::: TSR Weekly Report
2018-12-22 | NO.42(29) 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
Shanghai and Taipei Rebuild City-to-City Cross-Strait Ties after Taiwan’s Local Elections (2018-12-17)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Mainland China is sending its largest delegation in two years to the self-ruled island of Taiwan for a city-to-city forum which has been rejuvenated after a period of rising cross-strait tensions. A record 250 local scholars, industry experts, and municipal officials from Taipei will join 135 delegates from Shanghai at the forum, which in past years has achieved around 30 cooperation agreements on a range of issues, including travel, culture, and environmental protection. <Accessed 2018-12-17>

Military Aware of PLA Aircraft, Vessel Operations Near Taiwan (2018-12-18)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed Tuesday that it had been monitoring the movements of Chinese aircraft and military vessels operating near Taiwan. The MND reported the vessels were taking part in routine distant-sea exercises and that it would continue to monitor the waters and airspace to ensure Taiwan’s security. <Accessed 2018-12-18>

Church Urges Push for Independence (2018-12-18)
(Taipei Times, By Lu Yi-hsuan)
The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan released a statement at a news conference Monday that encouraged the government to take steps towards declaring formal independence, joining more international organizations under the name ‘Taiwan’, and building up more defensive mechanisms. The church said these steps were necessary to safeguarding Taiwan’s democracy and freedom from Chinese authoritarianism. <Accessed 2018-12-18>

Twin-city Forum to Focus on Economic Issues: Taipei Mayor (2018-12-19)
(CNA, By Liang Pei-chih, Miu Tsung-han and Frances Huang) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je announced that the two-day forum between Taipei and Shanghai, which opesn on Thursday in Taipei, will focus on economic issues. According to the city government, several issues, such as cultural development, environmental protection and urban renovation will also be covered. The Shanghai official, Zhou Bo, stated that the twin-city forum is a crucial mechanism for cross-strait exchanges. <Accessed 2018-12-20>

Shanghai Delegation to Taipei Marks New Wave of Cross-Strait Cooperation (2018-12-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Shanghai’s executive vice-mayor and 130 delegates from the mainland city arrived in Taipei on Wednesday to kick off a new wave of exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, following the recent election defeat of the self-ruled island’s pro-independence party. Zhou Bo is the highest ranking official to attend the annual Shanghai-Taipei Forum in recent years, which has been a more low key event due to political tensions between Taiwan and the mainland. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

In Other Words: Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-jo Calls for New Way To Say ‘One China’ (2018-12-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taipei’s mayor has called on Beijing to find a more neutral way to describe cross-strait relations that is acceptable to both the self-ruled island and the mainland, in a bid to improve strained ties. Ko Wen-je said the terms frequently used to describe the one-China policy had become highly politicised and he believed a change in language could help to ease tensions. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

Penalize Illicit Chinese Investment, NPP Says (2018-12-20)
(Taipei Times, By Ann Maxon) The New Power Party (NPP) proposed to punish Chinese citizens or companies that have invested in Taiwan without obtaining government permission by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to NT$25 million. NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang stated that Chinese companies often dodge the review system by disguising their sources of funding. <Accessed 2018-12-20>

Taipei-Shanghai Forum Puts Ko Wen-je’s China Views Into Focus (2018-12-20)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) The Taipei-Shanghai Twin Cities Forum comes following suspicions of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je's alleged warming up to Beijing ahead of a potential presidential run. Ko won reelection in November alongside heavy KMT victories throughout Taiwan. The 2018 Forum will revolve around circular economic initiatives in each city, including reducing waste and improving recycling efforts in Taipei. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

China Holds Long-Range Air Combat Drill Near Taiwan (2018-12-20)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) conducted a long-range patrol near Taiwan using several different aircraft types on December 18. This is the first time since May that the Republic of China Air Force has had to scramble jets to intercept Chinese aircraft near Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

Cross-Strait Service Pact a Lost Opportunity, Ma Says (2018-12-22)
Taipei Times, By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Sherry Hsiao) Taiwan's former president Ma Ying-jeou remarked that had Taiwan signed the trade agreement with China, Taiwan's service sector would have benefitted from it. The cross-strait service trade agreement was disrupted due to the Sunflower movement. Meanwhile, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang stated that the former president's remark would allow the world to misunderstand Taiwan that Taiwan does not mind China's suppression. <Accessed 2018-12-22>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
 Taiwan Relations Act Annoyed Deng Xiaoping, Declassified Files Show (2018-12-17)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Elizabeth Hsu) Declassified U.S. State Department files revealed that then Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping was annoyed when the U.S. Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The files also revealed that Deng remarked that the TRA would make the Taiwan president "very cocky". The TRA focuses on U.S. policy on the Taiwan issue that seeks to promote various relations between the people of Taiwan and the U.S., as well as the United States' commitment to provide Taiwan with arms. <Accessed 2018-12-18>

TRA Worked Surprisingly Well, Former US Official Says (2018-12-18)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Former US representative Pat Schroeder, who voted in favor of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), remarked that the TRA has worked well for Taiwan over the past 40 years. The former US official also dismissed the allegation that Taiwan is a bargaining chip between the U.S.-China trade disputes. <Accessed 2018-12-18>

Taiwan Thanks U.S. Congress for Passing Asia Policy Bill (2018-12-18)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the U.S. Congress on Tuesday for passing the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, which has passed the Senate and House of Representatives but has not yet been sent to President Donald Trump. The bill is aimed at increasing the U.S.’ leadership in Asia, which includes enhancing U.S.-Taiwan cooperation and relations, including backing regular U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-12-18>

U.S. Think Tank Lists U.S.-China Risks Over Taiwan for 1st Time (2018-12-18)
(CNA, By Ozzy Yin and Frances Huang)
The Council on Foreign Relation released its annual Preventive Priorities Survey on Monday, in which it outlined a possible crisis between the U.S. and China over Taiwan as a Tier II potential crisis. This is the first time a U.S.-China crisis over Taiwan was listed in the report, however it was listed as unlikely to occur in 2019. The report also predicted that China’s political and economic pressure on Taiwan would continue to increase moving towards Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election. <Accessed 2018-12-18>

U.S. Senator Urge Action Against CCP Meddling in Taiwan Elections (2018-12-19)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh, Ku Chuan and Flor Wang) Several U.S. senators have urged the U.S. government to assist Taiwan in investigating the allegations of China meddling in Taiwan's recent November local elections. Some of the reported allegations were illegal campaign contributions made to pro-Beijing candidates and the dissemination of false information. Taiwan's foreign affairs minister, Joseph Wu, thanked the U.S. Congress for its support and further stated that Taiwan looks forward to join other nations in discussing ways to prevent interference in democratic practices. <Accessed 2018-12-20>

Hawaii Governor Accepts Official Invitation (2018-12-22)
(Taipei Times, By Lee Hsin-fang and Sherry Hsiao) Taiwan's Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka invited Hawaiian Governor David Ige to visit Taiwan. The Hawaiian Governor responded by accepting the invitation. Kolas remarked that Taiwan and Hawaii are like sibling states, bound by both parties' politics, economics, culture, history and geographical relations. <Accessed 2018-12-22>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 Tsai Invites Pope Francis to Visit Taiwan in Birthday Message (2018-12-18)
(CNA, By Huang Ya-shih and Evelyn Kao) Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen congratulated Pope Francis on his birthday. The president also extended an invitation to the Pope to visit Taiwan as the Taiwanese public sees the Pope as a source of inspiration and energy. The president also expressed the nation's gratitude to the Pope for his continued assistance to the needs of the people and support in protecting human rights. <Accessed 2018-12-18>

Taiwan Seeking Japan's Official Stance on CPTPP Bid: Foreign Minister (2018-12-18)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu announced that Taiwan is still waiting for Japan's response as to whether Taiwan could join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP). Wu contended that the delay in the decision resulted from the referendum in the nation's November local elections where the Taiwanese public voted to ban Japanese food imports. <Accessed 2018-12-18>

Court Ruling Not the End of False Rumor Case: Foreign Minister (2018-12-18)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu expressed disappointment with the district court's decision to reject the police's motion to fine a college student who spread rumors that was followed by the suicide of Taiwanese diplomat Su Chii-cherng in September. Wu stated that the government will schedule talks with relevant judicial authorities to seek further legal recourse, so that such an incident does not happen in the future. <Accessed 2018-12-18>

Taiwan Elections: Impact on US-China Relations (2018-12-18)
(The Diplomat, By Mercy A. Kuo) Elizabeth Freund Larus, a professor of political science and international relations at the University of Mary Washington offers remarks regarding the role of the recent Taiwanese elections upon U.S.-China relations as well as how China may benefit from the defeat of the DPP. <Accessed 2018-12-19>

Taiwanese Eligible for Automated Border Clearance in Germany: MOFA (2018-12-19)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Wednesday that Taiwanese are now eligible for the automated border control EasyPass system in Germany. The EasyPass system allows Taiwanese travelers to have expedited entry into Germany, thereby increasing travel convenience for Taiwanese. <Accessed 2018-12-20>

Taiwan, India Sign Updated Bilateral Investment Pact (2018-12-20)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) Tiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that Taiwan and India have signed a new bilateral investment agreement (BIA) and a treaty recognizing respective authorized economic operation (AEO) programs. Ministry Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Deputy Director-General Fan Hui-chun stated that the new BIA would strengthen bliateral investments and help Taiwan to expand its ICT industry to India. <Accessed 2018-12-20>

Nine Allies Speak Up for Taiwan at Climate Conference (2018-12-20)
(Taipei Times/CNA) During the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Taiwan's nine diplomatic allies spoke up for Taiwan as Taiwan is excluded from participating in COP24. Despite China preventing Taiwan from participating in international organizations, Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen led a delegation from different agencies to meet with participants on the sidelines of the conference. <Accessed 2018-12-20>

NTU Student Association Apologizes for Protest Faced by Ex-premier (2018-12-20)
(CNA, By Hsu Chih-wei, Lee Shu-hua, Fan Cheng-hsiang and Christie Chen) National Taiwan University (NTU) students staged a protest on campus at former premier Jiang Yi-huah's talk. The NTU students accused Jiang for giving the order that allowed the excessive use of force against the Sunflower Movement protesters. NTU Political Science Student Association issued an apology for the protest that took place. <Accessed 2018-12-20>

KMT Mulls Vote to Repeal Transitional Justice Panel (2018-12-20)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Liang-sheng and Johnathan Chin) The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) announced Tuesday that the KMT might consider initiating a referendum to repeal the Transitional Justice Commission in the 2020 presidential election. KMT lawmakers alleged that the Executive Yuan agency is vindictive and illegal. KMT legislator Lai Shyh-bao remarked that in order to maintain the credibility of the government and to prevent abuses of authority, the laws should be repealed. <Accessed 2018-12-20>

Foreign Ministry Denies Reported Plan to Punish Late Diplomat (Update) (2018-12-22)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Friday that there were no plans to punish Su Chii-cherng, the late head of Taiwan office in Japan, or his staff. Su's family released a statement stating that Su did not commit suicide because of criticisms against him and his office for their poor management of the incident where Taiwan nationals were left stranded at Kansai International Airport during the Typhoon Jebi. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

Transport Ministry Seeks Punishment for 3 Ex-TRA Chiefs (2018-12-22)
(CNA, By Lee Hsin-Yin) Taiwan's Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) announced on Friday that three former Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) chiefs might face punishment in light of the Puyuma express train crash incident. MOTC Acting Minister Wang Kwo-tsai stated that all three former TRA chiefs, Lu Chieh-shen, Chou Yung-hui and Frank Fan, did not set up crucial system on the Puyuma trains that would permit the trains to travel at higher speeds on the winding railroads in eastern Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

Police Arrest Independence Advocates (2018-12-22)
(Taipei Times, By Jake Chung) Police arrested young pro-Taiwan independent activists who were protesting against the Taipei-Shanghai forum. Shanghai Vice Mayor Zhou Bo was prevented from giving his speech at Taipei International Airport due to the protest. The protesters claimed that Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je does not have full authority to represent the Taiwanese public. <Accessed 2018-12-22>
U.S.-China Relations
Australia’s Diplomatic Course between China and the United States (2018-12-16)
(East Asia Forum, By James Curran) One feature of the Australian government’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper was the balance struck between tough talk on China’s challenge to US hegemony in Asia and the message that regional military modernisation posed no threat to Australia. Despite the dysfunction roiling Australian politics since then, this judgment still holds. <Accessed 2018-12-17>

Israel Reviews 2015 Haifa Investment Deal with China as Washington Considers Future of Navy Operations at Port (2018-12-17)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) Political considerations concerning Chinese investment in Israel’s third-biggest port may be the reason behind the Israeli government’s decision to review a deal that gives Beijing a majority stake in the facility, analysts said. The assessment came after Israel’s national security cabinet was reported to be revisiting a 2015 deal between the Israeli Transportation Ministry and Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) involving the Port of Haifa. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

Increased Difficulty in Trying to Stay Clear of the US Economic War on China
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) The trade war over steel, cars and agricultural goods may be where the United States has formally declared battle with China, but it is the battle over technology where it fears it has most to lose and, almost certainly wrongly, certain chance of victory. <Accessed 2018-12-17>

Washington-Beijing Trade Tensions to Affect Taiwan's 2019 Growth (2018-12-18)
(CNA, By Liu Kuan-ting and Frances Huang) Taiwan's Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Kung Ming-hsin expressed concern over Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, which could be slower than in 2018 due to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. Kung further added that the global trade dispute has caused many foreign buyers to halt any purchasing plans, especially in the machinery sector. <Accessed 2018-12-18>

Would the US Really Lose a War With China and Russia? (2018-12-19)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) The National Defense Strategy Commission recommends that the United States spend more on its military and training equipment as it is losing the ability to defend its national interests and allies. The report where this claim is made, however, does not suggest anything regarding if the NDSC supposedly believes that China or Russia could defeat the United States in an armed conflict. Those countries' weapons arsenals may lead to a decisive U.S. loss if the United States does not begin improving its military quality. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

China Reveals that High-Level Trade War Dialogue with US Goes On as Negotiators Schedule January Meeting (2018-12-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng) China and the United States held a vice-ministerial dialogue on trade and economic issues as part of efforts to de-escalate their trade war. On Wednesday, the Ministry of Commerce said officials from both sides exchanged views on matters of mutual concern. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

South China Sea and Taiwan among Flashpoints for Armed Conflict in 2019, Survey Warns US Policymakers (2018-12-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) Armed conflict over territorial disputes in the South China Sea could be one of the major crises for US President Donald Trump’s administration in 2019, according to an annual survey that identifies top flashpoints for US policymakers to watch in the year to come. Besides the South China Sea pressures, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Centre for Preventive Action has for the first time ranked Taiwan as a hotspot to watch in its 2019 Prevention Priorities Survey. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

US Congressional Panel Assails China for ‘Severe Religious Freedom Violations’ for Detaining Christians and Closing Churches (2018-12-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Robert Delaney) A US congressional panel tasked with monitoring China’s human rights record on Wednesday blasted Beijing’s recent detention of Christians and blamed President Xi Jinping for actions that have taken a “devastating human toll”. The statement by the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which is chaired by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, follows Chinese authorities’ closing of three unregistered Protestant churches in the country. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

Lawfare and Beyond: The Intellectual Property Front in the US-China Trade War (2018-12-20)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) The United States has framed Chinese espionage, including against U.S. companies, as a principal security threat to the country. However, the United States's campaign against this is largely based on its own domestic laws, and the rules only apply to other countries because they agree that they do. The entire conflict and ability for the United States to wage such a war entirely depends on foreign countries' views on U.S. legitimacy. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

Chinese Authorities Identify Third Canadian Detained in Diplomatic Spat (2018-12-20)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) China acknowledged on Thursday that the authorities there had detained a third Canadian citizen, a teacher from Alberta, making her the most recent casualty in a diplomatic standoff between the two countries. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

Thucydides Trap Author Graham Allison Says China and US Must Work Together and Not End Up on Path that Leads to War (2018-12-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) The scholar who warned that China and the US could be heading for war said the two powers needed to redefine their relationship with a “new strategic concept”. Graham Allison, who said Beijing and Washington could fall into what he called the Thucydides Trap – where a rising power threatens to eclipse a rival and conflict may result – told the South China Morning Post that the two were “in a dangerous period”. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

US Slaps Cyberespionage Charges on 2 Chinese Intelligence Officers (2018-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) The United States has indicted two Chinese citizens on espionage charges, claiming they hacked into government agencies to steal data on behalf of the Ministry of State Security. The two are not in police custody and will likely not face jail time, and the United States does not have an extradition treaty with China, so the indictment seems to serve as more of a signal than anything. China denies any association with cyber espionage charges. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

How the US Should Respond to China’s Belt and Road (2018-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Abigail Grace and Max Hill) Holding elections and democratic reforms are not enough for the West to celebrate potentially swinging influence away from China, especially in the Indo-Pacific region. Regardless, China does not look favorably upon political models in which elected officials can be held accountable. The West must create an environment where these democratic officials in these countries can successfully fight off corruption in their business and economic sectors. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

Why Asia Should Be Worried By America’s Bullying of China (2018-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Chandran Nair) Meng Wanzhou's arrest in Canada on behalf of the United States reflects a dangerous precedent set by the United States on extrajudicial arrest, one which, if done by any other country, would lead to international outrage. Some argue that this is a reflection of the current U.S.-China trade disputes. However, many also claim that this shows that the United States and Europe are not prepared to deal with a world in which Western thought is not seen as superior or dominating over other schools of thought. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

With James Mattis’ Resignation, What Now for US-China Military Ties? (2018-12-22)
(South China Morning Post, By Ankit Panda) US President Donald Trump’s first appointed secretary of defence, James Mattis, has resigned. Despite the president’s claim on Twitter that Mattis was retiring, his resignation letter makes clear that his departure is effectively one borne of long-term ideological disagreements with Trump and his “America first” foreign policy agenda. <Accessed 2018-12-29>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Deputy Head of Chinese Shipbuilder Sacked and Expelled from Communist Party (2018-12-17)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) Sun Bo, who was general manager of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), was found guilty of trading power for financial gain and accepting bribes, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s top graft-buster, said in a statement on Monday. But two sources close to the Chinese military told the South China Morning Post that Sun was investigated for allegedly passing confidential information about the Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier, to foreign intelligence agents. <Accessed 2018-12-17>

China Publishes Wish List for Relationship with European Union (2018-12-18)
(South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng) China has called on the European Union to stick with Beijing to weather trade protectionism and reduce hurdles to Chinese investment, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday. In a policy paper, China said it had no fundamental strategic conflicts with the EU, but demanded the bloc “explicitly oppose Taiwan independence in any form”, not interfere in Hong Kong affairs or support separatist movements in Xinjiang. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

4 Takeaways from Xi Jinping’s Speech Defending Communist Party Control (2018-12-18)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley and Steven Lee Myers) Instead, Mr. Xi used the speech to defend policies that he had forged over the past six years to make the Communist Party even more powerful, strengthen the state-run sector of the economy while allowing private business to grow, and put China’s stamp on international affairs. Here are the key points from what he said and what they mean: <Accessed 2018-12-29>

Xi's Scary Interpretation of the Last 40 Years of Chinese History (2018-12-19)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Xi Jinping gave a speech on December 18 celebrating 40 years of China's economic reform and opening to the world. However, his speech seemed to imply to observers that the Communist Party would be taking a greater role in private business affairs, not reducing its influence. China shows no intention of reducing Party influence in private business, contrary to what would be celebrated by Chinese economic reform. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Plan in Pakistan Takes a Military Turn (2018-12-19)
(New York Times, By Maria Abi-Habib) Chinese officials have repeatedly said the Belt and Road is purely an economic project with peaceful intent. But with its plan for Pakistan, China is for the first time explicitly tying a Belt and Road proposal to its military ambitions — and confirming the concerns of a host of nations who suspect the infrastructure initiative is really about helping China project armed might. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

2018 Was Meant to Be Xi Jinping’s Year. Then China’s Belt and Road Unravelled (2018-12-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Karim Raslan) Back in 2017, we were contemplating a “Pax Sinica” as an irresponsible and ignorant American President – Donald Trump – seemed likely to concede global leadership to China’s quasi-imperial Xi Jinping. The roll-out of his signature “Belt and Road Initiative” looked set to cement Chinese ambitions globally. However, 2018 has been a bad year for China. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

China's Information War Against the Uyghurs (2018-12-20)
(The Diplomat, By Michael Clarke) While China is no stranger to information warfare in its international conflicts, such as those in Taiwan and the South China Sea, a relatively newer phenomenon is the deployment of information warfare tactics in Xinjiang towards the Uyghur minority. While the Communist Party claims this is more for social stability and safety than anything, the rollout has seemed to take on more of a "predictive policing" role as the system attempts to determine an individual's threat level at any given time. Furthermore, the detention of Uyghur minorities into so-called "reeducation centers" has led to a new human rights crisis within Xinjiang. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

40 Years of Social Change in China (2018-12-20)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) While China celebrates 40 years of economic reform and opening to the outside world, less often discussed are the 40 years of change to Chinese social situations and norms. As people wish to open themselves up to new experiences, the general public becomes more personable and more interconnected. The trend for Chinese people to easily obtain passports has also shown that China is growing more interested in the outside world. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

China Detains a Third Canadian Citizen for ‘Illegal Employment’ (2018-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) China has detained a third Canadian citizen, Sarah McIver, for allegedly working illegally in Canada. The other two Canadians are accused of endangering Chinese national security, and the two countries maintain consular communications on the matter. Canada's government has sent a warning to all Canadians in China. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

China’s Private Sector Is Under Siege
(The Diplomat, By Catherine Tai) Xi Jinping may have reiterated his support for the growth of the private sector in his speech commemorating the 40th anniversary of China's economic reform and opening, but the Communist Party continues to grow in its influence over private businesses in China. Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have long had provisions to recognize Communist Party leadership. While government rhetoric towards private sector growth is strong, whether or not private companies can operate effectively despite Party rule remains to be seen. <Accessed 2018-12-22>

What Do We Actually Know about China’s Mysterious Spy Agency? (2018-12-22)
(South China Morning Post, By Nectar Gan) Intelligence agencies are by nature secretive, but China’s MSS seems to operate under a heavier veil of secrecy than most – unlike the CIA or MI6, it does not have an official website, any publicly listed contacts or spokesmen or women. Not much is known about China’s sprawling espionage operation, but this is what we do know. <Accessed 2018-12-29>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
The Korean Peninsula

Hard-Line U.S. Tactics Will ‘Block’ Path to Denuclearization, North Korea Warns
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) North Korea warned on Sunday that if the United States continued to escalate its sanctions and human rights campaign against the North, that approach could permanently shatter any chance of denuclearizing the country. <Accessed 2018-12-17>

North Korea Says It Won’t Denuclearize Until U.S. Removes Threat (2018-12-20)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) North Korea will not dismantle its nuclear weapons program until the United States also agrees to diminish its military capacity in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula, its official news agency said on Thursday, clarifying a position that had remained vague since the leaders of both countries met in June. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

Kim’s Diplomatic Debut (2018-12-20)
(East Asia Forum, By Scott Snyder) Supreme Leader and Korean Worker’s Party Chairman, Kim Jong-un, made a consequential shift in January of this year. From testing intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs, Kim moved to testing diplomatic prospects for the normalisation of himself as an international leader and of North Korea as a nuclear weapons state. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

Seoul Making Beijing a Foreign Policy Priority by Setting Up Bureau Exclusively for China Affairs (2018-12-22)
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) Seoul plans to overhaul its diplomatic focus on China by establishing a separate bureau in its foreign ministry entirely dedicated to China affairs. The change comes after Beijing’s economic retaliation to South Korean deployment of the US’ anti-ballistic missile defence system. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

Other Regional Issues

America’s Allies Fear That Traditional Ties No Longer Matter Under Trump
(New York Times, By Steven Erlanger and Jane Perlez) America’s allies in Europe and Asia thought they had learned to digest and compensate for the instinctive unpredictability of President Trump. But the bitter resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the abrupt announcement of plans to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan are being viewed as watershed moments for Washington’s relations with the world. <Accessed 2018-12-29>

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