::: TSR Weekly Report
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2018-05-15 | NO.41(71) 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
Chinese J-20 Stealth Fighter Jets Carry Out First Sea Training Mission (2018-05-10)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) China’s home-grown Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter has carried out sea training for the first time as the air force seeks to boost its combat readiness amid rising tensions with Taiwan and a regional arms race. <Accessed 2018-05-12>

Window of Opportunity for Defense Autonomy: Ex-Vice Defense Chief (2018-05-10)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Former Vice Defense Chief Chen Yeong-kang said the period from 2020 to 2035 is a window of opportunity for Taiwan to beef up its defense capabilities before China's military is fully modernized. Chen said the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is expected to be fully modernized by 2035, so Taiwan should make best of the gap between 2020 and 2035. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Beijing Again Flexes Military Muscle, Sending Fighter Jets, Bombers around Taiwan
 (2018-05-11)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) Beijing on Friday conducted encirclement drills around Taiwan with its new Su-35 fighter jets as it again flexed its military muscle amid tensions with the self-ruled island. The “innovative joint operation” involved two theatre commands and the aircraft flew in opposite directions around the island, PLA air force spokesman Senior Colonel Shen Jinke said. <Accessed 2018-05-12>

Chinese Air Force Circles Taiwan in Latest Drill (2018-05-11)
(CNA, By Liu Lee-jung, Miao Zong-han and Kuan-lin Liu) The Chinese Air Force conducted a drill involving aircraft circling the island of Taiwan on Friday. The Taiwan Air Force deployed its own aircraft to follow the Chinese aircraft and monitor the situation. The Mainland Affairs Council referred to Beijing's latest military drills as detrimental to cross-strait peace. <Accessed 2018-05-13>

No Plans to Scrutinize Books from China: Culture Minister (2018-05-11)
(CNA, By Wang Yi-ru and William Yen) Responding to remarks that her department is carrying out a "Cultural Revolution," the Culture Minister of Taiwan said that books from China would not be subject to additional scrutiny. She said that latest rumors simply spring from attempts from the Ministry to enforce existing regulations. <Accessed 2018-05-13>

China Flies Su-35 Fighters Over Bashi Channel for First Time (2018-05-12)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) The People's Liberation Army Air Force sent a Sukhoi Su-35S jet as a convoy for several bombers around the island of Taiwan on May 11. The Taiwanese Air Force responded by scrambling its own bombers, but they also said that nothing out of the ordinary took place and that they were monitoring the situation closely. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Taiwan Navy Rebuts Claims of Communication with China Naval Vessel (2018-05-13)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and William Yen) The Taiwanese Navy has denied any communication with a Chinese naval ship after the Chinese ship greeted a Taiwanese ship at sea as a formality. The press release said that the media report starting the rumor was grossly exaggerated. The Ministry of National Defense said that they will continue to monitor any situation involving Chinese ships. <Accessed 2018-05-14>

Financial Requirements for Chinese Tourists to be Relaxed (2018-05-13)
(CNA, By Hsieh Chia-jen and Shih Hsiu-chuan) The Ministry of the Interior proposed an amendment that would lower the financial requirement demonstration for Chinese tourists to be halved from NT$200,000 to NT$100,000. This is done in an effort to attract more tourists from China to Taiwan. They also said that a valid visa could be used to enter instead of sufficient financial proof. <Accessed 2018-05-14>

China's Air Force Circled Taiwan With Bombers and Fighters (2018-05-14)
(National Interest, Bertil Lintner) The Chinese air force conducted military drills around Taiwan on May 11. It was the first time China’s Su-35 fighters and H-6K bombers flew through the channel that separates Taiwan from the Philippines. The aim of the drill could have been designed to intimidate Taiwan’s independent forces. Apart from Su-35s and H-6Ks, the Chinese exercise also reportedly featured J-11 fighters, Shaanxi Y-8 transport planes, the Kj-2000 early warning aircraft, and Tu-154 electronic surveillance aircraft, though neither Beijing nor Taipei has disclosed the number of aircraft involved. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Report of Chinese Aircraft Flying Along M503 Untrue: MND (2018-05-14)
(CNA, By Yiu Kai-hsiang and Evelyn Kao) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Monday dismissed as untrue a television news report by SET News that a Chinese military aircraft was spotted traveling along the M503 aviation route in the Taiwan Strait. The MND said the Y-8 was actually flying west of the median line of the Taiwan Strait as part of a training program and the ministry scrambled a fighter jet in response. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Tsai Wants Reciprocity, No Pre-Conditions for Meeting with Xi (2018-05-14)
(CNA, By Flor Wang) President Tsai Ing-wen reiterated her position that she would like to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping based on reciprocity with no political conditions attached. She said now that North and South Korea have communicated, Taiwan and mainland China should do the same. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Taiwan Has a Plan to Find (And Destroy) China's Stealth Fighters (2018-05-15)
(National Interest, Asia Times) The Taiwanese military will deploy mobile passive radar systems to fend off stealth aircraft from China after rumors Beijing may dispatch its J-20 fighters to circumnavigate the island. The ministry-affiliated Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology has been working on incorporating Western military technologies into its mobile passive counter stealth aircraft radar system for years, which would be able to detect targets at long range. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Gap, Wary of Crossing China, Apologizes for T-Shirt’s Map (2018-05-15)
(New York Times, By Tiffany Hsu) Chinese social media users on Monday posted photos of the shirt, which did not include Taiwan, parts of Tibet and islands in the South China Sea that, in Beijing’s view, belong to China. Within hours, Gap posted a statement on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo in which it said it was “extremely sorry” for the shirt’s “erroneous” design. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Taiwan Seeks 'Correction' after Air Canada Lists Taipei as Part of China (2018-05-15)
(Reuters, By Allison Lampert and Jess Macy Yu) Taiwan’s foreign ministry has asked Air Canada (AC.TO) for a “speedy correction” following the airline’s decision to list Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, as a part of China on its booking website, according to a statement from the ministry on Tuesday. <Accessed 2018-05-16>

Taiwan’s Diplomatic Status Erodes Again (2018-05-15)
(Taiwan Insight, By John F. Copper) The Tsai administration’s dilemma is that it might prevent further losses by improving cross-Strait relations. That would likely entail abandoning its opposition to the 1992 Consensus. But President Tsai would risk sacrificing her voter base which she needs to help her party in the coming local elections in November. <Accessed 2018-05-16>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
 US Expresses Dismay at China Blocking Taiwan from Attending WHA (2018-05-09)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-ye and Evelyn Kao) The United States announced their support for Taiwan's attendance at the World Health Assembly conference and expressed their disappointment at China for blocking Taiwan from participating. They said they would continue to support Taiwan's right to attend as an observer. Taiwan did not receive an invitation in time to meet the registration deadline, which passed earlier this week. <Accessed 2018-05-11>

AIT Expresses Strong U.S. Support Taiwan in World Health Assembly (2018-05-10)
(CNA, Chen Yi-wei and Evelyn Kao) The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said the United States strongly supports Taiwan's participation as an observer in this year's meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA). The AIT said Taiwan participation would improve our "collective ability to stop the spread of infectious diseases." <Accessed 2018-05-15>

US House Committee Votes to Boost Taiwan's Military Capability (2018-05-11)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh, Elaine Hou and Frances Huang) The US House Armed Services Committee voted on Friday to approve a draft bill that would assist in boosting the defensive capabilities of Taiwan's military. The bill would, among other details, allow for increased arms sales to Taiwan and provide a framework for military drills. The Ministry of National Defense expressed its thank for the support from the US Congress. <Accessed 2018-05-13>

U.S. Voices Concern After Chinese Aircraft Circle Near Taiwan Again (2018-05-12)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Y.F. Low) The U.S. State Department again expressed concern over China's lack of military transparency and reiterated its opposition to attempts to change the cross-Taiwan Strait status quo, following a fresh incident of Chinese military aircraft circling near Taiwan. A U.S. State Department spokesperson added that America has a deep and abiding interest in cross-strait peace and stability and encourages Beijing and Taipei to engage in constructive dialogue that seeks a peaceful resolution of differences. <Accessed 2018-05-15>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 FTA With Panama Still Effective, No Termination Notice Received: MOFA (2018-05-09)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and William Yen) The Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of China and Panama is still effective according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They have not received any notice of termination from the Panamanian government. While the two countries broke diplomatic relations in 2017, the free trade agreement has continued. <Accessed 2018-05-11>

16 Diplomatic Allies to Address Taiwan's Exclusion from WHA Meeting (2018-05-09)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Kuan-lin Liu) Sixteen of Taiwan's diplomatic allies have sent letters to the organizers of the World Health Assembly asking to make the decision to exclude Taiwan from the conference a formal topic of discussion at the conference. The allies will express Taiwan's voice at the conference in lieu of Taiwan's attendance. The United States has also expressed its desire for Taiwan to attend the conference. <Accessed 2018-05-11>

Taiwan Committed to "Healthy ASEAN Community": Official (2018-05-09)
(CNA, By Jay Chou and Kuan-lin Liu) A representative for Taiwan said that Taiwan would be willing to work with ASEAN for the progress of global health and medicine. The representative cited the World Health Organization's goal of making healthcare a basic human right as Taiwan's basis for cooperation, despite Taiwan's exclusion from the World Health Assembly this year. <Accessed 2018-05-11>

EU Voices Support for Taiwan's Participation in WHA (2018-05-09)
(CNA, By Tang Pei-chun and Frances Huang) The European Union Parliament announced its support for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly conference, which will be taking place later this month. A representative said that Taiwan's participation would still be in line with the EU's adherence to the "One China" policy. Chinese pressure caused Taiwan to not receive an invitation this year, similar to last year. <Accessed 2018-05-11>

New Ally List Does Not Exist: Minister (2018-05-09)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Taiwan did not have a list of potential diplomatic allies, instead saying that Taiwanese foreign policy would focus on maintaining and improving relationships with Taiwan's current diplomatic allies. He also said that Taiwan would not engage in checkbook diplomacy with Beijing, where the two sides of the Taiwan Strait would attract diplomatic allies with promises of monetary aid. He also asked the public to avoid spreading rumors over which allies may be preparing to split diplomatic relations with Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-05-11>

Kinmen Sees 3.5 Percent Rise in Chinese Visitors (2018-05-10)
(CNA) The travel volume between Kinmen and China via the “small three links” in the first four months of this year grew 3.5 percent from the same period last year, the Kinmen County Government said. Chinese visitors accounted for 40.17 percent of Kinmen's total visits. The increase in travelers is attributable to the efforts of Kinmen County Commissioner Chen Fu-hai who lobbied the immigration agency to ease some of the links’ restrictions. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Taiwan to Hold Emergency Rescue Drill in South China Sea (2018-05-10)
(CNA, By Huang Lee-jung and Kuan-lin Liu) Several government agencies will hold a joint exercise in the South China Sea on Friday to test Taiwan's disaster relief and emergency response at sea. The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said this drill will focus on six aspects of Taiwan's humanitarian rescue capabilities, including its disaster relief response mechanisms and use of unmanned aerial vehicles for sea rescue. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

MOFA Opens New Unit to Promote New Southbound Policy (2018-05-11)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Kuan-lin Liu) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened the Indo-Pacific Affairs Section, which is tasked with promoting Taiwan's New Southbound Policy. It will be a part of the Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. <Accessed 2018-05-13>

Taiwan Archbishop to Extend Invitation to Pope Francis for Visit (2018-05-11)
(CNA, By Huang Ya-shih and Ko Lin) Taiwan Parish Archbishop Hung Shan-chuan said that he will be inviting Pope Francis for a visit to Taiwan next week. No Pope has ever visited Taiwan so far. Several Taiwanese bishops are currently in Rome for a visit to Vatican City. <Accessed 2018-05-13>

Nicaragua Cannot Be Bought: Ambassador (2018-05-12)
(Taipei Ties, By Stacy Hsu) Nicaraguan Ambassador William Tapia said Nicaragua will not abandon Taiwan, and that Nicaragua cannot be "bought by dollars." Nicaragua is one of Taiwan's 19 diplomatic allies, and Tapia insists Nicaragua would never and has never thought about leaving Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

President Sends Condolences Over Indonesia Bombings, Paris Attack (2018-05-13)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao) President Tsai Ing-wen expressed condolences for the victims of a bombing in Indonesia and an attack in central Paris over the last two days. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reported that no Taiwanese citizens suffered casualties in either attack. <Accessed 2018-05-14>

ANALYSIS: Diplomatic Ally Predicament Requires New Thinking (2018-05-13)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) The loss of several diplomatic allies is often solely blamed on President Tsai Ing-wen's refusal to concede to certain Chinese demands, but there should be a new perspective on this issue. The diplomatic attacks do not come solely from Tsai refusing to embrace the 1992 Consensus. Taiwanese citizens should focus on safety, security, and equal treatment in foreign countries, not just symbolic issues. <Accessed 2018-05-14>

Interview: MND Sees Defense Self-Sufficiency as Priority (2018-05-14)
(Liberty Times, By Aaron Tu, Huang Wei-chu and Lo Tien-pi) In an interview with the Ministry of National Defense Yen De-fa, Yen reveals that the MND's top priority is the rapid build-up of the military's operational capabilities. Yen would also like to receive more funding other than the procurement of arms from the United States. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Inter-Korean Summit Conducive to Regional Stability: Tsai (2018-05-14)
(CNA, Lu Hsin-hui and Flor Wang) As a new page of history is turned in the Asia-Pacific with the recent inter-Korean summit, President Tsai Ing-wen said she hoped that the peace initiatives broached during the event spread to the rest of the region. Taiwan is also willing to take part in the Indo-Pacific Strategy broached by U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which Tsai said establishes a foundation for countries in the region to move toward the common goal of peace and prosperity. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Taiwan Aiming to Build 3 Corvette Class Warships by 2025 (2018-05-14)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Evelyn Kao) The Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa said Taiwan plans to construct three corvette class warships by 2025 and move up its schedule for the construction of another eight vessels. The Navy hopes to obtain a total of 11 locally built stealth corvettes over the next few years to improve Taiwan's asymmetric warfare capabilities amid growing military imbalance in the Taiwan Strait. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou Sentenced to 4 Months in Prison for Leaking Information (2018-05-15)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan’s former president Ma Ying-jeou has been sentenced to four months in prison for leaking classified information, in a ruling that could deter other leaders of the self-ruled island from consulting their aides for fear of violating the law, observers said. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Defense Minister: Taiwan Is Seeking F-35 Stealth Fighter (2018-05-15)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) The Defense Minister of Taiwan has once again expressed interest in Taiwan obtaining the F-35B, a stealth fighter jet capable of short take-off and vertical landing. It has not made an official request to the US to purchase the aircraft yet. The US also has not committed to selling any aircraft to Taiwan at this point, although the possibility remains open. <Accessed 2018-05-15>
U.S.-China Relations
What Makes America the Most Powerful State in Asia? (2018-05-07)
(The Diplomat, By Catherine Putz) The differences between hard power and soft power only exist to better explain how states use power, but do not adequately explain how states obtain power. Several factors, many of which the US demonstrate, go into determining how much power a state actually has. A major part of this is a global network of allies and partners, one which the US is much more successful in over China. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

In the Era of Great Power Competition, the US Needs to Step Up Its Game (2018-05-08)
(The Diplomat, By Ben Cipperley) China has not backed down on its claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea or the increasing militarization of the area. The US has also said it will compete with China, but it has remained quiet regarding the increases in military activity in the South China Sea. The US should increase the pressure it puts on China through increased naval activities and take back control over the narrative on the region's development. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

The Greater Danger of US-China Trade Tensions (2018-05-09)
(The Diplomat, By Ali Wyne) An issue with the potential for a full trade war between China and the United States is that if a trade war arises, the interdependence between the two countries that keeps the two in check could fall apart. The first round of new negotiations were not successful, so not many people believe the future rounds will be successful either. Due to a Chinese increased focus on domestic economic production, the primary outcome concerns of a trade war are more strategic than economic in nature. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Why Is China Attacking US Aircraft? (2018-05-10)
(The Diplomat, By Ben Lowsen) China allegedly has been targeting US aircraft in Djibouti with a high-powered laser, which could lead to deadly incidents if true, but China denies the accusation. However, China listing excuses instead of outright condemning the accusations is suggesting that China is annoyed with US pilots' flight practices as well, which does not excuse targeting them with lasers. The international community needs to hold China to the same standards that China claims to support. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

 US Congressman Urges US Airlines Not to Bow to Beijing's Demands (2018-05-11)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Kuan-lin Liu) US Congressman Ted Yoho asked US airlines not to succumb to Chinese pressure after China sent US airlines a letter instructing them to list Taiwan as a province of China. The White House earlier also referred to the demands as "Orwellian nonsense," a sentiment with which the Congressman agreed. <Accessed 2018-05-13>

Could the US Navy Blockade China in Wartime? (2018-05-14)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) As China depends heavily on foreign oil, the US blockading China's oil imports could possibly serve a large purpose during a war. However, a blockade would pose several strategic and economic issues, including a drastic decline in the global economy as China suffers from a lack of oil. A blockade may be effective, but it will not be the only tool the US needs to win a war against China. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Trump Asked Commerce Chief to Look into Limits on China's ZTE: White House (2018-05-14)
(Reuters) President Donald Trump asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to look into U.S. restrictions placed on Chinese telecommunication company ZTE Corp (000063.SZ), a White House spokesman said on Monday, calling the limits “an issue of high concern for China.” <Accessed 2018-05-16>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Beijing and Hong Kong

Chinese Army Promotes New Political Commissar at Hong Kong Garrison
 (2018-05-16)
(South China Morning Post, By Ng Kang-chung) A senior role overseeing ideological work at the Chinese army’s Hong Kong garrison has been filled, after almost half a year vacant. Major General Cai Yongzhong has been promoted to political commissar at the garrison. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

China's Foreign Relations

How PRC Diplomatic Messaging Impedes Its Foreign Policy Objectives (2018-05-09)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Zhibo Qiu) The MFA has not taken substantial measures to combat the political resistance and bureaucratic inertia to institutional changes, to more provide competitive compensation and incentive programs for diplomatic jobs, or to provide diplomats more operational space for diplomatic flexibility and creativity. But there are concrete steps can be taken to improve the situation. <Accessed 2018-05-16>

China Backs Iran Nuclear Deal as United States Walks Away, But Could It Be a Costly Decision?
 (2018-05-09)
(South China Morning Post, By Kinling Lo) China said on Wednesday it remains committed to the Iran nuclear deal despite the United States’ decision to withdraw from it, a move analysts said would bring Tehran and Beijing closer together but could harm China’s economic interests. Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China would “maintain communication with all parties and continue to protect and execute the agreement fully”. <Accessed 2018-05-12>

China and Japan Agree to Set Up Hotline to Prevent Military Clashes (2018-05-09)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) China and Japan vowed to reset bilateral ties and agreed to set up a hotline to prevent military clashes at sea and in the air, as well as cooperate on infrastructure projects during top-level talks on Wednesday. The hotline for senior military officials to communicate in the case of incidents involving their navies or air forces will be launched within 30 days under an agreement signed after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. <Accessed 2018-05-12>

China’s New World Order: Partners and Profit (2018-05-09)
(The Diplomat, By Mercy A. Kuo) Shaun Rein details how China shapes its new world order in light of the Belt and Road Initiative as well as how the US should address its role in a China-centric world order. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

The BRI Needs Fewer Chinese Characteristics (2018-05-09)
(East Asia Forum, By Linda Lim) Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has attracted a great deal of global attention. But China’s eagerness for infrastructure projects may not mesh with locals’ needs and could heighten political risk for host governments who collaborate with it. <Accessed 2018-05-16>

EU Officials Hopeful after China Makes a ‘Political Commitment’ to Expand Firms’ Access to Markets (2018-05-10)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) Top European trade officials said they have secured a “political commitment” from Beijing to increase EU firms’ access to China’s automotive and financial marketplaces, providing a note of optimism at a time of heightened China-US trade tensions that have darkened the global trade climate. <Accessed 2018-05-12>

China’s State Media is Going Global (2018-05-13)
(East Asia Forum, By Zi Yang) In an era where foreign media has little to no influence in China due to the information lockdown, the CPD’s expansion and the creation of the Voice of China signals that China is getting ready to extend its capabilities in reengineering global opinion. <Accessed 2018-05-16>

China Launches Its First Domestically Made Aircraft Carrier (2018-05-13)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers) China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier to begin sea trials on Sunday, reaching another milestone in the expansion of the country’s navy. The aircraft carrier, as yet unnamed, left its berth at a shipyard in the northeastern port of Dalian after a blow of its horn and a display of fireworks, according to reports in state news media. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Modi and Xi Reset China–India Relations (2018-05-14)
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) The informal summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end of April saw a reset in the tone of the two countries’ bilateral relations, with significant progress on the management of their border problems and some opening towards opportunities for increased economic cooperation. <Accessed 2018-05-16>

China Accuses EU of Taking WTO Back to 'Law of Jungle' (2018-05-15)
(Reuters) China accused the European Union on Tuesday of risking a return to the “law of the jungle”, telling a dispute hearing at the World Trade Organization that it was astonished by what it called the EU’s disregard for the WTO’s rulebook. China’s statement came during a major trade dispute in which Beijing is trying to force the United States and the EU to treat China like any other “market economy”, rather than claiming it unfairly subsidises its exports on a large scale. <Accessed 2018-05-16>

China’s Vice-President Wang Qishan Given Key Foreign Policy Role (2018-05-15)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng, Nectar Gan, and Teddy Ng) China’s vice-president Wang Qishan has been given a central diplomatic role, it emerged on Tuesday, following official confirmation of his attendance at the inaugural meeting of a key Communist Party body on foreign affairs. Wang’s membership of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, headed by President Xi Jinping, was stated in a report by Xinhua. <Accessed 2018-05-15>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Is the South China Sea Dispute a Foregone Conclusion? (2018-05-10)
(The Diplomat, By Jansen Tham) A vast increase in Chinese military buildup around the South China Sea has suggested that the territorial disputes in the South China Sea have become a foregone conclusion. Beijing's preoccupation with security, America's silence regarding China's rise, and ASEAN's concessions to China in order to keep peace support this theory. Southeast Asian states must realize the trade-offs made in order to keep the peace in the short term. <Accessed 2018-05-15

The Korean Peninsula

On U.S.-North Korea Talks, China May Hold the Cards (2018-05-11)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) The Trump administration insists it will maintain its campaign of “maximum pressure” on the North until Mr. Kim has shown “substantial dismantlement” of his nuclear arsenal. But the buoyant mood in Dandong is a reminder that China, as North Korea’s main trade partner, can decide how strictly to enforce the international sanctions against it. <Accessed 2018-05-12>

North Korea Invites World to Watch the Closing of Nuclear Test Site
 (2018-05-12)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) North Korea said on Saturday that it will allow journalists from the United States and other countries to witness the shutting down of its underground nuclear test site between May 23 and 25, which will be done by collapsing all its tunnels in a controlled explosion and sealing their entrances. <Accessed 2018-05-12>

North Korea Threatens to Call Off Summit Meeting With Trump (2018-05-15)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun and Mark Landler) North Korea threw President Trump’s planned summit meeting with its leader, Kim Jong-un, into doubt on Tuesday, threatening to call off the landmark encounter to protest a joint military exercise of the United States and South Korea. The warning, delivered early Wednesday in North Korea via its official government news agency, caught Trump administration officials off guard and set off an internal debate over whether Mr. Kim was merely posturing in advance of the meeting in Singapore next month or was erecting a serious new hurdle. <Accessed 2018-05-15>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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