::: TSR Weekly Report
2018-02-06 | NO.41(57) 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
Lawmakers Urge Measures to Help Taiwanese in China Return for New Year (2018-01-31)
(CNA, By Liu Kuan-ting and Evelyn Kao) Following the cancellation of two Mainland Chinese airlines' plans for extra flights between China and Taiwan over the Lunar New Year holiday, lawmakers have asked the government to do whatever it must to ensure that Taiwanese citizens living in mainland China come home for the holiday. The Mainland Affairs Council has stated that the next move in the diplomatic crisis must come from China.

SEF Offers Tips on How to Get Home from China for Lunar New Year (2018-01-31)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and William Yen) The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), an office run by the Mainland Affairs Council, had several pieces of advice for Taiwanese citizens trying to get home from China for the Lunar New Year holiday. Although extra flights were cancelled, there were still seats available on some scheduled flights and approved extra flights. Furthermore, the CAA is looking to increase capacity by using larger aircraft on some of the flights.

Beijing Says Plenty of Space Separates Taiwan Flights amid Route Row (2018-01-31)
(Reuters) Beijing rebuffed Taipei’s objections in a deepening row over the opening of new flight paths in the Taiwan Strait, saying on Wednesday that the space separating routes over the waterway was more than is mandated by international standards.

Airlines Cancel Flight Requests (2018-01-31)
(Taipei Times, By Shelley Shan) XiamenAir and China Eastern Airlines have both cancelled their requests for additional flights across the Taiwan Strait in light of the Taiwanese government's refusal to approve them. This comes on the coattails of a diplomatic crisis between China and Taiwan after China unilaterally established four new flight paths that cross through the Taiwan Strait. XiamenAir accused the Taiwanese government of using people's interests as bargaining chips in a political play.

Direction of Beijing-Taipei Ties May Be Determined by Handling of Air Route Dispute, Taiwan Says (2018-02-01)
(Reuters) A dispute with mainland China over its opening of new air routes near Taiwan will determine future relations between Taipei and Beijing, Taiwan’s government said amid a deepening disagreement that could strand thousands of people over an important holiday.

Council States Plan to Close Loopholes in Maritime Law (2018-02-04)
(Taipei Times, By Lee Hsin-fang and Jonathan Chin) The Mainland Affairs Council has proposed giving maritime law enforcement agents more power to seize Chinese ships suspected of illegal activities. This amendment would close the loopholes within the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

Taiwan Closely Monitoring Report of China-Vatican Breakthrough (2018-02-01)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Taiwan is monitoring the dialogue between China and the Holy See amid media reports that the Vatican has made concessions to Beijing on the appointment of bishops in China. Even if such concessions are made, the head of the Department of European Affairs under the ministry of Foreign Affairs Anna Kao said there are still too many differences between Beijing and the Vatican. She compared this to Taiwan, who has democracy, freedom, and a vibrant Catholic community. 

Handling of M503 Issue 'Suicidal': Ex-Minister (2018-02-02)
(Taipei Times, By Shelley Shan) The Former Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Chien-yu said that Taiwan's handling of the M503 controversy involving northbound flight routes was "suicidal." He stated that such actions could only hurt Taiwanese currently in China.

Macau Adds 24 Flights to Taiwan for Lunar New Year Holiday (2018-02-05)
(CNA, By Feng Chao and Ko Lin) Air Macau, Juneyao Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines have all launched additional flights from Macau to several other locations, including Taiwan, for the Lunar New Year holiday. The extra flights will begin on Sunday and last until the end of February.

Many Taiwanese Students in China Without Tickets Home for Holiday (2018-02-05)
(CNA, By Wang Cheng-chung and Flor Wang) In the latest development in the cross-strait aviation dispute, almost 1000 Taiwanese students in China do not possess air tickets to come home for the Lunar New Year holiday after the cancellation of several extra scheduled flights across the Taiwan Strait. The Taiwanese would not allow approval for these extra flights and is receiving criticism from KMT lawmakers. The government says it is willing to use military aircraft to fly students back home for the holidays.

ARATS Vice President Expounds on ‘One Country, Two Systems’ (2018-01-24)
(National Policy Foundation/China Times) The vice president of the Mainland-based Association of Relations Across the Taiwan Strait stated that the "one China, two systems" approach could be applied to Taiwan. He said that the policy had been looked down upon in Taiwan because the KMT rejected it and the DPP focused on independence instead.

Three Scenarios for Taiwan’s Future--- -Really? (2018-02-06)
(Eurasian Studies Quarterly (2), By John F. Copper (re-posted with the permission of the publisher)) Unfortunately, those who debate Taiwan’s future almost always assume it will take one of three paths or directions going forward: joining with China, becoming legally or officially independent, or neither--meaning maintaining the status quo. I say it is unfortunate because these choices have become very political and have seriously polarized Taiwan socially and in other ways, even the choice of maintaining the status quo. They also face major obstacles and are all quite unrealistic in some important ways.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
President Calls for Unity on Diplomatic Front (2018-01-31)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Evelyn Kao) President Tsai Ing-wen urged all Taiwanese political parties to work together and show a united front on diplomatic issues and Taiwan's foreign relations, even though the parties may differ on domestic policy. She found her inspiration from a speech she made in the Solomon Islands in late 2017, where all political parties came together to support a diplomatic cause. She further expressed the importance of the Solomon Islands as a diplomatic partner for Taiwan and detailed the two countries' agreements together.

Taiwan to Promote Central Bank Deputy to Governor (2018-02-01)
(Bloomberg News) Taiwan’s central bank deputy governor, Yang Chin-long, is to succeed the bank’s 79-year-old governor Perng Fai-nan this month, signalling continuity in monetary policy. Yang, 64, would replace Perng, cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung told a briefing in Taipei on Thursday.

Taiwan Lawmakers on Vatican Trip ‘Hoping for Audience with Pope Francis’ (2018-02-01)
(Agence France-Presse) Taiwanese lawmakers are seeking an audience with Pope Francis as concerns grow over Taipei’s diplomatic relations with the Vatican, after it reportedly promoted bishops endorsed by Beijing. The Holy See is one of only 20 countries that recognise Taipei instead of Beijing, but Pope Francis has sought to improve ties with Beijing since he took office in 2013.

Ko Speaks at European Parliament (2018-02-02)
(CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko-Wen je spoke of Taipei's acceptance of different cultures and ideas at the European Parliament. He addressed more than 30 members of the Parliament, speaking of how Taipei differs from other Chinese cities in acceptance of diversity.

Taiwan-U.S. Ties Making Strides: AIT Washington Chief (2018-02-03)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng and Evelyn Kao) Speaking at a Lunar New Year luncheon for overseas Taiwanese in Washington, Managing Director of the Washington Office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said U.S.-Taiwan relations made significant strides over the past year. These included approval of a major arms sale to Taiwan and establishing the U.S. Global Entry program for Taiwan passport holders.

Taiwan Signs US Contract for Radar Servicing: Source (2018-02-03)
(Taipei Times, By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin) Taiwan and the United States have signed an agreement detailing the maintenance and repair services for Taiwan's US-made land-based phased-array radar system. This radar installation was commissioned in 2012 and has the ability to detect, track, and analyze missile launches with a maximum range of 5,000 km.

Ko Tours Warsaw, Meets with Mayor (2018-02-03)
(CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je met with Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz while he visited the Polish capital. Ko's delegation took part in closed-door discussions with Gronkiewicz-Waltz and her team, exchanging views on the development of the two cities. Ko stated after the meeting that Poland is growing at a fast pace economically and will become a springboard for Taiwanese investors looking to enter the European market.

Trump Urged to Stand Firm Against China on Taiwan Issue: Report (2018-02-04)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Leaf Jiang) Taiwanese officials are calling on the U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration to increase support for Taiwan amid rising political pressure from China. A report released by Politico stated that Taiwanese officials have been pleading for Trump's protection on the grounds that Beijing has stepped up its political and military intimidation against Taipei.

Taiwan Signs Two Cooperation Pacts With Caribbean Allies (2018-02-04)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan and William Yen) Foreign Minister David Lee witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements with two Caribbean allies when he visited Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. One of the agreements is meant to enhance personnel training and exchange of intelligence to help combat cross-border crime. The other is a diabetes prevention cooperation agreement, signed with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Presidential Adviser Tipped for Think Tank (2018-02-04)
(Taipei Times, By Lee Hsin-fang) A new think tank called the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation will begin operations next month at the earliest in an attempt to develop the New Southbound Policy of the Tsai administration. This think tank will work to develop ways to boost bilateral investment, technological, and educational exchanges with Taiwan's South Asian and ASEAN neighbors.

Ko Discusses Turkish Funding for Third Mosque on Last Stop of European Tour (2018-02-05)
(Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia) Ko Wen-je, Mayor of Taipei, met with several Turkish legislators in Istanbul after Turkey expressed interest in providing funding for a third mosque in Taipei. The Turkish delegation meeting with Ko also expressed their thanks for Taiwanese funding of clinics and computer classrooms in Turkey. Ko said he would bring the matter to further discussion.

Delegation Seeks to Boost Exchanges with Philippines (2018-02-05)
(Taipei Times/CNA) A delegation from Taiwan to the Philippines is seeking to boost exchanges in professional training and industrial development. They are looking for more academic exchanges and to find out how to attract Taiwanese and Filipinos to work and study in each other's countries. They are today scheduled to visit the Asian Development Bank.

Is Taiwan About to Lose Another Diplomatic Ally? (2018-02-01)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) The Vatican is Taiwan's sole European diplomatic ally and the only developed country to recognize the ROC over Beijing. However, reports have recently surfaced that the Vatican and Beijing have reached a breakthrough in discussions regarding the appointment of bishops in China. The news has Taiwanese people and the government worried that the Vatican may soon switch diplomatic recognition to the PRC.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
Military's Annual Pre-Holiday Drills Held in Hualien (2018-01-31)
(Taipei Times/AFP) The Ministry of National Defense held a live-fire simulation exercise demonstrating the military's ability to respond in the event of an invasion. They did not specify that it would be to respond to an invasion from China, but rather clarified it as an essential part of Taiwanese national defense strategy. The drills are held once a year before Lunar New Year.

China Carries Out First Run of Unmanned Vessel as It Seeks to Boost Maritime Security (2018-02-03)
(South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng) China has conducted the first run of an unmanned surface vehicle in its latest move to build up a blue-water navy that can support its maritime security. Military mouthpiece the People’s Liberation Army Daily reported on Friday that the Huster-68 had successfully conducted the run last month in Dongguan, Guangdong province.

China’s Military Fires Up World First in Revolutionary Rail Gun Technology (2018-02-06)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) China is believed to be testing the world’s first ship-mounted rail gun, a technology that military experts say has the potential to fire shells with enough force to destroy a warship and precision to shoot down a satellite. The controversial development comes as China seeks to transform its navy into a blue-water force capable of rivalling the United States and projecting power far from home shores.
U.S.-China Relations
Donald Trump Brands China a Military Rival in US Reboot of Great Power Strategy (2018-01-31)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) US President Donald Trump named China as a major US competitor on both economic and military fronts in his first state-of-the-union address, another sign that Washington is putting great power rivalry at the heart of its national strategy.

Beware of ‘Predatory’ Chinese Investment in the Americas, Warns Rex Tillerson  (2018-02-02)
(Associated Press) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday warned countries in the Western Hemisphere to beware of Chinese investment, saying it is reminiscent of European colonialism. He also derided Russia for selling weaponry to unfriendly, authoritarian governments in the region.

Xi Jinping Vows to Boost Ties with Uruguay after US Warning to Latin America (2018-02-03)
(South China Morning Post, By Kinling Lo) China has pledged to boost ties with Uruguay and defended its approach in Latin America following criticism from the US and amid uncertainty over a railway project. President Xi Jinping vowed to expand ties with Uruguay in a “comprehensive way” in a message sent to his Uruguayan counterpart Tabare Vasquez on Saturday to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties.

US Allies Aren’t Buying Its New Strategies to Confront China (2018-02-05)
(The Diplomat, By Bates Gill) US allies have been questioning how well the Trump administration's latest rhetoric and plans have been affecting the US's relationship with China, and many of them concede that China is ahead in the competition. They question much of the validity of the rhetoric and the financial sustainability of the plans. The US must work with its allies to rebuild the trust it has kept through actions, not just rhetoric.

Is This The Start of a US-China Trade War? (2018-02-06)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) After US President Trump announced that he would lay a tax on imported Chinese-made washing machines and solar panels, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce called it an "abuse of trade remedy measures." While we have not yet seen large measures being taken between the US and China, the increased rhetoric on both sides suggests potential for upsetting the stability currently achieved between both sides.

China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

The Chinese Communist Party's Experiment with Transparency
(The Diplomat, By Jamie P. Horsley) As a part of Xi Jinping's massive anti-corruption campaign, the CCP has passed several regulations requiring it to be more transparent. However, these transparency rules do not require party cadres' personal assets. The release of the "Open Party Regulations" still has an effect on the CCP, even if it is not without its faults.

Beijing and Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Courts Have Defended Its Freedoms. Is Beijing Changing That? (2018-02-05)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy) Since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule, its British-created courts have protected the rule of law that made Hong Kong special. Now there are concerns of interference by Beijing.

Hong Kong Democracy Activist Joshua Wong Wins Appeal against Jail Term over Protest in Run-Up to Occupy
(South China Morning Post, By Jasmine Siu) Student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung and two of his comrades-in-arms won a bittersweet appeal on Tuesday as Hong Kong’s top court unanimously quashed their jail terms but upheld strict sentencing guidelines for future illegal protests.

China's Foreign Relations

China’s Door Will Open ‘Wider and Wider’ to UK, Li Keqiang Tells Theresa May
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) China and Britain are looking at potential free-trade arrangements post-Brexit, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May said in Beijing on Wednesday. The two leaders also told reporters they would work together to open markets and build on their “golden era” in relations after they signed a dozen deals at the Great Hall of the People.

Xi Jinping Fails to Get Formal Backing from Theresa May on Belt and Road Plan (2018-02-01)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) President Xi Jinping called on China and Britain to show respect for each other’s “core interests” after Beijing failed to get a formal endorsement of its belt and road trade strategy from visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May. In talks with May on Thursday, Xi also said China and the UK should step up exchanges in areas from military to economic ties, but that the two nations must improve mutual understanding.

Why Is China Buying Up Europe’s Ports? (2018-02-02)
(Foreign Policy, By Keith Johnson) China’s trillion-dollar signature foreign-policy project, the Belt and Road Initiative, is often lampooned as just a fuzzy concept with little to show for it on the ground. But in bustling ports from Singapore to the North Sea, state-owned Chinese firms are turning the idea into a reality with a series of aggressive acquisitions that are physically redrawing the map of global trade and political influence.

Beijing Has Made ‘Relentless Efforts’ to Improve Ties with Vatican (2018-02-02)
(South China Morning Post, By Phila Siu and Mimi Lau) Beijing on Friday said it has made “relentless efforts” to improve ties with the Vatican, following a report that the two sides could sign a deal on the appointment of bishops within months.

Beijing Sends in New Envoy in Sign It Wants Bigger Role for Afghanistan in ‘New Silk Road’ (2018-02-02)
(South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng and Laura Zhou) Beijing is poised to step up security and economic engagement with Afghanistan, naming an official who has worked on President Xi Jinping’s signature trade initiative as its new envoy in Kabul. The appointment of Liu Jinsong as ambassador is a sign that Beijing wants the war-torn nation to play a bigger role in the strategy, observers said. Liu was raised in the northwest Xinjiang region and was a director of the Silk Road Fund established under the “Belt and Road Initiative”, a sprawling plan to boost trade and infrastructure links with nations from Asia to Africa and Europe.

Chinese Foreign Aid in East Asia During the Trump Era (2018-02-01)
(The Diplomat, By Li Jie Sheng) As the United States backs away from the global stage, China has filled that gap by providing lots of foreign aid to countries around the world, including throughout East Asia. However, several concerns question whether or not this means China can truly surpass the US, even as the US backs away.

Is China Inflicting a 'Century of Humiliation' on the World? (2018-02-04)
(The Diplomat, By Ben Lowsen) While China lays claim to both being an ancient and a present-day great power, it also claims that throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, it suffered a "century of humiliation" at the hands of foreign powers. However, some see China as doing the same to other countries in its newly powerful state. There are still several questions as to whether or not other countries will concede to China's pressure.

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

Taiwan Citizens Accused of Violating U.N. Sanctions on North Korea
(New York Times, By Chris Horton) The case comes after another Taiwanese citizen has faced accusations of conducting trade in violation of United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

Second Taiwan Businessman Questioned over North Korea Oil Sales (2018-02-02)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Another Taiwanese businessman has been questioned on suspicion of transporting oil to a North Korean buyer in the open seas, Taiwan prosecutors said on Friday. Chuang Chin-hung, 56, was questioned over the alleged sale of 7,000 tonnes of diesel oil to North Korea in December, prosecutors said. He was released on NT$2 million (US$68,400) bail and will face further questioning.

The Korea Hawk Who Wasn’t Hawkish Enough (2018-02-02)
(Foreign Policy, By Geoffrey Cain) In meetings with the White House, Cha reportedly had reservations about a preemptive “bloody nose” strike on North Korea that caused the administration to doubt his loyalty. But Cha isn’t a peacenik; he’s often described as a hawk, and he is well liked in both American and South Korean diplomatic circles. That Cha wasn’t hawkish enough for Trump has set off alarm bells in Seoul and Washington, where pundits took to social media to suggest this means Trump isn’t bluffing about a preemptive strike on North Korea, a strike that could set off a bloody, prolonged Second Korean War.

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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TSR received a favorable review by the Foreign Affairs (July/Aug 2000)
The Best of Asia-Pacific Web Award
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