::: TSR Weekly Report
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2018-11-20 | NO.42(25) 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
2018 ELECTIONS: Pro-China Group Fielding Candidate in Taipei, Allegedly Supported by Beijing (2018-11-14)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan)
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau began investigating allegations of vote-buying and receiving funds from Beijing by a pro-China group, the Concentric Patriotism Association, in the upcoming local elections. The Taiwanese police said they have evidence of Beijing sending at least NT$35 billion to pro-China groups and candidates in Taiwan in an effort to sway the election results. <Accessed 2018-11-14>

 Beijing to Allow Family to Visit Lee Ming-che: Taiwan Affairs Office Says (2018-11-15)
(Taipei Times/CNA, Beijing) According to China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman Ma Xiaoguang, China would allow Taiwanese democracy advocate Lee Ming-che's family to visit him in jail. Lee was sentenced to five years imprisonment last year due to his remarks about democracy, freedom of speech and human rights in China. Meanwhile, Lee's wife, Lee Ching-yu, stated that Beijing still has not explain why Lee was transferred back to the Hunan prison from Hebei. <Accessed 2018-11-16>

China Using Fake News to Undermine Taiwan's Democracy: U.S. Report (2018-11-15)
(CNA, By Liao Han-yuan and Ko Lin) According to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), China is using its United Front work and other political warfare activities to undermine Taiwan's democracy. Peter Mattis, a research fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, remarked that China is seeking to create a 'fake civl society' to sabotage Taiwan's democratic system and destabilize the Taiwanese society. <Accessed 2018-11-16>

ELECTIONS: Chinese Internet Threat Warning Issued (2018-11-18)
(Taipei Times, By Chung Li-hua and Jonathan Chin)
A national security official on Saturday warned voters that Beijing is likely to step up the spread of disinformation and other influence tactics as the local elections grow closer. The official described some of the tactics Beijing has used and warned that there would be an increase in anti-DPP and pro-KMT information, in an effort to hurt the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen. <Accessed 2018-11-18>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
No Sign that US is Planning Drills: Defense Minister (2018-11-15)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Taiwan's Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa announced that there is no indication that the US is planning drills in the South China Sea. Yen further remarked that Taiwan does not receive any military deployment from the US in advance and that Taiwan respects the rights and freedom of navigation defended by the US. <Accessed 2018-11-16>

Taiwan – US Security Partner but Silent Victim in Donald Trump’s Trade War (2018-11-16)
(South China Morning Post, By Jun Mai) The self-ruled island’s heavy dependence on the mainland economy has exposed it to the twists and turns of the tit-for-tat trade battle launched by US President Donald Trump months ago. But as a steel producer, it also is feeling the impact of Washington’s global steel and aluminium tariffs, which target China’s excess capacity in its steel sector, in particular. <Accessed 2018-11-21>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 Supporters, Opponents Debate Gay, Lesbian Education Referendum (2018-11-15)
(CNA, By Chen Chih-chung and Chi Jo-yao) During a forum on Thursday, supporters and opponents debate on whether to include or exclude gay and lesbian education from the national curriculum. Yang Chun-tzu, executive director of the National Alliance of Presidents of Parents Associations (NAPPA), argued that it is not right for elementary and junior high school students to learn about homosexuality, especially during the unstable puberty stage. However, Chen Ming-yen, managing supervisor of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR), stressed the importance of gender equity education in teaching students to respect different gender identities. <Accessed 2018-11-16>

French Politician Calls for Taiwan's Inclusion in Interpol (2018-11-15)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Jean-Francçois Cesarini, a member of the French National Assembly and chairman of its Taiwan-France Friendship Group, expressed support for Taiwan's bid to participate in the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol). Cesarini remarked that political factors should not be used to prevent Taiwan's participation in international organizations. He further stated that France needs to work with both Taiwan and China amid China's efforts to isolate Taiwan internationally. <Accessed 2018-11-16>

UK Discussing Taiwan's Interpol Bid: Lawmaker (2018-11-15)
(Taipei Times/CNA London) The British government is currently discussing Taiwan's bid to participate in the Interpol General Assembly with international partners. British Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd remarked that the British Government supports Taiwan's participation at the Interpol as Taiwanese could make substantial contributions in combatting international organized crimes. <Accessed 2018-11-16>

8 Allies Write Letters to Interpol in Support of Taiwan: MOFA (2018-11-16)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and William Yen)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday that eight of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, Nicaragua, Belize, Honduras, Solomon Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and eSwatini have all sent separate letters in support of Taiwan’s bid to Interpol. any countries, including the U.S., have come out in support for Taiwan’s participation in the Interpol General Assembly, which was initially declined by Interpol. <Accessed 2018-11-17>

Taiwan’s Liberalization Recognized by CPTPP Members: Minister (2018-11-16)
(CNA, By Liao Yu-yang, Pan Tze-yu, and Elizabeth Hsu)
Taiwanese delegates lobbied for Taiwan’s inclusion in the newly formed trade bloc, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum. Taiwan’s Minister without Portfolio John Deng said that CPTPP representatives recognized Taiwan’s liberalization and briefed delegates on the necessary preparations to join the bloc. <Accessed 2018-11-17>

Taiwan Proposal for Loans to SMEs Gains Support at APEC Meeting (2018-11-16)
(CNA, By Liao Yu-yang and Flor Wang)
The joint proposal by Taiwan and Russia to offer loans to women running small businesses reportedly received strong support at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. The proposal was endorsed by eight APEC member countries, including China. Bob Chen, director-general of the Department of International Organizations in MOFA, acknowledged how the APEC framework could help facilitate positive interaction between Taiwan and China. <Accessed 2018-11-17>

Nationality Act Does Not Restrict New Citizens' Right to Vote: MOI (2018-11-17)
(CNA, By Liu Lee-jung and Chi Jo-yao) The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) announced that the Nationality Act does not prevent newly naturalized citizens from voting for 10 years. The Ministry further explained that the Nationality Act only forbids new citizens from holding public offices. <Accessed 2018-11-18>

Taiwan's APEC Rep Holds Talks with U.S. Vice President Pence ((Update) (2018-11-17)
(CNA, By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang) Although Morris Chang, Taiwan's representative to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) did not state what Chang and Pence discussed. However, in a Bloomberg report, Pence was quoted as saying that the both parties talked about economics while MOFA twitted that Chang and Pence's discussion touched on strengthening regional ties in shaping the digital future. <Accessed 2018-11-18>

Taiwan Rep Interacts with Foreign Leaders at APEC Summit (2018-11-17)
(CNA, By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang) Morris Chang, Taiwan's representative to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), met and interacted with foreign leaders prior to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Dialogue. However, it was reported that during a photo session, Chang did not interact with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Although Taiwan is a full member of APEC, Taiwan's presidents could not attend the leaders' summit due to opposition from China, and has to send a proxy instead. <Accessed 2018-11-18>

Elections: 'We Care' Rally Planned in Kaohsiung (2018-11-17)
(Taipei Times, By Ko Yu-hao and Wang Jung-hsiang) Civic Groups are planning to hold a rally in Kaohsiung to counter the negativities that have overshadowed the city's mayoral election. The rally aims to create a conducive environment for the people in light of the upcoming local elections as well as for them to show their support and love for Kaohsiung through positive actions and not by spreading fake news or hatred. <Accessed 2018-11-18>

Elections: Prosecutors Looking into Reports of Rice-for-Votes Scheme (2018-11-17)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) Prosecutors are investigating into allegations of vote buying with rice by staff working for Republican Party Hsinchu County commissioner candidate Hsu Hsin-ying. According to officials from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), more than 1,000 families have received donations exceeding the NT$30 legal limit on campaign gifts. The DPP strongly asked the judiciary to investigate the matter since there are evidence and witnesses pertaining to the matter at hand. <Accessed 2018-11-18>

President Praises APEC Rep’s Performance at Summit (2018-11-18)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Evelyn Kao)
President Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday praised Morris Chang, who represented Taiwan at the APEC Summit, for his work at the summit to promote Taiwan’s international participation and status. She also specifically mentioned Chang’s efforts to promote U.S.-Taiwan relations, mentioning his meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bloomberg, and the National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General also reported on the exchanges between Pence and Chang, which centered around free trade and economic cooperation. <Accessed 2018-11-18>

IOC Reaffirms Stance on Taiwan’s Name Change Proposal (2018-11-18)
(CNA, By Lung Po-an and Evelyn Kao)
The International Olympic Committee sent a letter to the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee reiterating its position that Taiwan could hold a referendum on a name change but that attempting to change its designation from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan” could result in Taiwan losing its Olympic membership. The CTOC said it will abide by Olympic Charter rules, but the referendum is still being held with the local elections. <Accessed 2018-11-18>

ELECTIONS: President Says DPP in Battle to Defend Nation (2018-11-18)
(Taipei Times, By Tsai Meng-shang)
President Tsai Ing-wen said at a DPP campaign event Saturday that the local elections are “a battle to defend Taiwanese values” and that voters should put aside debates about the speed of reform to promote democracy in these elections. Tsai has been participating in campaigning events for the DPP candidates. <Accessed 2018-11-18>

Singapore Prime Minister Holds Talks with Taiwan's Envoy at APEC (2018-11-19)
CNA, By Rita Chang and Evelyn Kao) Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stated that he had talks with Morris Chang, Taiwan's representative at the 2018 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders summit. However, both Taiwan and Singapore did not disclose the conversations between Lee and Chang. Chang also met U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

Mayor Kaohsiung Mayoral Candidates Face Off in Televised Debate (2018-11-19)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) Both Kaohsiung mayoral candidates Chen Chi-mai from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Han Kuo-yu from the Kuomintang's (KMT) faced off in a televised debate on Monday night. Chen promised the electorates that if elected, he would promote agricultural products abroad, expand the MRT network between urban and rural areas in the city, and make it convenient for investors in the semiconductors and smart industries. Meanwhile, Han promised to tap into the oil reserves of Taiping Island to increase the fiscal position of the Kaohsiung city government. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

Elections: DPP Shifts Focus to Local Issues (2018-11-19)
(Taipei Times, By Su Fun-her and William Hetherington) The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced that it will focused on local issues instead of continuing with a centralized election strategy. For instance, in Kaohsiung the party will focus on combatting fake news, while in Taichung the party will promote its plans for the city's infrastructure. In Taipei, however, the DPP will concentrate on issues pertaining to national sovereignty. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

Elections: Vote to 'Punish' Tsai and DPP, KMT Says (2018-11-19)
(Taipei Times, By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jake Chung) The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has ramped up its efforts with fliers, posters, and slogans to garner voters' support for KMT by highlighting the current administration's inefficiencies. Some of the slogans faulted president Tsai Ing-wen for exploiting laborers, youths, and farmers that resulted in these groups being underpaid. The KMT has also arranged for KMT heavyweights and former KMT chairs to make speeches in support of KMT's mayoral candidates. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

Taiwan's Foreign Affairs Minister Arrives in Marshall Islands (2018-11-19)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan and William Yen) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) released a statement stating that Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has arrived in the Marshall Islands for a three-day visit. Wu's visit to Marshall Islands is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both nations. According to MOFA, Wu was presented with a certificate as the first person with a Republic of China (Taiwan) citizenship to enter the country visa-free by Marshall Islands immigration director Damien Jacklick. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

Taiwan to Host Asian Anti-Nuclear Forum in 2019 (2018-11-20)
(CNA, By Wu Hsin-yun and Ko Lin)
The Taiwan Environmental Protection Union announced Tuesday that Taiwan will be hosting next year’s No Nuke Asia Forum, which is focused on fostering discussion about countering nuclear energy in Asia. Taiwan will soon hold a referendum with the local elections on whether to not to phase out nuclear power by 2025. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

Chang Maintains Silence After Return from APEC (2018-11-20)
(Taipei Times, with CNA)
Since returning from the APEC summit, Taiwan’s representative, Morris Chang, has remained relatively quiet about his trip. He said only that he had completed his mission and had friendly conversations with many APEC leaders. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

Taiwan, Indonesia Sign MOU on Economy Cooperation (2018-11-20)
(CNA, By Jay Chou and Frances Huang)
On Monday, Taiwan and Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding focused on forging closer economic ties. John C. Chen, head of Taipei Economic and Trade Office in Indonesia, said the agreement will foster cooperation in areas like infrastructure and special economic zones and is a part of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

MOFA to Launch More New Southbound Policy Training Courses (2018-11-20)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will launch two new training programs under the New Southbound Policy next year. The programs will train people from sixteen countries, focusing on starting up small business and using technology in agriculture. The programs are expected to strengthen Taiwan’s economic ties with the countries. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

Taiwan Name-Change Backers Hit Out at International Olympic Committee Warning (2018-11-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) A group of pro-independence advocates have claimed that Taiwan’s athletes would not be barred from international competition if a proposed name change for the island’s sporting teams went ahead, challenging a warning from the International Olympic Committee on the issue. <Accessed 2018-11-21>
U.S.-China Relations
Military Competition in Pacific Endures as Biggest Flash Point Between U.S. and China (2018-11-14)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong) Trade disputes have for months been the focus of souring relations between the United States and China. But intractable problems in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait underscore that competition for dominance of the Pacific Ocean remains the most volatile source of conflict between the two nations — and the tensions are rising. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

US-China Cooperation: The Shadow of Legitimacy
 (2018-11-17)
(The Diplomat, By Lily McElwee) Both Republicans and Democrats have managed to agree that a strategic approach to China is in the best interests of the United States at this point in time. The United States remains skeptical of China's motivations and future objectives as well as what actions it will take to achieve such goals. As trade disputes escalate and a lack of cooperation on either side remains, conflict seems ever more likely. <Accessed 2018-11-17>

The Unfolding of a New Cold War (2018-11-18)
(East Asia Forum, By Gary Clyde Hufbauer) Economic sanctions are the front line of the new Cold War, unlike the US–Soviet confrontation of yesteryear. But military escalation cannot be far behind. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

China and US Teams Bypass Washington and Go Straight to Buenos Aires for Trade War Talks (2018-11-18)
(South China Morning Post, By Zhou Xin) Chinese and American trade negotiators have made a last-minute change to their original plans and rescheduled their talks for Buenos Aires instead of Washington, a source who was briefed on the matter has told the South China Morning Post. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

U.S. and China Square Off on Trade, and APEC Nations Duck for Cover (2018-11-18)
(New York Times, By Damien Cave) President Xi Jinping and Vice President Mike Pence both made their cases to the global leaders assembled in Papua New Guinea — then they dug in and refused to compromise. That left the group of 21 nations in disarray, unable to agree on even a routine joint statement like those that had closed every other Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit since 1989. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

U.S. Military Targets Growing Russian and Chinese Influence in Latin America (2018-11-19)
(Foreign Policy, By Lara Seligman) U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, returning from a trip to Colombia, said over the weekend that the Trump administration is making a push to strengthen alliances across Latin America as part of an effort to counter rising Chinese and Russian influence in the United States’ backyard. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

United States ‘Won’t Give In to China’ on Taiwan or South China Sea (2018-11-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) Washington wants to maintain high-level diplomatic engagement with Beijing but won’t give in to its demands over the South China Sea and Taiwan, according to a senior US diplomat. The comments came after Chinese President Xi Jinping and US Vice-President Mike Pence traded barbs over trade practices at the Apec summit in Papua New Guinea, where the bloc failed for the first time to produce a joint statement. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

US Army, PLA Conclude Disaster Management Exchange Despite Frictions (2018-11-20)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) This past weekend, the United States and China ended a military exchange. Two commanders from each side expressed gratitude at the ability to cooperate, stating that military exchanges were important during times of political conflict between the two countries. Tensions between the two countries range into the security arena as well. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

Why the US and China Can’t Get to Yes (Even When They Could) (2018-11-20)
(The Diplomat, By Meicen Sun & Jacob Sotiriadis) Due to the refusal to compromise by both the United States and China, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ended without a formal statement from the leaders for the first time. Differences in problem-solving approaches and a source of major power status have contributed to the inability to reach a consensus. The two sides must remember the cultural aspects to diplomacy. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Group to Visit Hong Kong as China Holds Out Olive Branch to America (2018-11-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) An American carrier strike group led by the USS Ronald Reagan was heading to Hong Kong on Tuesday following a visit by a senior People’s Liberation Army commander as the two sides aimed to soothe months of tensions. Military analysts said the fact that the ships had been given approval to dock on Wednesday indicated that Beijing was trying to calm things down ahead of a meeting between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump at the G20 summit at the end of the month. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

Wang Yi Turns Spotlight on United States with Claim China’s Apec Amendment Was Vetoed (2018-11-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Wendy Wu) China’s foreign minister has said Beijing was frustrated that its proposed amendment to a draft statement by leaders at the Apec summit was rejected by nations he accused of imposing a protectionist and unilateralist agenda on trade. Wang Yi said China had suggested the amendment at the weekend’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Papua New Guinea, but that other countries “insisted on imposing their own text”. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

Forecasting US-China Trade Fallout (2018-11-21)
(The Diplomat, By Mercy A. Kuo) The DailyFX Markets Analysis Team offers several insights into the potential future for U.S.-China trade disputes. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

China Is in Denial on Trade (2018-11-21)
(Foreign Policy, By Caroline Houck) As much as Trump’s tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and his counterpart Xi Jinping’s retaliatory salvos might seem to qualify as something more than tension, government officials, scholars, business leaders, and think tank representatives with whom I spoke were all eager to downplay the two countries’ disagreements, economic or otherwise. <Accessed 2018-11-21>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 Chinese Nationalism: The Dog That Barks in the Night (2018-11-16)
(The Diplomat, By Kerry Brown) It is difficult to describe exactly the threat posed by growing Chinese nationalism. Most of the nationalist sentiments expressed today are still done in words, not actions, which contribute to this difficulty. Observers must also consider what this notion of nationalism may lead to, in terms of future actions. <Accessed 2018-11-17>

Xi Arrives in Papua New Guinea for First-Ever Visit by a Chinese President (2018-11-16)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Marking his first state visit to Papua New Guinea, Chinese President Xi Jinping landed in Port Moresby on Thursday for the upcoming APEC leaders' meeting. This will give China an opportunity to dispel the notion that it is engaging in debt trap diplomacy. Xi will also be attempting to demonstrate the value in engaging with Beijing over Taipei to all Pacific Island nations, specifically the ones who have yet to recognize the PRC. <Accessed 2018-11-17>

China under Xi Jinping (2018-11-19)
(East Asia Forum, By David Shambaugh) Xi Jinping is widely viewed as the strongest leader China has had since Deng Xiaoping or Mao Zedong. But six years into his perhaps indefinite tenure, what has Xi actually accomplished? And where might China be headed under his rule? <Accessed 2018-11-21>

Spain’s Role in Chinese Infrastructure Drive Tops Agenda for Xi Jinping’s Visit to Madrid (2018-11-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) Chinese President Xi Jinping will push for Spain to endorse the “Belt and Road Initiative” and consolidate China’s ties with Europe when he visits Madrid next week before his planned talks with US President Donald Trump. Spain’s royal palace announced Xi will stop in Madrid on November 28 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Chinese-Spanish relations, and will meet Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who was sworn into office in June. <Accessed 2018-11-21>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

US Carriers Conduct Warfare Drills in Philippine Sea to ‘Support Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ (2018-11-15)
(South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng) Two US aircraft carrier strike groups with 12,600 personnel are conducting warfare drills in the Philippine Sea in a show of force and commitment to the region at a time when China is increasing its military manoeuvres, the US Navy said on Thursday. The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group are carrying out complex air, surface and anti-submarine warfare operations in international waters and airspace. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

Coast Guards’ Role in the South China Sea
 (2018-11-17)
(The Diplomat, By Jay Tristan Tarriela) Several parties have agreed that "white hulls," coast guard ships, are better equipped to handle disputes in the South China Sea than navy ships, which may inadvertently escalate any tensions that may arise. However, the risks of confrontation remain with coast guards, especially as the arms race for all nations in the area move to improve their coast guards. Just because coast guard ships are not subject to the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea does not suggest that there will inevitably be war. <Accessed 2018-11-17>

Chinese Tourists Hold Flag-Raising Ceremony on Disputed Island in South China Sea (2018-11-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Laurie Chen) More than 100 Chinese tourists took part in a flag-raising ceremony on one of the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, according to mainland media. The gathering took place over the weekend on Yagong Island, located between Vietnam’s northeast coast and Hainan Island, China’s southernmost province, Shanghai-based news site Thepaper.cn reported on Monday. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

The Korean Peninsula

North Korea Says It Has Tested ‘Ultramodern Tactical Weapon’ (2018-11-15)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) North Korea has tested a new tactical weapon, the North’s official news media said on Friday, reporting that Kim Jong-un witnessed the event in his first publicized visit to a weapons test site since the country test-launched its intercontinental ballistic missile last November. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

Other Regional issues

Preparing Asia for the Next Financial Crisis
 (2018-11-14)
(East Asia Forum, By Yasuto Watanabe) The ASEAN+3 region now accounts for more than a quarter of world GDP and 30 per cent of global trade. But the expansion in international trade and the increasing complexities in financial networks and other activities are increasing the risks of volatile capital inflows and outflows. <Accessed 2018-11-16>

Singapore Leader Lee Hsien Loong Warns Region May Have to Choose between China and US (2018-11-15)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday warned that Southeast Asian nations may be forced to choose between the rival visions of China and the United States, while US Vice-President Mike Pence said aggression should not be tolerated. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

Report Warns of Eroding U.S. Military Supremacy (2018-11-15)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng and Flor Wang) A report by the National Defense Strategy Commission contended that the United States' military superiority is declining. Consequently, the report expressed grave concern that the U.S. might not be able to deter or force China or Russia to back down should the former decided to attack Taiwan or the latter decided to attack the Baltic states. <Accessed 2018-11-16>

U.S. Naval Vessels in West Pacific to Maintain Regional Peace: MND (2018-11-19)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa announced that the U.S. has deployed two aircraft carriers to the West Pacific in its effort to maintain regional peace. Yen further remarked that the decision by the U.S. to send the two warships has nothing to do with the upcoming November local elections. Meanwhile, Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer stated that the presence of the aircraft carriers demonstrate the freedom and rights of U.S. Navy to operate where international law permits. <Accessed 2018-11-20>

Decoupling the US from Asia (2018-11-19)
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) Many countries around the world may share many of Washington’s present concerns. But decoupling or divorce from China, Cold War-style, is an option that would threaten economic and political turmoil and promise a global winter of discontent that stretched the Asia Pacific order to breaking point. <Accessed 2018-11-21>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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