::: TSR Weekly Report
2019-01-26 | NO.43(4) 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
Xi's Latest Threat Nothing New: German Envoy (2019-01-21)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) During a press event for a German business confidence survey in Taipei, director general of the German Institute Taipei Thomas Prinz remarked that China's recent threat to use force against Taiwan and its "one country, two systems" political formula are not new. Prinz also noted that China is not in a hurry to use force for reunification as there was no mention of a timeframe by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Furthermore, as Taiwan will be having its presidential election in 2020, Prinz further added that China will not initiate a new political initiative against Taiwan. <Accessed 2019-01-22>

MAC Head Proposes Three Tenets for Stable Cross-Strait Relations
(CNA, By Miu Chung-han and Elizabeth Hsu)
The head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, Chen Ming-tong, at a news conference on Tuesday proposed three tenets for maintaining peaceful cross-Strait relations. <Accessed 2019-01-22>

Hongkongers Say ‘One Country, Two Systems’ Not for Taiwan (2019-01-22)
(CNA, By Stanley Cheung and Evelyn Kao)
The University of Hong Kong released the results of a recent survey on Tuesday, which revealed that 59% of Hong Kong citizens do not believe that “one country, two systems” is applicable to Taiwan. This was the highest percentage since the question has been polled in Hong Kong since 1996. 60.4% of Hong Kong citizens also said they were not confident in the reunification of Taiwan and mainland China, and 53.5% supported Taiwan rejoining the United Nations. <Accessed 2019-01-22>

Chinese Military Flies Su-30 Fighter Jet, Y-8 Surveillance Plane Close to Taiwan in Latest Show of Strength (2019-01-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) Chinese military aircraft flew close to Taiwan on Tuesday as Beijing once again flexed its muscle in the region, Taipei reported. A Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jet and a Shaanxi Y-8 transport plane, which can also be used for surveillance, from the People’s Liberation Army were among the “various military aircraft” seen flying over the Bashi Channel, a disputed waterway to the north of the Philippines, Taiwan’s defence ministry said. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

China Flies Aircraft Close to Taiwan After Taiwan Launches Live-Fire Drills (2019-01-24)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) The People's Liberation Army (PLA) flew several military aircraft through the Taiwan Strait close to the island one week after Taiwan began its first large-scale military drills of the year. Taiwan's schedule of live-fire military exercises was released shortly after Chinese President Xi Jinping said in an early 2019 speech that he would not take military force off the table for reunification of Taiwan with the Chinese mainland. Such military responses are not rare occurrences and do not constitute actual war-like threats from either side of the Strait. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

'One Country, Two Systems' Not Right for Taiwan: Poll (2019-01-26)
(Taipei Times/CNA) A recent poll conducted by the University of Hong Kong's Public Opinion Programme showed that most Hong Kongers do not think that China's "one country, two systems" model is suitable for Taiwan. 60.4% of the respondents did not think that Taiwan and Mainland China will reunite eventually. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

Situation in Taiwan Strait Under Full Control: MND (2019-01-26)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Flor Wang) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced that the Taiwan Strait is under full control in light of China's increased military encroachment near Taiwan's waters. According to MND spokesman Chen Chung-chi, Taiwan will continue to safeguard its national security and stability in the region. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

China Again Denies Visit Request by Wife of Jailed Rights Advocate (2019-01-26)
(CNA, By Miao Chung-han and Flor Wang) The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) announced that China has again denied Lee Ching-yu's application to visit her jailed husband Lee Ming-che, a Taiwanese democracy advocate. According to SEF spokeswoman Kuan An-lu, China's rejection could be due to the heavy traffic in China ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday. <Accessed 2019-01-26>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
 Companies Less Confident About Taiwan's Economic Outlook: AmCham (2019-01-23)
(CNA, By Lee Hsin-Yin) A survey released by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham Taipei) showed that its members are not optimistic about Taiwan's economic outlook for 2019. According to AmCham Taipei Chairman Leo Seewald, several crucial factors are causing companies to loss confidence. Those factors are the U.S.-China trade dispute, President Donald Trump's "America First" trade policy and China's pressure on Taiwan. <Accessed 2019-01-24>

Taiwan Thanks U.S. for Supporting WHO Bid (2019-01-23)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping, Ku Chuan, Elaine Hou, Justin Su, Yu Hsiang, Fan Jheng-hsiang, Chiang Chin-yeh and Chung Yu-chen) Taiwan thanked the U.S. House of Representatives for its unanimous decision to pass the bill that supports Taiwan's bid for an observer at the World Health Organization (WHO). Taiwan's Presidential Office released a statement stating that Taiwan will work with the U.S. to foster a stronger relationship, and to maintain peace and stability on the international community. <Accessed 2019-01-24>

No Plan for Tsai to Speak in US Capital (2019-01-23)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) In responding to an opinion piece by Joseph Bosco, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that no plan has been made for Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen to speak at the US Congress. Bosco, a former China country director in the office of the US Secretary of defense, said that president Tsai should be invited to speak at the Congress as this would demonstrate support to the brave Taiwanese leader and afford dignity to the people of Taiwan. <Accessed 2019-01-24>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan Export Orders Hit by Steepest Drop in 32 Months as China-US Trade War Takes its Toll across Asia (2019-01-21)
(South China Morning Post, By Ralph Jennings) Taiwan export orders posted the steepest decline in 32 months in December, foreshadowing a steep slowdown in manufacturing economies around Asia through the first half of the year as they face the spillover from the Sino-US trade dispute and shifts in demand for consumer electronics. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

Poll Boost for Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen after Tough Stand against Beijing
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Public support for Taiwan’s embattled President Tsai Ing-wen has risen sharply after her tough rejection of Beijing’s call for unification talks, boosting her chances of winning her party’s nomination for the 2020 elections. Tsai, whose popularity had been flagging at a low of 24 per cent due to widespread disapproval of her performance, has seen her approval rating climb by 10 percentage points to 34.5 per cent in the latest opinion poll by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

German Companies Optimistic about Remaining in Taiwan: Poll
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) The Business Confidence Survey 2018, which was released by the German Trade Office in Taipei on Monday, reported that majority of German companies are optimistic about Taiwan's economy and doing business in Taiwan in 2019. According to German Trade Office Executive Director Axel Limberg, the survey also showed that German companies expressed concern about the strained cross-strait relations between China and Taiwan and urged the Taiwan government to improve political stability. <Accessed 2019-01-22>

Taiwan Committed to Free and Open Indo-Pacific: President Tsai (2019-01-21)
(CNA, By Wen Kuei-hsiang and William Yen) During a meeting with Richard Haass, president of the Council of Foreign Relations, a U.S. think tank, Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen remarked that Taiwan will never recognize China's "one country, two systems" political formula and the nation will bravely face challenges and safeguard its freedom and democracy. Tsai also stated that Taiwan has never opposed cross-strait dialogues. <Accessed 2019-01-22>

Ministry to Redouble Bid to Join Expanded CPTPP (2019-01-21)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The Taiwanese government has decided to ask support from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) members after they agreed to expand CPTPP membership during its first meeting in Japan on Saturday. The CPTPP members released a joint ministerial statement stating that it is crucial to uphold and strengthen the principles of an effective, open inclusive and rules-based trading system. <Accessed 2019-01-22>

US-China Trade War, Donald Trump and Pressure from Beijing Are Three Biggest Worries for Taiwan-Based Firms This Year (2019-01-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Foreign business leaders based in Taiwan have highlighted the trade war between the United States and China, Donald Trump’s “America first” policies and cross-strait political tensions as the three biggest risks the island’s economy faces this year. According to the annual Business Climate Survey released by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei on Wednesday, multinational business leaders are significantly less confident than last year about Taiwan’s economic prospects in the coming year. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

Taiwan Cannot Grow Complacent About Progress of Democracy: NGO Leader (2019-01-23)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Chung Yu-chen) Tseng Yung-chuan, the president of the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD), remarked that Taiwan has made great achievements in the development of democracy and must continue to safeguard its democracy. During the conference to commemorate World Freedom Day, Tseng also remarked that despite Taiwan's democratic achievements, there are still barriers to Taiwan's democracy, rule of law and human rights development. <Accessed 2019-01-24>

No Plan to Talk '1992 Consensus' with Han: Chen (2019-01-23)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong stated that there is no plan to discuss the "1992 consensus" with Kaohsiung Major Han Kuo-yu during their recent meeting and the public should not waste time focusing on this issue. Chen remarked that the purpose of the meeting with Han is to gather the local government heads' opinions on cross-strait issues. <Accessed 2019-01-24>

Time has Come for Taiwan to Get New Constitution: Ex-Premier Lai (2019-01-23)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Flor Wang) During the opening of the Taiwan Constitution Foundation, former Premier Lai Ching-te remarked that it is time for a new constitution for Taiwan. Lai further stated that the nation's constitution that was adopted in China in 1947 is outdated and no longer fits Taiwan. Lai also pointed out two major problems facing Taiwan, which are the lack of a national identity and the inability to form a political culture that prioritizes national interests. <Accessed 2019-01-24>

McDonald’s Apologises after Advertisement Showing Taiwan as a Country Draws Criticism (2019-01-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Laurie Chen) US fast-food company McDonald’s has apologised for its latest advertisement after some internet users accused it of advocating independence for Taiwan. The television commercial, which first aired in the self-ruled island on January 6, included a two-second clip of a student ID card that showed Taiwan as a country. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

Tsai Receives Allies' UN Delegates (2019-01-26)
(Taipei Times, By Yang Chun-hui) President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her thanks and gratitude to Taiwan's diplomatic allies for supporting Taiwan at the United Nations (UN) while receiving several UN delegates at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei. The president also remarked that more and more cooperation is needed between Taiwan and its allies to tackle issues, such as healthcare, the control of diseases, aviation safety and sustainable development. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

Cabinet Says Ban Aimed at Boosting National Security (2019-01-26)
(Taipei Times, By Lee Hsin-fang and Sean Lin) Taiwan's Executive Yuan plans to ban several Chinese-backed information and communications technology (ICT) from government use. The purpose of the plan is to increase national security. Meanwhile, Premier Su Tseng-chang urged the Taiwanese public to increase awareness on information security and stated that the Executive Yuan would file an injunction that will ban public servants at all levels of government from being able to access Chinese search engines, social media, software and online shopping platforms . <Accessed 2019-01-26>

Taiwan President Urges Faster Mass Production of Missiles (2019-01-26)
(CNA, By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Flor Wang) Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen has urged a key defense technology institute to accelerate mass production of the ATBM (Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile) and the Hsiung Feng III Anti-Ship Missile. Tsai also asked the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science & Technology (NCSIST) to come up with a plan for the development of the local defense industry for the next 50 years. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

U.K. Minister Voices Opposition to Chinese Action Against Peace (2019-01-26)
(CNA, By Tai Ya-chen and Elizabeth Hsu) The United Kingdom (UK) government expressed its opposition toward China's action that prevents peaceful resolution in the Taiwan Strait. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon encouraged both Taiwan and China to establish constructive dialogue to resolve issues in the Taiwan Strait, as well as taking into consideration the views of Taiwanese and Chinese. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

Marshall Islands' New Ambassador to Taiwan Takes up Post (2019-01-26)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Ko Lin) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that Neijon Rema Edwards, the Marshall Islands' new Ambassador to Taiwan, has arrived in Taipei. According to MOFA, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu expressed confidence that Edwards will help strengthen ties between both nations and hoped that the Marshall Islands will continue to support Taiwan's participation in international organizations. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

Taiwan Improves in 2019 Economic Freedom Index (2019-01-26)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh, Pan Tzu-yu and Chung Yu-chen) The 2019 Index of Economic Freedom released by the Heritage Foundation ranked Taiwan's economy as the 10th freest out of 180 countries. According to the Heritage Foundation, Taiwan's advanced commercial code and open-market policies have helped to make small and medium-size enterprises the backbone of Taiwan's economic expansion. The Foundation further advised Taiwan to enhance its competitiveness and openness so that it can expand its commerce with other Asian nations. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

 Ministry Warns Public Against Travel to Venezuela (2019-01-26)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) issued a public warning against traveling to Venezuela for the time being in light of the political crisis in Venezuela. Meanwhile, MOFA's spokesman Andrew Lee stated that the ministry will continue to monitor the situation in Venezuela and update any latest developments and information on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Web site. <Accessed 2019-01-26>
U.S.-China Relations
The Top 5 Risks for US-China Relations in 2019 (2019-01-22)
(The Diplomat, By Chen Dingding and Hu Junyang) The trade war remains strong, despite slightly winding down, and while economic relations are bad, military relations have not gotten as bad yet, but the potential for souring remains. Geopolitical conflicts may grow to other parts of the world and technological disputes continue. Cybersecurity is also a new frontier for conflict between the two great powers. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

US Says China’s Growing Military Might Is Part of a ‘Diverse’ Threat to Its National Security (2019-01-24)
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) China’s military modernisation is part of a “diverse” new threat to the national security of the United States, Washington said this week, just days after a separate US report raised concerns about Beijing’s development of a new generation of stealth jets. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

America and China: Long-Term Friends or Enemies? (2019-01-24)
(IPP Review, By John F. Copper) The key question that needs to be asked and answered is: What are the long-term trends relevant to the two countries being friends or foes? Hence, one must look at national power drifts, especially the ingredients of power and influence, to predict how America and China will get along, or not, in the future and how that will affect them and the international system. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

Beijing Tells Washington to Abide by ‘One China’ Principle after US Navy’s Taiwan Passage (2019-01-25)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) The Chinese foreign ministry on Friday urged Washington to abide by its “one China” principle after two US warships passed through the Taiwan Strait the previous day. It was the first such operation this year and analysts said that while the coming year may see increasing confrontation over the self-ruled island, the two sides would both be very cautious about taking things too far. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

Washington and Beijing ‘Miles and Miles’ from Trade Resolution, Says US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (2019-01-25)
(South China Morning Post, By Wendy Wu and Owen Churchill) US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday downplayed the possibility for a quick breakthrough next week to resolve deep-rooted conflicts in the US-China trade talks. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

Trump’s Missile Defense Review Will Be Read Closely in China (2019-01-26)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The consequences of the Trump administration's annual missile defense review are far-reaching, as it mentions the threats posed by Russia and China much more than the previous year's assessment. China's biggest concern is that the United States will be able to rid China of any deterrent strategy it may set up with relative ease. These consequences could lead to a serious arms race. <Accessed 2019-01-26>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Scholars and Ex-Diplomats Warn of Chill After Canadians Detained in China (2019-01-21)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley and Catherine Porter) Warning that China’s arrest of two Canadians has created a dangerous chill for people working on policy and research in that country, more than 100 academics and former diplomats have signed an open letter calling for the two men to be immediately freed. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

China’s Developing Country Status in the WTO: Time for an Upgrade?
(East Asia Forum, By Wendy Cutler and Kevin Doyle) As the United States and China continue to negotiate to avert a further escalation of trade tensions, the two countries face an extensive list of issues to address — technology transfer, intellectual property protection and market access core among them. One issue that often garners less attention is China’s self-declared status as a ‘developing country’ in the World Trade Organization (WTO). <Accessed 2019-01-23>

German Foreign Minister Decries Xi's Taiwan Policy  (2019-01-21)
(Taipei Times, By Peng Wang-hsin) German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Mass remarked that the German government opposes China's military threats against Taiwan. Hass further stated that China had in the past tried to get individual EU members to block proposals pertaining to Taiwan. Meanwhile, German Minister for European Affairs Michael Roth expressed support for cross-strait dialogues based on mutual respect and peaceful means. <Accessed 2019-01-22>

China’s Economic Growth Sinks to 3-Decade Low (2019-01-21)
(The Diplomat, By Joe McDonald) 2018 marked a three-decade low in Chinese economic growth, dropping to 6.6 percent. Beijing may respond by making credit cheaper, raising government spending, and encouraging consumer spending on big-ticket goods. Leaders want Chinese growth to turn towards self-sustenance through consumer spending, but it may be too slow for the short-term growth China's leaders seem to want. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

China’s Military Overhaul Likely to Raise Neighbours’ Concerns over Improved Offensive Capabilities (2019-01-22)
(South China Morning Post, By Kinling Lo) The recent overhaul of China’s armed forces will have increased concerns among its neighbours about the transformation of the People’s Liberation Army from a purely defensive force into one that can project its power further afield, analysts have said. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

Two Stealth Bombers for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force? (2019-01-22)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is working on two new stealth bombers, one of which has no real equivalent in the U.S. Air Force. The United States may not be able to rely on the advantage of uncontested air spaces and plentiful refueling areas for much longer as China closes the technology gap. Very little is known about the Chinese projects so far. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

How Huawei Wooed Europe With Sponsorships, Investments and Promises (2019-01-22)
(New York Times, By Adam Satariano and Raymond Zhong) Yet despite the careful cultivation, Huawei’s position in Europe is now at risk of unraveling. The United States has moved to restrict the use of Chinese technology because of concerns that it is being used for espionage. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

‘Good Arguments’? Canadian Ambassador Criticized Over Huawei Remarks (2019-01-23)
(New York Times, By Dan Bilefsky) Canada’s ambassador to China came under sharp criticism on Wednesday for appearing to politicize a high-profile legal case by saying publicly that the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou had a good chance of avoiding extradition to the United States. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

Making China Communist Again? (2019-01-23)
(The Diplomat, By William Hurst) Although the Chinese Communist Party has always been wary of criticism, they have normally tolerated local-level dissent to a certain extent until recently. However, as student activism rates rise as students rediscover Marx and take his ideals seriously, the Party has grown less tolerant. Students are seeking to restore Marxist ideology, which they see as largely disappearing from Chinese politics. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

Keeping China–Japan Relations Afloat (2019-01-24)
(East Asia Forum, By Ren Xiao) The Japanese government lodged a protest with China in December 2018 over Chinese test drilling activities in a gas field near the Japan-claimed median line in the East China Sea. The protest touches on a longstanding controversy over maritime boundary delimitation between China and Japan. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

If China Wants to Quieten ‘Belt and Road’ Critics, It Must Meet Global Investing Rules, Says Former Securities Watchdog Boss (2019-01-24)
(South China Morning Post, By Wendy Wu) China should make sure its investment and financing projects meet international standards to quell overseas criticism of its “Belt and Road Initiative”, a former head of China’s securities watchdog said in Washington on Wednesday. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

China Says Australian Writer Is Suspected of National Security Crimes (2019-01-24)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley and Damien Cave) An Australian writer who was detained in China last week is suspected of “endangering national security,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, confirming that he is the third foreigner to have been detained on that ominous charge since last month. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

Stability and 'Struggle': China's High-Level Meeting on National Risk Control (2019-01-24)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) President Xi Jinping has outlined seven risks that China faces, namely politics, ideology, economy, science and technology, society, the external environment, and Party building. He called on Chinese officials to ensure China's political security through several facets, including ideological and political education for China's youth to ensure protection in the future. He also repeatedly used the word "struggle," calling to mind Cultural Revolution-era rhetoric to call for wide-ranging participation. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

Old-Fashioned Thuggery Reinforces China’s High-Tech Censorship (2019-01-26)
(The Diplomat, By Sarah Cook and Josh Rudolph) Chinese security forces have taken a wide-ranging approach to addressing the spread of uncensored information over the Internet. These include crackdowns on Twitter and other social networks as well as holding trials for high-profile celebrities around the holiday season to create publicity. One topic in particular that has brought high levels of punishment is communication about religious suppression in China. <Accessed 2019-01-26>

Huawei’s Treatment by Foreign Countries ‘Unfair and Immoral’, China’s Foreign Minister Says (2019-01-26)
(South China Morning Post, By William Zheng) The use of state power to smear or discredit a legitimate business is “not only unfair but also immoral”, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Rome on Friday when asked to comment on the recent problems faced by Huawei Technologies. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

ASEAN and China Struggle to Buckle the Belt and Road (2019-01-26)
(East Asia Forum, By Phidel Vineles) To ensure the initiative’s success, China should heed some of these concerns and take steps to improve the implementation of BRI-related projects. Doing so is particularly important in ASEAN — a region that stands to greatly benefit from BRI investment, if done right. <Accessed 2019-01-31>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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