::: TSR Weekly Report
2019-01-19 | NO.43(3) 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
China’s Xi Jinping has Opened the Door to War with Taiwan (2019-01-13)
(South China Morning Post, By Cary Huang) Beijing’s “Message to compatriots in Taiwan” on January 1, 1979 is seen by many as having ushered in a new era after decades of hostility. The policy statement not only declared an end to Beijing’s routine artillery bombardment of Taipei-controlled islands, it marked a shift in its basic approach to Taiwan – from one of “liberation” (which implies the use of force) to one of “peaceful unification”. However, a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping on January 2 to mark the 40th anniversary of that message has been widely interpreted as opening the door to an eventual war. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Local Elections Strike a Heavy Blow for Taiwan’s DPP
(East Asia Forum, By Jean Yu-Chen Tseng) The results of the 2018 local elections reflect growing public dissatisfaction with the DPP administration’s performance over the past two years. They foretell a challenging future for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whose approval rating has remained low at around 30 per cent for years, as she readies for her 2020 re-election campaign. <Accessed 2019-01-18>

Fujian, Kinmen Ties Lauded by County Magistrate (2019-01-16)
(CNA, By Huang Huei-min and William Yen) Kinmen's county magistrate Yang Cheng-wu welcomed a plan proposed by governor Tang Dengjie of China's Fujian Province to establish cross-strait cooperation projects between Fujian and Taiwan's Kinmen and Matsu. However, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) released a statement commenting that the proposal is under the central government's jurisdiction and requires careful assessment. <Accessed 2019-01-16>

Ex-HK Lawmaker Urges Unity in Taiwan Amid China Threat  (2019-01-16)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and Flor Wang)
Raymond Wong Yuk-man, a former member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council at a seminar on Wednesday urged Taiwan to observe the example of the “one country, two systems” formula’s application in Hong Kong as a warning. He called the formula a “nightmare” and insisted that Taiwanese people, regardless of political affiliation, be firm in their opposition of China’s increasing pressure and prepare possible responses based on Hong Kong’s experience. <Accessed 2019-01-16>

SEF Reiterates It Has Final Say on Cross-Strait Matters (2019-01-16)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and Chung Yu-chen)
In response to a proposal between China’s Fujian Province and Kinmen’s county magistrate regarding cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation, Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation reiterated that only it had final say on all cross-Strait agreements and negotiations. SEF spokesperson Kuan An-lu urged not to believe the words of a local authority as any final decision or agreement. The Mainland Affairs Council also issued a statement saying the proposal needed assessment by Taiwan’s central government. <Accessed 2019-01-16>

Scottish Lawmakers Thanked for Support of Tsai’s Opposition (2019-01-16)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday thanked eight Scottish parliamentarians in the Cross-Party Group who submitted and supported a motion last week expressing their support for Taiwan, in respond to President Xi Jinping’s January 2nd speech about reunification. The motion stated regret for Xi’s words and support for President Tsai Ing-wen’s refusal to accept unification, in addition to calling for more peaceful cross-Strait interactions. Scotland’s Cross-Party Group continues to push to deepen Scotland-Taiwan ties. <Accessed 2019-01-16>

China’s Military Strength Could Advance Taiwan Unification by Force, Says US Official (2019-01-16)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) A US defence intelligence official has warned that Beijing’s growing military prowess might encourage it to consider bringing self-ruled Taiwan under its control by force, despite concerns from the United States. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in Washington, said such a possibility was the biggest worry in Washington as Beijing steadily expanded and modernised its military, although he did not predict the mainland would take such a step any time soon. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Ma Says He Might Visit China After Travel Ban Lifted (2019-01-18)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) During a radio interview with UFO Network, former president Ma Ying-jeou stated that he might visit China after the travel ban expires this May. Ma also criticized Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen for her mishandling of the "1992 consensus" dilemma. <Accessed 2019-01-18>

75% of Taiwanese Reject Beijing's View of '1992 Consensus': Poll (2019-01-18)
(CNA, By Miu Tsung-han and Frances Huang) According to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), a recent survey showed that 75% of Taiwanese people do not recognize the "1992 consensus" defined by China's political formula of the "one China principle" and the "one country, two systems". The survey also reported that 89% of the Taiwanese people stated that the 23 million Taiwanese should decide on Taiwan's future and cross-strait relations. MAC spokesperson Chiu Chui-cheng urged the Taiwanese public not to accept China's proposals. <Accessed 2019-01-18>

Japanese Defense Minister Calls for Peaceful Cross-Strait Resolution (2019-01-18)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng and Evelyn Kao) During his recent trip to the U.S., Japan's Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya stated that Japan hopes that cross-strait issues could be resolved through peaceful discussion and action. Iwaya also expressed his concerns about China's unilateral action to change the cross-strait status quo which is not in line with the existing international order. <Accessed 2019-01-18>

MAC Says Chinese Minister Deceitful (2019-01-19)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) alleged that China's Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Liu Jieyi is deceiving the Taiwanese public by stating at an event in Beijing that China's "one country, two systems" political formula will not change Taiwan's democracy, freedom and social system. The MAC made reference to China's authoritarian control over Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet and remarked that Taiwanese would not accept China's political formula. <Accessed 2019-01-20>

Nationality, New Constitution Preferred, Poll Shows (2019-01-19)
(Taipei Times, By Su Fun-her and Johnathan Chin) A recent poll conducted by the Taiwan New Constitution Foundation, showed that 80 percent of Taiwanese viewed Taiwan and China as separate nations. 72 percent of the respondents expressed support for a new constitution to reflect Taiwan's political status. The survey also reported that 82 percent of the respondents identified themselves as Taiwanese. <Accessed 2019-01-20>

Faced With Tough Words From China, Taiwan Rallies Around Its Leader (2019-01-19)
(New York Times, By Chris Horton) The revitalization of Ms. Tsai’s political prospects highlights the challenge that the increasingly authoritarian government in Beijing faces in offering a political formula for unification that would be attractive to Taiwan’s vigorous democracy. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

KMT: Party Denies Wu Planning China Trip (2019-01-20)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) Taiwan's Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) denied a report by media stating that KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih was planning a trip to China with 15 KMT mayors and county commissioners when his three-year travel ban is lifted in May. The KMT stated that no such planning was ever made. According to the media report, the supposedly planned trip was for a KMT-Chinese Communist Party forum to discuss cross-strait relations, which has been suspended for the past two years. <Accessed 2019-01-20>

McDonald's China Expressed Regret Over Ad Incident in Taiwan (2019-01-20)
(CNA, By Yang Sheng-ju and Frances Huang) McDonald's in China expressed regret over its advertisement posted on Youtube that labelled a female student's nationality as Taiwan. The ad resulted in strong protests from Chinese netizens who accused McDonald's of supporting Taiwan's independence. McDonald's in China stated on its Weibo page that the company supports the "one China" position, and China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. <Accessed 2019-01-20>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Support of 'One China' Questioned (2019-01-14)
(Taipei Times, By Peng Wan-hsin) US Representative Steve Chabot has urged the new Congress and President Donald Trump's administration to rethink United States' support for the one China policy and to strongly maintain that the Taiwanese government is the legitimate representative of a democratic Taiwan. Chabot further remarked that it is the Taiwanese people that should decide Taiwan's future and not Chinese President Xi Jinping. <Accessed 2019-01-14>

China Won’t Tolerate Interference in Taiwan, Military Chief Warns US (2019-01-15)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) A top Chinese military official on Tuesday called for efforts to strengthen trust between China and the United States, but said Beijing would not tolerate “outside interference” in Taiwan affairs. General Li Zuocheng, the PLA’s chief of the Joint Staff Department, made the remarks during a meeting in Beijing with Admiral John Richardson, the US chief of naval operations. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

U.S. Voices Opposition to Changing Cross-Strait Status Quo
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Chi Jo-yao) During a recent meeting with Li Zuocheng, a member of China's Central Military Commission, Chief U.S. Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson remarked that the U.S. opposes any unilateral action to change the cross-strait status quo by either Taiwan or China and continues to adhere to its "One China Policy". Meanwhile, China's Ministry of National Defense stated that during the meeting, Li stated that since the Taiwan issue is an internal affair, there should not be any external interference. <Accessed 2019-01-18>

Steve Chabot Elected Co-Chair of U.S. Congressional Taiwan Caucus
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Y.F. Low) U.S. Representative Steve Chabot has been elected as the new co-chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus (CTC). Chabot introduced the Taiwan Travel Act to the House of Representatives in 2017, which was then signed into law in 2018 by President Donald Trump. The Act encourages frequent high-level exchanges between U.S. and Taiwanese officials. <Accessed 2019-01-20>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Cabinet Approves Plan to Boost Economy by Spurring Domestic Demand (2019-01-10)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao)
On Thursday, the Cabinet approved an economic growth program proposed by the National Development Council, according to Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka. Kolas said that the main factor to boost Taiwan’s economic growth will be boosting domestic demand amid uncertainty regarding trade with the United States and China. In order to boost domestic demand, the government plans to increase people’s disposable income in order to promote domestic investment and consumption. <Accessed 2019-01-10>

Legislature Approves NT$1.998 Trillion Government Budget for 2019 (2019-01-10)
(CNA, By Fan Cheng-hsiang and Christie Chen)
On Thursday, the Legislative Yuan passed the central government’s budget proposal for 2019 of NT$1.998 trillion, which is a 1.19 percent cut from the original estimate. However, the KMT’s proposals to cut budgets for the Central Election Commission, Ill-Gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee, and Transitional Justice Commission did not pass. <Accessed 2019-01-10>

Cabinet Resigns as Premier Lai Says He Has ‘No Regrets’
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin)
Premier William Lai and his Cabinet resigned en masse on Friday, following the Democratic Progressive Party’s defeat in the November local elections. Lai reflected on his time as Premier and said that he hopes to continue working towards “making Taiwan great” in the future, which he believes he can only do by resigning. Lai also said he has no regrets about his time as Premier, which he believes helped develop the nation, boost the economy, and nourish the nation. <Accessed 2019-01-14>

Ma Not Ruling Out Presidential Run; Defends ‘Consensus’ (2019-01-12)
(Taipei Times, By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jonathan Chin)
Former President Ma Ying-jeou said on a radio show on Friday that the Taiwanese public wants him back in the Presidential Office, although he kept quiet about whether or not he would seek a nomination for next year’s presidential election. He urged that Taiwan should return to its previous relationship with China based upon the previously agreed upon “1992 consensus”. He said that he is currently working on developing policy solutions to Taiwanese issues. <Accessed 2019-01-14>

 Su Thanks Tsai for Letting Him Assemble Cabinet Quickly  (2019-01-14)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan, Matt Yu, and Evelyn Kao)
Premier Su Tseng-chang said at his first Cabinet meeting today that he was appreciative of President Tsai Ing-wen’s trust in him, which allowed him to assemble his Cabinet in only two days. Su said that Tsai entrusted him with full authority to both select the Cabinet lineup and make and promote policy. He said him and his Cabinet will all take responsibility and work towards the policies of the Cabinet. <Accessed 2019-01-14>

Su Tseng-chang Takes Up Post as Premier (Update) (2019-01-14)
(CNA, By Wang Cheng-chung, Matt Yu, Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao)
New Premier Su Tseng-chang and his new Cabinet were sworn in to office on Monday following the resignation of former Premier Lai Ching-te and his Cabinet. During the ceremony, Su acknowledged the contributions Lai made and committed himself and his Cabinet to work on the existing foundation to continue making improvements, focusing on the areas of constitutional reform, political culture, and cross-Strait issues. <Accessed 2019-01-14>

Su Tseng-chang Gets Mayors' Backing (2019-01-14)
(Taipei Times, By Ho Yu-hau and Huang Chien-hao) Mayors in Taiwan's six special municipalities have expressed support to the appointment of Premier-to-be Su Tseng-chang and his team. The mayors praised Su for his rich experience, decisiveness, vision for policymaking, boldness and efficiency. <Accessed 2019-01-14>

Taiwan National Security Survey (2002-2019) (2019-01-15)
The Taiwan National Security Surveys (2002 – 2019) were conducted by the Election Study Center of the National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan under the auspice of the Program in Asian Security Studies (PASS) at Duke University. For more detailed information about each of the surveys, please visit the PASS website http://sites.duke.edu/pass/ . <Accessed 2019-01-15>

Taiwan Must Cope Firmly with Changing Circumstances: Tsai (2019-01-16)
(CNA, By Wang Cheng-chung and Evelyn Kao) During an inspection tour of the Army Defense Command in Hualien and Taitung, Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen remarked that the government will continue to protect the nation's sovereignty, democracy and security. Tsai also stated that the government must be able to adapt to the changing circumstances amid China's pressure. <Accessed 2019-01-16>

Taiwan Opts Against WHA Participation Push at WHO Board Meet (2019-01-16)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) According to Bob Chen, director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of International Organization, the ministry has decided not to ask Taiwan's diplomatic allies and other countries to voice for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA) at the World Health Organization's (WHO's) executive board session this month. However, the ministry has decided to ask Taiwan's allies and friendly nations of WHO members to voice for Taiwan's participation in May if Taiwan's admission is again denied. <Accessed 2019-01-16>

DPP Election Losses Reflect Unmet Public Expectations: Party Official (2019-01-16)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Chung Yu-chen)
The new secretary-general of the Democratic Progressive Party, Lo Wen-jia, had his first day in office Wednesday. During his first day, he reflected on the November local elections and said that the results reflected the public’s dissatisfaction with the DPP, which, he said, should work to rectify the public’s unhappiness with the party in order to prevent another huge loss for the DPP next year. In order to regain favor from the public, Lo said the party needs to reflect on the specific issues the public sees and work to improve in those areas. <Accessed 2019-01-16>

Taiwan’s Newly Reshuffled Cabinet Looks a Lot Like Its Old Cabinet (2019-01-17)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) The most notable change within the new Taiwanese cabinet, reshuffled Friday in an effort to rejuvenate the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after a disappointing election cycle in late 2018, was Su Tseng-chang replacing outgoing Premier William Lai. Su promised that the DPP would communicate and respond to the public's demands, making it a top priority for the Party. Su will most likely begin his time as Premier by focusing on short-term goals for the Party, such as wealth redistribution. <Accessed 2019-01-19>

Taiwan Condemns China's 'Evil Intent' to Downgrade Nation (2019-01-18)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Taiwan called out the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' (CASS) threat to punish as many as 66 foreign companies which do not label Taiwan as part of China's territory an "evil intent". Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) urged the international community to come together to stand up against China's bullying. <Accessed 2019-01-18>

Taiwan to Closely Monitor CPTPP Membership Discussions: MOFA (2019-01-18)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) An official from Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that Taiwan will closely monitor the upcoming meeting of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which will focus on the rules of membership expansion. Phoebe Yeh, director-general of MOFA'S Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs, stated that Taiwan is still in discussion with Japan for Taiwan's CPTPP membership. <Accessed 2019-01-18>

Taiwan Invests US$150 million in Paraguay (2019-01-20)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Chung Yu-chen) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that Taiwan is planning to invest US$150 million in Paraguay for a five-year finance cooperation projects. The money is to be used toward developing Paraguay's social assistance, education, housing and infrastructure. <Accessed 2019-01-20>
U.S.-China Relations
You Can’t Contain China: Former US Trade Chief Robert Zoellick Warns Donald Trump (2019-01-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Finbarr Bermingham) Donald Trump’s mission to decouple the United States and Chinese economies is doomed to fail, with former US trade chief and World Bank president Robert Zoellick warning: “You can’t contain China.” <Accessed 2019-01-23>

US Navy Commander Hails ‘Constructive and Candid’ Talks with Chinese Counterparts
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) A senior US naval officer said that he had had a “constructive and candid” discussion with his Chinese counterpart as part of an effort to calm growing tensions between the two sides. Admiral John Richardson, the US Chief of Naval Operations, tweeted after the meeting with Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong, the head of the PLA Navy, that the two sides were both committed to continuing their dialogue. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

China’s Vice-Premier Liu He Accepts Invitation to Visit Washington This Month for Talks to End Trade War (2019-01-15)
(South China Morning Post, By Zhou Xin, Catherine Wong, and Sarah Zheng) Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He has accepted an invitation to lead a delegation to Washington at the end of this month with the purpose of reaching a deal to end the trade war, according to a source who has been briefed on the arrangement. Liu, who is overseeing China’s trade negotiations with the United States, is expected to meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during the two-day visit, the source said. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Policy Series: Trump’s China Policy: Bi-partisan Hardening, Uncertain Resolve (2019-01-16)
(H-Diplo, By Robert Sutter) The U.S. government’s across-the-board hardening in pushing back against a range of Chinese challenges to American interests emerged erratically after the start of the Trump administration in 2017 but it has demonstrated remarkable momentum over the past year. <Accessed 2019-01-21>

China’s Plan to Break off US Allies (2019-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Tao Peng) By handling Meng Wanzhou's arrest gently with the United States while remaining strict with Canada, China hopes that Canada will not follow the United States in a confrontational approach towards China and assist the United States in creating a global offensive against China. China is essentially forcing U.S. allies to choose sides in a conflict, either standing with Washington or shying away from the dispute. China's actions against Canada serve the goal of deterring other U.S. allies from angering China. <Accessed 2019-01-19>

Heads of US and Chinese Navy Meet in Beijing (2019-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Steven Stashwick) The U.S. Chief of Naval Operations met with the People's Liberation Army Navy Commander in Beijing on January 14 for talks regarding encouraging cooperation and interactions between the two navies at sea. U.S. Admiral John Richardson will be in China for three days and plans to meet with Chinese defense leadership, defense attaches from various partner nations, and to visit the PLA headquarters and Research Center. <Accessed 2019-01-19>

An American Consensus: Time to Confront China (2019-01-17)
(The Diplomat, By Zoe Leung and Michael Depp) In response to China's propagation of its own model of development around the world, the United States has changed the nature of the U.S.-China relationship from one of careful cooperation to one of all-out confrontation. Congress, which has always been more anti-China than the White House, has been able to pass new anti-China measures now that the perspective of Chinese hostility is mutual between the legislature and the executive. As the relationship changes, despite a lack in escalation of hostilities, the U.S. perspective will remain competitive instead of cooperative. <Accessed 2019-01-19>

China and the US Are Destined for Peace, Not for War (2019-01-17)
(The Diplomat, By Jin Kai) The temporary truce between the United States and China provides much-needed relief in a long trade battle. Despite the Trump administration "flipping the card" on the relationship between the two countries and bringing up longstanding trade issues, the two great powers are not meant to go to war with one another, and geopolitical issues surrounding the two remain complex. Given how much the two share in terms of national interests, war remains unlikely and the two will instead choose to cooperate and maintain peace. <Accessed 2019-01-19>

Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya, in Visit to Washington, Seeks US Help to Combat Chinese Cyberattacks (2019-01-17)
(South China Morning Post, By Zhenhua Lu) As Japan seeks the United States’ help to bolster its cyberwarfare capabilities amid what it says are continuing cyberattacks from China, the Japanese defence minister travelled to Washington on Wednesday to urge greater cooperation. The minister, Takeshi Iwaya, said his nation was aiming to increase its cybersecurity force to 2,000 members as the electronic capabilities of various countries, including China, were growing every year. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

China’s Economy Czar to Visit Washington for Trade Talks (2019-01-18)
(The Diplomat, By Joe McDonald) The top trade envoys from both the United States and China will meet in Washington by the end of January, showing a possible sign of progress in trade negotiations between the two countries. While neither side has indicated a desire to change their basic positions, the March 1 deadline on the 90-day tariff ceasefire is too soon to solve the problems within the U.S.-China relationship according to several economists. Observers claim that the two top officials meeting show that enough progress has been made that high-level decisions can now occur. <Accessed 2019-01-19>

Coping With the Challenge of China’s Growing Space Power (2019-01-18)
(The Diplomat, By Lincoln Hines) China has become the world's second largest spender on space capabilities in its conquest to become "a space power in all respects," and the program is driven by both motives of seeking status among global peers as well as state security. Given the military applications of space technology as well as the status seeking nature of the project, China's pursuit could pose serious implications for the U.S.-China relationship. U.S. policymakers need to be aware of China's motivations in order to properly respond without destabilizing the relationship. <Accessed 2019-01-19>

US-China Battle for Dominance Extends across Pacific, above and below the Sea (2019-01-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Meaghan Tobin) The Mariana Islands in the north-western Pacific, comprising the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Guam, were once seen as “the tip of the spear” of American power projection in the region – but China’s influence is growing across the area through deep-sea research and what was once the world’s most lucrative casino. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Is the US Overreacting to the China Threat? Yes, but Beijing’s Iron Grip Isn’t Helping, Says Leading Harvard Professor (2019-01-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) The US is at risk of “overreacting” to the threat from China, a leading Harvard academic has warned, but added that Beijing’s increasingly hard ideological line may be encouraging the more hawkish elements in America. William Kirby, professor of China Studies at Harvard University, warned that Donald Trump’s administration was not consulting “the smartest people” about China, which may increase the risk of policy missteps. <Accessed 2019-01-23>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China Sentences a Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, to Death (2019-01-14)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) China’s diplomatic clash with Canada escalated sharply on Monday, when a Chinese court sentenced a Canadian to death for drug smuggling at a one-day retrial ordered weeks after a Chinese executive’s arrest in Canada. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

When Will Xi Jinping Travel to North Korea?
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) During Kim Jong-un's fourth visit to Beijing in early January 2019, Xi Jinping accepted an invitation to visit North Korea soon, just as he had done during Kim's first visit in March 2018. While there is no indication that Xi will visit North Korea soon, the two countries are set to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations this year, and the leaders may potentially use the occasion to meet in Pyongyang. A member of the Politburo Standing Committee or a similar high-level Chinese official visiting Pyongyang prior to Xi visiting may also remain possible. <Accessed 2019-01-19>

Huawei’s Poland Spying Case Threatens China’s Efforts to Win Over Eastern and Central Europe (2019-01-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Shi Jiangtao) The controversy involving Huawei Technologies in Poland will not only exacerbate the ongoing crisis surrounding the Chinese telecoms giant’s global operations, but also threaten Beijing’s overtures towards Eastern and Central Europe, analysts have said. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Asia is ‘New Hotbed of Christian Persecution’ with Situation in China Worst since Cultural Revolution, Report Claims (2019-01-16)
(South China Morning Post, By Charles McDermid) Nearly 140 million Christians suffered high levels of persecution in Asia last year, according to a new report, which described the situation facing the faith in China as the worst since the Cultural Revolution. The annual Open Doors World Watch List, released on Wednesday, said Asia is “the new hotbed of persecution for Christians”. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Explaining China’s Latest Catch in Africa (2019-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Oana Burcu and Eloïse Bertrand) Burkina Faso's switch in diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing represents much more than just checkbook diplomacy -- it represents peer pressure from others on the African continent as well as domestic politics. Burkina Faso has historically switched often between recognizing the two powers, usually to serve in its own self-interests. However, while the financial aspect is motivating, Burkina Faso has also faced pressure from neighboring African states, especially from within the Sahel, to improve security cooperation measures funded and encouraged by China. <Accessed 2019-01-19>

Cash-Strapped Pakistan Asks China to Shelve US$2 Billion Coal Plant (2019-01-16)
(South China Morning Post, By Haroon Janjua) Pakistan has officially asked China to shelve a joint US$2 billion coal power project from the US$62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project, claiming it will be too expensive and should not be an immediate priority. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Canada Summons Chinese Ambassador over Interrogation of Michael Kovrig (2019-01-17)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) Canada has launched an official protest against the interrogation of Michael Kovrig, the former Canadian diplomat detained in China, about his previous diplomatic work in the country, saying it violated the diplomatic immunity he is guaranteed under international law. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Germany and China Set Aside Differences to Stress Importance of Cooperation in Uncertain Economic Climate (2019-01-18)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) Chinese and German ministers talked up the importance of cooperation at an economic forum on Friday despite the increasing strains between the two sides. Demands from German businesses for a tougher stance towards Beijing and increasing concern about the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies have been a growing source of tension, but Friday’s meeting of senior bankers and policymakers saw the two sides signing agreements to strengthen cooperation amid a growing climate of economic uncertainty. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Step Up and Protect Chinese Interests Abroad, Xi Jinping Tells Law Enforcers (2019-01-18)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) China needs to better protect Chinese entities and individuals abroad, President Xi Jinping told a high-level legal affairs meeting on Wednesday. “We must hasten the establishment of a mechanism to protect the legitimate interests of Chinese organisations and nationals abroad,” Xi said, addressing the annual conference of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission in Beijing. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Why Are Chinese Courts Turning to AI? (2019-01-19)
(The Diplomat, By Meng Yu and Guodong Du) China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has been promoting a system of "similar judgment for similar cases," a goal they hope to achieve using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The system has already become an important part of the Judicial Accountability System. So far, AI has only been used to determine whether or not a judge's ruling is reasonable given past precedents. <Accessed 2019-01-19>

Chinese Embassy in Sweden Hits Out at ‘Totally Irresponsible’ Security Threat Claims (2019-01-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) The Chinese embassy in Stockholm has lashed out at the latest “China threat” accusations, as Sweden steps up scrutiny of technology ties with the country. Its statement on Friday followed Swedish media reports that agreements to establish a controversial satellite station in the country’s north had been signed with the Chinese military. <Accessed 2019-01-23>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Vietnam Risks Beijing’s Ire as It Uses US Freedom of Navigation Exercise to Stake Its Claim in South China Sea (2019-01-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) As China and the United States continue to wrestle over trade disputes and geopolitics, Vietnam is performing a balancing act in the stormy South China Sea as it seeks to maintain its strong ties with Washington while not upsetting Beijing, experts said. Earlier this week, Hanoi used the latest row over a US freedom of navigation operation in the disputed waterway to not only show its support for its Western ally but also reaffirm its territorial claims there. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Philippine Defence Chief Urges Review of US Treaty amid South China Sea Tensions
(South China Morning Post, By Raissa Robles) Manila should review its defence agreement with Washington to clarify when the United States will come to its aid, as tensions in the South China Sea are the Philippines’ “most difficult” security challenge, its Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Thursday. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Vietnam Frustrated by Slow Pace of Talks on South China Sea Code of Conduct (2019-01-17)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) Vietnam has expressed frustration at the slow pace of negotiations towards agreeing a code of conduct for the South China Sea. The country’s foreign minister Pham Bình Minh made the comments after China and Vietnam wrapped up their latest talks on their land and maritime borders on Monday with a pledge to maintain maritime stability. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

The Korean Peninsula

Xi Jinping Set to Meet Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang in April, South Korean Sources Say (2019-01-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to make his first visit to North Korea in April, and the two sides are agreed on the matter, South Korean parliamentary sources told the South China Morning Post. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

China and South Korea Vow to Work for Permanent Peace on Peninsula Ahead of Second Trump-Kim Summit
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) China and South Korea have vowed to work together for permanent peace on the Korean peninsula – just weeks before the anticipated second Trump-Kim summit – in a reflection of Beijing’s increasing clout over the process. Senior diplomats from the two countries sat down for denuclearisation talks in Seoul on Thursday, just as North Korea’s top negotiator headed to Washington – via Beijing. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

How US and China’s African Nuclear Mission Could Provide Model for Disarming North Korea
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) China and America’s recent joint nuclear non-proliferation mission in West Africa could provide a precedent for dismantling North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, analysts have said, but warned that the scale and political complexity of the task will be far greater. <Accessed 2019-01-23>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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Recent Publication James Lee, US grand strategy and the origins of the developmental state, Journal of Strategic Studies
Recent Publication Elizabeth Freund Larus, Politics and Society in Contemporary China, 2nd edition (Lynne Rienner Publishers)
Recent Publication John F. Copper, ""Cross-Strait Relations in the Wake of Taiwan’s January 2016 Election: Taiwan’s Narratives" in Chineseness and Modernity in a Changing China: Essays in Honour of Professor Wang Gungwu, edited by Yongnian Zheng and Litao Zhao (World Scientific)
Recent Publication James Lee, American Diplomacy and Export-Oriented Industrialization on Taiwan (Journal of East Asian Studies)
Recent Publication J. Michael Cole, Cross-Strait Relations Since 2016: The End of the Illusion (1st Edition) (Routledge)
Recent Publication Kingsley Edney, Stanley Rosen, and Ying Zhu, Soft Power With Chinese Characteristics: China’s Campaign for Hearts and Minds (1st Edition) (Routledge)
Recent Publication John Franklin Copper, Taiwan: Nation-State or Province? (7th Edition) (Routledge)
Recent Publication Peter Mattis and Matthew Brazil, Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer (U.S. Naval Institute Press)
Recent Publication Takashi Inoguchi and Lien Thi Quynh Le, The Development of Global Legislative Politics: Rousseau and Locke Writ Global (Springer Singapore) (includes analysis of East Asian cases)
Recent Publication Hans Stockton and Yao-Yuan Yeh (eds.), Taiwan: The Development of an Asian Tiger (Lynne Rienner Publishers)
Recent Publication Dafydd Fell and Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao (eds.), Taiwan Studies Revisited, 1st Edition (Routledge)
TSR received a favorable review by the Foreign Affairs (July/Aug 2000)
The Best of Asia-Pacific Web Award
TSR was honored with a Four-Star rating by the Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library. 

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