::: TSR Weekly Report
2018-12-04 | NO.42(27) epaper |
Note to Readers
New Publication Social Movements in Taiwan’s Democratic Transition: Linking Activists to the Changing Political Environment, 1st Edition by Yun Fan (Routledge)
Cross-Strait Relations
After Taiwan Polls, Kaohsiung’s New Mayor Will Lead Charge on Mainland-Friendly Policy (2018-11-28)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Kaohsiung’s new mayor Han Kuo-yu will spearhead a mainland-friendly policy that is expected to be followed by 14 other opposition Kuomintang-controlled cities and counties in Taiwan. Beijing has already welcomed the move but it is expected to upset the government of the self-ruled island after its crushing defeat in the midterm polls on Saturday. <Accessed 2018-11-28>

U.S. Congressman Concerned About China’s Role in Taiwan Elections  (2018-11-28)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng and Flor Wang)
U.S. Republican Congressman Ted S. Yoho, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, said Tuesday that he was concerned by the allegations of Beijing’s meddling in Taiwan’s local elections. He also defended Taiwan’s example of democracy and said that in order to support Taiwan, the U.S. should fully enact the Taiwan Travel Act and send Cabinet-level officials to Taiwan. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Taiwan for its democratic elections on Saturday. <Accessed 2018-11-28>

Taiwanese Did Not Vote for Closer Ties with China: French Academic  (2018-11-28)
(CNA, By Tzeng Yi-shiuan and Evelyn Kao)
Stephane Corcuff, a French scholar of Taiwan studies, weighed in on the local elections, saying the results leaning towards the KMT should not be taken as a sign that the Taiwanese public wants rapprochement with China but should rather be taken only as an indication of what people want on the local level. However, a different French journalist, Stephane Lagarde, said these results marked the emergence of a “blue wave” in Taiwan and could be indicative of what will happen in the 2020 presidential election. <Accessed 2018-11-28>

China's Tao Lauds Han as Tour Groups Resumed (2018-11-30)
(Taipei Times, By Chung Li-hua and William Hetherington) China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman Ma Xiaoguang applauded Kaohsiung mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu's recognition of the "1992 consensus". Ma also stated that he welcomes cross-strait exchanges between both nations as these exchanges would benefit both China and Taiwan, as well as promoting mutual understanding and well-being for people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. <Accessed 2018-11-30>

Taiwan’s Cross-Strait Policy Remains Unchanged: President Tsai (2018-11-30)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Chi Jo-yao)
President Tsai Ing-wen said Friday while meeting with delegates from the U.S. National Committee on American Foreign Policy that the results of the local elections will not influence Taiwan’s policy towards China. She also said the elections reflected people’s unhappiness with interior affairs, rather than international affairs. Tsai also urged Beijing not to let politics affect cross-Strait city-to-city exchanges. <Accessed 2018-12-01>

KMT Rhetoric Misleading: Academics (2018-12-02)
(Taipei Times, By Chung Li-hua)
Following the results of the local elections, talk of the “1992 consensus” has increased greatly among KMT politicians. However, academics warn against this talk, as polls have shown there is a lot of misunderstanding over what the “1992 consensus” actually is. Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology associate research fellow Wu Chieh-min urged the KMT to be weary of becoming seen as too “China-leading” ahead of the 2020 presidential and legislative elections. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

DPP Loss Not an Appeal to Move Closer to China: Ex-U.S. Diplomats (2018-12-02)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
In interviews with CNA on Sunday, former American Institute in Taiwan Director Stephen Young and retired U.S. foreign service officer John Tkacik stressed that the local elections reflected Taiwanese dissatisfaction with the DPP’s internal performance but did not equate to a desire to move closer to China. Young discussed allegations that China participated in vote-buying prior to the election and reassured Taiwanese that the U.S. would not stand for China’s bullying tactics, a sentiment echoed by Tkacik. Tkacik expressed the concern over the results in Washington, as well. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

Beijing ‘Steps Up Naval Patrols’ in Taiwan Strait in Pushback at US Warships (2018-12-03)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan’s defence ministry confirmed on Monday that naval vessels from the mainland have stepped up patrols in the western part of the Taiwan Strait this year in what analysts say is a reaction to the increased number of US warships sent into the waters to test Beijing. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Taiwan, Asia’s Leading Democracy, Cannot Escape Beijing’s Watchful Gaze (2018-12-05)
(South China Morning Post, By Cary Huang) Beijing’s communist leadership views Taiwan’s speedy democratisation with suspicion and displeasure. Although Taiwan’s current law notably rules out the holding of any referendum on a formal declaration of independence from China, Beijing is still preoccupied with worry over any attempt by the independence-leaning ruling Democratic Progressive Party to eventually amend the law to allow an independence referendum. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Ex-president Ma Envisions Peaceful, Democratic Unification with China (2018-12-05)
(CNA, By Lee Shu-hua and Flor Wang) During a seminar at Soochow University, former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou remarked that a unification between Taiwan and China must be peaceful and democratic. The former president reiterated that the "three noes", which he proposed at a seminar in November, would help Taiwanese to have a better understanding of the issues between Taiwan and China, as well as to have a say in Taiwan's future. <Accessed 2018-12-06>

Potential Sanctions on Huawei to have Limited Impact on Taiwan: MOEA (2018-12-08)
(CNA, By Liao Yu-yang and Flor Wang) Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin informed reporters on Friday that U.S. sanctions against the Chinese tech company Huawei will not greatly affect Taiwanese companies due to its limited sales to the U.S. The Chinese company is suspected of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. <Accessed 2018-12-08>>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
US Navy Send Ships through the Taiwan Strait a Third Time This Year (2018-11-29)
(South China Morning Post, By Zhenhua Lu) Two US Navy vessels sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, Taiwan’s defence ministry reported. The ministry said that the two vessels – one warship and one supply ship – sailed through the strait’s international waters, adding that the island is capable of defending its maritime territory and airspace security. <Accessed 2018-11-28>

US Representative Urges Cabinet-Level Meetings (2018-11-29)
(Taipei Times/CNA, Washington) While expressing concern over the allegations of China interfering with Taiwan's recent local elections, US Representative Ted Yoho urged Washington to send Cabinet-level officials to Taiwan as a demonstration of support. Yoho further stressed that the US-Taiwan relation remains stable and that he would encourage the US government to support Taiwan by fully implementing the Taiwan Travel Act. <Accessed 2018-11-30>

Two U.S. Navy Vessels Transit Through Taiwan Strait: Pentagon (2018-11-29)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng, Matt Yu, and Y.F. Low) The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed that the U.S. Navy has sent two ships to conduct a routine transit through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday. According to Pentagon spokesman Christopher Logan, the transit of the two U.S. Navy vessels is a demonstration of a commitment from the U.S. toward a free and open Indo-Pacific, and that the U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail, and operate where international law permits. <Accessed 2018-11-30>

Taiwan Just said No to the F-35 Stealth Fighter. What Now? (2018-12-01)
(The National Interest, By Michael A. Hunzeker and Alexander Lanoszka) 
Scrapping the F-35 was an important first step. Still, the Tsai administration can and should do more to challenge longstanding orthodoxies about the best way to deter China <Accessed 2018-12-04>

President Tsai Extends Condolences Over Former U.S. President's Death (2018-12-02)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui, Fang Cheng-hsiang and Frances Huang) Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen sent her condolences to the family of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, who passed away on Friday. Tsai also thanked former President Bush for supporting Taiwan. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Kuomintang (KMT) lawmakers also lauded the former president for promoting democracy his friendly attitude toward Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary Visits Taiwan (2018-12-03)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced on Monday that the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing Ian Steff's trip to Taiwan is to promote and increase U.S.-Taiwan trade and investment relations. The AIT further remarked that Steff will be meeting with private sector representatives for talks on trade and investment. <Accessed 2018-12-04>

Greater Cooperation with Taiwan Needed: Former U.S. Officials (2018-12-03)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) During a forum in Taipei on Sunday, several former United States officials urged for greater efforts in strengthening bilateral ties between the U.S. and Taiwan on economy, technology and defense strategies. One of the panelists, Michael Cole, a senior fellow of China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, suggested for Taiwan to focus on institutions, individuals and agencies that could trace, identify and counter China's influence in Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-12-04>

U.S. Commerce Official Visits Taiwan to Bolster Relations (2018-12-04)
(Taipei Times, With CNA)
The American Institute in Taiwan announced that U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing Ian Steff arrived in Taiwan on Monday to promote U.S.-Taiwan trade and investment ties, as well as to advance the economic pillar of the U.S.’ Indi-Pacific strategy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also released a statement saying this visit would bolster ties between the U.S. and Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-12-06>

Washington’s Silence on Taiwan in Trade War Talks Speaks Volumes about Desire for Deal with Beijing (2018-12-05)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) The omission of a reference to Taiwan in the US statement after weekend talks between the US and Chinese presidents shows Washington is unwilling to rile Beijing with debate over the definition of the one-China policy, Taiwan analysts said. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Foreign Minister Offers Condolences on Death of George H.W. Bush (2018-12-06)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu paid his respects to former U.S. President George H.W. Bush by signing the condolence book at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The AIT expressed their thanks to all who came to the American Center and its offices to sign the condolence book for the former president. <Accessed 2018-12-06>

U.S.-Taiwan Ties Unchanged Following Elections: Experts (2018-12-06)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Flor Wang) American scholars and foreign affairs experts stated that the recent local elections in Taiwan, which saw the China-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) defeated the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), will not affect U.S.-Taiwan relations. Johnny Chiang, a KMT lawmaker, further stated that the U.S. will not change its position toward Taiwan and will continue to respect Taiwan's democracy. <Accessed 2018-12-06>

Taiwan-U.S. TIFA Talks Unlikely to be Held this Year (2018-12-06)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that it is unlikely that Taiwan and the U.S. will hold talks under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement before the end of the year and that a date for the next round of talks has not yet been scheduled. However, Taipei and Washington have been exchanging views on trade matters through the existing TIFA framework, which is the bilateral negotiating channel for trade officials. <Accessed 2018-12-06>

U.S. Would Continue to Support Taiwan, U.S. Academics Say (2018-12-06)
(Taipei Times, With CNA)
David Brown, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, said Tuesday that despite Taiwan’s new political map after the local elections, the U.S. would continue to maintain strong ties with Taiwan. He also said that China should adjust its attitude towards Taiwan given the victory of the KMT party and predicted that Taiwan would step up exchanges with KMT-controlled cities and counties. <Accessed 2018-12-06>

Taiwan-Friendly Bill Passes US Senate (2018-12-07)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The US Senate passed the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018. The Act serves to reaffirm the United States' commitment to Taiwan in strengthening economic, political, and security relations between both nations. According to US Senator Cory Gardner, the Act will also improve US leadership in Indo-Pacific and its commitment to a rule-based international order. <Accessed 2018-12-08>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 KMT’s Ting Requests Vote Recount in Taipei Mayoral Race (2018-11-28)
(CNA, By Wang Yang-yu and Evelyn Kao)
KMT Taipei mayoral candidate Ting Shou-chung requested a vote recount Wednesday after losing to Ko Wen-je. His reasoning was that he believed the Central Election Commission and the Taipei City Election Commission mishandled the election. Ting said based on the results of the recount, he may or may not take legal action to annul the election or invalidate Ko’s elected status. <Accessed 2018-11-28>

President’s Soul-Searching Focused on Leadership Style (2018-11-28)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan)
At the Democratic Progressive Party’s weekly central standing committee meeting Wednesday, President Tsai Ing-wen discussed the lessons she learned from the DPP’s setback this past weekend. She said that the reforms of her administration were moving in the right direction but that the actual implementation of the reforms was to blame for the public’s dissatisfaction. She said that moving forward, the government needed to give more attention to giving adequate reassurance and resources to people who are disadvantaged by the reforms. <Accessed 2018-11-28>

Keelung Mayor Selected Acting DPP Head (2018-11-28)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Elizabeth Hsu)
Following the resignation of President Tsai Ing-wen from her post as Democratic Progressive Party chairperson, the DPP’s Central Standing Committee selected Keelung City Mayor Lin Yu-chang to serve as acting DPP chairperson on Wednesday. Lin will work in this position to organize an election for the next party chairperson in addition to nominating candidates for the by-elections that will be held to fill legislative seats which will be vacated due to the local elections. <Accessed 2018-11-28>

Civil Groups Urge Top Members of the CEC to Resign (2018-11-28)
(Taipei Times, By Ann Maxon)
Following the local elections that featured referendums on it, there has been a surge of dissatisfaction with the Central Election Commission’s handling of referendum proposals. A coalition of civil groups reportedly called for every executive committee member of the CEC to step down on the grounds of referendum proposal interference. There were complaints among people who submitted referendum proposals that the CEC did not properly handle or acknowledge them. <Accessed 2018-11-28>

DPP Elects Mayor as Acting Chairman (2018-11-29)
(Taipei Times, By Ann Maxon) Upon Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen stepping down as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman, the DPP's Central Standing Committee nominated Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang as the party's acting chairman. According to former DPP secretary-general Hung Yao-fu, Lin's vote was unanimous. Lin urged the party to work together, reflect on its mistakes, and maintain government stability. <Accessed 2018-11-30>

Officials Stress Need to Improve Voting System (2018-11-29)
(Taipei Times/CNA) In light of the issues, such as massive delays in voting and vote-counting at some polling stations that happened during Taiwan's recent local elections, the Taiwanese government has stressed the need to improve the nation's voting system. However, Taiwan's Premier William Lai remarked that the government will not consider the possibility of electronic voting. <Accessed 2018-11-30>

Taiwan to Seek Understanding as Japan Threatens to Sue Over Food Ban (2018-11-29)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Japan is contemplating of filing a complaint against Taiwan with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the ban on imports of agricultural and food products from radiation contaminated areas in Japan. Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Andrew Lee responded by stating that while the government has to uphold the wishes of the people, MOFA is seeking to establish talks with Japan over the referendum so as not to hurt Taiwan-Japan relation. <Accessed 2018-11-30>

Taiwan Seeking to Replace Aging Aircraft Fleet (2018-11-30)
(CNA, By Liu Li-rong and Flor Wang) Taiwan's minister of National Defense Yen De-fa announced on Thursday that the ministry is planning to replace its aging fleet of aircraft with the procurement of new aircraft. The plan to replace the nation's aging aircraft is in line with the government's efforts to increase Taiwan's combat abilities to defend the country against external threats and enemies. <Accessed 2018-11-30>

President Urges Japan to Help Taiwan Join Trade Pact (2018-11-30)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Evelyn Kao) During a meeting with a Japanese delegation led by Mitsuo Ohashi, chairman of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association (JTEA), Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen expressed hope that Japan can support Taiwan's participation in the Japan-led Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The president also thanked Ohasi for his efforts in strengthening ties between both nations. <Accessed 2018-11-30>

Six MOUs Signed to Boost Taiwan-Philippines Investment (2018-11-30)
(CNA, By Liao Yu-yang and Chi Jo-yao) Taiwan's Chinese National Federation of Industries has signed six memorandums of understanding (MOU) with the Filipino industry associations on Thursday. According to Deputy Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua, the MOUs will encourage Taiwanese businesses to seek investment opportunities in the Philippines in electronics, electric motorbike and plastic industries. <Accessed 2018-11-30>

Taiwan's Goal to Become Nuclear Free Remains Unchanged: President Tsai (2018-11-30)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Evelyn Kao) During her first public comments after the recent local elections, Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen reaffirmed that the government's goal to make Taiwan a nuclear-free nation does not change despite the 2025 deadline. The president also stated that there are many factors to be considered, such as how the local governments will manage radioactive waste if the country's nuclear power plants remain in operation in the long term, the disposal of nuclear waste and other available energy sources. <Accessed 2018-11-30>

Japan Urges End to Food Import Ban Despite Taiwan Referendum Result (2018-11-30)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou, Su Li-jo, Lee Shu-hua and Elizabeth Hsu)
Soon after concluding the Taiwan-Japan trade and economic meeting, the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association said that Japan still hopes Taiwan will remove the ban on food imports from radiation-contaminated areas of Japan, despite the results of Taiwan’s referendum. Taiwanese citizens voted to keep the ban in place, so Taiwan’s government is complying with the results. Japan has indicated the referendum result will not affect Taiwan-Japan relations, but Japan will continue seeking conversation over the issue. <Accessed 2018-12-01>

Taiwan, Japan Sign One Agreement, Four MOUs (Update) (2018-11-30)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Flor Wang)
Taiwan and Japan’s annual trade meeting ended Friday, resulting in one agreement and four memorandums of understanding to promote bilateral trade and relations. The agreement and MOUs cover recognition of companies, medical equipment collaboration, information exchange, promotion of small and medium enterprises, and the establishment of a joint business research platform. The pacts were signed by Chiou I-jen and Mitsuo Ohashi on behalf of the governments of Taiwan and Japan. <Accessed 2018-12-01>

Taiwan Government Cuts GDP Growth Forecasts for 2018, 2019 (2018-12-02)
(CNA, By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)
The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics said Friday that it has cut the estimate for Taiwan’s GDP growth in 2018 and 2019 by 0.03 and 0.14 points, respectively. Chu Tzer-ming, head of DGBAS, said this downgrade does not mean Taiwan’s economy is not growing at a stable pace. The cut in forecast for 2018 was mostly due to weaker than expected private consumption in the third quarter, whereas the cut for 2019 was due to external uncertainty about how the trade tension between the U.S. and China will affect global demand and growth. <Accessed 2018-12-01>

U.K. Officials Voice Support for Taiwan's UNFCCC Bid (2018-12-02)
(CNA, By Tai Ya-chen and Frances Huang) Two top U.K. government officials expressed their support toward Taiwan's bid to participate in an upcoming conference by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an observer. Mike Field, one of the U.K. ministers, remarked that his government welcomes Taiwan's contribution in tackling climate change issues and that the U.K. continues to cooperate with Taiwan on this issue. In addition, Field expressly stated that issues such as climate change has no territorial boundaries. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

WTO Might Probe Scientific Rationale for Ban: Official (2018-12-02)
(Taipei Times/CNA) A Taiwanese official based at the World Trade Organization (WTO), who wished not to be named, stated that scientific evidence could be the key to resolve Taiwan's food import ban toward Japan. The official further remarked that the issue has been politicized during Taiwan's recent local elections. Meanwhile, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono said that Japan could initiate a dispute settlement proceedings at the WTO over this matter. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

KMT Urges Cabinet to Start Acting on Referendum Results (2018-12-02)
(Taipei Times, By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jake Chung) During a news conference at the Legislative Yuan on Friday, several top leaders from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) urged the government to start acting on the referendum results of the three KMT-proposed referendums. The three referendums are the banning of food imports from Japan, the reduction of electricity output at thermal power plants and the halting of the construction or expansion of coal-fired power plants. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

3 Ministers Resign in Wake of DPP's Landslide Election Loss (2018-12-02)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-huei and Lee Hsin-Yin) Following the recent local elections in Taiwan that saw the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffering a huge defeat, the nation's environmental, transportation, and agricultural ministers have submitted their resignations. Premier Lai Ching-te has accepted the three ministers' resignations after attending a meeting with 30 ministers and minsters without portfolio to evaluate the government's performance. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

KMT Lawmakers Demand Full Cabinet Reshuffle After DPP Drubbing (2018-12-02)
(CNA, By Wang Cheng-chung and Evelyn Kao)
Kuomintang legislators Tseng Ming-chung and Ko Chih-en said at a press conference Sunday that the recent local elections results reflected a dissatisfaction with the Democratic Progressive Party and called for a full Cabinet reshuffle. Tseng specifically called for the resignation of the CEC Vice Chairman, Education Minister, Health Minister, and the heads of the III-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee, the National Communications Commission, and national security government agencies. The DPP legislative caucus secretary-general responded by saying it respected the Executive Yuan’s adjustment measures. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

Legislative By-Elections Set for Jan. 26 (2018-12-02)
(Taipei Times, With CNA)
In order to fill seats vacated in Taipei and Taichung during the local elections, the legislative by-elections will be held on January 26. The Central Election Commission did not announce the date of the by-elections for Changhua, Kinmen, and Tainan, but they must occur within three months of the seat being vacated under the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act. The next legislative elections will be concurrent with the January 2020 presidential election. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

PacNet #81 - Some Implications of Taiwan's Local Elections (2018-12-03)
(Pacific Forum, By David Brown and Eric Huang) The unprecedented DPP gains in the 2014 local elections led to DPP victories in the 2016 presidential and legislative elections. The KMT’s gains this year are impressive but whether they are a predictor of change in 2020 is quite uncertain. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Recount Begins in Controversial Taipei Mayoral Race (2018-12-03)
(CNA, By Wang Yang-ju, Liang Pei-chi and Elizabeth Hsu) The Taipei District Court has assigned 50 teams to recount the ballots of the November 24 Taipei mayoral election. The Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Ting Shou-chung, who was defeated by the independent incumbent Mayor Ko Wen-je, requested for a recount due to campaigning activities outside the polling stations while results were being released during late hours on election day. <Accessed 2018-12-04>

No Decision on Future Voting Procedures After Polling Station Chaos (2018-12-04)
(CNA, By Claudia Liu and Elizabeth Hsu) Acting Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairman Chen Chiao-chien, in responding to questions at the Legislature's Internal Administration Committee hearing, announced that the CEC will not decide whether to hold the presidential and legislative elections together or separately until June 2019. Chen further added that if both elections were held together, election day could be scheduled for January 2020, however, if both elections were held separately, the legislative elections could happen in November 2019 while the presidential election could be held in March 2020. <Accessed 2018-12-04>

Human Rights Should Never Be Put to A Vote: U.N. Official (2018-12-04)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) According to Bruce Knotts, co-chair of the U.N. NGO Committee on Human Rights, human right issues should never be put to a vote. Knotts made the statement in light of the three referendums against gay rights in Taiwan's recent local elections. According to Knotts, Taiwan's Constitution affords marriage equality to same-sex couples but was opposed by the Protestant Christian churches in Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-12-04>

DPP Announces Date for Electing New Chairperson (2018-12-04)
(Taipei Times, By Yang Chun-hui) The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced that the party has scheduled January 6, 2019 as the date to elect a new chairperson after President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as the party's chairperson. The DPP Central Standing Committee will lay out the timeline for the election of the party's new chairperson on Wednesday. Tsai remarked that the future chairperson's views should be line with most of the party members. <Accessed 2018-12-04>

Mistakes Led to Long Lines at Polls: CEC (2018-12-04)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Liang-sheng) The Central Election Commission announced on Sunday that limited space at the polling stations led to long lines. The CEC further stated that the commission will increase the number of polling stations in future elections and reevaluate the rules on when to hold referendums. The CEC announced that the commission is scheduled for a meeting with local election commissions this month to examine the voting rules and their execution. <Accessed 2018-12-04>

Decommissioning of 1st Nuclear Power Plant Facing Major Delay (2018-12-04)
(CNA, By Elizabeth Hsu) Although Taiwan will begin its decommissioning process of its oldest nuclear power plant in New Taipei on December 5, the deadline could not be met due to issues on how to manage the plant's nuclear waste. According to Hsu Tsao-hua, a spokesman for Taiwan Power Company (Taipower), if the storage facility cannot be used, the 816 fuel rods in the Jinshan plant's first reactor have to remain there and the plant's safety equipment has to continue running. Hsu further added that it could take up to 10 yeas to build an indoor storage facility. <Accessed 2018-12-04>

CEC to Decide on Combining General, Presidential Polls (2018-12-04)
(Taipei Times, By Chen Yu-fu)
The Central Election Commission will reach a decision in June regarding whether or not the 2020 presidential and legislative elections will be held on the same day. They are historically held separately, but there could be benefits to holding them simultaneously. The CEC will consult with local election commissions about the matter. <Accessed 2018-12-06>

Facebook Pages of Taiwan's Overseas Offices Being Renamed: MOFA (2018-12-05)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that several of Taiwan's overseas representative offices will be changing their names on their Facebook pages. The change will have the word "Taiwan" on their Facebook pages as an effort to raise awareness of and promote Taiwan's profile internationally. <Accessed 2018-12-06>

Cabinet Agrees to Abolish 2025 Nuclear-Free Goal (2018-12-06)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Chi Jo-yao)
The Executive Yuan, in response to the results of the November 24 referendum, has approved a proposal to abolish the policy of phasing out nuclear power by 2025. Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said that the proposed repeal has to be reviewed by the Legislative Yuan and also mentioned that Premier Lai Ching-te maintained that despite the cancellation of the deadline, the government still aims to make the country nuclear-free. <Accessed 2018-12-06>

Taiwan Calls on EU to Push for Bilateral Investment Agreement (2018-12-07)
(CNA, By Liao Yu-yang and Ko Lin) Taiwan's Vice Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua has urged the European Union (EU) to sign a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) with Taiwan. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the signing of the BIA was stalled due to issues pertaining to offshore wind energy. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Taiwan to Continue to Work with Japan on Food Ban Issue (2018-12-07)
(CNA, By Yang Ming-chu, Elaine Hou and Elizabeth Hsu) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that Taiwan will continue to work with Japan to resolve the issue over the banning of food imports from Japan, following the Taiwanese referendum vote to ban Japanese food imports. Taro Kono, Japan's minister of foreign affairs, expressed regret over the food imports ban and stated that Japan might consider filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) if the ban violated WTO rules. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Premier Will Resign 'When Time is Right' (2018-12-08)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) Taiwan's Premier Lai Ching-te announced on Friday during a press conference at the Executive Yuan that he will step down from his post "when the time is right". The Premier also presented the Cabinet's report on the causes of the Taiwanese public's dissatisfaction with the government's policies. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

KMT Criticizes MOFA for Offices' Facebook Changes (2018-12-08)
(Taipei Times, By Shih Hsiao-kuang, Lu Yi-hsuan and Jake Chung) The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) criticized the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for replacing the name Republic of China (ROC) with Taiwan. Acting KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Tang Te-ming remarked that the change could create misunderstanding and conflicts with nations that are friendly toward Taiwan. The ministry spokesman Andrew Lee in a response, stated that the name-change seeks to promote Taiwan globally and it has not hurt the nation's sovereignty. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Cabinet Approves Deadline Repeal for Nuclear-free Plan (2018-12-08)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The Executive Yuan has approved to phase out nuclear power by 2025. Premier William Lai announced that the government's goal to have a nuclear-free nation will not change. Meanwhile, a recent survey conducted by the National Taiwan University showed that most Taiwanese lack knowledge about nuclear issues, thus the government needs to increase the public's understanding of it. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Taipei Recalibrates to Asia (2018-12-08)
(East Asia Forum, By Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, Jeremy Huai-Che Chiang and Alan Hao Yang) As the ‘China factor’ still looms large, Taiwan will also need innovative strategies to enable cooperation opportunities in the region. This includes formulating concrete proposals that work in tandem with the development agendas and strategies of partner countries. <Accessed 2018-12-08>
U.S.-China Relations
 3 Reasons Why Trump Can't Win a Trade War With China (2018-11-28)
(The Diplomat, By Fatih Oktay) The Trump Administration will have an extremely difficult time winning the trade war with China largely because the United States's economic leverage is not large enough to hold a substantial threat. Furthermore, U.S. national interests spanning the rest of the world do not necessarily fall in line with the potential fallout from an ongoing trade war with China. Finally, the United States faces a comparative disadvantage of resources compared to China, which cannot lead to sustainable production in the face of blocked trade. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

A Possible Upside to the US-China Trade War (2018-11-28)
(The Diplomat, By Yigal Chazan) As tensions between the United States and China grow, several Southeast Asian nations have experienced an unexpected surge in investment as many manufacturing businesses are relocating from mainland China to Southeast Asia. ASEAN members may be good choices for companies wishing to avoid the tariffs instituted upon China, as many Southeast Asian nations can provide cheap sources of labor. However, problems also exist, and the region is not necessarily a solution for any company wishing to avoid U.S. tariffs. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

Trump's No-Lose Trade War Fantasy (2018-11-28)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Observers are growing increasingly pessimistic about the possibility of an easing of tensions between China and the United States as the meeting between President Trump and President Xi at the G20 Summit in Argentina draws closer. The U.S. President has set an almost unattainably high standard for China in light of the meeting, and will likely be disappointed. Trump's statements suggest that he does not believe that any tariffs will have any effect on the U.S. economy, although experts have publicly disagreed. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

Uncovering Chinese Espionage in the US (2018-11-28)
(The Diplomat, By Nicholas Eftimiades) Chinese espionage operations have increased dramatically in foreign powers over the last twenty years. Many of the objectives of espionage are tied to collecting data on foreign defense and economic initiatives. However, despite global blowback, Chinese espionage operations continue to grow. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

Ahead of Xi-Trump Meet, Top China Hands Call for ‘Constructive Vigilance’ (2018-12-01)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Several observers claim that the upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires will be a crucial chance for the two leaders to reduce tensions between their two countries. Regardless of what happens, however, the relationship between China and the United States will never be the same. Most of academia has reached a consensus that the United States must now stand up to China and keep a strong front. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

The Trump-Xi G20 Trade Truce Doesn't Get to the Deep Divisions Between Both Sides (2018-12-04)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Given that President Trump and President Xi have agreed to halt implementation of new tariffs for the rest of the year, the seeds are sown to begin diffusing tensions between the United States and China, although the war is far from over. Both Presidents have held their ground well, and the meeting at the G20 Summit was an opportunity to get both in the same room. The agreements created will set the path to end 2018 on a high note for investors. <Accessed 2018-12-04>

Xi Jinping ‘Bolstered Chinese Commitments’ to US by Taking Lead Role in Trade Talks, Says White House Aide Larry Kudlow (2018-12-04)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) Chinese President Xi Jinping “made the pitch himself” in Saturday’s dinner with Donald Trump that ended with a truce in the trade war with the US, according to White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow. Kudlow told reporters outside the White House on Monday that it was unusual to see government leaders taking such a hands-on role in this type of negotiation. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Meng Wanzhou Was Huawei’s Professional Face, Until Her Arrest (2018-12-07)
(New York Times, By Raymond Zhong) She also sat on the board of a Huawei partner company in Hong Kong called Skycom Tech that Canadian authorities now say did business in Iran. And through that position and her job at Huawei, Ms. Meng may have personally been involved in tricking financial institutions into making transactions that violated United States sanctions against Iran, they said. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Huawei Arrest Tests China’s Leaders as Fear and Anger Grip Elite (2018-12-07)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) The arrest of one of China’s leading tech executives by the Canadian police for extradition to the United States has unleashed a combustible torrent of outrage and alarm among affluent and influential Chinese, posing a delicate political test for President Xi Jinping and his grip on the loyalty of the nation’s elite. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

U.S.-China Friction Threatens to Undercut the Fight Against Climate Change (2018-12-07)
(New York Times, By Somini Sengupta) They have the largest carbon footprints. Also the largest economies. Now, as diplomats meet in Poland for high-stakes climate negotiations, a pitched standoff between the United States and China threatens to slow global action on climate change precisely at a time when the risks of catastrophe are accelerating. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Who Can Break the US–China Trade Impasse? (2018-12-07)
(East Asia Forum, By Yukon Huang) China and the EU have both expressed strong support for a strengthened World Trade Organisation to deal with trade and investment tensions, contrasting Washington’s efforts to undermine the institution. If Beijing and Brussels accelerate their discussions on a bilateral investment treaty, they could show Trump that there is a better way to deal with trade disputes than relying on punitive tariffs. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

US-China Tension Could Become Confrontation as Pressure Builds in South China Sea, Taiwan Strait (2018-12-08)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) The risk of confrontation between mainland China and the United States over Taiwan is likely to grow next year as the self-ruled island leans ever closer to Washington in a bid to counter Beijing’s rise, observers said. Speaking at a forum in Beijing, Chinese experts on military and diplomatic issues said they expected the South China Sea to continue to be the focus of the geopolitical conflict between China and the US, but that tensions could extend into the Taiwan Strait. <Accessed 2018-12-08>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
New Zealand Blocks Huawei, in Blow to Chinese Telecom Giant (2018-11-28)
(New York Times, By Vicky Xiuzhong Xu) New Zealand has blocked Huawei from supplying technology for a next-generation mobile data network in the country, joining the United States and other developed countries that see the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker as a security threat. <Accessed 2018-11-28>

Xi Jinping on Charm Offensive in Europe with Cooperation Calls to Spain, France and Germany (2018-11-28)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) Beijing is stepping up efforts to strengthen ties to Europe, with China saying its relationship with Spain is the best in history and calling for greater cooperation with Germany and France. Spain rolled out the red carpet for Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is seeking allies as trade clashes with Washington raise the temperature of international relations. <Accessed 2018-11-28>

Will China Save the Planet? (2018-11-28)
(The Diplomat, By Mercy A. Kuo) Barbara Finamore, the Senior Strategic Director, Asia, at the Natural Resources Defense Council, offers her insights into how China is leading the green energy revolution and how its trade disputes with the United States affect the progression towards renewable energy promotion. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

China Stays Tough on Xinjiang Policy Despite Growing Global Outcry (2018-11-29)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) China appears to be holding onto its continued policy of mass internment of ethnic Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region despite global outcries for the observation of human rights. The Chinese government claims that the "re-education camps" are to prevent the spread of terrorism, but this claim has done little to satisfy global critics. Some foreign powers have called for sanctions upon China until the human rights abuses end. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

PacNet #80 - The Limits of Duterte's China Policy (2018-11-30)
(Pacific Forum, By Jeffrey Ordaniel) While both arguments have merit, the fact is persistent economic and security constraints are likely to limit Duterte’s ability to accommodate China’s policy preferences. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Beijing Xiangshan Forum and the New Global Security Landscape (2018-12-01)
(East Asia Forum, By Rajeev Ranjan Chaturvedy) Attention and support from China’s top leadership indicate that the BXF is pivotal to Chinese defence diplomacy and Beijing’s goal to develop a new global security architecture through which it can articulate its own narrative. Although the BXF seems set to outsize the SLD in the future, it is more likely that both will co-exist in the emerging global security landscape. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

The G20 Summit: Highlighting China’s Headache (2018-12-01)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) The outcome of the Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 Summit in Argentina will likely determine much of the global agenda for the next year. Xi Jinping must now determine which course of action to pursue to minimize the negative criticism he will regardless endure in some way. No matter what, how each leader interprets the situation at hand is more important than the reality of the situation itself. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

China’s Crackdown on Hong Kong’s Freedoms Is Bad for Business (2018-12-01)
(The Diplomat, By Joel Sandhu and Jill van de Walle) While the United States currently treats Hong Kong as a separate entity from China for economic purposes, China's recent encroachment on Hong Kong's relatively democratic system may force the United States to reconsider such a position. To maintain China's current economic standing in the face of the recent trade disputes with the United States, China must stop its attempted ideological takeover of Hong Kong. Doing so would maintain Hong Kong's status as a separate economic entity and would not be affected by the United States's tariff enactments. <Accessed 2018-12-02>

Nearly 350,000 Chinese Cadres Disciplined during Xi Jinping’s Austerity Campaign (2018-12-05)
(South China Morning Post, By William Zheng) Nearly 350,000 cadres have been disciplined by the ruling Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog in the six years since President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on extravagance began. That means more than 2 per cent of cadres – there were 12.5 million of them directly working for the party and the government in 2016, according to the statistics bureau – have faced disciplinary action as a result of the campaign. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Portugal’s Support for China’s Belt and Road Plan Sets Alarm Bells Ringing in Brussels (2018-12-06)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) Portugal’s decision to sign a memorandum of understanding with China on its “Belt and Road Initiative” is likely to fuel concerns within the European Union about Beijing’s efforts to extend its geopolitical influence in the region, analysts said. The formal agreement, which was signed on Wednesday during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Lisbon, came as Beijing has been seeking to build closer relations with Eastern and Central European countries – including deals already struck with Greece and Hungary – which some EU members have described as an “attempt to divide Europe”, they said. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

China Watchers Demand Action on Harassment of New Zealand Professor (2018-12-07)
(New York Times, By Charlotte Graham-McLay) More than 160 China experts from around the world have signed a letter urging New Zealand’s government to protect an academic who said she was the subject of harassment and intimidation for publishing research critical of the Chinese Communist Party. <Accessed 2018-12-08>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

South China Sea on the Back-Burner while United States and China Talk Trade (2018-12-04)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang and Minnie Chan) China and the United States appeared to put their South China Sea disputes on the back-burner when their leaders met on the weekend, a move analysts said was to avoid derailing discussion on trade. There was no mention of the disputed waters in statements released after the meeting, despite the two countries’ deep divisions over the area. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Beijing May Be ‘Testing Tokyo’s Resolve’ with Drilling Missions in Contested Parts of East China Sea (2018-12-04)
(South China Morning Post, By Julian Ryall) Tokyo has lodged an official complaint with Beijing after a Chinese exploration vessel was identified operating in a contested part of the East China Sea, with analysts in Japan suggesting Beijing was “testing” Tokyo’s resolve. The Chinese ship was sighted in mid-November apparently drilling test boreholes into the seabed in search of oil or gas deposits close to the median line Japan proposed should serve as the maritime border between the two nations. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

The Korean Peninsula

South Korean Ports Deal with North ‘Could Be Step towards Broader Cooperation’ Involving China
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) South Korean plans for a new ferry and cruise facility at the port city of Incheon will boost commercial and passenger sea traffic between the Koreas and, eventually, China, a leading South Korean state entrepreneur said. <Accessed 2018-11-28>

South Korean Court Orders Mitsubishi of Japan to Pay for Forced Wartime Labor (2018-11-29)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) South Korea’s Supreme Court ordered Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan on Thursday to compensate South Koreans forced to work in its factories during World War II, the second such ruling in a month that has bedeviled relations between the two key American allies in Asia. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Seoul Voices Concerns as More Chinese Military Aircraft Spread Their Wings in South Korean Air Defence Zone (2018-12-05)
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) South Korea has voiced its frustration about repeated intrusions into its air defence identification zone by Chinese military aircraft, moves that analysts say reflect Beijing’s opposition to strengthening ties between Seoul, Tokyo and Washington. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

North Korea Is Expanding Missile Base With Eye Toward U.S., Experts Warn (2018-12-06)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) North Korea is expanding an important missile base that would be one of the most likely sites for deploying intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, two experts on the North’s missile programs said Thursday, citing new research based on satellite imagery. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

China Urges North Korea to Address US Concerns on Nuclear Programme (2018-12-07)
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) Chinese President Xi Jinping told visiting North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho on Friday that Washington and Pyongyang should address each others’ concerns and make progress to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons. <Accessed 2018-12-08>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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