::: TSR Weekly Report
2017-08-28 | NO.21(34) epaper |
Note to Readers
New Release The Taiwan Voter by Christopher H. Achen and T.Y. Wang (eds.) (University of Michigan Press)
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
Majority Supports Peaceful Exchanges with China: Poll (2017-08-27)
(CNA) A Mainland Affairs Council poll showed that 87.8% of people supported a government measure to pursue peaceful negotiations on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taipei Forum Report on U.S. Politics and Asia-Pacific Policy under President Trump (2017-07-28)
(Taipei Forum) To better understand U.S. politics and Asia-Pacific policy under President Trump, a Taipei Forum Foundation delegation visited New York and Washington D.C. in early June 2017. The following report contains information and perspectives from the conversations between the group and U.S. officials and experts and is divided into six parts: current U.S. domestic politics, foreign policy making in the Trump administration, U.S.-China relations, U.S.-Taiwan relations, Taiwan’s major challenges, and the North Korea nuclear issue. A Chinese version of the report is available here.

DPP Lawmaker Pushes for Geothermal Power
(Taipei Times, By Shelley Shan) DPP legislator Chen Ou-po stated on Tuesday that rebuilding a nuclear plant would not solve the energy crisis in Taiwan. Rather, the Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program should be looking into geothermal energy development as a means of generating new electricity. President Tsai Ing-wen has pledged to remove all nuclear power plants from the country by 2025, and geothermal energy serves as an environmentally safe alternative to both fossil fuels and nuclear power, especially given Taiwan's convenient location on the Ring of Fire.

Tourism Bureau Meets with US Travel Agencies, Urges CAL Not to Cut Flights (2017-08-24)
(CNA) In an effort to boost North American tourists to Taiwan, the Tourism Bureau met with various travel agencies in order to convince China Airlines not to cut its weekly flights to New York - JFK airport. Topics discussed also included increasing the number of flights from the US to Taiwan and including Taiwan in Asia package tours, as Taiwan is currently often left out. China Airlines and EVA Air currently offer 11 flights to Taiwan, but United Airlines and Air Canada are both looking to enter the market.

Taiwan’s Ex-leader Ma Found Not Guilty in Political Leaks Case (2017-08-25)
(AFP) A Taiwanese court on Friday found former president Ma Ying-jeou not guilty in a political leaks case, his second acquittal in a raft of lawsuits brought against him since he stepped down last year. Ma was cleared of charges of leaking secrets and instructing a top prosecutor to disclose confidential information about a judicial probe in 2013.

Government Should Back HK Democracy: Advocates (2017-08-25)
(Taipei Times, By Abraham Gerber) Taiwanese civil rights advocacy groups asked the government to support the Hong Kong democracy movements following the arrests of several prominent democracy champions in the special autonomous region. Their ideas include to join a campaign started by the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, which would entail writing letters to the arrested in support of their actions. The three prominent activists have been in contact with Taiwanese officials before and maintained close ties with Taiwanese civic campaigners.

US Committee Approves Arms Sales to Taiwan (2017-08-27)
(CNA) The US Republican National Committee offered its full support for US President Donald Trump's arms sales to Taiwan. This follows the Trump Administration's historic $1.42 billion sale in June. The arms sale falls in conjunction with the Taiwan Relations Act, which in part says that the US would provide Taiwan with the means to resist force that could jeopardize Taiwanese security.

Infected US Beef Was Not Imported to Taiwan: FDA (2017-08-26)
(CNA) Following the discovery of a strain of mad cow disease in several cows in Alabama last month, the Food and Drug Administration has announced that none of the shipments of beef to Taiwan have been infected. The scare comes after a South Korean news report which said that infected meat may have been imported there. Taiwan has very strict screening processes for all imported US beef.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
Military to Hold Live-Fire Drills Next Month: Official (2017-08-24)
(Taipei Times, By Lo Tien-ping and Jonathan Chin) From September 19 to September 21, the military will be holding exercises to boost and ensure the capabilities of gunships, rocket launch systems, and missile teams, according to the Ministry of National Defense. The drills are to emphasize tactical and technical proficiency. They will also be testing various weapons systems.
U.S.-China Relations
How Did China React to New US Sanctions on Chinese-Owned Enterprises? (2017-08-24)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) China kept relatively quiet about the United States's newly imposed sanctions on Chinese and Russian firms, coming in late August as a response to alleged support of the North Korean regime. The last time sanctions were imposed, China reacted harshly and demanded the US remove the sanctions. Following the new sanctions, the US Secretary of State and the Chinese State Councilor had a telephone discussion, yet did not mention the sanctions or the North Korea issue, instead focusing on bilateral relations and Afghanistan.

Kidnapped Chinese Scholar's Family Appeal to Trump: At Least Find Her Body (2017-08-24)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Following the arrival of the family in the United States, the family of kidnapped scholar Yingying Zhang pleaded to the American public and government for help in finding her. She disappeared on June 9 and is currently believed dead by the FBI. The family will remain in the United States until she is found and returned home to be buried.

US Leadership as a Pacific Power: Trump and Beyond (2017-08-28)
(The Diplomat, By Mercy A. Kuo) Dr. Paul Heer, the former National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council, gives his remarks surrounding the Trump administration's relative shift in policy towards Asia-Pacific security issues as well as how they affect China's focus and actions within the region.

Chinese National Arrested in Connection with U.S. Cyberattacks (2017-08-29)
(New York Times, By Nicole Perlroth and Adam Goldman) The case is one of the first since a 2015 agreement between China and the United States to refrain from computer-related theft of industrial secrets.
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Willingness to Explore Resource Sharing Points to Cooperative Future for China, the Philippines (2017-08-27)
(South China Morning Post, By Richard Heydarian) Amid rapidly improving bilateral ties, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has welcomed joint development agreements (JDAs) with China in the South China Sea. For the Filipino president, who is intent on improving strategic relations with Beijing, this is the best available modus vivendi to manage and eventually resolve territorial disputes among claimant states.

China and India Agree to Ease Tensions in Border Dispute (2017-08-29)
(New York Times, By Jeffrey Gettleman and Javier C. Hernández) Analysts say that both sides gave ground, ending one of the worst diplomatic flare-ups between the nuclear-armed Asian rivals in decades.

The Korean Peninsula

China’s Dilemma: How Much Pressure Can it Exert on its Historical Ally, North Korea? (2017-08-28)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) China hit back this week against fresh North Korea-related sanctions by the United States, which targeted six Chinese firms and one individual for supporting Pyongyang’s weapons programme. It called on Washington to “immediately correct its mistake” of enacting these sanctions, opening Beijing to renewed criticism that it has been reluctant to exert greater pressure on its authoritarian neighbour. China has increasingly had to contend with its complicated relationship with the reclusive regime amid the growing international chorus for sanctions against North Korea.

North Korea Fires Missile Over Japan (2017-08-29)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun and David E. Sanger) Pyongyang carried out one of its most provocative missile tests in recent years, prompting Japan to issue an alert for residents to take cover.

The Real Risk on the Korean Peninsula (2017-08-29)
(East Asia Forum, By Richard C. Bush) There is general agreement in Washington — and Seoul and Tokyo — that East Asia and the world will be a more dangerous place once North Korea achieves its declared goal of being able to hit the continental United States with nuclear weapons. But what is the danger, specifically? It is less about the actual ability of North Korea to hit the continental United States with a nuclear weapon. Rather, the real danger stems from the possibility of weakened alliances and unchecked escalation in the Korean Peninsula that could spiral out of control.

Other Regional Issues

Trump Swings a Wrecking Ball at US–Asia Relations (2017-08-27)
(East Asia Forum, By T.J. Pempel) Few analysts in the United States or East Asia anticipated the speed with which the Trump administration would swing a wrecking ball into the complex and longstanding machinery of US relations with the Asia Pacific. Yet in its first six months, it is well on its way to eviscerating many of the most valuable tools in the United States’ diplomatic toolbox.

Trump’s America in Asia: Absent Hands on Board the Ship of State
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) Asian governments — from allies like Japan, South Korea or Australia to critically important partners like China, Indonesia in ASEAN or India — seek, above all else, coherence and consistency as they deal with any new US administration. These are both commodities in short supply in Mr Trump’s White House.

A Pacifist Japan Starts to Embrace the Military
(New York Times, By Motoko Rich) As the North Korean missile threat grows, there are signs that Japan’s citizens are moving away from the country’s postwar pacifism.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

Xi Faces One of His Greatest Tests Yet – China’s Environment
(South China Morning Post, By Wang Xiangwei) Now Xi’s attempts to impose his own style of governance are being sorely tested by his determination to confront one of the most severe, yet long downplayed, challenges facing the country – ecology.

Chinese Universities Tighten Ideological Control of Teaching Staff (2017-08-28)
(South China Morning Post, By Nectar Gan) A group of China’s top universities have set up Communist Party departments to oversee the political thinking of their teaching staff after the colleges were criticised amid the government’s tightening ideological control on campuses. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party’s powerful disciplinary watchdog, last week published “rectification reports” on eight top-tier universities it inspected this year.

China's Foreign Relations

Fears Over China’s Push to Extend Communist Party’s Reach Inside Foreign Firms (2017-08-24)
(Reuters) Late last month, executives from more than a dozen top European companies in China met in Beijing to discuss their concerns about the growing role of the ruling Communist Party in the local operations of foreign firms, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions. President Xi Jinping’s efforts to strengthen the party’s role throughout Chinese society have reached the China operations of foreign companies, and executives at some of those entities don’t like the resulting demands they are facing.

Ten Years On, Where To Now for China’s Sovereign Wealth Fund?
(South China Morning Post, By Frank Tang) Outwardly the fund projects itself as a long-term financial investor seeking to maximise profits, with a firewall between its overseas operations and domestic subsidiary Central Huijin Investment, which controls large stakes in China’s big four state-owned banks, major insurers and brokerages. But “some of the fund’s decisions are politicised” given the presence of officials in its senior management ranks according to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Its engagement in strategic sectors, coordination with state firms and economic diplomacy also suggest that its motives are “not strictly commercial”.

What Type of East Asian Order Will China Accept? (2017-08-28)
(East Asia Forum, By Huang Jing) China wants to keep these two games separate and is firmly against ‘internationalisation’ of the South China Sea disputes. Instead, it has adopted a two-track strategy, taking a multilateral approach to manage tensions and promote joint development of contested territories, while insisting on a bilateral approach to resolving the disputes. Meanwhile, Beijing has skilfully manipulated the ‘friendly countries’ in Southeast Asia to prevent a unified ASEAN position on the issue.

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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New Publication Understanding China’s New Diplomacy: Silk Roads and Bullet Trains by Gerald Chan (Edward Elgar Publishing)
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New Publication "Understanding President Trump's Taiwan Policy" by John F. Copper (American Journal of Chinese Studies)
New Publication "Prospects for Taiwan Maintaining Its Autonomy under Chinese Pressure" by Denny Roy (Asian Survey)
New Publication Takashi Inoguchi and Richard Estes: "The History of Well-Being in East Asia: From Global Conflict to Global Leadership" in The Pursuit of Human Well-Being: The Untold Global History by Estes, Richard J. and Sirgy, Joseph (eds.) (Springer)
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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)
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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)
New Publication Religion and the Regime: Cooperation and Conflict in Contemporary Russia and China by Karrie J. Koesel (World Politics)
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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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