::: TSR Weekly Report
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2018-02-13 | NO.41(58) 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 Offers to Provide Taiwan with Earthquake Relief Aid (2018-02-07)
(CNA, By Lin Ke-lun and Evelyn Kao) China's Taiwan Affairs Office announced that they will be sending Taiwan disaster relief aid to assist in rebuilding after the earthquake in Hualien County. An emergency response mechanism has been activated to better understand the impact the earthquake has had on people's lives and to discover what can be done to help. Chinese authorities are further seeking information on Chinese nationals visiting Taiwan at the time.

Taipei Rejects Beijing’s Offer of Help with Earthquake Rescue Mission - Just before Second Quake (2018-02-07)
(South China Morning Post, By SCMP Staff and Lawrence Chung) Taiwan turned down an offer from Beijing on Wednesday to send a rescue team to the island after a powerful earthquake hit the coastal city of Hualien on Tuesday, killing at least seven people and injuring 257 others.

Taiwan Government Declines Relief Aid from China, Foreign Countries  (2018-02-08)
(CNA, Yeh Su-ping, Lin Ke-lun, Miao Zong-han and Evelyn Kao) Taiwan's central government declined disaster relief aid from China, stating that it had sufficient rescue personnel and supplies at its disposal. It said Taiwan only accepted aid from Japan because it had body-heat detection technology that Taiwan did not have.

President Tsai Extends Sympathy to Five Chinese Missing in Quake (2018-02-09)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Ko Lin) President Tsai Ing-wen called on people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait to keep people in their thoughts, specifically expressing her sympathy for five Chinese nationals stuck in a building after the earthquake in Hualien County. Efforts are still continuing to find these people, who remain unaccounted for.

Taiwanese Find Opportunity, Risk in China (2018-02-11)
(Taipei Times/Reuters) A key demographic for Chinese businessowners has become young Taiwanese, especially towards startups in China. Several start-up incubators have been offering great financial rewards for Taiwanese willing to move to China for work. It would enable Taiwanese youth to come learn about China and the differences across the strait.

UN Group to Discuss Pursuing Lee Ming-che's Case (2018-02-11)
(Taipei Times, By Peng Wan-hsin) A section of the UN Human Rights Council will be discussing whether or not to take on human rights advocate Lee Ming-che's case after learning about his case from Lee's wife. They showed concern for Lee's treatment conditions and whereabouts, as neither is currently known.

MOFA Voices Regret After China Puts Pressure on Taiwan Again (2018-02-12)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed regret after Papua New Guinea ordered Taiwan's representative office in the country to remove the title "Republic of China" from its name under Chinese pressure. MOFA Spokesman Andrew Lee stated that this kind of pressure is unfortunate since Taiwan is still suffering from the aftermath of the Hualien earthquake.

Taiwanese Returning from China for Lunar New Year Without Problems (2018-02-13)
(CNA) While tensions across the Taiwan Strait increased as a result of China unilaterally launching new flight routes crossing the strait, Taiwanese citizens in Mainland China had little trouble coming home for the holidays. Several extra flights across the strait have been added to boost capacity, some of which still have seats available. Two Chinese airlines were earlier denied the right to add additional flights due to escalating tensions.

Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan Earthquake Kills at Least Four; Many Are Missing (2018-02-06)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy) The 6.4-magnitude quake struck at 11:50 p.m. near the city of Hualien. Some 145 people were unaccounted for.

President Tsai, Other Donors Pledge Millions in Quake Relief
 (2018-02-07)
(CNA, By Chung Jung-feng, Pan Chih-yi, Fan Cheng-hsiang, Hsieh Chia-chen and Evelyn Kao) President Tsai Ing-wen, Premier William Lai, and several other government representatives from both the DPP and the KMT have all pledged personal donations to fund earthquake relief efforts. Private citizens, such as Chang Hui-mei, have also offered personal donations.

Taiwan Ranks as 11th Largest Trading Partner of US (2018-02-07)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng and Frances Huang) A report from the US Census Bureau revealed that Taiwan was the 11th largest trading partner with the United States in 2017. It falls one position from the previous year, although its total bilateral trade amount grew since 2016. China remained the US's largest trading partner.

Honduran President, Foreign Reps Offer Condolences After Earthquake (2018-02-07)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has expressed his sympathy to Taiwan and the Taiwanese people on Twitter following the earthquake in Hualien County. Honduras is one of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in Central America. Several other foreign representative offices in Taipei also further expressed their condolences.

Japanese FM Sends Condolences to Taiwan Over Hualien Earthquake (2018-02-07)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono sent a letter to David Le expressing his sympathies to Taiwan over the earthquake in Hualien County. He offered Japanese support for relief efforts. Taiwan donated over US$250 million to Japan following the March 2011 earthquake in Japan.

Taiwan, Philippines Sign MOU on Aerospace Industry Cooperation (2018-02-07)
(CNA, By Huang Tzu-chiang and Evelyn Kao) Associations in Taiwan and the Philippines signed a mutual memorandum of understanding in Singapore to promote industrial exchanges and cooperation between the two parties. As Filipino manufacturers focus on development of avionics systems and controls and Taiwanese manufacturers focus on engines and airframes, cooperation between the two could be beneficial to both sides.

31 Foreign Nationals Affected in Hualien Earthquake (2018-02-07)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh and William Yen) Several foreign nationals were injured in the earthquake in Hualien County, and they have been receiving treatment for their injuries. Two of them remain in the hospital, but most have either been discharged or are residing in a shelter.

Taiwan Thanks International Community for Support After Quake (2018-02-07)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Romulo Huang) The Presidential Office expressed its appreciation and thanks for the international condolences and sympathy received after the earthquake in Hualien County. It also said that several countries have offered disaster relief aid to be used if necessary. Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama have also offered condolences to Taiwan.

Taiwan Travel Act Clears U.S. Senate Committee (2018-02-08)
(CNA, Chiang Chin-yeh and Frances Huang) The U.S. Senate committee on Foreign Relations has passed a bill to encourage exchange visits by government officials between Taiwan and the United States. Currently, U.S. officials rarely visit Taiwan due to the United States' official ties with China and lack thereof with Taiwan. The Taiwan Travel Act aims to allow U.S. governmental officials at all levels to make visits to Taiwan.

Indonesia Envoy Donates to Hualien Quake Relief (2018-02-08)
(CNA, A special envoy of Indonesian President Joko Widodo donated $100,000 USD to disaster relief efforts after the Hualien County earthquake. The leader of this envoy, Ang Tjeon Ming, is the founder of the Jakarta-based Mayapada Group and plays an important role in promoting relations between the two countries.

Japanese EMT Joins Taiwan Rescue Team as Way of Saying Thanks (2018-02-09)
(CNA, By Sunrise Huang and Lee Hsin-Yin) A Japanese EMT arrived in Taiwan to assist in relief efforts for the earthquake in Hualien County as a way of saying thanks to all of Taiwan for the assistance Taiwan provided to Japan following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Relief efforts continue in Hualien County following the earthquake from earlier this week.

Singaporean Aircraft with Relief Supplies Arrives in Taiwan (2018-02-09)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh and Christie Chen) The Singaporean government has sent one military aircraft full of relief supplies to aid in recovery and relief efforts in Hualien County. A military spokesperson from Taiwan expressed his gratitude for the gesture of goodwill.

President Tsai Sends Thank you Letters to Japan, Singapore PMs (2018-02-10)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Kuan-lin Liu) President Tsai Ing-wen has thanked Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for their countries' support for rescue and relief following the deadly Hualien earthquake.

Taichung Mayor to Attend International Mayors Conference in Israel (2018-02-11)
(CNA, By Chao Li-yan and William Yen) The Mayor of Tainan was invited to participate in the International Mayors Conference this week, which takes place from Sunday to Thursday. He will be meeting with several world mayors and also with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He will also visit the tourism development innovation center in Jerusalem in hopes of finding ways to boost tourism in Tainan.

Taiwan Thanks International Community Following Earthquake (2018-02-11)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Elizabeth Hsu) Following an outpouring of support from the international community after the earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan expressed its thanks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the international response shows the friendships Taiwan has crafted throughout its history.

Taiwan Protests Forced Name Change of Office in Papua New Guinea (2018-02-13)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and William Yen) Taiwan filed an official protest with Papua New Guinea after the government forced Taiwan's representative office in the country to remove "Republic of China" from its name, reportedly under Chinese pressure according to MOFA. Several other countries, including Nigeria, have made similar demands to Taiwanese representative offices.

Taiwan Hoping Vermont Reopens its Trade Office in Taipei (2018-02-13)
(CNA, By Timothy J. Hwang and Kuan-lin Liu) A Taiwanese official visited with the governor of the US state of Vermont to discuss possibly reopening a trade office in Taipei that had closed in 2010. The office was closed due to funding issues, but the official said that he would be willing to help in negotiations if Vermont wanted to reopen the office.

PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
Taiwan is Bringing Back Cold War Missiles to Deter China (2018-02-05)
(National Interest) Taiwan's armed forces will rely on a missile system that was first developed nearly 60 years ago for frontline defense against intruding Chinese aircrafts. They will deploy MIM-23 Hawk surface-to-air missiles to find off low-flying Chinese fighters and bombers. Taiwanese forces on Orchid Island will be able to intercept aircrafts flying along the east coast, the Hawks filling a defensive void that currently exists in Taiwan's armed forces.


China Plans Sea-Based Anti-Missile Shields ‘for Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean’
 (2018-02-08)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) China is developing sea-based anti-missile systems and plans to deploy them in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean, according to military experts. The assessment came as Beijing announced it had carried out a successful test of its ground-based mid-course defence system on Monday.

China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter Jet Lines Up for Combat Duty, Boosting Firepower in the Sky
 (2018-02-09)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) China’s J-20 stealth fighter has entered combat service, the country’s armed forces confirmed on Friday, expanding the military’s air power options as it presses on with a massive modernisation programme. People’s Liberation Army Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke said the deployment of the J-20 to combat units would “help the air force better shoulder the sacred mission of safeguarding national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity”.
U.S.-China Relations
US May Boost Projects in Indo-Pacific to Counter Beijing’s Belt and Road Plan (2018-02-07)
(South China Morning Post, By Wendy Wu) Washington is considering boosting infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific to counter Beijing’s growing global clout through its “Belt and Road Initiative”, observers say, after last month’s Congress hearing on a policy response to the plan. “The US, including Congress, is starting to shift from awareness about the belt and road toward a response,” Jonathan Hillman, a fellow with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said. “Above all, the US needs to put forward its own positive economic vision. That vision need not be framed in opposition to the belt and road."

China, US ‘to Resume Comprehensive Economic Dialogue’ amid Trade War Fears
 (2018-02-09)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) China and the United States have agreed to resume their high-level economic dialogue, according to the Chinese government, after the talks were suspended last year by the US amid rising trade tensions between the two nations. Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi announced the resumption of the talks in remarks on Thursday while meeting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during a visit to Washington.

The Trump Administration Says It's In for Great Power Competition With China. What Does That Mean? (2018-02-07)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The new US national defense strategy details that great power rivalries are the biggest threat to the US-led world order, primarily referring to Russia and China. But it does not properly account for the diversity in threats Russia and China may pose to the United States. There is no specific strategy or qualification that the US needs in its allies in East Asia to counter Russian or Chinese growth.

America and China Need Each Other (2018-02-08)
(The Diplomat, By C.H. Tung) While the relationship between China and the US has largely been successful, several Americans do not agree with this perspective, especially disagreeing with China's future political direction. However, collaboration between the two countries is not only possible, but should be encouraged. The two countries have worked together on many issues in the past and can continue to work for the benefit of both.

Why Is Yang Jiechi Visiting the US Now? (2018-02-10)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) The Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi is currently visiting the United States, where he met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Both sides reaffirmed the commitment to reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and cooperating on the complicated US-China relationship. Yang, the top diplomat of China, was recently elevated to the Politburo during the 19th Party Congress.

US Defence Strategy is Not News to China (2018-02-11)
(East Asia Forum, By Zha Daojiong) When it comes to grand strategy, both the United States and China have built up their respective echo chambers that are comfortable to domestic constituencies. From ‘pivot’ to ‘rebalancing’ and now to ‘Indo-Pacific’, the US chamber seems to be enlarging, although still with some level of uncertainty.

A New Model of Great-Power Relations? (2018-02-12)
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) Asia will continue to prosper and be secure if that framework can be sustained, but for that to happen, the order must evolve. We have with little thought simply taken the current order for granted. The advent of Donald Trump, the potential disintegration of Europe and how these two events interact with the rise of China and other powers mean that taking this framework for granted is no longer tenable.

US Speaks Its Mind on China’s Strengthening Relationship With Latin America (2018-02-13)
(The Diplomat, By Sean Miner) China has been increasing its ties with Latin America as the United States distances itself with divisive rhetoric and increasingly isolationist policies. China has aligned itself with Latin America through economic projects, including the Belt and Road Initiative. However, the United States is speaking out against Chinese encroachment in the area, fearful that pulling away from the international arena is a move that cannot be reversed.

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

Corruption Inquiry Draws Nearer to Former Chinese Prime Minister (2018-02-07)
(New York Times, By David Barboza and Michael Forsythe) The detention of Duan Weihong is a sign that President Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign may be closing in on a former top leader.

A Closer Look at China’s ‘Struggle’ Against Gang Crime (2018-02-08)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) The battle against gang crime throughout China has taken over law enforcement agencies at every level of China's political organization. A new announcement released at the beginning of February encouraged people engaging in such activities or people assisting others with such activities to turn themselves in or face strict consequences. Lots of arrests have already taken place, and it is likely that the situation will escalate.

Is This the Year China Gets Serious About Ending Rural Poverty? (2018-02-13)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) President Xi Jinping spent New Years Week in Sichuan Province discussing combating poverty for rural citizens, a prominent goal of his latest speech at the 19th Party Congress. His newest rhetoric suggests that the CCP's goals are not to boost production, but to address different societal problems and provide a better life for people. While Hu Jintao had similar goals, he did not have much success in addressing the issues, and it is still uncertain whether Xi will have similar luck.

Beijing and Hong Kong

Hong Kong Court Throws Out Protest Leaders’ Prison Sentences
 (2018-02-06)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy) The jailing of Joshua Wong and other protest leaders drew international scrutiny over accusations that the government was punishing political opponents.

China's Foreign Relations

China Boards the Polar Express (2018-02-07)
(East Asia Forum, By Donald R Rothwell) China’s Arctic objectives and goals are now clearly articulated with the release of China’s Arctic Policy on 26 January 2018. The Policy recognises the territorial sovereignty and jurisdiction of the eight Arctic States (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States), and also acknowledges the rights of Arctic indigenous peoples. The Policy also claims that China is a ‘near-Arctic state’ and an ‘important stakeholder in Arctic affairs’.

China’s Tech Push Likely to Increase Trade and Security Tensions with US and Europe, Report Reveals
 (2018-02-09)
(South China Morning Post, By Jodi Xu Klein) Beijing’s push to build technological knowledge through overseas acquisitions is likely to drive economic growth, but it will also heighten trade tensions with the US and Europe over mounting security concerns. The China Dashboard report published by the Asia Society Policy Institute and Rhodium Group this week said that China’s policies have continued to foster an entrepreneurial environment to encourage tech breakthroughs. But advancing innovative technology with heavy state backing is likely to cause US and European governments to upgrade national security reviews of Chinese investment, the report said.

Swedish Bookseller Held in China Surfaces for Video Apology
 (2018-02-09)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) Gui Minhai, the bookseller who was snatched from a train last month, gave an interview at a detention center that appeared to have been coerced.

Catholic Bishop Says He’s Willing to Step Down for Vatican Deal With Beijing
 (2018-02-11)
(New York Times, By Ian Johnson and Adam Wu) Guo Xijin warned against government control of the church in China, but said he would respect any agreement the Vatican made with Beijing.

Revisiting the Resurrected Debate About Chinese Neocolonialism (2018-02-08)
(The Diplomat, By Jean-Marc F. Blanchard) The Belt and Road Initiative combined with China's newly constructed military bases in developing countries around the world have suggested a form of Chinese neocolonialism. China rebuts most of the claims by saying that all parties involved are benefitted, especially through the creation of a market for exchange of resources. Dissenters should focus on how to better empower host countries and find ways for them to counter Chinese encroachment.

A Chinese Model for Global Leadership? (2018-02-09)
(The Diplomat, By Yanfei Li) While figuring out exactly how China seems to be rising to global prominence in the leadership domain, it is important to remember that several challenges the world faces suggests that it is time for a leadership transition. China seems poised to overtake the United States in this aspect in three distinct ways. China has effectively responded to a lack in aggregate demand, the increases in availability of new technologies, and turning new technologies into infrastructure to support a greater population.

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

Talks on South China Sea Code of Conduct Should Be Accelerated, Asean Defence Ministers Say (2018-02-07)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) Defence ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations said in Singapore on Wednesday they wanted to expedite negotiations on a code of conduct for the South China Sea and another for unexpected encounters in the air over the disputed waterway. The call came shortly before China’s air force announced that its Su-35 fighter jets had recently taken part in a combat patrol over the sea.

South China Sea Photos Suggest a Military Building Spree by Beijing
 (2018-02-08)
(New York Times, By Megan Specia and Mikko Takkunen) China has spent years establishing military outposts on a group of contested islands in the South China Sea. New photos offered a detailed look.

Boosting Ties with ‘Good Neighbours’ in Asean Top Priority, Chinese Defence Minister Says (2018-02-08)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) China’s defence minister told a meeting with his Asean counterparts that improving ties in Southeast Asia was a top priority for Beijing, calling on the two sides to tackle obstacles in the way of better relations. Chang Wanquan, who is also a State Councillor, made the remarks on Tuesday at an informal meeting with defence ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Singapore, according to a statement from the ministry on Thursday.

Bigger Fish to Fry than Militias in the South China Sea (2018-02-13)
(East Asia Forum, By Sam Bateman and Zhang Hongzhou) It is overly simplistic to view China’s maritime militia as part of China’s aggressive activity in the South China Sea. Much wider economic and social factors are at work domestically in China, and the regional and international scene is more complex than observers typically assume. This bigger picture includes the widespread practices of arming fishing vessels in the South China Sea, of over-fishing and of fishing for endangered species in what were previously ‘fish-rich’ waters.

The Korean Peninsula

Kim Jong-un Invites South Korean Leader to North for Summit Meeting (2018-02-09)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) After North Korea’s leader relayed the proposal through his sister, President Moon Jae-in said the Koreas should “create the environment to make it happen."

China’s Top Envoy Yang Jiechi Tells Donald Trump: Let’s Boost Coordination on North Korea (2018-02-10)
(South China Morning Post, By Mandy Zuo) China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi called for Beijing and Washington to improve coordination on the North Korea nuclear threat as he wrapped up a trip to the United States on Saturday. Yang met US President Donald Trump during the two-day visit and said both nations should maintain close exchanges at all levels.

Kim Jong-un’s Sister Turns On the Charm, Taking Pence’s Spotlight
 (2018-02-11)
(New York Times, By Motoko Rich and Choe Sang-hun) Flashing smiles and without speaking in public, Kim Yo-jong outflanked Vice President Mike Pence in diplomatic image-making at the Winter Olympics.

One Belt, One Road, One Korea? (2018-02-10)
(The Diplomat, By Maximilian Römer) China's Belt and Road Initiative focuses lots on the political situations of Central Asia and surrounding regions, but China also has a vision for its northeastern provinces that could turn all of Northeast Asia into an economic zone with Russia, South Korea, and possibly even North Korea. South Korea has its own Eurasian Initiative that may be integrated with the BRI. However, despite recent cooperation with the North Koreans, full integration of the two projects leading to peace on the Korean Peninsula remains unlikely.

Other Regional Issues

How Can East Asia Defend the WTO?
 (2018-02-09)
(East Asia Forum, By Andrew Elek) To sustain this environment, East Asia’s top priority should be to defend the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism, which has worked well since the organization commenced operations in the mid-1990s. Trade practices that appear to be inconsistent with WTO rules can be tested objectively and reasonably quickly and, just as importantly, member states’ compliance with WTO rulings has been remarkably good.

Gaps in Asia’s Economic Infrastructure (2018-02-13)
(East Asia Forum, By Andrew Elek) The gap between global infrastructure needs and global infrastructure investment is widening.Inadequate investment in transport, communications and energy networks is estimated to be US$26 trillion in Asia alone. Recent initiatives to improve connectivity by investing in infrastructure are welcome. But none of these initiatives is paying sufficient attention to the policy development and policy coordination efforts that will be needed to maintain financing in the long term.


Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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