::: TSR Weekly Report
2017-11-13 | NO.41(45) 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
What Xi Jinping said about Taiwan at the 19th Party Congress (2017-10-19)
(Taipei Forum, By Richard C. Bush) In the opening speech to the 19th Party Congress, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed many of the historical beliefs towards cross-strait issues, but he did not reaffirm several important ones, including popular opinion on the Taiwan issue. He did, however, reiterate that a unified China, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, was the only way to restore China to its historical glory. Xi mentioned that he would respect the way of life and societal structure in Taiwan, but he failed to say that he would respect Taiwanese public opinion.

Xi Jinping’s Taiwan Policy in the New Era
(Taiwan Security Research, By Dr. Su Chi) Clearly the weight of “peaceful reunification” and the importance of the “hearts and minds of Taiwan people” are reduced in Beijing’s policy toward Taiwan in Xi’s “New Era.

Cross-Strait War Not Inevitable: US Academic
(CNA) An analyst at the US think tank Project 2049 Ian Easton said war between China and Taiwan is not inevitable if the US helps Taiwan build up its defense capabilities. It is important that both Taiwan and the US view China's growing power as a serious threat and respond appropriately.

Taiwan Policymaking in Xi Jinping’s “New Era” (2017-11-10)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Lauren Dickey) To understand the “new era” in Chinese policymaking toward Taiwan requires assessments of both personnel and policy. The introduction of new blood is intended to enhance the Party’s ability to achieve its agenda toward Taiwan. Those selected to fill the ranks of the CCLGTW—appointments likely to be formalized at, if not before, the Lianghui (两会, National People’s Congress and CPPCC meetings) in March 2018—are those either trusted by Xi or with experiences relevant to implementing Taiwan policy.

Principles Versus Policies in Cross-Strait Relations (2017-11-11)
(East Asia Forum, By James Lee) The shift to a DPP one China policy would not require a major concession on the question of Taiwan’s status, but it would come symbolically closer to the one China principle than any formulation that the Tsai administration has attempted so far. By acknowledging (though not recognising) Beijing’s position that Taiwan is part of China and by making a commitment not to pursue a unilateral change in the status quo, the Tsai administration would be able to extend an olive branch to Beijing without compromising on its core principles.

Government Again Calls on Beijing to Improve Relations
(CNA) The Taiwanese government once again asked Beijing to improve cross-strait relations following US President Donald Trump's visit to China as part of his Asia tour. Xi Jinping had told Trump that the Taiwan issue was at the core of China-US relations, and the Mainland Affairs Council agreed that strengthening cross-strait ties were consistent with strengthening of China-US ties. Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng further said that Taipei is willing to find a new mode of interaction with Beijing.

How Beijing and Taipei Are Teaming Up in Space to Track Earthquakes (2017-11-12)
(South China Morning Post, By Stephen Chen) Beijing and Taipei will join hands in space to monitor the electromagnetic signals that can precede earthquakes following a landmark intergovernmental agreement last month. The agreement, reached by the governments on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, will see the mainland give Taiwan partial access to data collected by an electromagnetic surveillance satellite it will launch next year. In exchange, Taiwan will share some of its data with the mainland.

Taiwan Tells US It Does Not Want to Cause Trouble in Taiwan Strait (2017-11-13)
(Reuters) Taiwan has assured the United States it has no intention of causing trouble in the Taiwan Strait, the self-ruled island’s envoy to a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders said on Monday. The comments by James Soong Chu-yu came after he said in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang on the weekend that he had good exchanges with both US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during informal moments between summit events.

Taiwan is an Independent, but not Normal Nation: Ko
(Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia) In response to questions on cross-strait relations posed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at the Taipei City Council, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said Taiwan is an independent, sovereign state and is not a part of China. He said he can accept being culturally Chinese, but that Taiwan is not politically a part of China, adding that he would rather be viewed as Taiwanese.

Taiwan Losing Out, Should Start China Talks: Ex-Minister (2017-11-14)
(Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia) Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou said that Taiwan should start political negotiations with China soon because its importance as a bargaining chip against China is decreasing. Universal values like democracy and freedom which used to play a large role in international relations were not mentioned during Trump's Asia trip; instead, talks focused on economic relations. Ou believes Taiwan needs to confront China continuously in order to remain an important factor in US-China relations.

Beijing Bars Taipei from United Nations Climate Talks, Island Says (2017-11-14)
(Reuters) Taiwan’s environment minister was stopped from attending an annual UN climate meeting under pressure from Beijing despite having credentials as a non-governmental participant, the island said. Environmental Protection Agency Minister Lee Ying-yuan was planning to attend a United Nations climate change meeting in Germany, the island’s foreign ministry said in a statement late on Monday.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwanese Fighter Jet Goes Missing Above East China Sea (2017-11-08)
(AP) The Mirage-2000 belonging to Taiwan has disappeared in the East China Sea during a routine patrol. China's Xinhua News Agency says navy ships and more than a dozen aircrafts have been dispatched to locate the fighter with no results.

Taiwan-Solomon Islands Ties Not Affected by Ouster
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that despite the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare's loss in a vote of confidence, Taiwan-Solomon Islands relations would remain unaffected. A new prime minister will be elected later this month in the Solomon Islands.

Soong Set to Meet with at Least Five Leaders at APEC
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) People's First Party Chairman James Soong will be holding bilateral meetings with leaders from at least five nations, although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to report which nations specifically will be meeting. The summit will be held until Saturday in Da Nang, Vietnam.

KMT Criticizes Cost of Tsai's Pacific Trip
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin and Stacy Hsu) KMT lawmakers accused President Tsai Ing-wen of ignoring the financial issues Taiwan is currently dealing with by spending excessively on her diplomatic visit to several Pacific Ocean allies. Furthermore, they questioned her motives for stopping in Hawaii during her trip.

Wu Will Not Meet with Tsai, KMT Spokeswoman Says
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) The spokeswoman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said the Party Chairman Wu Den-yih will not meet with President Tsai Ing-wen until she stops her political persecution of the KMT. This is in response to Tsai's invitation last month to meet with the leaders of all the main political parties.

US Lawmakers Introduce Taiwan Security Act
(CNA) Two Republican members of the US House of Representatives has introduced a Taiwan Security Act to improve military cooperation and exchanges between the US and Taiwan. This act echoes a bill introduced earlier in July in the US Senate.

Tsai Eyes Expanded Cooperation with Saint Lucia
(CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen told a delegation visiting Taiwan from Saint Lucia that she wishes to see greater cooperation and support between Taiwan and Saint Lucia in the near future. She reiterated the close friendship between the two countries. The representative from Saint Lucia specifically cited business ties as an aspect of cooperation he looked favorably upon.

Taiwan Urged to Move Fast to Join Regional Trade Deal
(CNA) Taiwan has been urged by its spokesperson to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) to conduct policy reforms to be ready to join the newly proposed Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTPP is a new version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) created after the U.S.'s formal withdrawal in January.

Tsai Praises TPP Progress at APEC
(CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen affirmed Taiwan's ambition to be a part of regional economic integration by praising the efforts of the APEC leaders to create a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. Tsai said Taiwan will continue to improve its industrial structure to show its capability to be a part of such a partnership and to increase its international visibility.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
Trump Says U.S. Won't End Arms Sales to Taiwan: Report (2017-11-14)
(CNA) U.S. President Donald Trump made clear to Beijing that Washington will continue to supply Taiwan with defensive weapons. Trump arrived in China on November 8 as a part of his Asian tour, but neither party mentioned Taiwan at the joint press conference the following day. The subject was supposedly brought up during the meeting.
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

‘I’m a Very Good Arbitrator’: Donald Trump Offers to Mediate on South China Sea Disputes (2017-11-12)
(Reuters) US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he was prepared to mediate between claimants to the South China Sea, which include China and Vietnam. “If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know,” Trump said in comments at the start of a meeting with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi.

China, Vietnam Sign Cooperation Pacts in Bid to Play Down South China Sea Tensions
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) China and Vietnam have signed a series of deals to increase cooperation as the two nations move to play down tensions over their rival claims to parts of the South China Sea. The deals were signed on Monday as Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up a state visit to Vietnam, his first since the last month’s Communist Party national congress. However, analysts said the maritime disputes were still likely be a source of friction between the two neighbours.

South China Sea Code of Conduct Talks to Help Stabilise Region, Says China’s Premier (2017-11-14)
(Reuters) China’s agreement to begin discussions with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on the fine print of a code of conduct framework for the disputed South China Sea will be a “stabiliser” for the region, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said. “China’s greatest hope is for peace and stability in the South China Sea,” Li told Asean leaders in Manila.

Other Regional Issues

Vietnam, in a Bind, Tries to Chart a Path Between U.S. and China (2017-11-11)
(New York Times, By Hannah Beech) It is hard to overstate the long history of Vietnamese antipathy toward the Chinese. But with the U.S. apparently withdrawing from the region, Hanoi can’t ignore Beijing.

Trump to Asia: Unite on North Korea, but Go It Alone on Trade
(New York Times, By Mark Landler) Reconciling the contradictory messages to the region may determine the near-term fate of the United States as a Pacific power.

Trans-Pacific Trade Partners Are Moving On, Without the U.S.
(New York Times, By Alexandra Stevenson and Motoko Rich) As President Trump dismissed global trade talks, the other members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership revived a major multinational agreement that would include American allies.

Duterte Warms to Trump, but Keeps His Focus on China
(New York Times, By Richard C. Paddock and Felipe Villamor) The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, is “talking as friends” with the American president, but his long-term goal is a closer relationship with the Chinese.

World’s Eyes on Asian Summits
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) There is no doubt that the region faces a range of crucial political and security challenges. But zero-sum security relationships can be nested within positive-sum economic relationships in the region. That is why APEC is an appropriate setting in which to make progress on some more difficult political security issues.

Trump Lauds ‘Great Relationship’ With Duterte in Manila (2017-11-13)
(New York Times, By Julie Hirschfeld Davis) Human rights issues “briefly came up” as the leaders met in a friendly session on the sidelines of a summit meeting in the Philippines.

Wary China on ‘Quad’ Bloc Watch after Officials from US, Japan, India and Australia Meet on Asean Sidelines (2017-11-13)
(South China Morning Post, By Shi Jiangtao and Laura Zhou) Beijing cautioned on Monday against an alliance between the United States and three of its regional allies after officials from the four countries met for the first time in Manila, raising prospects for a bloc to counter China’s strategic expansion. In response to Sunday’s meeting of officials from the US, India, Australia and Japan, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said regional cooperation should neither be politicised nor exclusionary.

Trump’s Mixed Messages Fail to Reassure Asian Allies
(New York Times, By Mark Landler) The president’s marathon trip left many unsure about America’s staying power and fed a growing sense that China drives the region’s agenda.

Freedom and Openness in the Asia Pacific Free and Open for Interpretation (2017-11-14)
(East Asia Forum, By James Laurenceson) Last month US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made it clear that (North Korea aside) the United States regarded China as the main country undermining its ‘free and open’ vision, while a quadrangle of the United States, India, Japan and Australia were hailed as its core defenders.

Donald Trump’s Early Summit Exit Casts Doubt over US Ties to Asia (2017-11-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou and Viola Zhou) US President Donald Trump has again raised doubts about his country’s commitment to the region by opting abruptly to skip a full session of an Asian summit and head home. Trump had been expected wrap up his marathon 12-day regional tour by attending the main session of the East Asia Summit in Manila on Tuesday, a gathering that was dominated by discussions on North Korea and trade. But Trump left for home from the Philippines after a lunch with other state leaders because meetings were running about two hours late.
U.S.-China Relations
Trump in Asia: China Determined to Win the Protocol Race (2017-11-08)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) The Chinese Foreign Ministry has announced that they will be giving a "state visit plus" reception to US President Donald Trump when he visits China. He has already been treated to the best Japan and South Korea have to offer, which have been widely broadcast on Chinese media. China wishes to show to the world that it can beat its Asian competitors in the "protocol race," where each country attempts to woo President Trump with its histories and culture.

Trump's Trip to China: Poor Optics and Missed Opportunities
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) While President Trump's visit to China looked like it ended with a strong relationship between Presidents Trump and Xi, the reality of the US-China relationship is that numerous differences and issues still plague the countries. Many of the issues discussed were giant wins for China, and President Trump missed out on many opportunities to express US interests and achieve some of his own goals.

Trump in Asia: Did China Win?
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Following US President Donald Trump's visit to China, China has won a big victory in the relationship between the two countries. Following his "state visit plus" treatment, President Trump highly praised his Chinese counterpart. Furthermore, China and the US signed a record number of economic deals during the visit. China proved during the visit that through a combination of patience and money, they can achieve any of their goals.

APEC 2017: Why Trump’s Presidency Is an 'Enormous Gift' to China
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) At the APEC CEO summit, US President Donald Trump stated that he would continue his "America First" policy while attacking several multilateral institutions as well as the concept of them itself. However, without directly saying so, much of Trump's rhetoric was aimed towards China. However, given how different Trump's tone was at the conference compared to his tone in Beijing, Asia's anxiety regarding Trump's views have spiked. China has used this as an opportunity to promote its own pro-globalization view, which was much more appealing to the world.

Susan Rice: Trump Is Making China Great Again
(New York Times, By Susan Rice) In China, the wheels began to come off President Trump's diplomatic bus. The Chinese leadership played President Trump like a fiddle, catering to his insatiable ego and substituting pomp and circumstance for substance.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

Chinese President Demands 'Absolute Loyalty' From Military
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) The Central Military Commission, headed by President Xi Jinping, released a set of guidelines that demanded "absolute loyalty" from the military to the President. The concept of the CMC Chairman Responsibility system had been floated since President Xi first took office in 2014, but it was finally added to the Constitution during the 19th Party Congress.

Is China Bidding Farewell to Separation of Party and Government? (2017-11-08)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) In an article published by Wang Qishan, a very high-level CCP official who has held high-level positions in the government, Wang described the separation of Party and state as one of the primary issues that undermined CCP leadership in recent years. He has earlier described the split as nonexistent, preferring to think of it solely as a division of functions. The idea of the separation of Party and government was first launched at the 13th Party Congress under Deng Xiaoping.

Has Xi Jinping Become “Emperor for Life”? (2017-11-10)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Willy Wo-Lap Lam) The just-ended 19th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress has confirmed Xi Jinping’s status as China’s “Emperor for Life.” The 64-year-old “core leader” has filled the country’s highest-ruling councils—the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC)—with his cronies and loyalists.

CCP Revises Constitution For a “New Era” (2017-11-10)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Peter Wood) On October 24, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) issued a revised version of its constitution (中国共产党章程). Since the current version adopted in 1982, it has been amended several times, including in 1987, 1992 and 2012. As the foundational document of China’s ruling political party—and in practice more significant than the national constitution—the revisions act as an important coda to the results of the recently concluded 19th Party Congress and point out where China is likely headed for the next five years.

China's Foreign Relations

Chinese Premier to Visit the Philippines to Strengthen Ties
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will become the first Chinese premier to visit the Philippines in ten years. He was invited by Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte to attend the East Asian Summit. Li will also be attending several other high-level meetings while in the Philippines.

Is China’s Belt and Road Initiative Increasing Crime and Terrorism? (2017-11-07)
(The Diplomat, By Philip Dubow) While the Belt and Road Initiative is an incredibly ambitious project undertaken by President Xi Jinping, an urgent concern of the project should be to see how it may be used to combat the crime and terrorism it has led to. These come largely from the trade routes it establishes, which follow existing trafficking routes which may be used for the drug trade. If the Belt and Road Initiative continues without addressing these issues, the world may not remain as committed to the initiative as China is.

One Belt One Road and East Africa: Beyond Chinese Influence (2017-11-10)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Cobus van Staden) From its earliest iterations, OBOR was envisioned as both connecting regional hubs to China and connecting them to each other. Since to its coining in 2013, Chinese government statements have consistently called for greater regional integration, and emphasized the provision of trans-frontier transportation and logistics networks as key to the entire project (NDRC, March 30, 2015). Even if one takes the often grandiose official OBOR rhetoric with a grain of salt, it is worth noting that the initiative was articulated as a series of “interlinked regional integrations that ultimately translate into a link with Beijing.

Behind the Scenes, Communist Strategist Presses China’s Rise (2017-11-13)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) Wang Huning, a close adviser to the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, has brought a steadiness of vision and purpose to China’s rivalry with the United States.

China-led Regional Trade Pact Tries to Make Ground as Restyled TPP Pushes On Without US (2017-11-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou and Liu Zhen) The leaders of the 16 countries that signed up to a China-led trade pact sought to make progress on the deal during an Asean business summit in the Philippines capital Manila on Tuesday. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a regional free-trade agreement supported by the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, along with China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. However, after 20 rounds of negotiations, the details of the deal remain under discussion.

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor

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