::: TSR Weekly Report
2018-08-14 | NO.42(11) 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@alumni.princeton.edu).
Cross-Strait Relations
Taiwan Sees No Room for Talks with China on Proposed Undersea Tunnel  (2018-08-08)
(CNA, By Chai Sze-chia and Evelyn Kao)
The Mainland Affairs Council said Wednesday that given the current affairs between China and Taiwan, Taiwan would not be discussing China’s proposal for an undersea cross-Strait railway. China never discussed the idea with Taiwan before the proposal, which the MAC called disrespectful and saw as another effort to put pressure on Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-08-09>

 Tweet on China's 'Pooh' Ban a Positive Message: Ministry (2018-08-09)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) In light of China banning Disney's latest movie, Christopher Robin, due to a comparison between China's President Xi Jinping with Disney's character Winnie the Pooh by netizens, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), using Taiwan's Formosan black bear mascot, tweeted that the Disney movie is showing in Taiwan's movie theaters. MOFA's spokesman Andrew Lee, while not directly commenting whether the tweet was meant to insinuate China's lack of free speech compared to Taiwan, stated that the message hopes to create global awareness that Taiwan practices democracy and allows freedom of speech. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

China’s Military Drills Closely Monitored: MND (2018-08-10)
(CNA, By Liu Lee-jung, Lu Hsin-hui, and Flor Wang)
The Ministry of National Defense issued a statement Friday saying that ahead of China’s upcoming military drills in the Yellow Sea, Taiwan’s military will continue to closely monitor all activity in the area with Taiwan’s safety in mind. The MND also called China’s actions an intimidation method and urged the Taiwanese public to stay calm. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

China Has Not Told Taiwan of ASF Outbreak: MAC (2018-08-10)
(Taipei Times, with CNA)
According to the Mainland Affairs Council, China did not inform Taiwan of its first outbreak of African swine fever, which violates an agreement between Taiwan and China regarding epidemic outbreaks. In response, the Council of Agriculture has taken actions, including border control measures, to prevent the disease from reaching Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

How Taiwan Competes With China in the Pacific (2018-08-09)
(The Diplomat, By Alexandre Dayant and Jonathan Pryke) Taiwan, like China, has been working hard to reaffirm its connections to Pacific island nations. Six countries in the Pacific, a third of Taiwan's diplomatic allies, retain diplomatic ties with Taiwan over China. Taiwan has also invested heavily in the countries in the region that do not share diplomatic relations with it. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Taiwan, China Family, But Not Politically: Ko (2018-08-13)
(Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia) In responding to the ambiguity surrounding his attitude on cross-strait relations, Taipei Major Ko Wen-je remarked that Taiwan and China are one family. Ko explained that due to his professional background as a surgeon, which requires him to be practical and open to differing views, he is advocating for cultural and economic exchanges between Taiwan and China. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

Beijing Trying to 'Lock In' Local Athletes: Lawmaker (2018-08-13)
(Taipei Times, By Chung Li-hua and William Hetherington) After pressuring the East Asian Olympic Committee to revoke Taichung's rights to host the East Asian Youth Games, China is now trying to block Taiwan from hosting the 2018 World Rugby Under-19 Championship. Meanwhile, China has tried to woo Taiwanese athletes by inviting them to visit China's advanced training facilities and meet its national team. According to DPP Legislator Tsai Shih-ying, this is part of China's strategy to bind Taiwanese athletes to China. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

China Sends Condolences to Families of Taiwan Hospital Fire Victims (2018-08-13)
(CNA, By Miao Tzong-han and S.C. Chang) China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) sent its condolences to families of the victims who were perished in a fire at a New Taipei hospital recently. The fire took nine lives while injuring 16 others. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

EAOC Rejects Taichung's Appeal Against Cancellation of Youth Games (2018-08-14)
(CNA, By Su Mu-chun and Evelyn Kao) Taichung city's Mayor Lin Chia-lung announced that the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) has rejected Taichung city government's petition to change the Committee's decision to revoke Taichung's rights to host the East Asian Youth Games in 2019. Lin stated that EAOC has refused to change its decision due to China's pressure. However, Lin informed the public that the government is not giving up and is planning to file a lawsuit against EAOC, as well as trying to garner support from the global community. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

What China’s Newly Inducted S-400 Means for the Balance of Power in the Taiwan Strait (2018-08-14)
(The Diplomat, By Abraham Ait) Ever since the People's Liberation Army acquired new S-400 missile systems, it has used them to strengthen one of the world's already most sophisticated air defense systems. The new missile system, with its considerable range, has the potential to greatly affect a cross-strait conflict. It could potentially enforce a no-fly zone throughout Taiwanese territory due to its ability to cover all of Taiwan's airspace. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

Taiwan Condemns Chinese Netizens Pestering of 85℃ Cafe (Update) (2018-08-15)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping, Lu Hsin-hui and Flor Wang) 85℃ Bakery Cafe, an international cafe chain, was pressured into issuing a public statement that the company supports the 1992 consensus which indicates that there is only "one China". The statement was issued amid Chinese netizens accusing the company for being pro-Taiwan independence after a visit by President Tsai Ing-wen to its Los Angeles branch and threatening to boycott the company. Meanwhile, the Presidential Office critized China for obstructing free speech and forcing its ideology on the global community. <Accessed 2018-08-16>

U.S.-Taiwan Relations
 Secretary-General to Tour US while Taiwan President Visits Latin America (2018-08-10)
(Taiwan News, By Teng Pei-ju) Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed Thursday that when President Tsai Ing-wen visits Latin America next week, Secretary-General to the President Chen Chu will tour in the U.S. for other diplomatic tasks. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Incoming AIT Director Sends Goodwill Message to Taiwan  (2018-08-10)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and William Yen)
The incoming director of the American Institute in Taiwan, Brent Christensen, posted a video online Friday expressing his excitement for beginning this new position and promoting friendly relations between Taiwan and the U.S. He also looked ahead to AIT’s upcoming milestones and events. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Policy on Taiwan Unchanged Despite Map Color Scheme: U.S. Official (2018-08-11)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Hsu Hsiao-ling) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has recently expressed concerns over a map on the website of the U.S. State Department, which uses the same color scheme for Taiwan and China. MOFA's spokesman Andrew Lee hopes the State Department would make changes to the color scheme in order to avoid confusion. A spokesperson for the State Department responded by stating that the U.S will continue to adhere to the one-China policy and sees Taiwan as an important partner, while praising Taiwan's commitment to democratic values. <Accessed 2018-08-12>

New AIT Taipei Office Director Arrives (2018-08-11)
(CNA, By Wu Jui-chi and Ko Lin) William Brent Christensen informed the press that as the new director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), he hopes to continue developing greater cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan on many areas. This is Christensen's third time to be stationed in Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-08-12>

US Veterans' Group Uses ROC Flag to Honor Official (2018-08-13)
(Taipei Times, By Lo Tien-pin and Johnathan Chin) During a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) event that was held in Bangkok recently to welcome Veteran Affairs Council official Wang Kai-heng, the American VFW carried the Republic of China (ROC) flag. The council official stated that this symbolizes the strong relationship between the council and the VFW, and the VFW's support for a free and democratic Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

Tsai Arrives in Los Angeles, Scheduled to Give Public Address (2018-08-13)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping, Elizabeth Hsu and Frances Huang) President Tsai Ing-wen has arrived in Los Angeles for her nine-day trip to Taiwan's allies, Paraguay and Belize. For the stopover in the U.S., the president is scheduled to give a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, visit El Monte's Cultural Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, and meet with Taiwanese expatriates. The president's U.S. stopover visit is the first since the Taiwan Travel Act, which allows high-level officials from both nations to visit each other, was signed by U.S. President Donald Trump in March. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

President Tsai Invites Investment by Young Taiwanese in U.S. (2018-08-13)
(CNA, By Flor Wang, Edward Tsao, Yeh Su-ping and Wen Kuei-hsiang) Speaking at the Los Angeles Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, President Tsai Ing-wen expressed hope that young Taiwanese in the U.S. will consider Taiwan as a potential destination to develop their careers. The president also assured her young Taiwanese audience that Taiwan's economy is on the rise and several multinational corporations are focusing their AI and cloud computing technologies in Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

Senior US Politician Calls for Taiwan’s President to Be Granted Trip to Washington (2018-08-13)
(South China Morning Post, By Zhenhua Lu and Lawrence Chung) A trio of pro-Taiwan US House representatives in California joined Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen during her stopover in Los Angeles with one of them calling on the US government to grant her an unprecedented visit in the US capital. The three US House lawmakers, including Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce, the committee’s Asia and Pacific subcommittee ranking member Brad Sherman and Congresswoman Judy Chu, greeted Tsai in Los Angeles, the first transit stop during her nine-day trip to the island’s two South American allies. <Accessed 2018-08-15>

Tsai Ing-wen Made a Rare, High-Profile Stopover in the US (2018-08-14)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Prior to her visit with Belize and Paraguay, President Tsai Ing-wen made a scheduled transit stop in the United States for two days, stopping in Los Angeles. She said during her visit that anything can be negotiated except Taiwan's freedom and future. Washington offered Tsai high-level treatment as well, sending two high-level officials to greet her at the airport. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

Beijing ‘Strongly Dissatisfied’ as Donald Trump Signs Defence Act Upping US Support for Taiwan and Scrutiny of Foreign Companies (2018-08-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) Beijing has condemned US President Donald Trump for signing an act committing to stronger military support for Taiwan and placing Chinese companies under closer scrutiny, saying the move will damage the countries’ ties. In a statement released on its website, the foreign ministry said Beijing was “strongly dissatisfied” with Trump signing the defence act. <Accessed 2018-08-15>

Taiwan Deserves Respect: Christensen (2018-08-15)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) During the opening ceremony of the US-Taiwan Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) conference, Brent Christensen, the new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director, praised Taiwan for setting a good example as a nation that has achieved great strides in developing its democratic values. Christensen further stated that Taiwan will be a good partner to build stronger law enforcement networks and cooperation due to Taiwan's law enforcement capability in ensuring peace, security, and stability across the nation. <Accessed 2018-08-16>

Policy on Taiwan Unchanged by Tsai's Public Address: U.S. Official (2018-08-15)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Hsu Hsiao-ling) The U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert stated that the U.S. continues to adhere to the 'one China policy' under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). Nauert further explained that facilitating Taiwanese representatives and authorities to transit in the U.S. is not an indication that America's policy toward Taiwan has changed, but that the U.S. is still adhering to the 'one China policy' to ensure the safety and comfort of the travelers. <Accessed 2018-08-16>

U.S. Scholar Calls for U.S.-Taiwan Military Drills to Counter China (2018-08-15)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng and Evelyn Kao) June Teufel Dreyer, a political science professor at the University of Miami and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) Asia Program, recently published an article calling for a joint military exercise between the U.S. and Taiwan to counteract China. June described China's growing aggression towards Taiwan as an "anaconda strategy", one that uses diplomatic, economic and military means, including causing instability within the Taiwanese society to pressure Taiwan to yield to China. <Accessed 2018-08-16>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 New Think Tank to Oversee New Southbound Policy (2018-08-09)
(Taipei Times/CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen recently announced that the new think tank, Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF) will be responsible for Taiwan's New Southbound Policy, including the annual Yushan Forum which was initiated last year to advance Taiwan's regional standing and greater exchanges with other nations under the New Southbound Policy. Tsai also stated that TAEF is geared towards strengthening comprehensive multilateral relationships and is focused on engaging the younger generation and think tanks from other nations. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Nation to Send Lombok US$250,000 (2018-08-09)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Director-General Baushuan Ger stated that the Taiwan government will make a donation of US$250,000 to help the earthquake victims in Indonesia. While Indonesia special envoy to Taiwan, Ang Tjoen Ming, expressed hope to use Taiwan's donation to help build houses that were destroyed due to the earthquake, Ger remarked that Taipei Economic and Trade Office (TECO) is currently discussing with local officials and non-governmental organizations on how best to use the financial aid to help the victims. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

MOFA to Help Taiwanese Students in Norway Over Name-Change Lawsuit (2018-08-09)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) A group of Taiwanese students have recently initiated an online public funding account to raise money in a lawsuit in Norway, appealing to the Norwegian court to allow them to use their identity as Taiwanese instead of Chinese. The students decided to appeal to the Norwegian courts after they discovered that the Norwegian government identified them as coming from China instead of Taiwan on their visas and entry documents. Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Andrew Lee stated that the Taiwanese government will provide assistance to the students and continue to stay in close communication with them. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Corps Can Apply to Access Frozen Funds (2018-08-09)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) The China Youth Corps, currently under investigation for its affiliation with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), has been allowed access to its NT$5.61 billion frozen funds by the Cabinet's Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee after negotiation between the Committee and the Corps. The Corps viewed the Committee's designation of the Corps' affiliation with the KMT as potentially undermining the Corps' rights and creating consumer disputes. The Corps will appeal its case with the Taipei High Administrative Court against the designation. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Lai Says Investor Barriers in Industry Being Handled (2018-08-09)
(Taipei Times, By Lee Hsin-fang and William Hetherington) Amid industry leaders' concerns over the shortages of electricity, labor, land, talent, and water in Taiwan that are impeding investments, Premier William Lai stated that the government has achieved great strides in coming up with solutions to resolve problems that industries are encountering, including setting up a government task force that is responsible for managing these shortages and promoting investments. Lai further assured that Taiwan's economy, stock market, and production are stable and well. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Taiwan Wafer Industry to Benefit from U.S. Tariffs on China: MOEA (2018-08-10)
(CNA By Liao Yu-yang and William Yen) According to Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan's semiconductor industry could potentially benefit from the U.S.-China trade war. Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin remarked that manufacturers slated to face higher taxes due to the trade war between the U.S. and China might shift their attention to Taiwan and invest in Taiwan. Shen further added that the Taiwanese government will take all measure and steps to attract Taiwanese businesses to invest in Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

History Curriculum Review Starts Today (2018-08-11)
(Taipei Times, By Rachel Lin, Shih Hsiao-kuan and Jake Chung) Taiwan's Ministry of Education will meet at the National Academy for Educational Research (NAER) to review the draft guidelines for social science subjects that is scheduled to take effect for the school year in 2019. Apart from seeking to lessen the burden of memorization among high school students, the proposed guidelines hope to include more Taiwanese history in the new curriculum that would potentially increase Taiwanese students' confidence about Taiwan's unique cultural history. The new curriculum would also educate students to understand history from a globalized perspective. <Accessed 2018-08-12>

Outgoing Envoy Urges Taiwan to Assist Vietnam’s Infrastructure (2018-08-12)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Joseph Yeh)
Vietnam’a outgoing envoy to Taiwan, Tran Duy Hai, in an interview Friday praised the success of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy in addition to calling on Taiwan’s government to invest in Vietnam’s infrastructure. Tran identified education, healthcare, and agriculture as areas Taiwan and Vietnam have been mutually working towards but said he hopes for more work on transportation infrastructure. <Accessed 2018-08-12>

President Tsai Leaves On Trip to Paraguay, Belize (2018-08-12)
(CNA, By Sophia Yeh, Tsao Yu-fan, and Elizabeth Hsu)
President Tsai Ing-wen departed today for her nine-day trip to two of Taiwan’s allies, Paraguay and Belize. She will first make a stopover in the United States. On her trip, she will attend the inauguration of Paraguay’s President-elect, as well as giving a speech at Belize’s parliament, and meeting with various officials in both nations. <Accessed 2018-08-12>

Association Founded For Taiwan-Israel Technology Exchanges (2018-08-13)
(CNA, By Chu Tse-wei and Hsu Hsiao-ling) Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) released a statement confirming the establishment of the first Israel-Taiwan Innovation and Technology Association. This non-governmental association, which is set up by Taiwanese living in Israel, aims to foster greater exchanges between Taiwan and Israel in technology, internship, investments, and business opportunities. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

President Tsai Meets President-Elect of Paraguay in Asuncion (2018-08-15)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Flor Wang) During the meeting with Paraguay's President-elect Mario Abdo Benitez, both President Tsai Ing-wen and President-elect Benitez agreed to further Taiwan-Paraguay bilateral cooperation in investment, infrastructure, and trade. Hugo Saguier, President-elect Benitez's foreign affairs advisor, remarked that Paraguay will continue relations with Taiwan as both nations have similar diplomatic values. <Accessed 2018-08-16>

President Tsai Meets Taiwanese Technical Staff in Paraguay (2018-08-15)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Hsu Hsiao-ling) During her visit to Paraguay to attend the inauguration of President-elect Mario Abdo Benitez, President Tsai Ing-wen took the opportunity to meet with Taiwanese staff of technical missions. In the meeting, Tsai announced that the Taiwan government will increase the expatriate technical staff's subsidies for accommodation and education. <Accessed 2018-08-16>

President Tsai Attends Paraguayan President-Elect Inauguration (2018-08-16)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Romulo Huang) Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen congratulated Paraguay President-elect Mario Abdo Benitez and Vice President-elect Hugo Adalberto Velazquez Moreno during the inauguration ceremony. Tsai is scheduled for a three-day visit to Belize on Thursday before returning to Taiwan on August 20. <Accessed 2018-08-16>

Taiwan Still Pushing Japan on 'Comfort Women' Issue: MOFA (2018-08-16)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) A bronze statue was erected in Tainan to commemorate Taiwanese women who were forced to serve the Japanese Imperial Army as "comfort women" during World War II. While the statue was not erected by the Taiwanese government, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Andrew Lee assured the public that Taiwan will continue to establish communication with Japan and press Japan to confront the issue. <Accessed 2018-08-16>
U.S.-China Relations
 Tsai Mulls Direction over Ongoing U.S.-China Trade War (2018-08-08)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Flor Wang) President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday directed government agencies to mitigate possible fallout on Taiwan's economy from the burgeoning trade war between the United States and China, which appears likely to intensify, as Washington decided the imposition of a 25 percent tariff on another US$16 billion of Chinese goods on Aug. 23. <Accessed 2019-08-09>

Dealing with an Ambiguous World Order, from China to the United States (2018-08-10)
(The Diplomat, By Aryeh Tepper) Our assessments of the world are often constrained by mental frameworks that we force ourselves into. This becomes a larger issue when observing the changing world order relating to the United States and China. The time has come to design new institutions that are meant to address the problem of observing global problems with culturally biased lenses. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Beijing Blames Trade War on US Fears over ‘Unprecedented Opponent’ (2018-08-10)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) Beijing says the spiralling trade war with Washington is being driven by US fears over China challenging its global hegemony, and has rejected criticism that Chinese overconfidence is fanning the tensions. The message was delivered in a commentary in Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily on Friday, indicating the top leadership’s thinking on the dispute as they gather at coastal resort Beidaihe for an annual closed-door meeting to discuss domestic and foreign policies, including the trade war. <Accessed 2018-08-15>

Did the Obama-Xi Cyber Agreement Work?
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) The Obama administration's record on cyber policy, however successful, was not free of its failures, especially considering attacks from Chinese actors. However, in 2015, President Obama and President Xi held talks where President Obama asked Xi to stop stealing U.S.-owned intellectual property and handing it off to Chinese firms. While this is a very specific distinction that avoids addressing many other forms of espionage, the agreement between the two leaders may have had its intended effect in addressing this specific form of espionage. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Why Europe Is Not Ready to Take Sides in the US-China Trade War (2018-08-11)
(South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng) The European Union is not yet ready to join forces with the United States against China despite the recent rapprochement between Washington and Brussels, analysts have said. The assessment came after the EU and US reached a deal late last month to suspend new tariffs and expand European imports of US goods after high level talks and negotiations, an agreement that was seen as a worrying sign for China amid its trade war with Washington. <Accessed 2018-08-15>

Trump’s Trade War Is Rattling China’s Leaders (2018-08-14)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher and Steven Lee Myers) While President Xi Jinping remains firmly in charge, friction with the Trump administration and troubles at home have dented his political dominance. <RSS, Accessed 2018-08-15>

Florida University Latest to Cut Ties with China's Confucius Institute (2018-08-15)
(Reuters) The University of North Florida will close a campus branch of a Chinese-run cultural institute, the latest U.S. college to do so amid criticism from U.S. legislators that China uses the institute to influence American higher education. <Accessed 2018-08-15>

Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents (2018-08-15)
(Foreign Policy, By Zach Dorfman) Now, nearly eight years later, it appears that the agency botched the communication system it used to interact with its sources, according to five current and former intelligence officials. The CIA had imported the system from its Middle East operations, where the online environment was considerably less hazardous, and apparently underestimated China’s ability to penetrate it. <Accessed 2018-08-15>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Xi’s Grip Loosens Amid Trade War Policy Paralysis (2018-08-01)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Willy Wo-Lap Lam) A spate of unusual reports in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese-language media lend credence to the idea that, while Xi Jinping remains China’s undisputed paramount, his authority seems somewhat diminished. A moratorium of sorts appears to have been called on the relentless personality cult constructed around Xi, while signs have emerged that China’s economic policymaking apparatus has been hamstrung by disagreements between Xi and his top economic policymaker over how to handle a deepening trade war with the United States. <Accessed 2018-08-15>

China Races to Catch Up on Foreign Affairs Spending 
(The Diplomat, By Markus Herrmann and Sabine Mokry) China, since 2000, has increased the available resources for China's participation in foreign affairs and greatly increased foreign affairs spending. However, while the rate of increase in spending was higher than those of other globally dominant countries, China still spends less as a percentage of GDP on foreign affairs. Chinese leadership must choose between spending more on foreign affairs and addressing increasingly expensive domestic policy issues. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Domestic Criticism May Signal Shrunken Belt and Road Ambitions (2018-08-10)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Matt Schrader) The public airing of such criticisms could indicate the existence of a emerging consensus that Beijing should scale back its BRI ambitions. And in fact, BRI lending has already begun to shrink, decreasingly dramatically since 2015. Were it to decrease further, it would have important strategic repercussions throughout the Eurasian landmass and Africa. <Accessed 2018-08-15>

Can China Fix Its Propaganda Problem? (2018-08-10)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) China has recently been reshuffling its propaganda and censorship leaders in an effort to better improve the country's image abroad and to make sure online views fall in line with those of the CCP. China's propaganda campaign so far has overall been a failure, as their moves have worked to increase suspicion in a world that values independent, unbiased opinions. However, propaganda is only one facet -- China's domestic politics are what truly lead to the negative image China carries abroad. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

What Are China’s Military Recruitment Priorities? (2018-08-10)
(The Diplomat, By Adam Ni) At the National Conscription Work Video Conference, the People's Liberation Army set the framework for this year's military recruitment. They will be ramping up recruitment for the navy and air force in relation to the army. They will also aim for higher education levels in the new conscription and will be piloting recruitment stations across certain provincial regions, possibly to better match potential recruits to operational needs. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Amid the Trade War, Secretive Beidaihe Meeting Seems to Have Begun (2018-08-10)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Several media reports have contained information that suggest that the secret government unofficial meetings at Beidaihe have begun for the year. Officials are likely to discuss the U.S.-China trade war, domestic criticism of Chinese leadership, and censorship in China. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

Why Central Asia Is Betting on China’s Belt and Road (2018-08-13)
(The Diplomat, By Umida Hashimova) Central Asian countries, despite having a clear view of the tale of Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka, are not shying away from involvement with China's Belt and Road Initiative; rather, they are embracing it with full force. In order to boost their local economies and hopefully enter the global trade arena, Central Asian countries desperately need investment, and the BRI provides that. However, China has not always been popular in Central Asia, and some populations may vocally oppose Chinese involvement. <Accessed 2018-08-13>

Talk on Hong Kong Independence Goes Ahead, Despite Criticism (2018-08-14)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy) Officials had criticized the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong for hosting a talk by the founder of a party the government wants to ban. <RSS, Accessed 2018-08-15>

Chinese Experts Challenge Western Generalists in Diplomacy (2018-08-15)
(The Diplomat, By Sabine Mokry) China's ambassadors to its most important diplomatic posts rarely change; by international standards, they hold their positions for relatively long times. Given how important China considers regional experience and knowledge in selecting its diplomats, it is possible that younger diplomats simply do not possess the required expertise to fulfill the CCP's wishes. If Europe wants to counter China's advances in diplomacy, Europeans must select diplomats who know China as well as China knows their countries. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

Why Xi Jinping Thought Is a Threat to China's Future (2018-08-14)
(The Diplomat, By James A. Dorn) As President Xi Jinping rises in power, Deng Xiaoping's ideal of a China with loosened economic and political control rapidly fades. The idea of "Xi Jinping Thought" and Xi's related actions do not instill much confidence in the idea that China's increasingly changing CCP will do much to defend economic liberalization or human rights. China's institutional problems will hold back its future development and growth. <Accessed 2018-08-14>

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

Submarines in the South China Sea Conflict
(The Diplomat, By Tyler Headley) Since 1991, five of the seven countries to lay territorial claims in the South China Sea region have purchased at least one attack submarine. However, several other parties without territorial claims have also launched freedom of navigation operations in the area in an effort to curtail China's influence. If tensions in the region rise, rates of procurement may also rise. <Accessed 2018-08-10>

String of Chinese Satellites to Keep Real-Time Watch on South China Sea to Protect ‘National Sovereignty’ (2018-08-16)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) China will next year start launching a series of satellites to track water conditions and traffic, and reinforce “national sovereignty” throughout the South China Sea, according to state media. In all, six optical satellites, two hyperspectral satellites and two radar satellites will keep a real-time daily watch on the contested waters and monitor key areas several times a day as part of the Hainan satellite constellation system, China News Service reported on Monday. <Accessed 2018-08-15>

The Korean Peninsula

Why Is the U.S. Wary of a Declaration to End the Korean War? (2018-08-13)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong) Both North Korea and South Korea want to start the process toward a peace treaty in the decades-long war, but Washington is standing in the way. <RSS, Accessed 2018-08-15>

South Korea’s Leader Proposes Broad Economic Cooperation With the North
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) President Moon Jae-in has taken a more assertive stand than the United States in offering inducements for the North to relinquish its nuclear weapons. <RSS, Accessed 2018-08-15>

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New Publication China's Strategic Multilateralism: Investing in Global Governance by Scott L. Kastner, Margaret M. Pearson, and Chad Rector (Cambridge University Press)
New Publication A New Era in Democratic Taiwan: Trajectories and Turning Points in Politics and Cross-Strait Relations, Edited by Jonathan Sullivan and Chun-Yi Lee (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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