::: TSR Weekly Report
2018-11-13 | NO.42(24) 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
 '1992 Consensus' Key to Maintaining Cross-Strait Status Quo: Ma (2018-11-08)
(CNA, By Lee Shu-hua and Evelyn Kao) Former President Ma Ying-jeou remarked that Taiwan should not reject the "1992 Consensus" if it wishes to maintain the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. Ma mentioned that his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015 helped to foster peace and establish dialogue between both nations. However, Ma warned that if the current administration under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) refuses to acknowledge the "1992 Consensus", Taiwan-China cross-strait relations could worsen, leading to the loss of mutual trust between both nations. <Accessed 2018-11-08>

Military Must be Ready for New Threats from China: President  (2018-11-08)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
President Tsai Ing-wen said Thursday that Taiwan’s military should be prepared for both traditional and non-traditional security threats from China’s People’s Liberation Army. One new threat she emphasized was the spread of misinformation. She made these remarks at the commissioning ceremony for two Perry-class guided missile frigates purchased from the United States. <Accessed 2018-11-08>

Ex-DPP Chairman Says Tsai-Xi Meeting Possible (2018-11-09)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Hsu Hsin-liang remarked that if Chinese President Xi Jinping is willing to meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, a meeting between the leaders is possible. Hsu further stated that the fault does not lie with the DPP for the deadlock in the cross-strait relations. The former DPP chairman instead placed the responsibility on China's aggression toward Taiwan over the years. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Tsai: Ma's 'New Three Noes' Proposal Hurts Taiwan's Sovereignty (2018-11-09)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Flor Wang) During a meeting for Industry Day, Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen remarked that former president Ma Ying-jeou's recent "three noes" hurts Taiwan's sovereignty and gives the international community the impression that Taiwan yields to China's aggression. Tsai instead urged the Taiwanese population to stand united in facing external threats from China, which has been making every effort to isolate Taiwan, spread fake news that cause social unrest among Taiwanese, and intimidate Taiwan by flexing its military muscles. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

What Does the 1992 Consensus Mean to Citizens in Taiwan? (2018-11-10)
(The Diplomat, By Austin Wang, Charles K.S. Wu, Yao-Yuan Yeh, & Fang-Yu Chen) As Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen refuses to acknowledge the conditions set by the 1992 Consensus, Beijing has refused to communicate with Taiwan on cross-strait negotiations or issues. However, within the debate on whether or not President Tsai should acknowledge it or not, there lies another debate on whether or not Taiwanese citizens actually understand what the Consensus entails. Taiwanese people have no consensus on the true meaning of the 1992 Consensus. <Accessed 2018-11-13>

Risking Beijing’s Wrath, Taiwan to Vote on Removing ‘China’ from Name of Its 2020 Olympic team (2018-11-11)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwanese are to vote this month over whether the self-ruled island should compete in the next Summer Olympics under the name “Taiwan,” in a highly controversial referendum that would not only provoke Beijing but also put the island’s government in a political dilemma if passed. The referendum asks whether Taiwan should compete in the 2020 Games in Tokyo and other international sporting events under that name, rather than “Chinese Taipei” – a title that has been used since 1981. <Accessed 2018-11-16>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
 U.S. Midterm Election Results Not to Affect Policy Towards Taiwan (2018-11-08)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and William Yen) American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty assured Taiwan that the recent results of the United States midterm elections will not hurt the United States' policy toward Taiwan. The AIT Chairman also affirmed the vital role that Taiwan plays in its Indo-Pacific strategy and expressed confidence in Taiwan's spirit of freedom and fairness. <Accessed 2018-11-08>

U.S. Sale of Warships to Taiwan Helps Regional Stability: AIT (Update) (2018-11-08)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
The American Institute in Taiwan said Thursday that Taiwan’s commissioning of the two warships purchased from the U.S. was within the rights of the Taiwan Relations Act because it will further Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities. Additionally, the AIT emphasized the role these vessels will play in contributing to the political, economic, and military stability of the Indo-Pacific region. <Accessed 2018-11-08>

‘We Won’t Retreat an Inch’: Taiwan Enlists US-Made Submarine Hunters to Repel Beijing Threats (2018-11-08)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan’s navy has commissioned two former US Perry-class guided missile frigates to boost the self-ruled island’s anti-submarine defences, with the island’s president vowing not to back down in the face of growing military threats from Beijing. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

US' Taiwan Policy Has Not Changed, Brian Hook Says (2018-11-09)
(Taipei Times/CNA) In a response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's reference of Taiwan as a country that would be granted waivers alongside seven other countries from importing crude oil from Iran, US Special Representative to Iran Brian Hook remarked that the US continues to adhere to the "one China" policy. Hook explained that the waiver granted to Taiwan by the US only pertains to Taiwan's economy and does not denote a change in US policy. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Taiwan Confident in U.S. Ties Ahead of U.S.-China Meet (2018-11-09)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng and Flor Wang) Stanley Kao, Taiwan's top representative to the U.S., expressed confidence that the upcoming U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue (D&SD) will not affect Taiwan-U.S. relations. Kao remarked that Taiwan-U.S. relations have been progressing well due to shared beliefs, mutual interests, and active communication between both nations. Kao further added that he is confident U.S. support for Taiwan will continue to be strong in light of the recent U.S. mid-term elections. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

MOFA Thanks U.S. for Support of Taiwan (2018-11-10)
(CNA, By Flor Wang)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the U.S. Saturday for its support of Taiwan, following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s express of the U.S.’ commitment to its partnership with Taiwan. MOFA said that Taiwan looks forward to continuing to work with the U.S. to safeguard regional stability and participate in global contributions. <Accessed 2018-11-11>

Taiwan Ready to Host Asia Pacific Religious Freedom Forum: MOFA (2018-11-12)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Hsieh said Monday that Taiwan has expressed its interest to the U.S. of hosting a ministerial level forum on religious freedom in the Asia Pacific. Hsieh said Taiwan has already attended one meeting organized by the U.S. State Department in Washington regarding the topic and has offered to host the next meeting in Taiwan. Hsieh also praised Taiwan’s record for human rights and religious freedom, saying it made Taiwan an ideal candidate to host such a forum. <Accessed 2018-11-12>

Democrat-Controlled House Won’t Affect Pro-Taiwan Sentiment: MOFA (2018-11-12)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
In response to recent concerns that the U.S. midterm election results would affect U.S.-Taiwan ties under the Trump administration, Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Hsieh said Monday that the results should not affect the Taiwan-friendly attitude of U.S. Congress. The concerns are because the U.S. House of Representatives came under the control of the Democratic Party. Hsieh stated that both the Democrats and Republicans are generally supportive of Taiwan and does not expect Democrats checks and balances to be related to Trump’s Taiwan policies. <Accessed 2018-11-12>

New US House Equally Friendly Toward Taiwan (2018-11-14)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Taiwan's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kelly Hsieh remarked that the new Democrat-controlled US House of Representative will not affect Taiwan-U.S. relations. Hsieh further stated that since both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have always supported Taiwan, the recent midterm election results would not hurt Taiwan's relations with the U.S. Meanwhile, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua stated that the Taiwanese government is making every effort to provide a conducive environment for Taiwanese companies that are thinking of returning to Taiwan amid the trade war between the U.S. and China. <Accessed 2018-11-14>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 Referendum Convener Wants 'Yes' Vote On Sports Team Name-Change (2018-11-08)
(CNA, By Lung Po-an and Chi Jo-yao) Despite the president of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) Lin Hong-dow expressing concern that the name-change to "Taiwan" could cause Taiwanese athletes to be punished by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), former Department of Sports Commissioner Yang Jong-her assured Lin that the referendum will not affect Taiwanese athletes. Yang also announced that the referendum for the name-change from "Chinese Taipei" to "Taiwan" will go as scheduled for the November 24 elections. <Accessed 2018-11-08>

ELECTIONS: Ko Ends Term to Focus on Election, Defends Director (2018-11-08)
(Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia)
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je began a leave of absence from his mayoral duties on Thursday to instead focus on his re-election campaign. He also defended his campaign director Hsiao Yeh following controversy over Hsiao’s promotion of a DPP Kaohsiung mayoral candidate. He called Hsiao a nice person and defended his right to support any candidate, regardless of party. <Accessed 2018-11-08>

MOFA to "Do its Best" to Set Up APEC Meets with U.S., China Reps (2018-11-08)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu announced on Wednesday that The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will make every effort to have Taiwan's representative meet with the representatives from the United States and China in the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit. Wu further added that Taiwan's representative, Morris Chang, could potentially raise Taiwan-U.S. trade and investment issues with the American representative while extending "goodwill gesture" to Chinese president Xi Jinping. <Accessed 2018-11-08>

Taiwan's Six Pacific Allies Won't Join China-Hosted Forum: MOFA (2018-11-08)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) According to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official, Taiwan's six diplomatic allies in the South Pacific will not participate in a China-hosted summit on November 16. Deputy head of the MOFA's Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Chang Chun-yu remarked that since none of the six allies will be attending the summit, Beijing-organized summit will not hurt Taiwan's ties with its diplomatic allies in the region. <Accessed 2018-11-08>

Taiwan's Representative to Depart for APEC Meeting Nov. 16 (2018-11-08)
(CNA, By Liao Yu-yand and Evelyn Kao) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Morris Chang, the retired founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), will be representing Taiwan at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting at Papua New Guinea on November 16. Chang is also scheduled to attend the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Dialogue with Leaders in Port Moresby, the annual APEC dinner banquet, the closing ceremony of the APEC leaders' meeting, including several informal visits. <Accessed 2018-11-08>

Australian Scholar Touts New Thinking on Taiwan's Future (2018-11-09)
(CNA, By Lee Hsin-Yin) During a speech at the Australian Office in Taipei, Bruce Jacobs, a leading expert on political history of Taiwan, asked Taiwanese to look beyond the "One China" narrative. Jacobs suggested that Taiwan does not need other countries' recognition of its statehood because Taiwan fulfills all the necessary requirements for statehood under the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States. Jacobs instead urged Taiwan to seek cooperation with other democracies to establish formal bilateral ties. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Palau President Arrives in Taiwan for State Visit (2018-11-10)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Ko Lin)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. of Palau arrived in Taiwan Saturday for a state visit, during which he will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan, and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. MOFA praised Palau’s commitment to promoting Taiwan’s participation in international institutions. Palau is one of Taiwan’s six Pacific diplomatic allies. <Accessed 2018-11-11>

Chinese System Key as Spain Considers Deportations: Expert (2018-11-10)
(Taipei Times, with CNA)
There has been heavy backlash against a Spanish court’s recent ruling to send 217 Taiwanese suspects back to China, rather than Taiwan. This has caused many legal and human rights experts to criticize China’s judicial system and China’s claim over Taiwan. They have also raised concerns over how the deportees will be treated once in China, due to China’s negative human rights record. <Accessed 2018-11-11>

Tsai Urges Overseas Taiwanese to Vote in Local Government Elections (2018-11-11)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng and Flor Wang) In a recorded video played in Washington to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Taiwanese Association of America, Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen urged overseas Taiwanese to uphold the values of freedom, democracy, and human rights by returning home to vote in the upcoming November 24 elections. Wu Hsin-hsing, the head of Taiwan's Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC), who also attended the event remarked that the current administration refuses to recognize the "1992 consensus" because it would prevent Taiwan from being a de-jure and de-facto independent country. <Accessed 2018-11-12>

Group Urge Official Support for Lee Ming-che (2018-11-11)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) Civic group members joined Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che's wife, Lee Ching-yu, to draw the public's attention on the Chinese government's refusal to allow Lee's wife to visit him for two months in a row.Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu Ee-ling stated that China is going against the UN Human Rights Standards in Arrest and Detention by refusing Lee's family to visit him and for secretly transferring him between prisons without notifying his family. Meanwhile, Covenant Watch director Lin Hsin-yi said that the Taiwanese government's reluctance to voice for human rights abuses could send the wrong signal to China that Taiwan is unconcerned. <Accessed 2018-11-12>

Taiwan to Propose Solutions to Digital Challenges at APEC (2018-11-12)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan)
Morris Chang, founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., who is Taiwan’s representative to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, discussed on Monday Taiwan’s planned proposal for this year’s summit. Taiwan will propose initiating bilateral or multilateral talks under the APEC framework to combat digital challenges, such as intellectual property, privacy, and tariff issues. Chang said APEC would be a great platform to address this issue because of the key players in the digital realm which will be in attendance. <Accessed 2018-11-12>

President Thanks Palau for its Support of Taiwan (2018-11-12)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Evelyn Kao)
President Tsai Ing-wen thanked Palau’s President Tommy Remengesau Jr. on Monday for Palau’s continued outspoken support for Taiwan’s international participation. Tsai expressed Taiwan’s desire to continue working with Pualau on shared goals, such as focusing on clean energy. Remengesau Jr. praised the bilateral relationship between the countries, saying Palau will learn from Taiwan and highlighting Taiwan’s potential contributions to the international community. <Accessed 2018-11-12>

Taiwan Remains Strong in Research and Global Talent: President (2018-11-14)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and William Yen) While receiving representatives and dignitaries from foreign national scientific and research institutions at the Presidential Office, Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen prided Taiwan's capability and importance in research, innovation, and global talent. The president also expressed hope that Taiwan will continue to offer its expertise on current pressing global issues, such as energy conservation, carbon emissions, sustainability, and artificial intelligence. <Accessed 2018-11-14>

NCC Urged to Stop Fake Election News (2018-11-14)
(Taipei Times, By Shelley Shan) Lawmakers on the legislature's Transportation Committee urged the National Communications Commission (NCC) to punish broadcast media for spreading fake election news. Several DPP Legislators remarked that news outlet hardly verify information before publishing them and the government is not up to date in terms of legislation against the publication and dissemination of fake news. <Accessed 2018-11-14>
U.S.-China Relations
US-China Divisions Could Lead to an Economic Iron Curtain, Henry Paulson Warns (2018-11-07)
(South China Morning Post, By Wendy Wu) Former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson warned a new “economic Iron Curtain” could descend between China and the United States as the divisions between the two nations broaden amid the escalating trade war. Paulson also warned against attempts to isolate China, but called on leaders in Beijing to implement bold reforms like their predecessors Deng Xiaoping and Zhu Rongji. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Chinese Vice-President Sends Signal to Washington via Singapore Economic Forum
(South China Morning Post, By Wendy Wu) Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan’s presence at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore was a signal from Beijing that it wants to engage in high-level dialogue with the United States, according to observers. The list of attending Chinese officials at the New Economy Forum was not decided until a week before the event opened on Tuesday, but originally was headed by a ministerial-level official, according to a source. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

US Isn’t Following Cold War or Containment Policy towards China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Insists
(South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng and Zhenhua Lu) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has insisted that Washington is not “pursuing a cold war or containment policy” towards China following high-level talks between diplomats and defence officials on Friday. Both sides used the dialogue to set out their main areas of concern – including the South China Sea, Taiwan and human rights – but insisted that they were not trying to undermine each other. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

The US-China Trade War Shows up in Tennessee (2018-11-08)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) A group of Chinese vendors in the Smoky Mountains valley in Tennessee come every year to sell cheap goods, but this year, they were met with quite a different story when most people came and purchased solely more expensive American-made goods. This is deep Trump country and Americans there showed their support for the President not just with their votes, but with their wallets. The Chinese have said they will not be returning. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Ahead of Xi-Trump G20 Meeting, Xi Meets Foreign Policy Guru Kissinger (2018-11-09)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on November 8 in Beijing. The two discussed the long relationship between China and the United States, which Kissinger has largely facilitated. Xi told Kissinger to bring a message back to the United States that China is wiling to make a deal in upcoming negotiations as long as the United States does not force China to concede what could threaten its regime or sovereignty. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

For China, How Much Will the Outcome of the US Mid-Term Elections Matter? (2018-11-10)
(The Diplomat, By Dingding Chen) Three possibilities exist for the U.S.-China relationship in light of new leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives. These are the maintenance of the status quo, greater deterioration of the relationship, or mild improvement of relations. Due to domestic factors in the United States, mild improvement is the most likely outcome, although theoretically all three are very possible. <Accessed 2018-11-13>

The US and China Are Talking Again, But 'Competition' Is Set to Continue (2018-11-12)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The United States and China have completed the second annual diplomatic and security dialogue in the midst of several complex issues within their relationship, even beyond the trade war. The two countries still shared military and economic exchanges, and the Dialogue was also even called off at one point. While the Dialogue represents an acceptance of increasing competition between the United States and China, the two demonstrate that they are still capable of communication. <Accessed 2018-11-13>

Locked in a Trade War, China and United States Try to Rally Support in Asia (2018-11-12)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) China and the United States are competing in a new round of diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific this week, as leaders from the world’s two biggest economies try to rally support at key international meetings. With Beijing battling slowing growth and the fallout from a trade war with the US, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang landed in Singapore on Monday for a five-day visit that will include the annual summit for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). <Accessed 2018-11-16>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Beijing Bars Independent Intellectuals From Attending Harvard Events on China’s Reform and Opening (2018-11-07)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) A group of Chinese intellectuals who were scheduled to attend an event at Harvard University's Fairbank Center celebrating China's economic reform and opening were banned from leaving China in early November. The executive director of the think tank Unirule says this has more to do with China's crackdown on independent think tanks than anything. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

What Now for Japan and China?
(East Asia Forum, By Liu Jiangyong) The focus of Abe’s visit to China was on promoting practical cooperation between China and Japan. But a series of underlying problems between the two countries — such as historical disputes, territorial conflicts, and security issues in the East China Sea and South China Sea — are yet to be fully resolved. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Strike-Capable Wing Loong II Drone Enters Service With China’s PLAAF (2018-11-08)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) The strike-capable Wing Loong II drone has entered service with China's People Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The PLAAF did not reveal how many drones would be joining their fleet. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan have all expressed interest in purchasing the drone as well. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Can Russia and China 'Synergize' the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road Initiative? (2018-11-09)
(The Diplomat, By Catherine Putz) Both China and Russia remain amenable to "synergizing" the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union. While there are few details available, the general message is that China and Russia stand united in their pursuits. Doing so would be politically beneficial to both sides. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Ma Jian, Exiled Chinese Novelist, Hails Appearance as Victory for Rights (2018-11-10)
(New York Times, By Mike Ives) The temporary cancellation of his appearance at a literary festival had been seen as the latest sign of erosions of freedom in Hong Kong. <RSS, Accessed 2018-11-16>

Explaining the Proliferation of China’s Drones (2018-11-10)
(The Diplomat, By Henrik Paulsson) China's arms sales, especially its drones, have allowed it to make gains in several of its overseas military installations. Many states still purchase drones because they need the capabilities drones offer, despite the fact that purchasing drones will bring them closer to Chinese influence. Selling drones puts China further down their strategic path. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Why Is Transparency So Important for China’s Development Assistance? (2018-11-10)
(The Diplomat, By Zhang Chao) China's announcements of financial development aid throughout the world has garnered lots of attention from observers. However, many still wonder how China is producing said aid, and most Chinese aid projects are still surrounded with mystery. A lack of transparency causes people to remain unsure of the true intentions behind Chinese development aid. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Is China Fueling an East Asian Arms Race? (2018-11-10)
(The Diplomat, By Scott N. Romaniuk and Tobias Burgers) China has greatly increased its military budget over the last ten years. This increase in investment has posed a threat to the United States and its allies in East Asia, as China now can hold its own against U.S. military might. This will also lead to every country in the region attempting to boost its own military capabilities in order to counter China if necessary. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Australia’s Prime Minister ‘Surprised’ by State’s Secret Deal With China (2018-11-13)
(New York Times, By Jamie Tarabay and Vicky Xiuzhong Xu) The state of Victoria signed on with China’s Belt and Road initiative at a time when intelligence officials are concerned about Beijing’s influence. <RSS, Accessed 2018-11-16>

U.N. Rights Officials Criticize China Over Muslim Internments (2018-11-13)
(New York Times, By Nick Cumming-Bruce) Human rights officials and experts condemned regulations on Chinese re-education camps as a violation of international law and criminalized basic rights. <RSS, Accessed 2018-11-16>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

U.S. and China Are Playing ‘Game of Chicken’ in South China Sea
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez and Steven Lee Myers) A recent near miss underscored the perils in the South China Sea, where the American and Chinese navies are increasingly challenging each other. <RSS, Accessed 2018-11-10>

As China’s Xi Heads to Philippines, Has South China Sea Oil Exploration Deal Given Him the Slip? (2018-11-09)
(South China Morning Post, By Raissa Robles) Days before a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Philippine government is scrambling to draft a deal for joint oil exploration in the South China Sea that will be acceptable to China. The problem is, not only has the appointment of a new Philippine foreign affairs secretary muddied the waters, but what China finds “acceptable” may violate the 1987 constitution, according to legal experts. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

Top US Officials Reject Chinese Demand to Stop Military Moves that ‘Undermine’ Beijing’s Sovereignty in South China Sea (2018-11-10)
(South China Morning Post, By Zhenhua Lu) Top US officials rejected a warning by China on Friday to stop sending American vessels into the South China Sea, the latest focus of military tensions after warships from the two navies nearly collided in the disputed waters. The warning and its dismissal came at a top-level “diplomatic security dialogue” in Washington, jointly chaired by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis, Chinese politburo member Yang Jiechi and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

South China Sea: Beijing Hopes for Maritime Accord with Asean Neighbours in Three Years (2018-11-13)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) China aims to complete negotiations on a code of conduct for the disputed South China Sea region within three years as Beijing pursues a stable relationship with its neighbours. Premier Li Keqiang made the commitment on Tuesday in Singapore before attending the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). <Accessed 2018-11-16>

The Korean Peninsula

Pompeo Meeting With North Korean Diplomat Postponed
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy) No reason was given for the delay of the meeting in New York between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong-chol, North Korea’s leading nuclear weapons negotiator. <RSS, Accessed 2018-11-10>

Other Regional Issues

Brexit is Bringing the UK Back to Southeast Asia
(East Asia Forum, By Jürgen Haacke and John Harley Breen) Emboldened by the belief that it already has strong bilateral relations with many Southeast Asian countries, London envisions a future in which the United Kingdom makes a meaningful contribution to regional security, prosperity and development. The problem is that Southeast Asia does not yet seem to care much. <Accessed 2018-11-10>

U.S. Navy Carrier Suffers Second Aircraft Crash in Weeks (2018-11-12)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) An F/A-18 Super Hornet, assigned to the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, on Monday crashed into the sea northeast of the Philippines. The two aviators inside the plane were rescued. <RSS, Accessed 2018-11-16>

No Time for APEC to Be Asleep at the Wheel (2018-11-12)
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) The fundamental objective of APEC leaders must be to find circuit breakers to quell the policy turbulence that’s shaking the region. To get the region back on track it needs to break major deadlocks on trade, finance and growth. <Accessed 2018-11-16>

Vietnam Reduces Reliance on China, Ratifies New Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal (2018-11-13)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) Vietnam has moved to reduce its economic reliance on China and mitigate the risk of the US-China trade war by ratifying an 11-country trade deal. The nation’s lawmaking body approved the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership on Monday, following Australia’s ratification on October 31. <Accessed 2018-11-16>

Asian Mega Free-Trade Deal Stalls in Singapore despite China’s Push against Protectionism (2018-11-13)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) China’s attempt to seal Asia’s biggest trade deal stalled at a regional summit in Singapore, despite Beijing’s efforts to counter American protectionism and the absence of US President Donald Trump. After a fruitless meeting on Monday, trade ministers from Asean’s member countries and the bloc’s six dialogue partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand – pushed back further talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) until next year. <Accessed 2018-11-16>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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