its gateway to the world. But China today sees that gateway as a threat, a potential beachhead for subversion and a problem to be contained before it infects the mainland.

Graft-buster Drops Probe into Incoming Leader Carrie Lam’s Role in HK$3.5 billion Palace Museum Deal (2017-06-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Danny Mok) Hong Kong’s graft-buster has dropped its investigation into incoming leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s role in a contentious deal with Beijing officials to build a local version of the Palace Museum, according to the legislator who filed a complaint against her.

What Exactly is Hong Kong’s Executive Council and Why Does It Matter? (2017-06-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Joyce Ng) Exco is the top policy-making body of the Hong Kong government. It does not function like a close-knit body as in democracies like Britain, but the chief executive nonetheless treats it as his or her de facto cabinet. Over the years, it has occasionally been a source of political drama.

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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