::: TSR Weekly Report
2018-04-24 | NO.41(68) epaper |
Note to Readers
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Cross-Strait Relations
China Conducts War Games, and Taiwan Is the Target (2018-04-18)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy) The live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait come as China and the United States are at odds over the self-governing island, which Beijing considers its territory. <RSS, Accessed 2018-04-18>

Xi as China's lifetime President: What Does it Mean for Taiwan? (2018-04-18)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Local experts agree that Xi has now solidified his position as the supreme leader of China, but disagree on how this will impact Taiwan. Some, such as the former acting chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) have argued that this is a blessing in disguise for Taiwan since the issue no longer need be resolved by 2023. Others, such as the chief of the National Security Bureau (NSB) believe this may lead to more pressure being placed on Taiwan since nobody can stop Xi. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Has Beijing Just Put the Finishing Touches to Its Battle Plan to Take Back Taiwan? (2018-04-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) Recent patrols by China’s air force in and around Taiwan appear to be part of a coordinated strike plan across different branches of Chinese military that will encompass the entire area - possibly as preparation for military conflict with the self-ruled island, experts say. The air force conducted several “island encirclement” patrols in and around Taiwan in recent days, the People’s Liberation Army said on Thursday - one day after the mainland’s navy carried out a live-fire drill in the Taiwan Strait. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

China’s Live-fire Taiwan Strait Drill Scales Down as Both Sides Reduce Tensions (2018-04-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) China scaled down a planned naval drill near Taiwan on Wednesday after both sides appeared to have decided to reduce tensions. Taiwan’s defence ministry said that the People’s Liberation Army activities were just regular artillery exercises, and no warships were believed to have taken part in live-fire exercises. <Accessed 2018-04-18>

Taiwan Will Not Cave In to Chinese Harassment: MAC (2018-04-19)
(CNA, By Miao Zhong-han, Elaine Hou and Kuan-lin Liu) The Mainland Affairs Council said that Taiwan would not yield to any threat, military or political, posed by China. They described China's recent military drills in the Taiwan Strait as distractions and ploys to increase tensions between the two sides. They called the military drills counterproductive and instead called for peaceful negotiations. <Accessed 2018-04-20>

Chinese Military Aircraft Undertake Maneuvers Near Taiwan (2018-04-19)
(CNA, By Liu Lee-jung and Kuan-lin Liu) For the second day in a row, Chinese PLA aircraft were seen in the Taiwan Strait for air drills. The ROC military monitored the movements and did not find anything out of the ordinary during the drills. The PLA has been conducting numerous military exercises around the area in the last few weeks. <Accessed 2018-04-20>

Taiwan Searches for Ways to Counter China's Latest Charm Offensive (2018-04-19)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) The 31 Incentives offered by China to Taiwanese people willing to move and invest in businesses in the Mainland are being advertised as beneficial to Taiwan, but it is an attempt to win over the hearts and minds of Taiwanese. The government has responded by introducing "Four Directions and Eight Strategies" to better the environment in Taiwan instead. <Accessed 2018-04-20>

US Lawmakers Say China Military Drill a Threat to Ignore (2018-04-19)
(Taipei Times, By Jake Chung) Several members of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs said that China's military drill in the Taiwan Strait was not something to take seriously, rather just serving as a threat. One said that the US should work with China and Taiwan to find a peaceful solution to the issue without sacrificing human rights and democracy on the side of Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-04-20>

China Navy Drills in Pacific as Tension with Taiwan Rises (2018-04-21)
(Reuters) Chinese naval forces have passed through waters south of Taiwan and carried out military exercises in the western Pacific, the latest in a series of military drills that self-ruled Taiwan has criticized as amounting to “intimidation”. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Are the US and China Headed for War over Taiwan? (2018-04-21)
(South China Morning Post, By Wang Xiangwei) Are the Chinese mainland and Taiwan headed down an inevitable path to war – one that is likely to see the United States join the fray? This slow-burning question came to the fore again last week when the mainland launched live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday amid fiery rhetoric from Chinese state media. On Thursday morning, Chinese state media started to post online videos of helicopters and warships firing at targets at sea but Taiwan dismissed the exercises as “routine”. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Taiwanese Students Speak Out About Working in China (2018-04-21)
(Taipei Times, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) Several students were asked their views on what working in China under the 31 Incentives would be like. Overall opinion was that they were flexible, yet there needs to be more open-mindedness from politicians on either side of the Taiwan Strait. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

MND Monitoring Politically Charged Voyage of Chinese Aircraft Carrier (2018-04-21)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Kuan-lin Liu) The Ministry of National Defense is monitoring China's Liaoning aircraft carrier as it travels through the Western Pacific Ocean. They have repeatedly said that there is no unusual activity and that they are closely monitoring the situation. However, Arthur Ding has stated that this voyage is actually a message for the US as a response to the US's crackdown on alleged Chinese intellectual property theft. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

For US and China, the Real Friction over Taiwan Is Yet to Come (2018-04-22)
(South China Morning Post, By Cary Huang) Even if the United States and China can find a way out of their simmering trade dispute, the next topic that could provoke an ugly clash may already be upon them: Taiwan. A string of recent events has served to highlight escalating tensions between Washington, Beijing and Taipei. These culminated in the past week in a series of tit-for-tat military displays in the Taiwan Strait. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Beijing's Routine Exercises Psychological Warfare: Expert (2018-04-22)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) China has continued to intentionally play up its routine military exercises as psychological warfare to pressure Taiwan, including its recently concluded April 18 drill. The main reason for Beijing doing so was a retaliatory move in response to recent pro-Taiwan policies on the part of the United States, including the passage of the Taiwan Travel Act. It was also aimed at soothing the dissatisfaction among the hawkish pro-unification factions in China as a reassurance that Chinese President Xi Jinping remains tough in terms of pro-unification and anti-Taiwan independence. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Six in 10 Think China's Incentives Could Lure Taiwanese: Poll (2018-04-23)
(CNA, By Elizabeth Hsu) A new survey by the Taiwan Competitiveness Forum shows that about six in ten Taiwanese believe that China's 31 incentives offered to Taiwanese people willing to move and work in the Mainland would be an attractive offer. Very few people believed that the Taiwanese government's strategy to offset the Chinese incentives would be effective. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Most Taiwanese Think Military Cannot Fend Off China Attack: Poll (2018-04-23)
(CNA, By Hsieh Chia-chen and Elizabeth Hsu) A survey conducted by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed that 65.4 percent of the Taiwanese public believes that the military cannot hold off against the Chinese military in the face of an invasion. This survey was held right before a live-fire training exercise by the Chinese military in the Taiwan Strait. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

China Conducts Live Fire Combat Drills in East China Sea: Xinhua (2018-04-23)
(Reuters) China has conducted live combat drills in the East China Sea, state news agency Xinhua reported late on Monday, the latest in a series of air and sea military exercises it has conducted over the past 10 days. Xinhua said a Chinese aircraft formation, which included the Liaoning carrier and J-15 planes, conducted anti-aircraft and anti-submarine warfare training where they intercepted “enemy” jets, fired anti-air missiles from ships surrounding the carrier and dodged “enemy” submarines. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

China Tightening Control Over Film Industry: Academic (2018-04-24)
(Taipei Times, By Chung Li-hua and Sherry Hsiao) With China tightening its control over its film industry, joint productions between Taiwan and China are likely to focus on portraying a single historical viewpoint and featuring grand endings suggesting that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are “one family,” said Lee Cheng-liang, an assistant professor at National Chengchi University. Since China’s announcement on Feb. 28 of 31 measures to attract Taiwanese workers, some Taiwanese working in the film industry on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are planning to ask the government to lift the quota that limits imports of Chinese films to 10 per year. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Taiwan to Simulate Repelling Invasion amid China Tensions (2018-04-24)
(Reuters) Taiwan will simulate repelling an invading force, emergency repairs of a major air base and using civilian-operated drones as part of military exercises starting next week, the defense ministry said on Tuesday amid growing tensions with China. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

CCP Propaganda against Taiwan Enters the Social Age (2018-04-24)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Russell Hsiao) The CCP has a long history of using propaganda and disinformation against Taiwan. In social media it has found a fertile information environment to amplify its time-honed tactics of political and psychological warfare. Flooding Taiwan’s society with propaganda and disinformation can weaken its people’s trust in democratic institutions and lead to political instability. <Accessed 2018-04-24>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
 Taiwan Hopes Talks Under TIFA Will Resume This Year (2018-04-19)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Frances Huang) A senior trade negotiator from the Office of Trade Negotiations of the Executive Yuan said that Taiwan hopes that negotiations with the United States as part of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) would continue sometime this year. TIFA talks have not been held since President Donald Trump took office as the trade representative office for Taiwan has not been filled. However, now that the office has a representative, the US and Taiwan have begun talks to resume the negotiations. <Accessed 2018-04-20>

Tsai Praises US Approval of Submarine Tech License (2018-04-17)
(Taipei Times/CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen praised the US's decision to grant Taiwan a license for technologies that would enable it to build its own fleet of submarines. She said that doing so would promote peace within the region as well as allow Taiwan to defend itself. She noted the US as an important economic and military partner and its help throughout Taiwan's history. <Accessed 2018-04-18>

US Wants to See Taiwan at WHA (2018-04-21)
(Taipei Times/CNA) James Inhofe and Robert Menendez, two US Senators as part of the Taiwan Caucus, have introduced a bill to ask the Secretary of State to get Taiwan invited to the World Health Assembly conference. Inhofe said that China is the biggest roadblock to Taiwan attending the conference and also cited that Donald Trump is willing to stand by Taiwan politically, economically, and militarily against China. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Plans to Post U.S. Marines in New AIT Office Highlights Ties: Scholar (2018-04-22)
(CNA, By Yu Kai-hsiang and Shih Hsiu-chuan) Lin Ying-yu, an assistant professor at National Chung Cheng University's Institute of Strategic and International Affairs said the plan by the United States to post marines at the new compound of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) shows the importance the U.S. attaches to its relations with Taiwan. The new office is scheduled to open in June. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

US Supports Taiwan's Bid for Observer Status at WHA: Envoy (2018-04-23)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Kin Moy said that the US maintains its support of Taiwan's efforts to attend the World Health Assembly conference as an observer state. The US has supported Taiwan's status as an observer in the past as well. Moy noted Taiwan's contributions to the world of public health and medicine. <Accessed 2018-04-24>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
President Tsai Arrives in Swaziland for Four-Day Visit (2018-04-17)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Romulo Huang) President Tsai Ing-wen landed in Swaziland for a four-day long visit, in which she will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Swaziland's independence as well as the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Taiwan. She will also sign a joint communique with the King of Swaziland. She will be meeting with local delegations throughout her visit as well. <Accessed 2018-04-18>

Taiwan Business Group Signs MOU with Indonesia's Islamic Group (2018-04-17)
(CNA, By Justin Su and Elizabeth Hsu) The Taiwan-ASEAN Business Council signed an agreement with the largest Islamic organization in Indonesia, called Nahdlatul Ulama. The memorandum of understanding was to undertake future business cooperation between the two organizations. They will be working on intelligent farming, intelligent cities, and improved future technologies in several other industries. <Accessed 2018-04-18>

NGOs to Hold Exhibition in Geneva to Promote Taiwan's WHA Bid (2018-04-17)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Evelyn Kao) Several NGO groups will be holding a large convention in Geneva to promote Taiwan's achievements in medicine and public health initiatives. Taiwan has not received an invitation to this year's World Health Assembly due to increasing pressure from Beijing. The convention will happen near the venue for the WHA to help showcase Taiwan's contributions to the related fields. <Accessed 2018-04-18>

President Tsai Embarks on First Trip to Africa (2018-04-17)
(CNA, By Chang Liang-chih, Y.F. Low and Evelyn Kao) President Tsai Ing-wen has left Taiwan for her first trip to Africa since she became President in 2016. She will visit Swaziland to promote cooperation between the two countries, meet with local delegations, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries as well as the 50th anniversary of Swaziland's independence. She will be there for four days. <Accessed 2018-04-18>

Taiwan Summons Indonesian Envoy Over Fishing Boat Incidents
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Wednesday summoned Indonesia's top envoy to Taiwan to express concern over Jakarta's recent inspections of Taiwanese fishing vessels without proper cause. Indonesian authorities have boarded and inspected eight Taiwanese fishing vessels since the conclusion of Lunar New Year long break in mid-February. According to Director-General Lin Kuo-ping of the Fisheries Agency, all those vessels were innocently passing through the Strait of Malacca. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Over 700 MOUs Signed Between Taiwan, Indonesia (2018-04-18)
(CNA, By chen Chi-chong and Kuan-lin Liu) Universities from Taiwan and Indonesia signed a record 722 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) Wednesday to promote educational exchanges between the two countries, according to the Ministry of Education (MOE). While very little was disclosed about the details of the MOUs, the MOE expressed its hope that they will allow for the cultivation of talent, the deepening of Taiwan-Indonesia ties, and the promotion of collaboration among higher education institutions on both sides. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Taiwan Solicits Belgium's Support for WHA Bid (2018-04-18)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and William Yen) Vice President Chen Chien-jen has asked a visiting delegation of Belgian parliamentarians to support Taiwan's efforts to participate in the World Health Assembly (WHA), saying that Taiwan's exclusion will create a loophole in global epidemic prevention. Chen said health care is a basic universal right, and Taiwan's exclusion from the WHA, the decision making body of the World Health Organization, would be an infringement of the Taiwanese people's rights. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

President Tsai Urges Taiwanese to Invest More in Africa (2018-04-18)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Kuan-lin Liu) President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday advised Taiwanese businesspeople in Swaziland to not miss out on investment opportunities in Africa as they seek diversification. Speaking to the Taiwanese business community in southern Africa, Tsai thanked them for the work they are doing in countries such as Swaziland, Mozambique, South Africa and Lesotho, which she said has allowed Taiwan to penetrate the African market. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

 Taiwan, Swaziland Like "Sworn Brothers": Tsai (2018-04-19)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Kuan-lin Liu) President Tsai Ing-wen said that Taiwan and Swaziland would always be able to count on each other for support, describing the two as "sworn brothers" during her visit to the Kingdom this week. She is there to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries as well as celebrate 50 years of Swaziland's independence. <Accessed 2018-04-20>

President Looks to Increased Taiwan Presence in Africa (2018-04-19)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Evelyn Kao) President Tsai Ing-wen said that Taiwan would be more involved in Africa and can make many contributions to the continent. She is currently on a four-day diplomatic visit to Swaziland to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kingdom's independence and the anniversary of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Swaziland. She also expressed desire for better joint efforts towards business cooperation between the two countries. <Accessed 2018-04-20>

Taiwan Taps African Diplomatic Allies As Launch Pad Into Continent (2018-04-20)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Kuan-lin Liu) President Tsai Ing-wen said views its diplomatic allies in Africa as the starting point for a step-by-step approach to engaging with and investing in the continent. At a press conference in Swaziland, Tsai emphasized cooperation with its two diplomatic allies in Africa: Swaziland and Burkina Faso. These cooperative initiatives range from trade and investment to skills exchanges, professional training and education, all of which will help Taiwan's diplomatic allies build an industrial foundation while allowing Taipei to increase its influence on the continent. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

President Calls for "Africa Plan" to Further Engagement, Investment
(CNA, By Kuan-lin Liu, Chiu Chun-chin and Yeh Su-ping) President Tsai Ing-wen has announced that she has called for the creation of an "Africa Plan," which will foster coordination and cooperation between businesses, various government agencies, and African organizations to improve investment and cooperation in Africa. She said this at the end of her four-day visit to Swaziland. She has also instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health to begin looking into specific cooperation arenas. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Envoy Sees Policy Congruence Between Taiwan, Australia (2018-04-21)
(CNA, By Lee Hsin-Yin) Gary Cowan, Head of the Australian Office in Taipei, said that he hopes for increased cooperation among common interests between Taiwan and Australia. Australia and Taiwan have similar foreign development policies, and he sees many avenues of cooperation that both sides would do well to begin engaging in. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Taiwan to Stage Military Exercises June 4 (2018-04-22)
(CNA, By You Kai-hsiang and S.C. Chang) The annual Han Kuang military exercises will be staged June 4, following military simulations that will finish by the end of May. Ministry of National Defense spokesman Chen Chung-chi said details of the annual exercises will not be made public until they have been completed. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

President Tsai Congratulates President-Elect of Paraguay (2018-04-23)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan and Ko Lin) President Tsai Ing-wen offered her congratulations to Mario Abdo Benitez, the new President-elect of Paraguay. Paraguay is Taiwan's only diplomatic ally in South America, and they have shared diplomatic relations with Taiwan for over sixty years. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Including Taiwan Should Not Be a Troubling Issue for the WHO (2018-04-20)
(The Diplomat, By Shih-Chia Lin) Given the goals of the new World Health Assembly Director-General, inviting Taiwan as an observer state should not be as much trouble as the WHA makes it out to be. Chinese pressure has escalated to a level that shuts Taiwan out of any international cooperation. Although China's contributions to the WHA are large, inviting Taiwan for the progress of public health throughout Taiwan remains important. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Taiwan Sees Relations with Japan as Important: Vice President (2018-04-24)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Ko Lin) Speaking with a visiting delegation of Taiwanese expatriates in Japan, Vice President Chen Chien-jen described Japan as an important ally and said that the two sides are closely tied in terms of culture and economy. He said bilateral relations moved a step closer when the Japanese government made the decision to change the name of its representative office in Taiwan from the "Interchange Association, Japan" to the "Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association" at the beginning of this year. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Taiwan Prioritizing Clean Government to Draw Investors: President Tsai (2018-04-24)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Kuan-lin Liu) President Tsai INg-wen is prioritizing wiping out corruption to protect people's rights and to create an attractive environment for investors. A clean and transparent government is closely linked to a country's attraction as an investment destination, which is why Taiwan is prioritizing its efforts to crack down on corruption, Tsai told the delegation from anti-corruption and judicial agencies from allied Central American countries. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Premier Outlines Principles for Ties with NSP Target Countries (2018-04-24)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Romulo Huang) Premier William Lai said the government will promote reciprocal, multifaceted relations with New Southbound Policy (NSP) target countries on the basis of win-win principles. This will be done though diplomatic, parliamentary, and non-governmental channels. For example, Lai urged the Ministry of Finance to prioritize the signing of bilateral taxation agreements with NSP countries. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

U.S.-China Relations
 Do US-China Economic Relations Have a Bright Future Under Xi? (2018-04-19)
(The Diplomat, By Quinn Marschik) President Xi Jinping's massive growth in power potentially could change the US and China's economic relationship to one more beneficial to the United States. Several of Xi's appointments to top level government posts have had Western educations and backgrounds, demonstrating an understanding of Western economic theories. This, combined with Xi's rhetoric, suggest that the United States has much to gain from the changes in China's economy. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Do the Chinese Government’s Technology Transfer Policies Even Work? (2018-04-20)
(The Diplomat, By Fatih Oktay) While a requirement for foreign technology companies to access Chinese markets has often been to hand over technology in order to protect domestic Chinese firms, modern Chinese firms may not even be benefitting from such a policy. Modern firms do not seem to have acquired much of their technology from foreign companies, instead having survived without having anything to do with the policy. If this is true, then the recent push towards a trade war with China from the United States may be based on nothing. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

US Unilateralism Undermining Coalitions to Better Compete with China (2018-04-21)
(East Asia Forum, By John Taishu Pitt) Lack of US leadership on economic cooperation will not see a struggle for power in creating a new economic system. Instead, it will likely see states cooperating to establish and uphold institutions that are in sync with US values and the global trading system. But if the United States continues to undermine multilateral efforts that support both the United States’ and other states’ interests, cooperation will be much more limited and less capable of taming China’s rise. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

China Welcomes U.S. to Visit China to Discuss Trade (2018-04-22)
(Reuters) China on Sunday said it welcomed plans by top U.S. officials to visit the country to discuss trade and economic issues, amid tensions between the world’s two largest economies. “The Chinese side has received information that the U.S. side hopes to come to Beijing to discuss economic and trade issues. China welcomes this,” a short statement on the commerce ministry’s website said. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

US Ignored Beijing’s Gains in Intellectual Property Protection, Chinese Watchdog Says (2018-04-24)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) Beijing has hit back at Washington over an investigation into China’s intellectual property practices, saying the United States failed to take China’s advances in IP protections into account. Shen Changyu, head of China’s revamped State Intellectual Property Office, made the remarks on Tuesday in response to a US investigation under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which prompted Washington to propose a 25 per cent tariff on about 1,300 industrial technology, transport and medical imports from China. <Accessed 2018-04-24>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Xi Jinping and the Removal of Presidential Term Limits in China (2018-04-17)
(IPP Review, By Dennis V. Hickey) In short, the harsh indictment of the decision to end presidential term limits in China reflects a degree of hypocrisy on the part of many who criticize the measure. But there is more going on here. Namely, it is clear that some critics have little knowledge of China or its political system.<Accessed 2018-04-25>

The AIIB’s Creative Spirit: Experiments in Infrastructure Finance
(East Asia Forum, By Daniel Poon) This apparent inclination to experiment with innovative financial arrangements could allow the AIIB to improve upon existing multilateral development bank practices, at least in terms of extending large and rapid infrastructure project loan dispersions. But the AIIB’s articles of agreement appear to leave room for wider experimentation with scaling-up via the special funds mechanism, and it is this broader backing of China’s financial institutions that may, over time, give the AIIB its truly distinctive operational features. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

EU Presents (Nearly) United Front against China’s ‘Unfair’ Belt and Road Initiative (2018-04-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) Relations between China and Europe could face uncertainty as EU member states try to build a united front against Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, observers said. Twenty-seven out of 28 EU ambassadors in Beijing, with Hungary the only exception, are reported to have signed a document denouncing the global infrastructure project for hampering free trade and giving an advantage to Chinese companies. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

PLAAF Conducting Drills Skirting Taiwan's Space (2018-04-20)
(CNA, By Jonathan Chin) The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has over the past two days conducted drills with strategic bombers and support aircraft that skirted Taiwan’s territorial space. The ministry identified the Chinese planes as two H-6K bombers and an unspecified number of Tu-154 bombers and Shaanxi Y-8 planes. Officials say the Chinese government has been publicizing its latest “island-surrounding patrols” in what appears to be psychological warfare targeting Taiwanese. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

EU Ambassadors Condemn China’s Belt and Road Initiative (2018-04-21)
(The Diplomat, By Ravi Prasad) 27 out of 28 European Ambassadors to China have signed a report sharply criticizing the Belt and Road Initiative. It says that BRI goes against the fundamental goals of the EU, which would be problematic, given that the end destination of the BRI would be Europe. With the EU voice being particularly powerful, it is possible that other blocs of countries now band together and voice their concerns about the BRI. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Will China’s New Aircraft Carrier Start Sea Trials This Week? (2018-04-23)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) Type 001A Shandong (CV-17), China's first domestically designed and built aircraft carrier, could potentially take to the seas for the first time this week. The sea trials are expected to take six to twelve months and will then serve in the PLA Navy. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

China’s First Home-Grown Type 001A Aircraft Carrier Begins Maiden Sea Trial  (2018-04-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong and Minnie Chan) China's first homegrown aircraft carrier looks set to begin its maiden sea trials after pictures appeared online on Monday of it being towed from its berth in the northeastern port of Dalian. The sea trial of the Type 001A carrier, which coincides with the PLA Navy’s 69th anniversary, is expected to be limited in scope and duration but analysts said it had a symbolic importance as China sought to highlight the advances it had made as a nautical power. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

China in the Pacific: Where There’s Smoke, There’s Mirrors (2018-04-23)
(East Asia Forum, By Jon Fraenkel) In response to the furore about the Luganville wharf, Vanuatu’s new broom reformist foreign minister Regenvanu pointed to his country’s traditionally non-aligned stance, while Prime Minister Salwai said he would ‘fiercely oppose any attempt to build a military base in the country’. They both might have added that back in the 1980s, Vanuatu — like many other Pacific island states — did rather well out of obtaining foreign assistance by playing on the rivalries of the Cold War era. They may now be in a good position to do so again. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

The Risks of One Belt, One Road for China’s Neighbors (2018-04-23)
(The Diplomat, By Shin Kawashima) Several neighboring countries potentially could be at serious risk from the Belt and Road Initiative due to the BRI's reliance on others trusting China. While aid from China may seem preferable to aid from other advanced countries, it should not be solely considered from the Chinese perspective. China will have to build trust with its neighbors in order to properly advance the BRI and beneficial for everyone. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

China Tests Stealth ‘Invisibility Cloaks’ on Regular Fighter Jets  (2018-04-24)
(South China Morning Post, By Stephen Chen) China is testing an “invisibility cloak” on non-stealth military jets to help them evade radar detection, according to scientists involved in the project. If successful, the technology could quickly boost the combat strength of the jets, the researchers say. But others say the technology was difficult to mass produce, limited to a small range of radar bandwidths and would need to be combined with other devices to be truly effective. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Han Kuang Drill Firsts: Coast Guard, Civilian UAV Operators (2018-04-24)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) This year's Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan's largest scale annual drill, will feature Coast Guard officers and civilian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operators for the first time to make use of all levers of national power in military planning. The series of exercises will begin with computer-aided war games from April 30 to May 4 before live-fire drills are staged across the country from June 4 to 8. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

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

Philippines May Lodge Protest with China after Military Planes Are Seen in Spratly Islands (2018-04-18)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) Manila may lodge a protest with Beijing after two Chinese military planes reportedly landed on an artificial island within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, the country’s top diplomat said on Wednesday. Regional analysts said the move showed Beijing was growing more assertive in the disputed waterway. <Accessed 2018-04-18>

China Says Had 'Encounter' with Australian Navy in South China Sea (2018-04-20)
(Reuters) Chinese and Australian naval vessels had an “encounter” in the South China Sea, China’s Defence Ministry said on Friday, after Australian media said Australian warships were challenged by the Chinese military there. The Chinese ships on Sunday used professional language to communicate with the Australian side, and China’s actions were lawful, professional and safe, the ministry said in a short statement. “The relevant reports in the Australian media do not accord with the facts,” it added. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

China’s Intimidation in the South China Sea Poses an Economic Threat to Vietnam (2018-04-25)
(East Asia Forum, By Bill Hayton) It is not yet clear what kind of threat was issued in the latest confrontation. But the Vietnamese decision did coincide with China’s deployment of a 40-ship naval flotilla off Hainan, just two days sailing from the drill location. This is the situation that Vietnamese leadership finds itself in: a huge neighbour is prepared to imply the use of military force to threaten Vietnam’s vital economic interests. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

The Korean Peninsula

Secret Pompeo Mission to North Korea Shows Trump’s Trust in Spies Over Diplomats
(New York Times, By Mark Landler) The C.I.A. director, nominated by Mr. Trump to be the next secretary of state, laid the groundwork for a planned meeting between the president and the North Korean leader. <RSS, Accessed 2018-04-18>

Treaty to Formally End Korean War Is Being Discussed, South Confirms (2018-04-18)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun and Jane Perlez) South Korea said it had been in talks with both American and North Korean officials about replacing the 1953 armistice with a full peace agreement. <RSS, Accessed 2018-04-18>

‘We No Longer Need’ Nuclear or Missile Tests, North Korean Leader Says (2018-04-20)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, announced early Saturday that his country no longer needed to test nuclear weapons or long-range missiles and would close a nuclear test site. “The nuclear test site has done its job,” Mr. Kim said in a statement carried by North Korea’s state media. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

China, Feeling Left Out, Has Plenty to Worry About in North Korea-U.S. Talks (2018-04-22)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) As the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, prepares for his meetings with the presidents of South Korea and the United States, China has found itself in an unaccustomed place: watching from the sidelines. Worse, many Chinese analysts say, North Korea could pursue a grand bargain designed not only to bring the isolated nation closer to its two former Korean War foes, but also diminish its reliance on China for trade and security. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

The Koreas Are Weighing a Peace Deal. Here’s What That Might Mean. (2018-04-24)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy) But first Mr. Kim will meet with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea this Friday in the Demilitarized Zone that divides their countries. The South’s declaration that a deal to end the war formally is under consideration has raised expectations for their meeting. <Accessed 2018-04-24>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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New Publication Kingsley Edney, Stanley Rosen, and Ying Zhu, Soft Power With Chinese Characteristics: China’s Campaign for Hearts and Minds (1st Edition) (Routledge)
New Publication John Franklin Copper, Taiwan: Nation-State or Province? (7th Edition) (Routledge)
New Publication Peter Mattis and Matthew Brazil, Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer (U.S. Naval Institute Press)
New Publication Takashi Inoguchi and Lien Thi Quynh Le, The Development of Global Legislative Politics: Rousseau and Locke Writ Global (Springer Singapore) (includes analysis of East Asian cases)
New Publication Hans Stockton and Yao-Yuan Yeh (eds.), Taiwan: The Development of an Asian Tiger (Lynne Rienner Publishers)
New Publication Dafydd Fell and Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao (eds.), Taiwan Studies Revisited, 1st Edition (Routledge)
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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