::: TSR Weekly Report
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2018-11-06 | NO.42(23) 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 Plans to Boost Fines for Illegal Chinese Investors  (2018-10-31)
(CNA, By Liao Yu-yang and Evelyn Kao)
The Minister of Economic Affairs, Shen Jong-chin, said Wednesday that the Taiwanese government is planning to increase fines for illegal investments by Chinese individuals or institutions. Shen also said that an amendment to the Trade Secrets Act has been put on the legislative agenda in an attempt to minimize Chinese illegal trade activity in Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-11-1>

Over 83 Percent of Taiwanese People Want to Keep Status Quo: Poll  (2018-11-02)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and William Yen)
The Mainland Affairs Council commissioned a public opinion poll, which showed that over 83 percent of the Taiwanese public is in favor of maintaining the cross-Strait status quo for the near future. The poll also asked questions regarding how the respondents opinions might change in the future, future political integration, and declaring independence. <Accessed 2018-11-2>

Experts Urge Action on PRC Meddling (2018-11-06)
(Taipei Times, By Chen Yu-fu and Sherry Hsiao)
Taiwanese academics advised the government to take action to check the spread of misinformation by China’s “Internet army” ahead of the local elections. Taiwan Think Tank consultant Tung Li-wen said that Beijing is attempting to influence the upcoming elections by spreading misinformation about Taiwan’s government and the Democratic Progressive Party. He then warned against the public believing misinformation and the effect that trend could have on elections. <Accessed 2018-11-06>

One China, Two Interpretations, and the Third Alternative for Taiwan (2018-11-06)
(The Diplomat, By Charles I-hsin Chen) An interesting fact from President Tsai Ing-wen's National Day speech from this year is that she made no mention of continuing dialogue with China. Observers often forget that a summit took place between Ma Ying-jeou and Xi Jinping. A second summit, following new protocols, could be a constructive place to start new dialogue. <Accessed 2018-11-06>

U.S.-Taiwan Relations
U.S. to Keep Backing Freedom of Navigation in Taiwan Strait: Navy (2018-10-31)
(CNA, By Emerson Lim and Evelyn Kao) U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson remarked that the US military continues to support free navigation through international waters, and since the Taiwan Strait is also international water, it is available to anyone who wishes to pass through them. However, Richardson declined to comment on what operations the U.S. has in maintaining peace and stability in the region. <Accessed 2018-10-31>

Pentagon Official Urges Taiwan to Boost Defence Spending in Face of Possible Attack by Mainland (2018-10-31)
(South China Morning Post, By Zhenhua Lu) A Pentagon official is urging Taiwan to ramp up its defence budget to protect against potential attacks from mainland China. David Helvey, US principal deputy assistant secretary of defence for Asian and Pacific security affairs, told a conference in Annapolis, Maryland on Monday that the self-ruled island “must have resources to modernise its military and provide the critical materiel, manning and training needed to deter, or if necessary defeat, a cross-strait invasion”. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

Taiwan Seeks More Advanced Weapons from US at Defence Industry Conference (2018-10-31)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan is seeking to buy more advanced weapons from the United States and to integrate its companies in the US defence industry supply chain, in a new push that will again provoke Beijing. At a time when relations between Taipei and Washington are closer than ever, the self-ruled island has sent a group of military officials and defence industry leaders to the annual US-Taiwan Defence Industry Conference in Maryland to brief the US side on their arms needs and propose new deals and projects. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

U.S. Official Urges Taiwan to Transform Thinking to Counter China 
 (2018-10-31)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Evelyn Kao)
David Helvey, the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, said at the U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference 2018 on Tuesday that Taiwan should strengthen its military capabilities to ensure continued cross-Strait stability, as well as Indo-Pacific security. He also warned that Taiwan should improve its capabilities to create a credible, resilient, and cost-effective deterrent in the face of China’s military buildup. <Accessed 2018-11-1>

United States Won’t Allow Force against Taiwan, New US Envoy Says as Beijing Piles On Pressure (2018-10-31)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) The United States will not stand by to allow any non-peaceful attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo of Taiwan, a senior US diplomat has said in an apparent warning against Beijing’s threats to retake the self-ruled island, by force if necessary. Washington would also do all it could to help Taiwan rejoin some international organisations such as Interpol, the official said, despite strong protests from Beijing, which considers Taiwan a wayward province. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

New AIT Taipei Chief Lists Top U.S. Priorities in Taiwan (2018-10-31)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
Brent Christensen, who recently assumed his new position as Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, said Wednesday that he was committed to promoting U.S.-Taiwan relations and outlined the efforts the U.S. would continue to make in promoting Taiwan’s ability to defend itself, advancing U.S.-Taiwan economic trade, supporting Taiwan’s international participation, and promoting bilateral people-to-people ties. Christensen also encouraged peaceful cross-Strait dialogue. <Accessed 2018-11-1>

Taiwan Must Shore Up Defense Capacity in Short Term: AIT (2018-11-02)
(Taipei Times, with CNA)
American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty said Monday said that Taiwan should not overlook Taiwan’s immediate need for deference capabilities in order to develop new military capabilities in the long term. He also highlighted the importance of the Taiwan-U.S. partnership in promoting security in the face of pressure from Beijing and said that the U.S. considers Taiwan’s security to be imperative to the security of the entire Indo-Pacific region. He said that he urged Taiwan to consider its immediate defense capabilities because the U.S.’s commitment alone will not ensure Taiwan’s readiness to deter aggression. <Accessed 2018-11-2>

Taiwan Would Consider Letting U.S. Warships on Taiping Island: Yen (2018-11-05)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Evelyn Kao) During a legislative hearing, Defense Minister Yen De-fa stated that Taiwan would contemplate the possibility of permitting U.S. warships to dock on Taiping Island for humanitarian purposes. Nonetheless, if such request might disrupt the security and stability in the region, Taiwan might not allow U.S. warships to dock on Taiping Island. <Accessed 2018-11-06>

Taiwan Interested in Drone Choppers, Mines From U.S. (2018-11-05)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's Defense Ministry Department of Strategic Planning Director Wu Pao-kun announced that Taiwan's military hopes to purchase the MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned helicopters and Mk-62 Quickstrike Mines from the U.S. Although the military's plan to purchase the U.S. weapon systems aligns with Taiwan Armed Forces' goal to increase its warfare capabilities in light of China's growing military threats, the U.S. has yet to agree to the arms sales. <Accessed 2018-11-06>

U.S. to Highlight Taiwan's Role as TRA Enters 40th Year (2018-11-05)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) During a weeklong visit to Taiwan, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty remarked that in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), the U.S. hopes to show to the international community the positive role that Taiwan plays in Asia and globally, as well as why the U.S. sees Taiwan as a key and reliable partner in Asia. During his visit, Moriarty will also participate in the Global Cooperation Training Framework (GCTF). <Accessed 2018-11-06>

Taiwan’s Waiver on Iran Oil Shows Good Ties with U.S.: MOEA (2018-11-06)
(CNA, Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)
A Ministry of Economic Affairs official said Tuesday that the waiver the U.S. has granted Taiwan on oil imports from Iran reflects the positive communication efforts between Washington and Taipei. The waiver grants Taiwan six months to continue importing oil from Iran while it finds alternative oil sources. <Accessed 2018-11-06>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 Taiwan Marching Toward Self-Reliant Defense: U.S. Forum  (2018-10-31)
(Taipei Times, with CNA)
While addressing the opening ceremony of the U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference on Monday, Deputy Minister of National Defense Chang Guan-chung said that Taiwan is moving towards a more self-reliant national defense. However, he said the national defense should be built on both indigenous development and foreign arms sales. The move towards more domestic systems development is because of the diplomatic obstacles Taiwan faces when acquiring foreign arms sales, but this does not mean the importance of foreign defense cooperation is declining.<Accessed 2018-11-1>

Illegal Remittances, Falsehoods Undermine Electoral Integrity: Premier  (2018-11-01)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan)
Premier Lai Ching-te said Thursday that illegal remittances and the spread of false news were two tactics being employed in an attempt to sway the upcoming local elections. He encouraged related authorities and agencies to crack down on these illegal activities in order to ensure fair elections. The Ministry of Justice and National Police Agency are currently investigating the illegal remittances and spread of false information, but the MOJ said that tracking remittances is a difficult task and cannot yet pinpoint how many illegal remittances have come from China. <Accessed 2018-11-1>

Taiwan Still Pushing for EU Investment Deal: MOFA (2018-11-02)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that it would continue to push for a bilateral investment agreement with the EU. The Department of European Affairs Deputy Head, Chen Hsin-hsin, said that a BIA would be the natural continuation of the trade partnership between Taiwan and the EU and that Taiwan’s government has made attempts to show the EU the mutual benefits of signing a pact. She also said that the government has hopes of the new EU-Asia Connectivity Strategy connecting with the New Southbound Policy. <Accessed 2018-11-2>

Premier Orders Renewed Push of New Southbound Policy (2018-11-02)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Flor Wang)
Premier Lai Ching-te issued a directive Thursday to government agencies directed at strengthening ties with New Southbound Policy target countries. Lai specified for the agencies to focus on the sectors of agriculture, public health, information and telecommunications capabilities, and business and medical talent development. He also encouraged the Ministry of Economic Affairs to help Taiwanese small and medium enterprises build presences in the target countries. <Accessed 2018-11-2>

U.K. Parliamentary Group Voices Support For Taiwan's Interpol Bid (2018-11-04)
(CNA, By Tai Ya-chen and Frances Huang) The British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group announced on Friday that the UK supports Taiwan's participation in the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol). In the statement released by UK Parliamentary Member Nigel Evans and deputy speaker in the House of Lords Lord Rogan, both UK lawmakers expressed disappointment that Taiwan's bid to participate in Interpol as an observer was denied and strongly stressed the importance of Taiwan's participation in Interpol to curb cross-border crime. <Accessed 2018-11-04>

Legislature Amends Eswatini Tariffs (2018-11-04)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) In light of the economic cooperation agreement between Taiwan and Eswatini, Taiwan's Legislative Yuan amended the tariffs on 114 imported Eswatini products, which include beef, pork, seafood, vegetables, dairy products, pineapple, oranges, grapefruit, rum and other alcohol from sugarcane. Although Eswatini's trade volume to Taiwan is not significantly huge, the agreement would provide Taiwan with the opportunity to seek business ventures in other African nations, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. <Accessed 2018-11-04>

Vote-Buying Allegations Prompt Probe, Arrests (2018-11-04)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) New Taipei City Councilor Wang Ming-li of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is being investigated for vote-buying allegations, while two borough warden candidates in Hualien County have been arrested for allegedly violating the rules of the upcoming November 24 elections. Locals reported that Wang and her campaign team handed out teas, vases and a vest with Wang's name to local borough wardens and officials of the farmers' associations. <Accessed 2018-11-04>

COA, KMT Official Present Opposing Views of Japanese Food Ban (2018-11-04)
(CNA, By Han Ting-ting and Frances Huang) While the Council of Agriculture (COA) deputy chief Chen Chi-chung affirmed that Taiwan's inspection rules for imported foods are capable of ensuring public safety if the ban were lifted, former mayor and opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin argued that radioactive substances still present in the areas affected by Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant disaster would threaten Taiwan's food safety and harm Taiwanese consumers. Chen further argued that due to the transparency in Taiwan's inspection process, the government can guarantee the Taiwanese public that imported Japanese food products are safe for consumption. <Accessed 2018-11-04>

Polls Predicts Referendum Participation of 65 Percent (2018-11-04)
(Taipei Times, By Rachel Lin) A survey conducted by the non-profit Grassroots Influence Foundation reported that approximately 65 percent of the respondents said that they would participate in at least one of the 10 referendums during the November 24 elections. The survey also showed that 48.3 percent of the respondents were not aware of the issues in the referendums, 71.5 percent felt that the government did not promote the referendums well, 38 percent lacked a clear idea of the rules about the referendum and 32 percent did not know that the upcoming local elections include voting for the 10 referendums. <Accessed 2018-11-04>

Government Cracking Down Harder on Election-Related Offenses (2018-11-05)
(CNA, By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Evelyn Kao) During a legislative session on Monday, several agencies reported that Taiwan's law enforcement officers have increased their investigations of criminal activities that are related to Taiwan's upcoming November 24 local elections. According to the National Police Agency (NPA), more than NT$9 billion has been placed on illegal betting for the election races. NPA Deputy Director-General Chiu Feng-kuang announced that tighter security measures have been implemented in more than 3,000 campaign headquarters across the country. <Accessed 2018-11-06>

Elections: Ko Skips First Taipei Election Debate, Says His Performance Can Be Googled (2018-11-05)
(Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je skipped the first televised Taipei mayoral election debate on Sunday and remarked that any questions pertaining to his administration's performance can be Googled. Meanwhile, during the debate, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ting Shou-chung promised electorates that if elected, he will focus on urban renewal and disaster prevention. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Pasuya Yao, on the other hand, promised the public that as Taipei Mayor, he will work on addressing issues, such as low birth rate, urban renewal, economic development, transitional justice and democracy. <Accessed 2018-11-06>

Taiwan to Buy Nicaraguan Bonds ‘Fake Information’: Official  (2018-11-06)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
Yui Tah-ray, head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, dismissed a Nicaraguan news report that said Taiwan would invest $280 million in Nicaraguan bonds as fictitious on Tuesday. He clarified that there had been no communication with the Nicaraguan government regarding the purchase of the bonds, which were issued to help stabilize Nicaragua’s economy amid political unrest. <Accessed 2018-11-06>

Taiwan’s Olympic Committee Affirms “Chinese Taipei” Name (2018-11-06)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao)
Lin Hong-dow, president of the Taiwan’s Olympic Committee, said Tuesday that due to concerns that attempting to change the Taiwanese Olympic team’s name from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan” would cost Taiwan its Olympic membership, the committee has decided to abide by the 1981 Lausanne Agreement, under which the team goes under the name “Chinese Taipei”. Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said in reference to the upcoming name change referendum that the government should not interfere with Lin’s decision so as not to risk the athletes’ ability to compete. <Accessed 2018-11-06>

U.S.-China Relations
Taiwan an Avoidable Flashpoint in U.S.-China Ties: Academic  (2018-10-31)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng and Evelyn Kao)
Susan Thornton, a former U.S. official, said Tuesday that Taiwan is the most sensitive issue between the U.S. and China right now but that the two countries have effectively managed the flashpoint up until this point and can continue to avoid Taiwan-related conflict. She stressed the importance of patience and communication between all three countries in avoiding conflict. <Accessed 2018-11-1>

US Indicts 10 Chinese Intelligence Agents Following ‘Hack on US and European Aviation Companies’ (2018-10-31)
(South China Morning Post, By Robert Delaney) The US Justice Department has charged a group of Chinese agents with trying to steal aviation technology from US companies, the third such indictment in less than two months in an escalating effort to halt cyber-espionage allegedly orchestrated from China. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

The Common Goal of Donald Trump and Xi Jinping: ‘Drain The Swamp’ (2018-11-01)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) Both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump share a key policy platform within their administrations: Drain out corruption. For China, this mainly comes from issues stemming from foreign direct investment, and for the United States, it comes from the influence of corporations and big money in politics. The two issues are related, and the fact that both leaders share such an important policy goal is significant because both countries are currently locked in a trade war that will eventually require resolution. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

The New US Hard Line Toward China Is Worrying Southeast Asia (2018-11-01)
(The Diplomat, By Mark J. Valencia) The greater level of soft power exerted by China over the Southeast Asia region has given ASEAN some cause for worry. ASEAN still plans to cooperate with U.S. military exercises next year, like it has with China this year, and seems to be taking a balancing approach between the two powers. Hopefully, with ASEAN turning towards China slightly more, Southeast Asian nations will be able to push the United States to drop its confrontational policy proposals against China. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

Pushback: America’s New China Strategy (2018-11-02)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Sutter) The Trump administration has taken a hard line on Asia policy, much of which includes China, especially regarding the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and by extension China has become a centerpiece of Trump's foreign policy. However, since Summer 2018, despite initially lighter follow-through on Trump's rhetoric, the U.S. Government has used the full extent of its power to push back on China. While the United States will continue to take a strong stand on China, the results of doing so remain unclear. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

How Do Chinese Netizens View the US-China Trade War? (2018-11-02)
(The Diplomat, By Chuchu Zhang and Chaowei Xiao) Surprisingly, internet users in China do not seem to have much concern regarding the U.S.-China trade war, save for some discussions about some business professionals worried about tariffs. A lack of serious news coverage, a general belief that the war will not last very long, and a belief that the United States has more to lose than China in a trade dispute all contribute to the low levels of discourse. In fact, in contrast to serious discussion, more Chinese tend to make fun of the Trump administration's actions than anything. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

China Seeks Allies as Trump’s Trade War Mounts. It Won’t Be Easy. (2018-11-04)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) President Xi Jinping kicks off a Shanghai event showing a growing Chinese appetite to buy from the rest of the world. Even critics of the U.S. have doubts. <RSS, Accessed 2018-11-10>

China Opens First Import Expo With Veiled Warning to Trump (2018-11-06)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) The first China International Import Expo (CIIE) opened in Shanghai this week. While its primarily motivation remains to signal China's willingness to reduce trade deficits with other countries, it has since been affected by the international attention given to the U.S.-China trade war. The event was also significant due to the attendance of the presidents of El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Panama, all of whom cut ties with Taiwan in the past two years. <Accessed 2018-11-06>

US Withdrawal From INF Treaty: Impact on China (2018-11-06)
(The Diplomat, By Mercy A. Kuo) Mariusz Rukat, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Polish Army reserve, discusses the United States's withdrawal from the INF Treaty as well as its effects on Asia, specifically China. <Accessed 2018-11-06>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 China's Number of Births Just Keeps Dropping (2018-11-01)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) After the birth rate in China significantly dropped following the introduction of the One-Child Policy, China decided to try boosting its falling birth numbers once again by amending the policy to allow for two children. However, they have not seen success with the decision, as birth rates continue to drop. The Communist Party will have to find new incentives to encourage higher birth rates in China. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

A New Norm in China–Japan relations? (2018-11-01)
(East Asia Forum, By Shin Kawashima) Abe’s visit to China is part of ongoing efforts from both sides to ‘renormalise’ Japan–China relations through resuming high-level dialogue. This renormalisation effort consists of two aspects. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

Journalist’s Expulsion Casts Shadow on Hong Kong’s Future (2018-11-02)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy and Amy Qin) The former British colony’s future as a uniquely free and open Chinese territory is in question after it kicked out an editor for The Financial Times. <RSS, Accessed 2018-11-10>

Through the Looking Glass: the Institutions behind Chinese Aid (2018-11-02)
(East Asia Forum, By Marina Rudyak) In the last two decades, China has emerged from its position as a net aid recipient to become one of the world’s 10 largest providers of development assistance. In OECD-DAC Official Development Assistance (ODA) comparable flows, China ranked seventh in 2016. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

China’s Leader, Hogging Spotlight, Elbows Communist Titan Aside (2018-11-05)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers) In a significant propaganda shift, Xi Jinping’s rise has come at the expense of Deng Xiaoping, long hailed as the architect of China’s prosperity. <RSS, Accessed 2018-11-10>

At U.N., China Defends Mass Detention of Uighur Muslims (2018-11-06)
(New York Times, By Nick Cumming-Bruce) The detainees are told they have an “ideological virus” and must be indoctrinated in devotion to the state. Western governments called for the practice to end. <RSS, Accessed 2018-11-10>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
 The CPTPP Trade Agreement Will Enter Into Force on December 30 (2018-11-01)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will go into effect at the end of December 2018 following Australia's ratification of the agreement. The agreement is designed to act as the successor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which fell apart following the United States' withdrawal from the agreement at the start of President Donald Trump's term. <Accessed 2018-11-05>

North Korea and the Prestige Dilemma (2018-11-02)
(The Diplomat, Kristian McGuire) North Korea's primary motivation for developing nuclear weapons was to enhance its security. But the country's desire for prestige may be the biggest impediment to convincing Pyongyang to denuclearize. <Accessed 2018-11-05> 

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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