::: TSR Weekly Report
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2017-07-24 | NO.21(29) 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
Reporters’ Notebook: Chinese ‘United Front’ Tactics Aim to Divide and Conquer (2017-07-19)
(Taipei Times, Lin Liang-sheng, Su Yung-yao) Despite a freeze in cross-strait relations since the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen in May last year, Beijing’s “united front” tactics have continued unabated, but with the focus shifting to ordinary Taiwanese and local non-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials.

After a Famed Prisoner Dies in China, Taiwan Fears for Another (2017-07-20)
(New York Times, By Chris Horton) Friends and family of Lee Ming-cheh, a rights advocate from Taiwan who disappeared into mainland custody in March, see parallels between him and Liu Xiaobo.

Chinese Media 'ROC' Ban is Overkill: KMT Official (2017-07-22)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) Beijing's guidelines banning the use of Taiwan's official title, the "Republic of China," has been called "overkill" by the Chinese Nationalist Party's Secretary-General. China's Xinhua news agency published this announcement, which also included guidelines to avoid using Taiwan's term for the so-called "1992 Consensus" and not to refer to Taiwan's government as the "Taiwan government."

‘Consensus’ Officially Over: Legislators (2017-07-23)
(Taipei Times, By Chen Yu-fu) Guidelines issued by China’s Xinhua news agency banning Chinese media from using “Republic of China (ROC)” and the Taiwanese interpretation of the so-called “1992 consensus” accentuate that the “consensus” is a fabrication and eliminate any gray area in Beijing’s “one China” principle, lawmakers said yesterday. The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Ban on Japanese, Swedish, Dutch, Beef to be Eased (2017-07-19)
(CNA) The nation is to conditionally open its market to beef imports from Japan, Sweden and the Netherlands, ending a 14-year ban on beef from the three countries, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Monday. Taiwan relies on imports for 94 percent of its beef needs, with most foreign beef coming from the US and Australia.

Taiwanese Arrive in Cambodia to Urge that Fraud Suspects be Sent Home - Not to China (2017-07-20)
(The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) Taiwan officials have arrived in Cambodia to petition that seven Taiwanese who were arrested for a scam be repatriated to Taiwan instead of China. After speaking with Chinese authorities, the Taiwan Foreign Ministry announced the suspects are likely to be sent back to China, but officials are trying to get Cambodian authorities to follow international jurisdiction and repatriate the suspects to their home country Taiwan.

KMT Caucus Head Blast 'Desperate' Visa Waiver Move (2017-07-22)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has extended visa waiver programs to 11 diplomatic allies despite the high crime rates in these nations in order to make up for its drop in tourism. The Secretary-General of the Chinese Nationalist Party said the government should stop focusing on ways to make up for the drop in tourism but rather address the reason behind the fall, which is the worsening relationship with China.

Indonesia Aims to Cut Migrants’ Costs, Improve Conditions (2017-07-23)
(CNA) Indonesia is revising its labor regulations with the objective of promoting “zero costs” for Indonesian nationals who work overseas as caregivers, Indonesian labor officials said on Thursday, urging Taiwanese employers to contribute to brokerage fees for Indonesian workers. Foreign nationals working as domestic caregivers in Taiwan are not covered under the Labor Standards Act and therefore are not entitled to the statutory minimum wage and mandatory days off as stipulated in the act.

US Bill to Support Taiwan's WHO Bid (2017-07-24)
(CNA) U.S. Representative Ted Yoho has introduced a bill meant to improve U.S. strategy to help Taiwan participate in the WHO. This bill would guarantee U.S. support for Taiwan participation, the U.S. government recognizing Taiwan's importance in the international efforts to prevent epidemics and provide humanitarian aid.

US Diplomat Says Taiwan was 'Best Assignment Ever' (2017-07-24)
(CNA) Joseph Bookbinder, a U.S. diplomat who just finished his term in Taiwan, said Taiwan has been his favorite assignment, noting the people's friendliness. Bookbinder sought to increase Taiwan's presence in international space and increase cultural exchange between the U.S. and Taiwan during his term. He sees a strong relationship between Taiwan and the U.S. and notes that Taiwan has many friends in both the Executive Branch and Congress.

Tainan Mayor Isn't Taking Premier Job: Executive Yuan (2017-07-24)
(China Post) Although there had been rumors that Tainan Mayor William Lai would take the job as premier in Tsai's government, the spokesman of the Executive Yuan announced that there is no such plan. Lai himself reported that these ideas had been fabricated. Lai would have been a way to prop up the Executive Yuan, being one of DPP's most popular politician.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
US, India and Japan Launch Joint Naval Exercises to Keep China in Check (2017-07-11)
(Defense News, By Vivek Raghuvanshi) The Malabar 2017 exercise sees the navies of the US, India, and Japan wargaming in the Bay of Bengal. The event, which lasts from July 10-17, is said to be a check on the growing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean. In the past, Singapore and Australia have participated in the exercises, but after China voiced diplomatic opposition, it was restricted to the US and India. This lasted until 2015, when Japan joined. The absence of Australia in the exercises reflects its ambiguity in checking the Chinese presence in the region.

Warfare Simulation Next Month Will Be Biggest Ever: Source (2017-07-21)
(Taipei Times, By Chung Li-hua and Jake Chung) The first political-military simulation independent of the Han Kuang military exercises by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen is to be held next month, with the scale of the simulation to be greater than any held under the administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou, a source said. The simulation is to focus on the potential scenarios of open conflict or war on the Korean Peninsula, in the East China Sea or in the South China Sea in which China attacks Taiwan with missiles and cyberattacks, the source said.

US Within Reach: China Shows Off New and Improved Advanced Missile System (2017-07-24)
(South China Morning Post, By Nectar Gan) China has publicly displayed for the first time a model of an advanced form of one its intercontinental ballistic missiles as the country’s military prepares to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army later this year. A model of the Dongfeng-31AG – an upgraded version of the DF-31A – was shown for the first time at an exhibition marking the anniversary at the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution in Beijing last week. The new missile system is expected to share a similar estimated range of 11,000km with the DF-31A – enough to reach most locations within the continental United States and the capitals of Europe – but will be more mobile thanks to its new carrier vehicle design, military experts said.

Tech Transfer: Korea, China Score Big in Exports (2017-07-24)
(Defense News, By Mike Yeo) South Korean military exports have risen nearly 1,100 percent since 2009. Like South Korea, China is also willing to transfer its own technology abroad to secure sales although most of its customers, such as the recent facilities production facilities in Pakistan to manufacture the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet. It has expanded sales from its traditional partners of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar to US ally Thailand, to whom it is selling Norinco VT-4 tanks and VN-1 armored personnel carriers. Thailand has also signed a contract to acquire three diesel-electric submarines from China. Furthermore, China has secured the sale of the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group’s Wing Loong armed medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. This is aided in part by the US's reluctance to sell UAVs to certain countries.

Chinese Military Sets Up Hi-tech Weapons Research Agency Modelled on US Body (2017-07-25)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) China’s military has set up a new department modelled on the ­Pentagon’s hi-tech research agency to develop state-of-the-art weapons such as stealth ­aircraft and electromagnetic ­cannons. The Scientific Research Steering Committee was set up early this year, according to a documentary aired on state broadcaster CCTV that revealed the new department for the first time. The committee will fall directly under the Central Military Commission (CMC), which is chaired by President Xi Jinping.
U.S.-China Relations
U.S. Navy Plane Takes ‘Evasive Action’ to Avoid Chinese Fighter Jet (2017-07-24)
(New York Times, By Helene Cooper) A fighter approached the American spy plane from below and then slowed down directly in front, behavior a Pentagon spokesman said was unusual for Chinese pilots.

Here Are the American Companies Most at Risk in a Trade War with China (2017-07-26)
(South China Morning Post, By Josh Ye) Here some of the American businesses and industries that could bear the brunt if a trade war were to break out between the US and the world’s most populous nation:
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

White Warships, Little Blue Men, and Looming Conflict in the East China Sea – China’s “Short, Sharp War” For The Senkakus
 (2017-07-20)
(CPG, By James E. Fanell and Kerry K. Gershaneck) Ignored by the war game designers is the harsh fact that it is the Peoples Republic of China (PRC)–and not Japan–that has the intent and, increasingly, the capacity to create the most serious Senkakus-related crisis: “a short, sharp war” to wrest the islands from Japan for China. As troubling as its ironic premises, the “war game” highlighted serious miscommunications and policy misunderstandings between the U.S. and Japanese officials that would have fatally undermined a united response in a real crisis. Despite an alliance spanning nearly 60 years, the American and Japanese gamers reportedly admitted they still did not understand the other country’s political concerns or security objectives.

China Builds Cinema on Disputed Island in South China Sea (2017-07-24)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) China has built a cinema on a disputed island in the South China Sea, state media reported. The movie theatre has been set up on Woody Island, known as Yongxing in Chinese, in the Paracel chain of islands, state broadcaster CCTV reported. The Yinlong Cinema showed its first film on Saturday, according to the report.

How India and China Have Come to the Brink Over a Remote Mountain Pass (2017-07-26)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers, Ellen Barry, and Max Fisher) The two nuclear powers are fighting over a border, but their battle is really over the shape of Asia’s future.

To Doklam and Back: India–China Standoff (2017-07-26)
(East Asia Forum, By Sourabh Gupta) China and India are locked yet again in a standoff of Himalayan proportions. Almost five weeks after Indian troops trespassed and forcibly halted the activities of a Chinese road construction crew on a narrow plateau at the China–Bhutan–India tri-junction area in the Sikkim Himalayas, the two sides appear no closer to resolving their quarrel. The area in question, the Dolam plateau in the Doklam area, is the subject of a legal dispute between China and Bhutan, is under the effective jurisdiction of China, and holds an important security interest to India.

Why Beijing is Speeding Up Underwater Drone Tests in the South China Sea (2017-07-26)
(South China Morning Post, By Stephen Chen) China is testing large-scale deployment of underwater drones in the South China Sea with real-time data transmission technology, a breakthrough that could help reveal and track the location of foreign submarines. A government research vessel dropped a dozen underwater gliders at an unspecified location in the South China Sea earlier this month, Xinhua reported on Saturday. It was the biggest joint operation conducted by Chinese unmanned gliders, according to the state news agency, and comes as the US vows to step up patrols in the disputed waters.

Beijing Sees Joint Energy Venture with Manila as a ‘Model’ for Resolving South China Sea Disputes (2017-07-26)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) China is hoping a joint energy project with the Philippines in the South China Sea can be a model for other countries that have maritime disputes with the Asian giant, but the venture still may face many hurdles. Speaking in Manila Tuesday, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said he supported the idea of a joint venture with the Philippines because unilateral action would have damaged both sides. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a day earlier, had said a partner had been found for oil field development and exploration and that exploitation would restart this year but did not identify the partner.

Korean Peninsula

U.S. to Bar Americans From Traveling to North Korea (2017-07-21)
(New York Times, By David E. Sanger) The announcement came only hours after Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, hinted that the United States was considering seeking a regime change in North Korea.

Intelligence Agencies Say North Korean Missile Could Reach U.S. in a Year
 (2017-07-25)
(New York Times, By David E. Sanger) The estimate significantly shortens the time that analysts believed it would take the regime to develop a weapon capable of reaching the continental United States.

US–China Cooperation on North Korea Remains Critical (2017-07-25)
(East Asia Forum, By Brendan Taylor) China is under pressure to deliver a solution to the increasingly dangerous North Korean crisis. Following North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), US President Donald Trump has called upon Beijing to put a ‘heavy move’ on Pyongyang to bring an end to the ‘nonsense’. He has tweeted previously that the United States and its allies will deal ‘properly’ with Pyongyang if China doesn’t.

Empty US Threats Over North Korea are Serving Beijing’s Interests (2017-07-26)
(East Asia Forum, By Hugh White) Washington went back to the same old measures — sanctions and UN Security Council resolutions — which have so plainly failed to stop North Korea’s nuclear and missiles programs for so long. That leaves North Korea’s weapons program intact and steadily growing. Worse, it leaves America’s strategic credibility seriously weakened — and that has implications far beyond the North Korean nuclear issue itself.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

China Sees the West Behind Liu Xiaobo
 (2017-07-18)
(The Interpreter, By Merriden Varrall) With the passing of Chinese democracy activist Liu Xiaobo, some negative Chinese attitudes about the West have surfaced, especially those seeing Liu as 'misled' by the West. Furthermore, these very Western values are seen as an ideological threat and some Chinese view the West as 'meddling in China's affairs'. This meddling is seen as blocking China's 'path of history' and its rise.

From Political Star to ‘a Sacrificial Object’ in China (2017-07-22)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) The fall of Sun Zhengcai, a party secretary, is seen as a warning that President Xi Jinping will play succession politics by his own ruthless rules.

Former Political Star in China Is Under Party Investigation (2017-07-24)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) Officials said Sun Zhengcai, fired last month as party secretary of the city of Chongqing, was suspected of “grave violations of discipline.

China's Foreign Relations

For China’s Global Ambitions, ‘Iran Is at the Center of Everything’
 (2017-07-25)
(New York Times, By Thomas Erdbrink) Iran’s strategic location makes it a focus, and Chinese investments and entrepreneurs are pouring into the country.

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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New Publication Taiwan and China: Fitful Embrace by Lowell Dittmer (ed.) (University of California Press) 
New Publication Learning from Fukushima: Nuclear Power in East Asia by Peter Van Ness and Mel Gurtov (eds.) (Australian National University Press)
New Publication Playing with Fire: The Looming War with China Over Taiwan by John Copper (Praeger Security International Series)
Upcoming Conference China Defense & Security Conference 2017 (Jamestown Foundation)
New Publication Imagining Taiwan: The Nixon Administration, the Developmental States, and South Vietnam’s Search for Economic Viability, 1969–1975 by Simon Toner (Diplomatic History)
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TSR received a favorable review by the Foreign Affairs (July/Aug 2000)
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