::: TSR Weekly Report
2018-02-27 | NO.41(60) 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
In Australia, Staying Loyal to Taiwan Can Mean Losing a Job (2018-02-18)
(New York Times, By Damien Cave and Xiuzhong Xu) Chinese employers in Australia, mirroring Beijing’s strong-arm tactics, have fired workers who do not recognize Taiwan as part of China.

US Risks Retaliation with Defence Talks on Taiwan, Chinese Analysts Warn (2018-02-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Another potential flashpoint for Sino-US relations is looming with plans for Taiwan to host a conference with American defence industry representatives for the first time in 16 years, mainland Chinese analysts have warned. The annual US-Taiwan defence industry conference has long been a platform for Taiwan and the United States to discuss arms sales and has been held in the US for the last decade-and-a-half to avoid provoking Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the island. But a Taiwanese military source confirmed to the South China Morning Post on Tuesday that Taipei and Washington agreed last year that from 2018, they would take turns to host the event and the conference would now take place twice a year.

A Matter of National Security? The M503 Route Reconsidered
(Taiwan Insight, By Yang Shih-Yueh) The M503 is simply a “civil” route for airliners and actually has nothing to do with national security. With or without this route, PRC’s military aircraft can fly freely anyway under the most basic and well-established international law of the freedom above the high sea. The provisions of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) did not alter the nature of the high sea in this regard.

Cross-Strait Aviation and Beijing’s Hybrid Warfare (2018-02-21)
(Taiwan Insight, By Russell Hsiao) Beijing is utilizing the technical mechanisms it controls through international organizations such as ICAO for its political objective: to demonstrate that the Taiwan Strait is the sole jurisdiction of the PRC and that the space around the Taiwan Strait are its “internal waters.” Such behaviours have implications beyond Taiwan. The long-term effect may be to use political-military means to effect, over time, a legal change in the “status quo."

"Goodwill" to Decide Future Cross-Strait Ties: President
(CNA, By Sophia Yeh and Elizabeth Hsu) President Tsai Ing-wen stated that goodwill and constructive interaction would be the main factors determining the future of cross-strait ties between China and Taiwan. She said that all Taiwanese people were concerned about good relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait at a Lunar New Year luncheon. She further said that Taiwan will take responsibility for regional stability and maintaining peace.

China-based Taiwanese Businesses Warned of Tense US-China Relations (2018-02-21)
(CNA, By Miao Zhong-han and Kuan-lin Liu) The Straits Exchange Foundation sent a warning to Taiwanese businesses in China regarding growing tensions between the United States and China. They cautioned against potential collateral damage to the businesses if relations between the two countries were to worsen.

Business Mediation Proposed as Answer to M503 Flight Route Dispute (2018-02-21)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and Evelyn Kao) Chang Han-wen, a Taiwanese businessman, proposed the idea of letting Taiwanese businesspeople assist in finding a solution to the current dispute over China's unilateral decision to launch the M503 flight route. He argued that the cancellation of flights over Lunar New Year posed difficulties to businesses and that he hoped a solution would quickly be reached. However, others have said that enterprises should support the position already taken by the government.

As China Puts Pressure on Taiwan, Signs of a U.S. Pushback (2018-02-22)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) Concern about the self-governing island’s fate seems to be building in Washington, even as President Trump seeks China’s help on other issues.

Taipei Sends US Experts to Diplomatic Front Line to Ward Off Hostile Beijing (2018-02-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan has appointed two men well-versed in American affairs to top security and foreign relations jobs as the island tries to engage the US in its grand strategy to counter military intimidation from the mainland. The appointments were part of a partial shake-up of the island’s cabinet, which saw the replacement of heads of the foreign, defence, mainland, labour and veterans’ affairs ministries.

Quincy Davis Draws Praise and Anger with Doctored "Taiwan, Taipei" Jersey (2018-02-25)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) Basketball player Quincy Davis III posted a photo online with a photoshopped jersey edited to say "Taiwan Taipei" instead of "Chinese Taipei." While many Chinese internet users said that Davis should be penalized for trying to bring politics into sports, several others have praised him for patriotism.

What Will Taiwan's Cabinet Shake-up Mean for Cross-Strait Relations? (2018-02-24)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Several clues regarding President Tsai Ing-wen's goals for the near future are found within the Cabinet shuffle from this past week. For example, Joseph Wu, a close partner of the President, will be taking over the position of Foreign Minister, suggesting that the President may want to take a more active role in foreign policy. Tsai's term has been difficult diplomatically as Taiwan has lost several allies to Beijing. However, some still argue that the shuffle does not suggest a shift in policy.

No More Status Quo After the Sky Row in Taiwan Strait (2018-02-25)
(National Interest, By Charles I-hsin Chen) China announced four new commercial flight routes upon the west half of the Taiwan Strait in January, which were all approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Unlike previous times, however, President Tsai Ing-wen has harshly condemned President Xi Jinping's decision to move forward with these routes, and has let her diplomats propagandize harshly that Xi is violating the status quo in cross-Strait relations. Part of the problem is that neither side trusts the other. Both are unwilling to return to the negotiating table, and Tsai remains unlikely to accept the 1992 Consensus.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Congress is Right to Stand Up for Taiwan (2018-02-13)
(National Interest, By J. Michael Cole) Though the Taiwan Travel Act has passed in the U.S. Senate, the bill faces much criticism from those who see it as a provocative and unnecessary move. This bill has already been passed by the House, and should it become law, would allow officials of all levels of the U.S. government, including Cabinet-level officials, to visit Taiwan. Many U.S. scholars like Michael Swaine and Dennis Hickey are against this bill; however, it is misleading to claim that this act is in response to a "general demonization" by China. Rather, doing what's right by Taiwan as a democracy and longstanding ally of the U.S. should not mean its actions are interpreted as being against China.

Taiwan Stands with World in Fight Against "Sharp Power": Kao
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Kuan-lin Liu) Taiwan's Representative to the U.S. Stanley Kao said Taiwan is committed to fighting "sharp power," focusing on human rights and economic freedoms. Sharp power refers to the information that certain governments spread in order to manipulate their target audience.  

Taiwan Asserts Sovereignty Over Diaoyutais Following Japanese Directive (2018-02-14)
(CNA, Elaine Hou and S.C. Chang) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has reaffirmed the Republic of China's sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands. This came after reports that students in Japan will now be taught that these islands are integral to Japanese territory.
US Delegation Pledges Support for Taiwan's Self Defense (2018-02-21)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Several members of the United States Congress visiting Taiwan pledged to continue the US policy of supplying the means for Taiwan to defend itself in case of an attack. The delegation consists of members of the Senate Armed Services Committee as well as the Taiwan Caucus. Senator Jim Inhofe stated that they would fully support measures to sell any range of equipment to Taiwan.

Taiwan Will Stand with US for Regional Peace (2018-02-21)
(CNA, By Yeh-Su ping and Kuan-lin Liu) President Tsai Ing-wen met with a visiting delegation of US Congress members and used the opportunity to commend US support of Taiwan. She stated that Taiwan and the US would work together to find solutions for regional peace and stability and that the two have worked closely together in the past.

Jay Chen Vows to Strengthen Taiwan-US Ties If Elected (2018-02-21)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Jay Chen, a US citizen seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to represent California's 39th district in the US House of Representatives, said that he believes his Taiwanese background could help improve relations between Taiwan and the United States. His candidacy has generated a wave of support from outside the US as well.

Taiwan Rejects Chinese Official's Request to Visit (2018-02-22)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and Evelyn Kao) Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Head and Spokesperson Chiu Chiu-cheng said Taiwan welcomes Chinese people to visit the country and carry out exchanges there, but hopes that these exchanges will not be used for political purposes. This follows the denial of Shanghai's Taiwan Affairs Office Head's application to visit Taiwan.

U.S. Had Plan to Take Over Taiwan After World War II: Historian (2018-02-22)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) A professor of history at Providence University said the United States had considered taking over Taiwan after Japan's defeat in WWII before deciding to help transfer Taiwan to the control of the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek. The plan was ultimately rejected after strong opposition from the U.S. Army.

Taiwan's Defense Minister Feng Stepping Down  (2018-02-22)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui, Wen Kui-hsiang, Yeh Su-ping, Joe Yeh and Shih Hsiu-chuan) Taiwan's Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan is to be replaced by National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Yen Teh-fa in a cabinet reshuffle. Feng's stepping down comes amidst increased military moves by China's fighter jets and naval vessels near Taiwan. The new defense minister Yen is a retired two-star Army general and has served as de facto head of the NSC since May 2017.

Taiwan Moves Up in Global Corruption Index (2018-02-23)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Taiwan improved its score on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2017, going up to a record high of 63. It ranks above the international average and regional averages. While they did not detail exactly how Taiwan is corrupt, they did detail several suggestions for how to improve.

Reshuffle a Response to Taiwan Sovereignty Supporters: Analysts (2018-02-23)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) Analysts have stated that President Tsai Ing-wen's decision to reshuffle Cabinet posts comes as a response to several supporters' requests to clarify the administration's position towards China as well as strengthen Taiwanese national security. Supporters of Tsai have criticized her administration's handling of cross-strait issues, and the DPP's popularity has dropped since President Tsai took office.

Yen Chosen as New Defense Minister for His Experience: Official (2018-02-23)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Joseph Yeh) A source from the Presidential administration said that Yen Teh-fa was chosen as the new Minister of Defense because of his experience in Taiwanese national security. He has previously served as NSC chief and chief of the General Staff.

Taiwan Replaces Foreign Minister, China Policy Chief (2018-02-23)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Joseph Yeh) As part of the reshuffling of Cabinet posts, Taiwan has a new foreign minister and China policy chief. Joseph Wu will now be heading the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while Chen Ming-tung will take over the Mainland Affairs Council.

U.S. Sanctions Against Pyongyang Involve Taiwanese National, Companies (2018-02-24)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh, Elaine Hou and Frances Huang) The United States has released a list of one person, 27 companies, and 8 ships from North Korea, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan that would be facing sanctions to force Pyongyang to give up its ambitions in developing nuclear weapons. The only person listed was a Taiwanese national named Tsang Yung-yang who coordinated coal exports between North Korea and a Russia-based North Korean broker.

Taiwan Cancels Hakka Event in Mauritius Due to Chinese Oppression (2018-02-25)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) The Chinese embassy in Mauritius asked the hotel in Mauritius planning to host a cultural event for Hakka cuisine to cancel the event because the event organizers were listed as the Hakka Affairs Council from the Republic of China. The Mainland Affairs Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Hakka Affairs Council have all condemned Beijing's actions.

Chen Chu Planning Visit to Washington Next Month (2018-02-25)
(Taipei Times, By Nadia Tsao and Sherry Hsiao) Chen Chu, the mayor of Kaohsiung, is planning to make an official visit to Washington DC next month and also stop in New York City. She will be visiting several US officials and Taiwanese living in the US, and she will also give a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

Air Force Gets New Commander in Cabinet Reshuffle (2018-02-26)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Ko Lin) The Air Force's Commander Lieutenant General Chang Che-ping is set to be promoted to the position of commander beginning March 1. He will succeed the current chief Shen Yi-ming, who will be taking over as Deputy Defense Minister in this cabinet reshuffle.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
 PLA Air Force Unit Passes Through Bashi Channel (2018-02-21)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and S.C. Chang) A unit of several jet fighters and reconnaissance planes from the PLA flew through the Bashi Channel, between Taiwan and the Philippines, on Wednesday as part of a training mission. The Ministry of National Defense said that they were aware of the movement and would monitor all movements of the PLA closely.

Superweaponising China’s Defence Industry (2018-02-24)
(East Asia Forum, By Adam Ni) China’s defence industry has matured considerably since the 1990s and China is now poised to shift from a follower to a leader in defence innovation despite several weaknesses. The industry’s ability to develop and produce high-quality equipment and cutting-edge weapons for the PLA will be key to China’s continuing rise as a military power.
U.S.-China Relations
 Chinese Oceanography Echoes the Contest for Undersea Dominance Against the US (2018-02-20)
(The Diplomat, By Steven Stashwick) The US admitted that submarines are the biggest tool they have in the great power struggle they have with China within the Trump Administration's National Defense Strategy. However, China is also improving its oceanography techniques silently, and it can do so under the guise of civilian research, given that much of the necessary technology is dual-use. The newfound competition between the two in this field will potentially open up even greater sources of tension.

Top Chinese Official Plans U.S. Trip to Address Trade Friction (2018-02-23)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) President Xi Jinping of China is sending Liu He, his top economic policy maker and a recent addition to the Politburo, to Washington on Tuesday.

U.S. Blocks a Chinese Deal Amid Rising Tensions Over Technology (2018-02-23)
(New York Times, By Raymond Zhong) A maker of chip-testing equipment, Xcerra, said it was walking away from a proposed sale to a Chinese group because of regulatory concerns.

US Flags Fears over China’s New VPN Rules with the World Trade Organisation (2018-02-24)
(Reuters) The United States told the World Trade Organisation on Friday that Chinese internet access rules coming into force next month appeared to create significant new restrictions for cross-border service suppliers and should be discussed at the WTO.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

China Moves to Let Xi Stay in Power by Abolishing Term Limit (2018-02-25)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley and Keith Bradsher) The Communist Party has proposed revising the nation’s Constitution to end a two-term limit, which would allow Xi Jinping to remain president, perhaps indefinitely.

With Xi’s Power Grab, China Joins New Era of Strongmen
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers) Xi Jinping’s grab for power without term limits is the biggest move yet in a global shift by Putin, Erdogan and others toward unabashed authoritarianism.

Beijing and Hong Kong

Liberals in Hong Kong Fear for City’s Future as China Falls Back on Strongman Rule (2018-02-26)
(South China Morning Post, By Jeffie Lam) Some politicians and China watchers fear Xi’s uncompromising stance will mean an ever greater emphasis on one country rather than two systems, and upon restrictions on the rights and freedoms that Hongkongers currently enjoy. Economists meanwhile believe it may benefit the city’s economic development in the short term, assured as it would be of several key Beijing initiatives to boost its prospects.

China's Foreign Relations

China's Soft Diplomacy at the Munich Security Conference
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) The German Foreign Minister heavily criticized the Belt and Road Initiative at this year's Munich Security Conference, claiming China is attempting to promote non-Western values through financial incentives. However, Fu Ying, the representative from China, simply said that China wishes to play a role in global affairs and would not export its ideology. She also reiterated China's no first use policy for nuclear weapons, apparently as a response to the US's Nuclear Posture Review, which cited Chinese and Russian nuclear weapons as a threat.

Merkel Warns against China's Influence in Balkans (2018-02-22)
(Agence France-Presse) China has invested heavily in a massive “New Silk Road” initiative of overland infrastructure links between Asia and Europe, raising European fears about Beijing’s growing political influence. Recent years have seen China make investments in strategic sectors and critical infrastructure, including the purchase of Piraeus port in crisis-hit Greece. Some in Europe fear that the Balkan countries benefiting from Chinese investments are more inclined to defend the interests of Beijing in the EU, especially on questions of human rights and trade.

Beijing Takes Over Anbang, Insurer That Owns Waldorf Astoria (2018-02-23)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher and Alexandra Stevenson) The troubled Chinese company had spent billions of dollars buying up hotels and other high-profile properties around the world.

China's Rise and the Future of Liberal International Order: Asking the Right Questions (2018-02-23)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) To answer the question of how China's rise will impact the global order, the best answers are those that say that China will maintain parts of the order while modifying other parts to its advantage. However, although China has a narrative ready for its rise, its future order does not look very different from today's global order and is not based upon breaking away all rules.

China’s Asymmetric FDI Policies Threaten the Success of the Belt and Road Initiative (2018-02-23)
(The Diplomat, By Grzegorz Stec) Foreigners still have lots of trouble accessing China's market, as the Belt and Road Initiative is not yet the two-way street China claims it to be. This can be seen through Foreign Direct Investment flows, where inward flows are much lower than outward flows. The success of the initiative is questionable if China will not reciprocate and open its markets as promised.

Caucasus Trans-Caspian Trade Route to Open China Import Markets (2018-02-23)
(East Asia Forum, By Tristan Kenderdine) A major goal of the BRI is the broadening of China’s import base — it will give China greater access to goods and services that it cannot produce domestically. In return, Caucasus and Central Asian countries such as Azerbaijan gain an alternative export market. If BRI countries leverage the situation correctly and prepare adequate trade strategies and negotiating positions, then they too stand to benefit substantially.
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Duterte: China's South China Sea Installations Aimed at the United States, Not the Philippines
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte said regarding the military deployments in the Spratly Islands that China did not intend to threaten regional actors, such as the Philippines, but rather threaten the United States. Duterte has a history of being confrontational with the United States, especially considering their role in the current geopolitical situation in the South China Sea. A spokesperson went on to describe the freedom of navigation issue as America's problem.

Rodrigo Duterte Wants to Create ‘Balance’ by Sending Troops to China for Training (2018-02-21)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants to send troops to China for training to combat terrorism, despite worries resurfacing over Beijing’s build-up in the contested South China Sea. Duterte said there was a need to “balance” the training of Filipino soldiers, who have a strong bond with the US military, The Philippine Star reported.

The Korean Peninsula

North Korea Dropped Out of Meeting With Pence at Last Minute, U.S. Say (2018-02-20)
(New York Times, By Gardiner Harris and Choe Sang-hun) Vice President Mike Pence had planned to secretly meet with North Korean officials at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the State Department said.

North Korea Is Willing to Talk With U.S., South’s Leader Says
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) The move would be a potential diplomatic victory for President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, who has been urging the two countries to talk.

Other Regional Issues

National Security in a Post-American Economic Order
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) The top strategic priority in Asia and around the world today is to protect a global economic order that is under threat. This is particularly so for Asian nations — including China — which are locked into the club and which (because of their scarce resources) are more dependent on integration into the global economy than are other countries.

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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New Publication Social Movements in Taiwan’s Democratic Transition: Linking Activists to the Changing Political Environment, 1st Edition by Yun Fan (Routledge)
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New Publication A New Era in Democratic Taiwan: Trajectories and Turning Points in Politics and Cross-Strait Relations, Edtied by Jonathan Sullivan and Chun-Yi Lee (Routledge)
New Publication Assessing the Presidency of Ma Ying-jiu in Taiwan: Hopeful Beginning, Hopeless End? Edited by André Beckershoff and Gunter Schubert (Routledge)
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New Publication Government and Politics in Taiwan, 2nd Edition by Dafydd Fell (Routledge)
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New Publication Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World by Zak Dychtwald (St. Martin's Press)
New Publication Takashi Inoguchi and Ankit Panda (2018) "Japan's Grand Strategy in the South China Sea: Principled Pragmatism," in Anders Corr, ed., Great Powers, Grand Strategies: The New Game in the South China Sea (Naval Institute Press, PP. 199-223)
New Publication "Understanding President Trump's Taiwan Policy" by John F. Copper (American Journal of Chinese Studies)
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New Publication Taiwan at a Tipping Point: The Democratic Progressive Party's Return to Power by John F. Copper (Rowman and Littlefield)
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)
Upcoming Conference China Defense & Security Conference 2017 (Jamestown Foundation)
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)
New Publication Primordialism, Instrumentalism, Constructivism: Factors Influencing Taiwanese People’s Regime Acceptance of Mainland China’s Government by Chia-Chou Wang (Journal of Contemporary China)
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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