::: TSR Weekly Report
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2017-07-04 | NO.21(26) 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 Offers Assistance to China After Sichuan Landslide (2017-06-25)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Elizabeth Hsu) The Presidential Office on Sunday conveyed condolences to China over a deadly landslide in Sichuan Province and offered Taiwan's assistance, if necessary. The message of sympathy and concern was conveyed to China via Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council and Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang said.

Taipei Mulls Civil Servant Exchange with Shanghai (2017-06-27)
(CNA, By Liang Pei-chi and Christie Chen) Taipei is mulling a civil servant exchange with Shanghai so the two cities can learn more about each other's approach to administrative management, a Taipei official said on Tuesday. Chu Chao-hsiang, commissioner of the Taipei City Department of Civil Servant Development, said his department will inform Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je this week of its proposed plan to have civil servants from Taipei and Shanghai work in each other's offices.

Taiwan Declines to Comment on Reported China Aircraft Carrier Movement (2017-06-25)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui, Yi Chun-chieh, and Elizabeth Hsu) Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense on Sunday declined to comment on media reports that China's Liaoning aircraft carrier will pass either along Taiwan's east or its west coast on the way to Hong Kong this week. On Sunday, the People's Liberation Army Daily reported that the first aircraft carrier commissioned into the PRC's Navy, the Liaoning, had set sail on a training mission earlier in the day from its base in Qingdao, Shandong Province.

Majority Favors Maintaining Cross-strait Status Quo: Survey (2017-06-20)
(CNA, By Sophia Yeh and Y.F. Low) More than 65 percent of people in Taiwan are in favor of a cross-Taiwan Strait policy that facilitates the maintenance of the status quo, according to a survey released by Taiwan Brain Trust on Tuesday. If maintaining the status quo is out of the question, 54.8 percent said they would support Taiwan declaring independence, the survey found.

Wu Must Clarify the KMT’s Cross-Strait Policy: Hung (2017-06-29)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) Chinese Nationalist Party chairman-elect Wu Den-yih must clarify his cross-strait policy to dispel China’s doubts regarding the party, KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu said yesterday. Avoiding the topic of unification is against the Constitution, which at the time it was written included China as the Republic of China’s territory, she said. Hung told reporters that she learned at a cross-strait forum in Xiamen, China, earlier this month that Beijing has doubts over the KMT’s cross-strait stance.

Taiwan Offers to Treat Dissident Liu Xiaobo (2017-06-29)
(AFP) Taiwan yesterday said that it was willing to offer cancer-stricken Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo treatment after prison officials granted him medical parole. The offer came a day after China rejected criticism over its treatment of Liu, as the US urged Beijing to give the paroled dissident freedom to move and choose his own doctors. Human rights groups have called on Chinese authorities to give Liu the chance to seek treatment elsewhere.

MAC Calls Out Beijing For Failing Hong Kong, Lying About Taiwan Blocking Mainland Tourists (2017-06-30)
(CNA) The spokesman for Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has called on China to respond to Hong Kong's wish for democratic values. The MAC hopes that Hong Kong and China can find a consensus in a peaceful way. In addition, the MAC has refuted China's Taiwan Affairs Office's statement that Taiwan had deliberately blocked tourists arriving to Taiwan from the mainland.

China Protests US Bill on Port Visits (2017-07-01)
(Reuters) China has sent a protest to the U.S. Senate bill that would allows U.S. ships to sail to Taiwanese ports, calling it an intrusion on its own internal affairs. Lu Kang, the spokesman of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has remarked that such a bill would violate the principles of U.S.-China relations as the U.S. has not visited a Taiwanese port since 1979, the year the U.S. adopted the "one China" policy.

China is Asking the US to Cancel the Weapons Deal (2017-07-01)
(dpa) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China states that no one can deter China's determination to maintain its own sovereignty and territorial integrity, making the U.S. weapons deal with Taiwan problematic against the "one China" policy. The U.S. claims that such a deal is consistent with U.S. actions towards Taiwan in the past 50 years and believes the deal to be in accordance with the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.

US Arms Sale to Taiwan a Sign of Stable Relations: Think Tank (2017-07-01)
(CNA) Taiwan Thinktank believes that the U.S. arms deal with Taiwan does not show an improvement in U.S.-Taiwan relations, but rather a continuation of policy that has existed since 1979. On the other hand, researchers at the National Policy Foundation see this deal to be an opportunity for President Trump to assert his authority in the region, that although the U.S. and China have improved their relations, the U.S. is still willing and able to pressure China.

US Arms to Boost Capabilities: Experts (2017-07-02)
(Taipei Times, By Aaron Tu, Lu Yi-hsuan, Su Fang-ho and Jake Chung) The proposed U.S. arms deal with Taiwan would improve upon Taiwan's air defense and submarine capabilities by adding high-speed anti-radiation missiles and long-range air-to-surface missiles. A senior military analyst believes that such a deal would not increase the competition between the U.S. and China.

Chinese Warship an 'Increase in Threat' (2017-07-03)
(Taipei Times, By Aaron Tu and Jonathan Chin) China has launched its first Type 055 guided missile destroyer which possesses air defenses and anti-submarine capabilities. This destroyer was likely developed without intentions to fight the Taiwanese military, but it does leave Taiwan's Eastern ports susceptible to threats from the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The launch of this destroyer means two things for Taiwan according to think tank researchers: the nation's military is taxed with more responsibilities in for its own defense, and Taiwan needs to seek foreign assistance to supplement its own technological developments. President Tsai said the way to counter PLAN's future moves would be to develop a strong arsenal of missiles, something that would be cheaper and easier to do than obtaining a fleet of submarines.

China’s Aircraft Carrier Conducts Drills as it Sails Into Taiwan Strait, State Media Says (2017-07-03)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) China’s aircraft carrier strike group performed intensive drills as it sailed into the Taiwan Strait en route to Hong Kong, military media revealed on Monday. The vessels will arrive in the city on Friday on a visit eagerly awaited by many Hongkongers. Thousands lined up outside PLA barracks overnight on Sunday hoping to score tickets to tour the vessels this weekend.

Taipei Mayor to Meet Beijing’s Top Official for Cross-Strait Ties (2017-07-03)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) The mayor of Taipei, Ko Wen-je, will meet the mainland’s top official in charge of Taiwan affairs, Zhang Zhijun, in Shanghai later on Monday, in one of the highest-level exchanges between the two sides amid their current strained relations. Ko, who is not a member of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party but is a supporter of President Tsai Ing-wen, with whom Beijing is at odds over her stance towards the mainland, will meet Zhang behind closed doors, the Taipei city government said in a statement.

Trump Calls Xi as Tensions Escalate Over Taiwan, North Korea (2017-07-03)
(South China Morning Post, By Shi Jiangtao) President Xi Jinping urged his US counterpart Donald Trump to abide by Washington’s decades-old “one-China” policy during a phone call on Monday morning as tensions between the two countries resurfaced over Taiwan, disputes in the South China Sea and how to handle North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme. Xi said US-China relations have been affected by negative factors since the two men met for the first time at the Mar-a-Lago summit in Florida in April, the state broadcaster China Central Television reported.

Ko Repeats Rhetoric in Shanghai (2017-07-03)
(Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia) At the opening ceremony of the Taipei-Shanghai Forum, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je restated his commitment to improving ties across the strait. Chinese President Xi Jinping has also made similar remarks in the past. Ko believes that the past 30 years of exchanges with China has revealed two priorities: the government must direct its efforts to the public and keep the public's interests in mind. Shanghai's mayor Ying Yong has also reiterated that Taiwan and China are two sides of one family and are inseparable in their destiny.

Taiwan Conducted Military Drills as Chinese Battleships Sailed Through its Defense Zone: Report (2017-07-04)
(China Post) The Central News Agency has reported that Taiwan's military conducted air and sea exercises off the coast of Penghu at around the same time China sailed its battleship through the Taiwan Strait to Hong Kong in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China. In response to this report, the Chief of Staff of Taiwan's military, Lee Hsi-ming, stated that there are "no holidays in combat readiness."

UN to Investigate Case of Taiwan Advocate Missing in China (2017-07-05)
(DPA) According to a Taiwan-based human rights group, the United Nations has agreed to investigate the case of Taiwanese pro-democracy advocate Lee Ming-che, who was arrested in China in March. The European Parliament on Thursday is scheduled to vote on a resolution on the case of Lee, as well as that of Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who was released in late June on medical parole for treatment of late-stage liver cancer.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
President Thanks Japan on Twitter for Backing Taiwan's TPP Bid (2017-06-27)
(CNA, By Evelyn Kao) President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday expressed her gratitude on Twitter to Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, for voicing support for Taiwan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Taiwan's First Apache Squad to be Commissioned
 (2017-06-28)
(CNA) After purchasing 30 Apache helicopters from the United States in 2013 and 2014, Taiwan's military is finally ready to formally commission an Apache combat squad. Another Apache squad will be commissioned at a later date. These two squads will reportedly have "full combat readiness" by late next year.

No End to Path of Defense Reform: Tsai (2017-06-28)
(CNA) At a ceremony where 21 senior officials were promoted, President Tsai Ing-wen made remarks that the military must continue to help solve the nation's problems and improve upon defense reform. This is in line with the Tsai administration's constant emphasis on maintaining a strong combat capability.

US Senate Committee Backs Allowing Navy Ships to Make Port Calls in Taiwan (2017-06-29)
(CNA) A U.S. Senate committee has approved a bill that would allow U.S. navy ships to make stops at ports in Taiwan. The bill, which still needs to be ratified by Congress, would roll back four decades of U.S. policy in Asia. Washington has deferred to China regarding navy port calls ever since switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. Taiwan's Presidential Office expressed the government's appreciation to the committee for attaching importance to Taiwan's defensive security and Taiwan-U.S. security relations.

Tsai Swears in Cyberwar Commander (2017-06-30)
(Taipei Times, By Chung Li-hua, Aaron Tu and Jake Chung) The Ministry of National Defense has inaugurated an Information and Electronic Warfare Command to oversee all cyberdefense operations. This unit is expected to become the main developer of new information warfare.

First Taiwanese Satellite to be Launched Aug. 25 (2017-06-30)
(Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) Formosat-5, the nation's first domestically-designed satellite, will be launched in the United States in August. The satellite will conduct a five-year mission around the globe collecting information on natural disasters, rescue operations, and national security.

Caucus Urges Self-Determination, Free Elections in HK (2017-06-30)
(Taipei Times, By Abraham Gerber) The Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus has called for free elections in Hong Kong and self-determination, hoping to provide Hong Kong with more support in pursuing democracy. The Chairman of the New Power Party (NPP) has issued a statement condemning Beijing for its increased oppression over Hong Kong, and another NPP legislator has referred to Hong Kong's example as a reason why "one country, two systems" could not work for Taiwan.

Tsai Vows Defense Budget Changes (2017-07-01)
(CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen made clear that the best way to avoid war is to be fully prepared for it, urging the public to support her administration's attempt to minimize the gap in military capabilities between Taiwan and China. Tsai will also employ a new system in regard to pensions in the military, a system currently on the verge of bankruptcy.

Most View 'Two Systems' as Failure: Poll (2017-07-01)
(Taipei Times, By Abraham Gerber) In a new poll released by Taiwan Thinktank, over 50 percent believed the "one country, two systems" model that Hong Kong follows has been a failure, with an even greater percentage pessimistic about the future of Hong Kong. The poll also revealed that 73 percent of respondents would be opposed to such a system with Taiwan and a majority also thought Taiwan should shift its focus to the international community rather than its remaining diplomatic allies.

Ko Reiterates 'Equality and Dignity' on Shanghai Visit (2017-07-02)
(Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia) Before heading to the Taipei-Shanghai Forum, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je repeated that he would uphold the ideas of "equality and dignity" while discussing strategies to improve upon cross-strait relations. The goal is to avoid discussing political issues so that progress can be made upon environmental protection, social welfare, and communication across the strait.

DPP Legislator Supports Ko’s Statements as ‘Proper’ (2017-07-05)
(Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia) Taipei City Councilor Liang Wen-jie of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who was part of a delegation to Shanghai with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, yesterday said he considered statements Ko made in Shanghai “prim and proper,” responding to pro-independence groups’ dissatisfaction over statements Ko made. Ko had said the “two sides of Strait are one family” and should establish “a community of common destiny,” using “quarrels between a married couple” as an example of the dispute between the two nations.

DPP Should Part with Ko over China Talk: Lawmaker (2017-07-05)
(Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should part ways with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je for his increasingly Beijing-friendly position, DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao said yesterday. Ko on Monday concluded the three-day Taipei-Shanghai twin-city forum with the independent mayor describing Taiwan and China as “one family” and “a community of common destiny,” provoking a mixed response from Taiwanese.

Trade Office in Nigeria Move Impeded by Military (2017-07-05)
(CNA) The relocation of Taiwan’s trade office from the Nigerian capital, Abuja, has begun, but the move has been hampered by the host government’s decision to seal off the office, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Nigeria has apparently been acting under pressure from China, which has stepped up its suppression of Taiwan in the international community since the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen took office on May 20 last year.
U.S.-China Relations
China’s Premier, Li Keqiang, Praises Free Trade, in Contrast to Trump (2017-06-27)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) The Chinese official warned the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China, against “unilateral rules” but didn’t say how his country might lower its own trade barriers.

Time for Trump to Hit Back at China’s New Cybersecurity Law
 (2017-06-29)
(East Asia Forum, By Claude Barfield) The Trump administration should immediately confront Chinese leaders over China’s recently enacted cybersecurity law. The new law came into force on 1 June, having been several years in the making with vehement protests from foreign governments and multinational corporations. While some minor revisions occurred during that process and the Chinese cybersecurity administration attempted to ‘calm jittery businesses’, the dangerously vague but potent assertions of ‘cyber sovereignty’ embodied in the law remain in place.

U.S. Seeks to Keep Closer Tabs on Chinese Money in America (2017-06-29)
(New York Times, By Paul Mozur and Cecilia Kang) Laws sought by Trump administration officials and some politicians would overhaul how the United States vets deals, especially ones with technological and military ramifications.

Arms to Taiwan and Action Against a Chinese Bank: Is Trump's US-China 'Honeymoon' Over? (2017-06-30)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Following the US Treasury Department's statements against the Bank of Dandong for alleged financing of North Korean actions as well as the US State Department''s approval of a large arms package sale to Taiwan suggests that President Trump may be more willing to be confrontational with China. Although the first few months of his presidency suggested that he would be rather laid-back, recent developments suggest either a "warning shot" or potentially a larger shift in outlook.

With Provocative Moves, U.S. Risks Unraveling Gains With China (2017-06-30)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers and Sui-lee Wee) Beijing responded furiously after Washington announced an arms sale to Taiwan and sanctions on a Chinese company and bank over illicit dealings with North Korea.

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

US-China Talks in Washington Were Another Missed Opportunity on the South China Sea
 (2017-06-26)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) At the first Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, the United States and China did not lead to any productive solutions or new inputs to the South China Sea disputes. The United States completely missed out on the chance to compare last year's Permanent Court of Arbitration award to China as well as China's commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea treaty. Not much has changed since last year in the region as Beijing and the United States have shifted their focuses to other issues.

Rising Tensions and Temperatures in the South China Sea (2017-06-30)
(East Asia Forum, By Margareth Sembiring) Calls for a dedicated inter-governmental regional institution with a mandate and authority to operate international instruments and respond to transboundary marine challenges have been made over the years. With increasing climate pressure on marine habitats in the South China Sea and the US withdrawal from international climate obligations, it is time to enhance regional marine environmental protection and re-examine these options more closely.

PLA Warships and Fighter Jets Sent to Warn Off US Destroyer in South China Sea, Beijing Says (2017-07-03)
(South China Morning Post, By Shi Jiangtao) Beijing sent warships and fighter jets to warn off a US naval destroyer that sailed close to a disputed island in the South China Sea, calling the passage a serious provocation that strained bilateral ties. The latest “freedom of navigation” operation by the United States came just days before the leaders of the two countries are due to meet at a G20 summit in Germany.

South China Sea: China Calls USS Stethem Warship 'A Provocation' (2017-07-03)
(BBC News) Beijing has called the presence of a US warship near a disputed island in the South China Sea "a serious political and military provocation". The USS Stethem sailed close to Triton Island, part of the Paracel Islands archipelago, claimed by China and others. China responded by sending military vessels and fighter jets to the area.

China Says India Violates 1890 Agreement in Border Stand-off (2017-07-04)
(Reuters) China said on Monday yesterday that India was violating an 1890 border agreement between Britain and China that previous Indian governments have pledged to uphold, and it should be respected to end a “very serious” incursion by India. The border stand-off on a plateau next to the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim, which borders China, has ratcheted up tension between the neighbouring giants, who share a 3,500km frontier, large parts of which are disputed.


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

South Korea Voices Support for U.S. Antimissile System (2017-06-26)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) The foreign minister indicated that despite protests from China, the government would honor a deal to deploy a U.S. antimissile system seen as a bulwark against North Korea.

North Korea Fires Another Missile Amid Rising Tensions With U.S. (2017-07-03)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) The missile took off from the northwestern town of Kusong and landed in the sea between North Korea and Japan, the South Korean military said in a statement.

China UN Envoy Warns of Disastrous Consequences if Tensions Escalate Over North Korea
 (2017-07-04)
(Associated Press) China’s UN ambassador warned on Monday that further escalation of already high tensions with North Korea risks getting out of control “and the consequences would be disastrous”. Liu Jieyi expressed hopes that key nations would be “more forthcoming” and support China’s three-part package to de-escalate tensions – reviving negotiations and dialogue leading to denuclearisation and peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

News Analysis: What Can Trump Do About North Korea? His Options Are Few and Risky (2017-07-04)
(New York Times, By David E. Sanger) The president’s earlier assertion that North Korea would not produce a missile that can reach the United States has now been upended.

North Korea Fires Missile Towards Japanese Waters, Officials Say (2017-07-04)
(BBC News) North Korea has fired a ballistic missile from its western region, say Japanese and South Korean authorities. It was launched at 09:40 local time (00:40 GMT), from Banghyon in North Pyongan Province, reported Yonhap news agency citing South Korea's military. Tokyo said the missile may have landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan.

North Korea Missile: Trump Calls on China to ‘End This Nonsense Once and For All’ After Latest Launch (2017-07-04)
(Reuters) North Korea has test fired another missile, defying international pressure and earning a swift and angry rebuke from US President Donald Trump. The missile flew 930km, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said, and its estimated flight time was about 40 minutes before it landed near Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Breaking the Impasse with North Korea (2017-07-04)
(East Asia Forum, By Hitoshi Tanaka) The efforts of the international community to convince North Korea to forsake nuclear weapons have met with little success over the past several decades — from the Agreed Framework and the establishment of the Korean Peninsula Economic Development Organization (KEDO) to the Six-Party Talks. Yet we must not fall into the trap of believing that a negotiated settlement with North Korea on denuclearization is impossible.

Xi Jinping and Putin Join Forces to Halt North Korean Crisis (2017-07-05)
(South China Morning Post, By Stuart Lau and Zhenhua Lu) The presidents of China and Russia called on North Korea to freeze its nuclear and missile programmes and also urged the US and South Korea to halt large-scale military drills, as they sought to quell rising tensions over the Korean peninsula.

News Analysis: China’s Strongman Has a Weak Point: North Korea (2017-07-05)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) Xi Jinping is known for acting boldly, but for all the grief Pyongyang and its nuclear tests have been causing him, his options are limited

U.S. Vows Tougher Action on North Korea After Missile Test (2017-07-05)
(New York Times, By Rick Gladstone and Choe Sang-hun) The United States and South Korea test-fired missiles, while the American ambassador to the United Nations threatened tougher sanctions against the North.

Trump Warns China He Is Willing to Pressure North Korea on His Own (2017-07-03)
(New York Times, By Mark Landler and Javier C. Hernández) The president’s warning, after a series of tough measures aimed at China, shows how he and the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, are reassessing their approach to each other.

Other Regional Issues

UPDATED: China's Big Three Near Completion
 (2017-06-29)
(CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative) While China and other regional powers engage in peaceful negotiations on the South China Sea dispute, China continues to militarize and develop facilities on the Spratly Islands. These include shelters and communications technologies.

Trump Takes More Aggressive Stance With U.S. Friends and Foes in Asia (2017-06-30)
(New York Times, By Mark Landler) The president pressed South Korea on trade and made moves that angered China, posing a test of whether he can keep campaign promises while also cooperating on security.

Trump and China: Implications for Southeast Asia (2017-07-03)
(East Asia Forum, By Robert Sutter) How much influence the United States will lose or gain in these uncertain surroundings remains to be seen. Much will depend on how well or how poorly China ‘fills the gap’ caused by drifting US policy. For now, it seems that US–China competition in Southeast Asia is more likely than not to remain a muddle for some time to come.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
China Launches its Most Advanced Homegrown Class of Guided-Missile Destroyers (2017-06-28)
(Defense News, By Mike Yeo) At a ceremony held at Shanghai's Jiangnan-Changxing shipyard on Wednesday morning, the PRC launched the Type 055, the first of a new class of guided missile destroyer. The destroyer is supposed to be the largest and most advanced of its type to be designed and built in the country. Anticipated to be comissioned into service in 2019, photos of the ceremony released by the Ministry of National Defense and Chinese state media also suggest that the destroyer will be fielding a bow-mounted sonar, a 130mm dual-purpose gun, and multiple vertical launch systems for surface to air, anti-ship, and cruise missiles in the forward and aft sections of the ship. Also noted is a multifunction phased array radar similar to that on China’s Type 052D destroyers and the U.S. Navy’s AEGIS system.

US Clears Arms Deal for Taiwan Worth up to $1.3B (2017-06-29)
(Defense News, By Mike Yeo) The State Department cleared a massive arms deal for Taiwan on Thursday, worth up to $1.3 billion, though the package and dollar amount still need to be negotiated by Congress. The package includes a variety of missiles and missile components, torpedos, and electronic warfare equipment, hinting to the providing of largely defensive capabilities. Ahead of the announcement, a US government official said the weapons offer does not reflect any change in the long-standing “One China” policy.

China’s New Warship and the Strategic Challenge to America
 (2017-07-04)
(The Interpreter, By James Goldrick) The launch of the People's Liberation Army - Navy's (PLAN) new Type 055 destroyer is a major component to the carrier task forces that the PRC is trying to develop, as it would provide air defence capabilities to the task forces. However, the role of these task forces is more that of a strategic role rather than a "direct conflict" military role. They complement the current anti-access/area denial capabilities of the PRC and allow it to exert more influence throughout East Asia, as well as parts of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. This poses a challenge to the US similar to that of the navy of the Soviet Union. The PLAN does have deficiencies in carrier task forces, such as the lack of balanced air groups, doctrine, and expertise to provide the capabilities necessary to ensure awareness and air, surface, and sub-surface defence. If the PRC's economy declines, however, we may see carrier task force development slow or halt, as funding would be diverted to missiles and submarines, which are seen as more important for the PRC's defense.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

China's Hukou System - An Interview with Fei-Ling Wang (2017-07-03)
(Taiwan Security Research, By Priyanka Juneja) To understand the impacts, evolution, and future of the Chinese hukou system and its relations with the broader reform agenda rolled out by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, Taiwan Security Research conducted an interview with Professor Fei-Ling Wang, the author of Organizing Through Division and Exclusion: China’s Hukou System (Stanford University Press, 2005), a critical investigation into this extremely important but seldom explicated system.

Is Xi the next Mao? (2017-07-04)
(East Asia Forum, By Natasha Ezrow) There remain strong institutional constraints on Xi’s power in the constitution and the practices of the party–state. Xi may be tightening his grip on power in China but he is unlikely to drive the country into the despairs of the past.


Beijing and Hong Kong

Struggle for Control Underlies Xi Jinping’s Visit to Hong Kong (2017-06-28)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) President Xi Jinping’s appearance this week, his first to the city as president, comes nearly three years after pro-democracy demonstrators took to the streets.

The 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong’s Handover: A Discussion with Richard Bush
 (2017-07-01)
(The Diplomat, By Kristian McGuire) In this interview, Richard Bush, former National Intelligence Officer for East Asia, Chairman and Managing Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, and current Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, discusses the critical challenges facing Hong Kong and his recent book Hong Kong in the Shadow of China: Living with the Leviathan.

Xi Jinping Believes Hong Kong Will Achieve its Distant Goal by Walking Steadily (2017-07-02)
(South China Morning Post, By Tammy Tam) “Walk steadily to reach the far distance” – this Chinese saying has been used quite frequently by President Xi Jinping in reference to the rocky road that Sino-US relations have been navigating in recent years. But more recently, after setting foot in Hong Kong to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the city’s return to China, Xi used the same proverb on several occasions to make it clear that Beijing would “unswervingly” maintain the “one country, two systems” model.

President Xi Jinping Marks ‘Red Line’ in Warning to Hong Kong on National Sovereignty (2017-07-02)
(South China Morning Post, By Stuart Lau) President Xi Jinping warned Hong Kong on Saturday not to cross the “red line” of undermining Chinese sovereignty, urging consensus instead of conflict to solve major problems, as he mapped out his clearest, most comprehensive direction for the city.

Occupy Protester Talks Democracy (2017-07-02)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Liang-sheng) As younger Hong Kongers develop a stronger connection with a Hong Kong identity than with a Chinese one, they begin to prefer abandoning the "one country two systems" idea over abandoning democracy. Independence groups are also losing ground as fewer people agree with the importance of this issue and younger people are beginning to realize the difficulty of obtaining independence.

Freedom of the Press Under Threat in HK, Report Says (2017-07-04)
(CNA) As media outlets in Hong Kong come under the control of Chinese interests, freedom of expression and freedom of press are becoming more oppressed. As these Chinese interests obtain more stakes in the Hong Kong media companies, self-censorship will be more prominent. With this growing trend, Hong Kong media groups are urging the Chief Executive's administration to preserve Hong Kong's autonomy and national security.


China's Foreign Relations

Opponents and Supporters of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (2017-06-30)
(IPP Review, By John F. Copper) China's Belt and Road Initiative has initially been relatively successful as over 110 participants attended the Belt and Road Forum and most of them agreeing to participate in the initiative. Its supporters claim that China's incredible progress in reducing poverty domestically as well as the utility of transportation routes can prove beneficial to many parties around the world. However, its detractors and opponents see China's rise in the world order to be a sign of the end of Western-centric global structure.


Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor
 

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New Release Citizenship as Foundation of Rights: Meaning for America (with discussion of Singapore and India), by Richard Sobel (Cambridge University Press)
New Release Public Opinion and International Intervention: Lessons from the Iraq War (with chapters on India and Japan), edited by Richard Sobel, Peter Furia, and Bethany Barratt (University of Nebraska Press)
New Release Taiwan's Social Movements under Ma Ying-jeou: From the Wild Strawberries to the Sunflowers by Dafydd Fell (Routledge)
New Release The Kaohsiung Incident and Memoirs of a Foreign Big Beard by J. Bruce Jacobs (Brill)
New Release China's New Foreign Policy: Military Modernisation, Multilateralism, and the 'China Threat' by Tilman Pradt (Palgrave)
TSR received a favorable review by the Foreign Affairs (July/Aug 2000)
The Best of Asia-Pacific Web Award
TSR was honored with a Four-Star rating by the Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library. 
 

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