::: TSR Weekly Report
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2018-03-27 | NO.41(64) 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 Should Prepare for Military Action over Taiwan: Chinese Paper (2018-03-21)
(Reuters, By Ben Blanchard) China should prepare for military action over self-ruled Taiwan and pressure Washington over cooperation on North Korea after the United States passed a law to boost ties with Taiwan, a widely read Chinese state-run newspaper said on Thursday. Beijing was infuriated when U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation last week that encourages the United States to send senior officials to Taiwan to meet Taiwanese counterparts and vice versa.

Lai Shrugs Off Criticism that China Response is Divisive
 (2018-03-21)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) Premier William Lai did not seem concerned at the suggestion that the Taiwanese government's response to the 31 Incentives offered by China were polarizing within Taiwanese society. A legislator had said that the Taiwanese government was doing nothing but trying to deter people from working in China, but they would inadvertently be encouraging people to be more determined to go.

Development of Cross-Strait Ties Should Be Based on Laws: MAC Head (2018-03-21)
(CNA, By Chai Sze-chia and Romulo Huang) Head of the Mainland Affairs Council Chen Ming-tung said that the development of cross-strait relations should be based on the framework set by existing laws regarding relations. He cited the Three Links as an example of relations fostered through existing laws and said that the two sides should work to ensure continuation of projects such as that.

Taiwan's President Calls for Healthy Development of China Ties (2018-03-21)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ing and S.C. Chang) President Tsai Ing-wen said that the biggest contributor to healthy cross-strait development is equal footing in negotiations for mutually beneficial policies. She said that China's latest moves towards North Korea could be problematic for regional stability and the global economy. She also said that the removal of term limits in China signaled the importance of democracy around the world as well.

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Enters Taiwan's ADIZ Again (2018-03-21)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Kuan-lin Liu) The Minister of Defense stated that the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning had entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone. The Ministry of National Defense will be keeping close watch on the actions of the ship. The ship had exited the ADIZ later the same afternoon.

AirAsia Asked to Correct "Taiwan, China" Designation (2018-03-21)
(CNA, By Wang Shu-feng and Kuan-lin Liu) The Civil Aeronautics Administration asked the airline AirAsia to change the designation of Taiwan on its website, which lists Taiwan as a part of China. The CAA also stated that they will ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to raise the issue with the Malaysian government.

U.S. Opposes Unilateral Action in Cross-Strait Affairs: Official (2018-03-22)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Kuan-lin Liu) The U.S. reiterated that it opposes any unilateral action that would alter the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State said this in response to a question on China's Liaoning aircraft carrier making passage through the Taiwan Strait as a part of a routine exercise. Taiwan's military saw nothing unusual about the voyage.

China Sends Aircraft Carrier Through Taiwan Strait (2018-03-22)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning sailed into and back out of the Taiwanese air defense identification zone on March 20. The Republic of China air force closely monitored the situation, although no activity took place that would be cause for alarm for the Taiwanese.

Taiwan Says Should Educate its Youth on Dangers of China (2018-03-23)
(Reuters) Taiwan should educate its youth about the risks presented by China where there is neither freedom nor democracy, Taiwan’s main body in charge of policy making toward its giant neighbor said on Friday. China has been increasing its efforts to win over young Taiwanese, a key demographic to reach out to amid souring political relations between Beijing and Taipei, including offering incentives to set up businesses in China.

China Allows Family Visit for Jailed Taiwanese Activist: MAC (2018-03-23)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) Lee Ching-yu, husband of Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che, has been granted permission to visit her husband, who is serving a five-year prison sentence in Hunan Province. Lee Ming-che was found guilty of "subversion of state power" after being detained while entering China early last year.

Be Ready for Military Action: Chinese Media (2018-03-23)
(Taipei Times) An editorial in a Chinese newspaper yesterday said that China should "strike back" against the US for passing the Taiwan Travel Act through military action. It also said that China should consider a military buildup in the Taiwan Strait to make clear that US-Taiwan relations' escalations would not be good for Taiwan in the long run and that Beijing would consider it highly inappropriate.

As Vatican and China Talk, Taiwan Looks On Nervously (2018-03-25)
(Reuters, By Philip Pullella and Yimou Lee) As the Vatican and China move closer to a historic deal on the appointment of bishops, which would signal a warming of once-frigid relations, diplomats and scholars say Taiwan could lose the most from the deal..Under the deal, the Vatican will have a say in negotiations for the appointment of future bishops in China, whose Catholics are divided between an “underground” Church loyal to the pope and a government-backed Church.

Taiwan Scrambles Jets as China's Air Force Holds Drill Near Island (2018-03-26)
(Reuters) Taiwan sent aircraft on Monday to shadow China air force fighter jets as they flew through the Bashi Channel to the south of the island, its defense ministry said, the latest such incident to add to tension between Taipei and Beijing. China sent an unspecified number of Xian H-6 bombers, Su-30 fighter jets and Y-8 transport aircraft over the waterway on their way to the West Pacific Ocean, the Taiwan ministry said. They were followed by Taiwan jets until the mainland aircraft returned to base, it said in a statement.

Li Ao, Writer and Political Firebrand in Taiwan, Dies at 82 (2018-03-26)
(New York Times, By Amy Qin) Known affectionately as the “madman” of Taiwan, Mr. Li vigorously defended freedom of speech and called for reunification with mainland China.

Chinese Military Aircraft Again Fly Close to Taiwan: MND (2018-03-26)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Evelyn Kao) Several Chinese military aircrafts were seen flying over the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines as part of a long-range flight training mission. The Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Taiwan continues to keep a close watch on the aircrafts' movements.

Wife in China to Meet with Lee Ming-che (2018-03-27)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Lee Ching-yu, wife of detained human rights activist Lee Ming-che, received a single-entry permit to visit her husband in prison. She will be in Hunan Province today to visit with her husband. A representative from the Straits Exchange Foundation will accompany her.

Ex-MAC Minister Assumes Chair of Straits Exchange Foundation (2018-03-27)
(CNA, By Chai Sze-chia and Elizabeth Hsu) Chang Hsiao-yueh, former chief of the Mainland Affairs Council, took charge of the Straits Exchange Foundation, which deals with cross-strait affairs. She said that she hopes to soon meet her Chinese counterpart and expects to meet based on respect, diplomacy, and dignity.

Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 Chance of WHA Invitation Low, Source Says (2018-03-21)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) A government source stated that the chances of receiving an invitation to the World Health Assembly this year are even lower than last year's chances due to increased pressure from Beijing to exclude Taiwan from the international arena. While some allies have sent government representatives to lobby for Taiwan's participation in the summit, the results have not been positive so far. Taiwan did not receive an invitation to the WHA last year after eight consecutive years as an observer.

Ministry Denies US Offered to Lend Fighters to Taiwan (2018-03-21)
(Taipei Times, By Jonathan Chin) The Ministry of National Defense denied a claim that the US has offered to send several military aircraft to supplement the Taiwanese fleet. The report containing this claim also detailed several supposed upgrades to the Taiwanese air force fleet, many of which would only be possible to obtain through US assistance.

President Tsai, US Official Vow to Strengthen Bilateral Ties (2018-03-21)
(CNA, By Lee Hsin-Yin) Alex Wong, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the US, and President Tsai Ing-wen agreed to continue strengthening US-Taiwan relations, citing mutual interests such as democracy as the building blocks for the friendship. Tsai praised the passing of the Taiwan Travel Act in the US at the meeting and commended the benefits that Taiwan has received through cooperation with the US.

Project to Fund Taiwanese Researchers to UK Launched (2018-03-21)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) The British government and Taiwan have launched a project that would allow for the funding of Taiwanese researchers to go to the UK for research for up to a year. The program would fund 50% of all travel costs for researchers to the UK. The program has the potential to become a multi-year program if successful as well.

Taiwan to Continue Efforts to Secure World Health Assembly Invite (2018-03-21)
(CNA, By Chen Wei-ting and Evelyn Kao) The Minister of Health and Welfare said that Taiwan would go to all efforts to secure an invitation to the World Health Assembly this year. He said this in response to a report that suggested that the chances of receiving an invite this year are lower than those of last year due to increasing pressure from Beijing.

Official Visit Reaffirms US Support for Taiwan: Washington (2018-03-21)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Frances Huang) The US State Department said that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alex Wong's visit to Taiwan was a reaffirming of the US's long-term commitment to Taiwan. Wong is the first US official to visit Taiwan following the passage of the Taiwan Travel Act.

In Taiwan, U.S. Official Says Commitment ‘Has Never Been Stronger’ (2018-03-21)
(New York Times, By Chris Horton) A top State Department official said American policy would “ensure that Taiwan’s people can continue along their chosen path, free from coercion."

Taiwan, EU Hold First-Ever Human Rights Consultations (2018-03-22)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) The EU and Taiwan have concluded their first annual human rights consultations, aimed at discussing issues such as the death penalty and equal rights. The EU delegation also met with Taiwanese civil society organizations. The two sides agreed to hold another Human Rights Consultation next year in Brussels to enhance cooperation on the topics raised.

U.S. Department of Commerce Official Visits Taiwan (2018-03-22)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Ian Steff, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing arrived in Taiwan for a six-day trip that is meant to strengthen bilateral trade and investment. Steff oversees a broad portfolio of programs meant to increase the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.

Second Senior US Official Sent to Taiwan under New Travel Act (2018-03-22)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) The United States sent another senior official to Taiwan on Thursday, the second such visit since Washington infuriated Beijing by passing a law promoting ties with the self-ruled island. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing Ian Steff is visiting after US President Donald Trump last week signed into law the Taiwan Travel Act, which allows high-level officials to meet their Taiwanese counterparts and vice versa.

US Tariff Plan Could Benefit MIT Products: Scholars (2018-03-23)
(CNA, By Tsai Yi-chu, Chung Jung-feng and Christie Chen) Some scholars predicted that US President Donald Trump's recently revealed tariff plan could benefit "Made-In-Taiwan" products compared to products made in China. While Taiwanese companies whose production locations are in China may be hurt, products made in Taiwan and sold directly to the US would not be affected as much by the tariffs.

Taiwanese Companies Not Sure What to Make of Trump's Tariff Plan (2018-03-23)
(CNA, By Christie Chen, Han Ting-ting, Chung Jung-feng, Chiang Ming-yen, and Jeffrey Wu) Several Taiwanese companies have been discussing the impact that US President Donald Trump's new tariff plan will have upon them. Many companies which produce goods in Mainland China fear that the tariff will negatively affect their ability to sell to the United States. However, others said that they did not yet have proper responses to the plan due to a lack of details revealed about the plan so far.

Taiwan Should Export Good Practices on Human Rights: EU Official (2018-03-23)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) Mercedes Garcia Perez, Head of the EU Division of Human Rights, said that Taiwan is a regional beacon of human rights and democracy and that Taiwan should work towards spreading those ideals around the region and world. Human rights have been part of the framework of the longtime non-trade-related bilateral relationship between the EU and Taiwan.

Taiwan Studying Idea of US Border Preclearance: MOFA (2018-03-23)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Kuan-lin Liu) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Taiwan is considering establishing a US Customs and Border Patrol Preclearance Facility at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. The program would allow for people traveling to the US to complete customs and immigration in Taiwan so that flights may land as domestic flights when arriving in the US, allowing for expedited entry.

President Proposes Strategies to Protect Taiwan's Trade Interests (2018-03-23)
(CNA, By Kuan-lin Liu, Yeh Su-ping, Chung Jung-feng and Fan Cheng-hsiang) President Tsai Ing-wen listed four strategies that Taiwan would be adopting to protect its trade and economic interests in light of a likely trade war escalating between China and the United States. She said that Taiwan would continue negotiating with the US to ensure that Taiwanese goods and trade initiatives are not harmed. She also said that the US and China could avoid a trade war through communication and cooperation.

Taiwan Denies Rumors of US F-15C/D Fighter Lease Offer (2018-03-22)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The Ministry of National Defense of Taiwan has denied that the US offered to lease Boeing F-15C/D Eagle fighters to the ROC Air Force. A report claiming such arose after President Xi Jinping said that any measures to split China, including those of Taiwanese independence, would fail.

Agency Urges Manila to Exercise Restraint in EEZ (2018-03-24)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) The Fisheries Agency in Taiwan urged the Philippines not to use unnecessary force to regulate activities in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) following a report that Manila plans to build a marine base near Orchid Island. A small marine unit is to be stationed on that island.

US Congressman to Receive Honorary Medal from Taiwan (2018-03-25)
(CNA, By Chen Chun-hwa and Shih Hsiu-chuan) Ed Royce, Chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Relations, will be traveling to Taiwan to receive an honorary medal. The medal will commemorate Royce's contributions to the development of US-Taiwan relations. He is not planning on seeking reelection and is in the final year of his term.

New Security Adviser Good for Taiwan: Young (2018-03-26)
(CNA) President Donald Trump has appointed John Bolton as his new national security advisor, which former director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Stephen Young believes may lead to more visits of high-level officials to Taiwan. Bolton is considered to be an outspoken supporter of Taiwan and has recommended the U.S. increase arms sales to Taiwan on numerous occasions.

U.S. Congressman Ed Royce Lauds Taiwan's Democracy Prior to Visit (2018-03-26)
(CNA, By Edward Tsao and Elizabeth Hsu) Ed Royce, U.S. Representative and Chairman of the house Committee on Foreign Affairs, lauded Taiwan's democracy, saying that the fact that Taiwan and the U.S. share the same democratic values is why the Taiwan Travel Act passed in the U.S. Congress. Royce also played a role in making non-stop flight service available from Ontario, California to Taipei, Taiwan.

President Welcomes Guatemalan Foreign Minister (2018-03-26)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Evelyn Kao) President Tsai Ing-wen met with Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel to discuss how exchanges between the two countries can be expanded to deepen the friendship. President Tsai noted that the two countries have collaborated on issues such as technology, infrastructure, and health care for the past 85 years, and hopes such cooperation will continue.

Taiwan Lodges Complaint with Forbes Magazine over Misleading Article (2018-03-27)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Ko Lin) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs lodged an official complaint with Forbes Magazine for an article that described wages in Taiwan as comparable to those in Mexico. The article in question supposedly left out key details about overtime wages and came without proper sources.

President Plans Trip to Africa in April: Source (2018-03-27)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Elizabeth Hsu) A source in the Presidential Office said that President Tsai Ing-wen has plans to visit Swaziland sometime in April. The visit would mark the 50-year anniversary of Swaziland's establishment of relations with Taiwan. It remains to be one of only two African nations that still maintain relations with Taiwan over China.

Congressman Questions US Removal of Taiwan's Flag from Websites (2018-03-27)
(CNA, By Kuan-lin Liu and Chiang Chin-yeh) US Representative Ted Yoho said that the removal of Taiwan's flag from US government websites reduces Taiwan's status in the international arena. He argued that the removal of the flags demonstrated a new US policy to not display symbols of nations with which the US does not have diplomatic relations with. He says that the US should be maximizing Taiwan's visibility in the international arena as an important partner for human rights and democracy.

NGOs Aim to Host Exhibition Near WHO (2018-03-27)
(Taipei Times, By Lu Yi-hsuan and Sherry Hsiao) Several NGOs have rallied to hold an exhibition outside the World Health Organisation headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The exhibition would demonstrate Taiwan's commitments and progress to healthcare initiatives ahead of the World Health Assembly, an event to which Taiwan has not been invited to this year.

PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
U.S. Republicans Press for F-35 Fighter Jet Sales to Taiwan amid China Threat (2018-03-26)
(Reuters, By Patricia Zengerle) Two senior U.S. Republican senators asked the Trump administration on Monday to allow the sale of Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighter jets to Taiwan, saying it would help it “remain a democracy” in the face of threats from China.
U.S.-China Relations
US Lawmakers Seek to Force Confucius Institutes to Register as Foreign Agents (2018-03-22)
(South China Morning Post, By Jodi Xu Klein) The US operations of China's Confucius Institute would be required to register with the American government as foreign agents under a draft proposal in the US Senate and House of Representatives. The proposed Foreign Influence Transparency Act of 2018 would require the Confucius Institute and other groups and individuals to register for status under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) if they promoted a foreign government’s political agenda.

Trump’s Trade Threats Put China’s Leader on the Spot
 (2018-03-22)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers) President Trump’s latest restrictions on Chinese goods and investments could shake China’s economy and strain the power structure Xi Jinping has created for himself.

U.S. Accuses China of Stealing Patents in WTO Complaint (2018-03-23)
(Reuters) The United States launched a complaint against China at the World Trade Organization on Friday, part of a package of trade measures announced by President Donald Trump on Thursday over China’s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property. A presidential memorandum signed by Trump will target up to $60 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs, but only after a 30-day consultation period that starts once a list is published.

Why China’s Response to Trump’s Tariffs Is So Muted
 (2018-03-23)
(New York Times, By Sui-lee Wee and Keith Bradsher) China responded to Trump’s action by announcing tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. products, a relatively modest amount. But it has more weapons in its arsenal.

China’s Economic Czar Warns U.S. Treasury Secretary on Tariffs
 (2018-03-24)
(The Associated Press) Liu He, China’s economic czar, told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that new American tariffs violate global trade rules and that China is “ready and capable of defending its national interest."

China to Step Up Actions Against U.S. in South China Sea: Scholar (2018-03-24)
(CNA, By Kuan-lin Liu and Stanley Cheung) China said it may react with more force in the future to what it considers "military provocations" from the United States after a the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mustin traveled within 12 nautical miles of the Mischief Reef. According to the Chinese Ministry of Defense, two Chinese vessels identified the guided missile destroyer and warned it off.

U.S. House Panel to Probe China Military Footprint in Africa: Chairman (2018-03-25)
(Reuters) U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said his committee will investigate China’s efforts to gain military and economic power in Africa. The California Republican told “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo” that China’s investment in African countries would allow Beijing to strengthen its grip over world trade.

US ‘Is Considering Emergency Laws to Curb Chinese Takeovers’ (2018-03-28)
(Bloomberg News) The Trump administration is considering a crackdown on Chinese investments in technologies the US considers sensitive by invoking a law reserved for national emergencies, among other options, according to people familiar with the matter. Treasury Department officials are working on plans to identify technology sectors in which Chinese companies would be banned from investing, such as semiconductors and so-called 5G wireless communications, according to four people with knowledge of the proposal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

What China's Recent Shake up Means for the Economy (2018-03-23)
(The Diplomat, By Patrick Hess) The recent National People's Congress has changed many things for China's institutions and individuals in power, both of which are key for shaping the economy and general policymaking. These change reflect President Xi Jinping's desire to increase Party control over the Chinese economic agenda.

At China’s ‘Two Sessions’, Xi Jinping Leaves His Mark on the Party State
 (2018-03-26)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Willy Wo-Lap Lam) The history of both the Soviet and the Chinese Communist Party is replete with demigod-like figures such as Mao Zedong and Stalin who have not only modified the party in their own images but also subsumed much of the resources and powers of the party-state apparatus to their own overarching ambitions. Like those figures, criticism from both domestic and foreign opinion-makers is unlikely to make the slightest dent on Xi Jinping’s determination to remain China’s supreme helmsman.

China's Foreign Relations

Is China Abandoning Its 'No First Use' Nuclear Policy?
 (2018-03-21)
(The Diplomat, By Ben Lowsen) Several observers have claimed that China may be considering abandoning its "no first use" policy towards the use of nuclear weapons in light of a rising PLA. Doing so would signal that China is on the forefront of the nuclear powers and is willing to stand up to the level of the US and Russia. However, these questions particularly just stem from an increase in nuclear technologies and stockpiles and may not be cause for immediate alarm.

China Brings Warm Words to U.N., and Rights Activists Feel a Chill (2018-03-23)
(New York Times, By Nick Cumming-Bruce) A resolution passed by the United Nations’ top human rights body reflects a push against international norms, rights organizations and Western officials say.

Japan Warms to China’s Belt and Road Plan with Talks on Business Tie-Ups, Sources Say (2018-03-25)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) Japan may soon become more involved in China’s multibillion-dollar belt and road plan, with the two countries expected to begin exploring business cooperation deals in third countries, according to diplomatic and trade sources. Faced with uncertainty over the global leadership role of traditional ally America under Donald Trump, Japan has gone from wariness towards the “Belt and Road Initiative” – Beijing’s strategy to boost infrastructure and trade links with nations from Asia to Africa – to slowly warming to the idea of taking part in it.

The Belt and Road Initiative: Is China Putting Its Money Where its Mouth Is? (2018-03-26)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Johan van de Ven) However, data collected by RWR Advisory Group shows that new projects in infrastructure, power, and energy—the lifeblood of the Belt and Road Initiative—have declined every year after peaking in 2015, measured both in terms of number of new projects and dollar amounts spent.

Maintaining Momentum in Japan–China Relations (2018-03-27)
(East Asia Forum, By Madoka Fukuda) In January 2018, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono visited China, meeting officials including his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to confirm the importance of reciprocal visits by their leaders. Although the bilateral relationship has moved on from its lowest points in the 2010s, no state visits have taken place since 2011.
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

US Foreign Policy is Failing in the Philippines (2018-03-23)
(East Asia Forum, By Luke Lischin) The United States’ ongoing efforts to bolster its military aid under the remit of counterterrorism cooperation reflects Washington’s desire for continued influence in the region. Unfortunately for the United States, military aid to the Philippines without diplomatic and economic policies to match will not be sufficient to mitigate Chinese influence.

Beijing and Manila in Talks on Joint Projects in South China Sea
 (2018-03-21)
(Associated Press) Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano was in Beijing on Wednesday for talks on possible joint development projects in the South China Sea amid signs of an easing of tensions in the disputed waterway. Cayetano was scheduled to meet with his counterpart Wang Yi later in the afternoon and on Friday with newly appointed Vice-President Wang Qishan, a close ally of President Xi Jinping.

Beijing Accuses US of ‘Serious Provocation’ after Destroyer Sails Through Disputed South China Sea
 (2018-03-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Josephine Ma) China accused America of “serious military provocation” after a US Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island in the South China Sea – one day after the first move in what could develop into a full-blown trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Wang Qishan Calls for ‘Strategic’ Relations with Manila in Diplomatic Debut
 (2018-03-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Alice Yan) Xi Jinping’s trusted ally Wang Qishan made his diplomatic debut as vice-president on Friday, calling for a “strategic” approach to relations during a meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in Beijing. It was his first meeting with a foreign dignitary since he returned to the political spotlight during China’s annual legislative sessions that finished on Tuesday. Lawmakers endorsed him as vice-president during the meetings, and controversially revised the constitution to remove term limits on the presidency and vice-presidency.

China Air Force Drills Again in South China Sea, Western Pacific (2018-03-24)
(Reuters) China’s air force has held another round of drills in the disputed South China Sea and the Western Pacific after passing though Japan’s southern islands, the air force said on Sunday, calling such exercises the best preparation for war.

The Korean Peninsula

North and South Korea to Hold Preparatory Talks for Summit Meeting (2018-03-24)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) High-level officials from both Koreas will meet next week to discuss the agenda for the talks between Kim Jong-un, the North’s leader, and the South’s president, Moon Jae-in.

Rumours China and North Korea Were No Longer Allies Put to Bed by Kim Jong-un’s Beijing ‘Visit’ (2018-03-27)
(South China Morning Post, By Shi Jiangtao, Minnie Chan, and Sarah Zheng) The visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to China – assuming it actually took place – sent a clear message to the world that despite rumours to the contrary, Beijing and Pyongyang remain close allies, analysts said on Tuesday. While neither Beijing nor Pyongyang has confirmed the visit, which lasted less than a day, Kim’s distinctive green train was reported to have left the Chinese capital about 3pm on Tuesday and was expected to rattle back across the border later the same evening.

Chinese Diplomat Gets Key Role on North Korean Issues as Beijing Fights to Remain Relevant (2018-03-27)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou and Catherine Wong) A veteran diplomat is set to take over as China’s deputy special representative for Korean affairs, as Beijing seeks to avoid being sidelined on the peninsula amid plans for North Korea to hold talks with both South Korea and the United States, sources said. Ning Fukui, who served as ambassador to South Korea from 2006-08, and was involved in the four- and six-party talks in the 1990s and 2000s, is expected to work under Kong Xuanyou, China’s special envoy to Pyongyang and vice-foreign minister on North Korean affairs, the diplomatic sources said.

What Kim Jong-un May Get in Reaching Out to China
 (2018-03-27)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers and Choe Sang-hun) In an unexpected burst of diplomacy, North Korea’s leader may be playing the role of international statesman while courting an ally that was losing patience with his country.

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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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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