::: TSR Weekly Report
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2017-11-27 | NO.41(47) 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
China Sets Ruling for Lee Ming-che on Tuesday: MAC (2017-11-25)
(Taipei Times, By Jake Chung) The Mainland Affairs Council announced that a Chinese court will make the ruling on Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che's trial on Tuesday of this week. The MAC has also contacted Lee's family and will be attempting to assist his family in visiting China to attend the verdict hearing. Lee had been arrested by the Chinese police in March and was initially accused in May of attempting to subvert state power.

Lee Ching-yu to Go to China for Sentencing (2017-11-27)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) Lee Ching-yu flew to Hunan Province Monday afternoon to be with her husband, Lee Ming-che, who will be sentenced by the Chinese government on Tuesday for "subverting state power." The Mainland Affairs Council has requested her smooth entry into China, the guarantee of the group's personal safety, and that Lee Ching-yu be allowed to visit her husband.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics

Government Urged to Act on Environment (2017-11-23)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) Environmental advocates have stated that the government has not kept up with its goals of reducing the country's dependence on nonrenewable energy sources and reducing air pollution levels. Taiwan's position on the UN's Climate Change Performance Index this year is lower than the position last year. The low score, according to Mom Loves Taiwan secretary-general Yang Shun-mei, was primarily due to high energy per capita use.

Taiwan's Foreign Relations

FEATURE: Advocate Wants to Break Cambodia's Poverty Cycle (2017-11-23)
(Taipei Times, By Liu Li-jen and Sherry Hsiao) Yang Wei-lin, a Taiwanese advocate for humanitarian aid, has set up a school in Cambodia where she pays for the education for poor rural Cambodian children. She says that providing children an education enables them to escape the potential of being sold into the labor market as child labor.

Taiwanese-Russian Tech Transfer Workshop Held (2017-11-24)
(CNA) Taiwan and Russia have held a workshop to introduce Russian technologies into Taiwanese academic and business fields. The workshop was meant to promote and focus on Russo-Taiwanese technological and scientific cooperation. Currently, exchanges and cooperation also are occurring between the two partners on environmental protection and sustainable development.

Ties With Vatican Remain 'Strong and Stable,' Foreign Affairs Ministry Says
 (2017-11-24)
(CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been closely monitoring exchanges between China and the Vatican after the two agreed to host an art exhibition together to build stronger ties. China and the Holy See have had disagreements in the past over the authority to appoint bishops and the Vatican's diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Report Calls for Caution on Visa-Free Entry Plans (2017-11-26)
(Taipei Times, By Sherry Hsiao) A new report released urged several government ministries to respond to criticisms and concerns expressed about the new plans to expand visa-free entry programs. These plans would grant visa-free entry to several Latin American allies, South Pacific allies, and some targeted countries under the New Southbound Policy. While the report acknowledged the promotion of the New Southbound Policy, it also took note of the concerns of greater illegal activities, including drug and sex trafficking, from nationals of several countries in question.

Southbound Nations Invested 23% More in Taiwan This Year
 (2017-11-26)
(Taipei Times, By Lee Hsin-fang) There has been a 22.85 percent increase in investment from the 18 nations targeted by Taiwan's New Southbound Policy since January of this year.

NIA Boosting Border Security: MOFA (2017-11-27)
(CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the government will be focusing on increasing border security following an increase in illegal activities conducted in Taiwan, allegedly by people entering through the expanded visa-free programs recently introduced. For example, following the introduction of visa-free entry for Thai citizens last year, sex and drug trafficking involving Thai citizens has increased. The expanded visa-free entry program is a part of President Tsai Ing-wen's New Southbound Policy.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
China’s New Military Leaders (2017-11-22)
(East Asia Forum, By James Char) Just as Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping had owed their political longevity to absolute authority over the Party’s armed servants, Xi — via a combination of psychological intimidation and institutional mechanisms, embodied respectively in his signature anti-corruption campaign and unprecedented military reforms — appears to have won the PLA’s backing to dominate China’s political landscape for the foreseeable future. In China, then as it is now, whoever commands the PLA controls the CCP.

China’s Evolving Approach to Nuclear War-Fighting (2017-11-22)
(The Diplomat, By James Johnson) For the most part, China's nuclear strategy so far has been defined primarily through no-first-use policies and minimal deterrence strategies. However, a shift to one of fitting into operational requirements to fight a war would signal a shift in China's longstanding nuclear policy, one sure to alarm Washington. This new approach stands in stark contrast to Beijing's official statements that it remains restrained in terms of nuclear warfare.
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Chinese Air Force Patrols over South China Sea ‘Show PLA’s Capacity to Breach Cold War Line of Containment’ (2017-11-24)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) A team of Chinese air force bombers has carried out a series of patrols over the disputed South China Sea, in an exercise the People’s Liberation Army said showed its capability to breach the cold war era line of containment. The air force said on Thursday that the exercises involved H-6K bombers flying over the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines and the Miyako Strait near the Japanese island of Okinawa in a series of training exercises.

A Defiant Map-Hunter Stakes Vietnam’s Claims in the South China Sea
 (2017-11-25)
(New York Times, By Mike Ives) He scoured the world for evidence to make his case, but a scholar now finds his government reluctant to challenge Beijing, its powerful rival.

The Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un ‘Snubs’ China in Failure to Repay Diplomatic Favour (2017-11-21)
(South China Morning Post, By Shi Jiangtao) The failure of North Korean and Chinese officials to arrange a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping’s envoy and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was a snub to Beijing and a further sign of strained ties between the communist neighbours, diplomatic observers said.

North Korea Accuses Trump of a ‘Serious Provocation’
 (2017-11-22)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) North Korea criticizes President Trump’s re-designation of it as a state sponsor of terrorism and vows to keep up its nuclear and missile programs.

South Korea Must Keep THAAD’s Prying Eyes Away from China, Foreign Minister Says (2017-11-22)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) Beijing has again urged Seoul to ensure that a US anti-missile system installed in southern South Korea not infringe on China’s security interests. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi issued the call over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in talks with his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha in Beijing on Wednesday. Wang said Seoul should be committed to its earlier statement of not joining the US-led regional missile defence system.

Other Regional Issues

PacNet #86 - Trump In Asia: A 'Rebalance' Toward Trade (2017-11-21)
(CSIS, By Satu Limaye) The trip has provided a bewildering message of impulses, priorities, pronouncements and tweets, but one theme stands out: The Trump administration intends to push for fair and reciprocal trade and economic practices from allies and nonallies alike.

US, Japan, India, Australia ... Is Quad the First Step to an Asian Nato?
 (2017-11-25)
(South China Morning Post, By Cary Huang) IT is no longer the “Asia-Pacific”, but the “Indo-Pacific”, at least, according to the United States and some of its allies. Such a change may not seem much on first glance, but these four letters are far more than a matter of semantics: they have the potential to create a seismic shift in the geopolitical landscape of the region.
U.S.-China Relations
U.S. Bribery Case Sheds Light on Mysterious Chinese Company (2017-11-21)
(New York Times, By Alexandra Stevenson) A Justice Department complaint alleges that a vast private Chinese conglomerate used commercial and diplomatic channels to bribe African officials and win contracts.

US and China Conclude Annual Military Safety Talks in Hawaii (2017-11-22)
(The Diplomat, By Steven Stashwick) Last week, the US and China had met in Honolulu to discuss safety issues of maritime and aviation engagement, as well as to ensure the professionalism of these interactions. However, transgressions still exist, showing a difference between actions and rhetoric on both sides. This goes to highlight the limits of promoting a sense of understanding in light of massive differences in policy on either side.

Beijing, Washington Move Closer to Trade War as Donald Trump-led Investigations Target China (2017-11-22)
(South China Morning Post, By Robert Delaney) Amid a push by lawmakers to apply greater scrutiny to Chinese investments in the US, multiple investigations launched by Trump’s administration targeting China threatened to destabilise Sino-US close economic and cultural ties, which have underpinned prosperity for the Asia-Pacific region for decades, trade officials and analysts interviewed by the South China Morning Post said.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China's Domestic Politics

China’s Political Culture: Assessing ‘Xi Jinping Thought’
 (2017-11-28)
(The Diplomat, By Mercy A. Kuo) Dr. Chongyi Feng offers new insights into President Xi Jinping's concept of "socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era" and its inclusion into the CCP Constitution.

China's Foreign Relations

China to Play Bigger Role in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions, Begins Drills (2017-11-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) China has started training peacekeeping troops at one of its bases used for special operations forces, according to the People’s Liberation Army. Troops and key commanders took part in a two-day drill from Thursday at the Queshan Combined Arms Training Base in Zhumadian, southern Henan province, the PLA said in a statement, without giving further details.

Navy Aircraft With 11 Aboard Crashes Into Waters Off Japan
 (2017-11-22)
(New York Times, By Motoko Rich) Eight people were rescued and a search was underway for the other three, the Navy’s Seventh Fleet said. It was the fleet’s fifth accident this year.

China’s Premier Says Ties with Japan ‘Gradually Improving’ (2017-11-22)
(Kyodo) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says his countries ties with Japan are “gradually improving” and the two nations should further deepen cooperation. Li made the remarks during a meeting with a group of Japanese business leaders in Beijing on Tuesday, amid increasing signs that Asia’s two biggest economies are on course to repair their relations at a faster space.

China Offers Loans to Djibouti as They Vow to Establish Closer Ties (2017-11-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) China vowed to establish a strategic partnership with Djibouti, the site of its first overseas military base, as leaders of the two countries signed an agreement on Thursday for Beijing to provide an undisclosed amount of loans to the Horn of Africa nation. The framework pact for preferential loans was signed during Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh’s three-day visit to China, where he met President Xi Jinping after being greeted with a military parade and flag-waving children.

India’s Regional Power Credentials Under Threat by China (2017-11-24)
(The Diplomat, By Ana Pararajasingham) By allowing three Chinese ships to dock in Male, the Maldives have shown to India that they will allow greater Chinese influence on the island nation. Beijing responded by funding large infrastructure projects throughout the nation, cementing its participation in the Maritime Belt and Road Initiative. This greater influence is reminiscent of China's gain of influence in Sri Lanka during its Civil War, and both instances are causes for worry for India, the current regional power.

Is Beijing Finally Letting Chinese Firms Off the Overseas Investment Leash? (2017-11-26)
(South China Morning Post, By Frank Tang) Beijing is signalling that it might start encouraging private manufacturers to expand overseas again, now that the peak of the capital exodus appears to be over. In a joint guideline released last week, 16 Chinese ministries pledged to support private manufacturers through industrial upgrades and offshore growth. The pledges include help for the businesses to register trademarks overseas.

China’s Under-20 Footballers to Return Home after German Tour is Suspended over Tibet Protests (2017-11-27)
(Agence France-Presse) The Chinese FA will bring its under-20 team will return home from Germany after indefinitely suspending its tour over protests by activists who unfurled Tibetan flags at a game. The youth team had been scheduled to play a series of friendlies against German fourth-tier sides as part of a project to improve China’s chances at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But the project has proved controversial and become a diplomatic headache for Berlin and Beijing after a pro-Tibetan independence protest during a match in Mainz on November 18.
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