::: TSR Weekly Report
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2019-02-13 | NO.43(7) 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
 Tsai Urges Taiwan Businesses in China to Move Back Home (2019-02-12)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Evelyn Kao) During a Lunar New Year gathering of China-based businesspeople in Taipei on Monday, president Tsai Ing-wen urged Taiwanese businesses in China to consider moving their production bases back to Taiwan. The president remarked that moving their businesses back to Taiwan will help them to avoid getting caught in between the ongoing U.S-China trade war. Furthermore, the president reiterated that the Taiwanese government has been working tirelessly to boost the nation's economic growth. <Accessed 2019-02-12>

MAC Seeks to Tighten Rules on Visits to China by Former Civil Servants (2019-02-14)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and Chung Yu-chen) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) announced on Wednesday that it plans to tighten the rules that prohibit former high ranking civil servants to participate in political activities in China for at least 15 years after they retire. The current regulations allow civil servants and military personnel to visit China one to three years after retirement, with permission from their former agencies. <Accessed 2019-02-14>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
US Senators Ask House Speaker to Invite Tsai to Speak to Congress (2019-02-08)
(CNA, By Fan Cheng-hsiang and Joseph Yeh)
U.S. senators Cordy Gardner, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, John Cornyn, and Ted Cruz issed a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to invite Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress in order to “enhance U.S. leadership in the Indo-Pacific region, and justly reward a true friend”. The senators pointed out that the visit would be in accordance with the new Taiwan Travel Act and praised President Tsai for her commitment to democracy and freedom. MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee thanked the U.S. senators for the letter but said that Tsai currently has no plans to travel to Washington. <Accessed 2019-02-11>

Popular Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je Goes to Washington as Taiwan’s Presidential Hopefuls Mull 2020 Run (2019-02-10)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je is expected to go to the United States in mid-March, joining a wave of political hopefuls planning trips to the US in their quest for Washington’s support in the island’s 2020 presidential race. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

Taiwan, U.S. to Hold Regional Dialogue on Religious Freedom
 (2019-02-10)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Elizabeth Hsu)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Taiwan and the United States will jointly hold a regional dialogue of civil societies on religious freedom in mid-March. The event will be organized by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and commissioned by MOFA and it will take place in Taipei. The goal of the dialogue is to promote democracy, human rights, and religious freedom in the Indo-Pacific. <Accessed 2019-02-11>

 Inviting Tsai to Speak to U.S. Congress is Flawed: Ex-AIT Chair (2019-02-12)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng and Evelyn Kao) Former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Richard Bush remarked that the proposal to invite Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen to speak to U.S. Congress is unsound. Bush gave three reasons why the proposal is flawed and further suggested that the U.S. should seek other ways to improve its relations with Taiwan. Meanwhile, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) emphasized that there is no plan for president Tsai to visit the U.S. <Accessed 2019-02-12>

Taiwan, U.S. Planning to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of TRA (2019-02-12)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Tuesday that the United States and Taiwan will jointly host a series of events, with the theme “TRA@40: An Enduring Partnership” to commemorate the forty year anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. The events include a religious freedom forum, a series of global cooperation workshops, art exhibitions, an Indo-Pacific security forum, and a celebratory banquet. The majority of these events will take place in April, which is the month in 1979 U.S. former President Jimmy Carter signed the TRA. <Accessed 2019-02-15>

U.S. Experts Call for Washington Support for Taiwan (2019-02-14)
(CNA, By Yin Jun-jie and Evelyn Kao) A report by the Task Force on U.S.-China Policy proposed that the U.S. should continue to adhere to its "one China policy" in order to avoid increasing the tension between China and Taiwan or provoking China to launch an attack against Taiwan. The task force further added that the U.S. should strongly support Taiwan and encourage peaceful cross-strait dialogue. <Accessed 2019-02-14>

US Must Support Taiwan with Weapons against Mainland Aggression, Donald Trump Is Told (2019-02-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) A group of US scholars has called on President Donald Trump to be ready to deter aggression by mainland China against Taiwan, maintain a strong military presence in the Western Pacific and help the self-ruled island develop a strategy in tackling expansionist Beijing. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

Inviting Tsai to U.S. a Mistake: Ex-U.S. Foreign Affairs Official (2019-02-14)
(CNA, By Rita Cheng and Chi Jo-yao) Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Susan Shirk stated that it would be a "huge mistake" to invite Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen to speak to U.S. Congress. Shirk further commented that it would be very irresponsible for U.S. president Donald Trump to take advantage of Taiwan in dealing with China. <Accessed 2019-02-14>

US Democrat Association Passes Taiwan Resolution (2019-02-16)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) The US-based Association of State Democratic Committees passed a resolution on Wednesday to reaffirm the United States' commitment to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). Over the past 40 years, since the TRA was signed into law in 1979, the US-Taiwan partnership has become stronger in economic and security relations. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

Invite to President Tsai From US Senators Met With Cautious Skepticism in Taiwan (2019-02-15)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) President Tsai Ing-wen has not yet said whether or not she will accept an invitation from U.S. Senators to come speak to the United States Congress. While such an invitation has not yet been extended, one would coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. Some Taiwan-based observers claim that the invitation would not be good for Taiwan, saying that it would divide the bipartisan support for Taiwanese protection and relations in the U.S. Congress. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

Invite President Tsai Before Congress? Not a Wise Move. (2019-02-12)
(The Diplomat, By Dennis V. Hickey) The time is not right to invite President Tsai Ing-wen to speak to the United States Congress. Some observers claim that the potential invitation is tied to a rocky domestic situation in Taiwan, where Tsai is currently unpopular in polls. Another important situation to keep in mind is the unpredictable response that may come from China, especially as tensions between China and the United States remain high. <Accessed 2019-02-16>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
El Salvador President-Elect Aide Hints at Resuming Taiwan Ties (2019-02-08)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday that Taiwan is paying close attention to its former ally El Salvador after an aide to Salvadoran president-elect Nayib Bukele said that the new administration will reassess El Salvador’s ties with Beijing, which were initiated last summer in favor of ties with Taipei. The aide, Federico Anliker, said that Bukele’s administration will reconsider these ties due to a lack of consultation or explanation when the decision was made by the outgoing government. MOFA commented that it will continue to monitor the situation. <Accessed 2019-02-11>

 Military Plans to Hold Aircraft Takeoff, Landing Drill on Freeway (2019-02-12)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Ko Lin) Accoring to the Air Force Command Headquarters on Monday, Taiwan's military will conduct an emergency aircraft takeoff and landing drill exercise as part of the annual Han Kuang series of exercises. According to the Air Force, the annual exercise is crucial to test the Air Force's combat capabilities and readiness in the event of an attack. <Accessed 2019-02-12>

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee David Kilgour Visits Taiwan (2019-02-12)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that David Kilgour, a former Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is in Taiwan for a four-day trip. Kilgour, a human rights activist and well-known for his investigations into the claims that Falun Gong practitioners in China harvested organ, will be speaking at MOFA's Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs on Taiwan-Canada relations. <Accessed 2019-02-12>

Taiwan Will Handle Referendum Issues Cautiously: MOFA (2019-02-14)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Joseph Yeh) In light of the United States' opposition toward a referendum on independence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Wednesday that Taiwan will handle this matter carefully. According to MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee, while Taiwan continues to maintain peace and stability in the region, Taiwan has to also respect the people's right to hold a democratic referendum. <Accessed 2019-02-14>

US Opposes Taiwan Holding Referendum on Independence: AIT (2019-02-14)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) spokesperson Amanda Mansour told CNA that the U.S. opposes the referendum on Taiwan's independence. The opposition from the U.S. came after Kuo Pei-hung, chairman of Formosa TV and chief convener of the pro-independence Formosa Alliance, urged Taiwanese lawmakers to revise Taiwan's Referendum Act to permit the people to vote on matters pertaining to Taiwan's future. <Accessed 2019-02-14>

Japan Open to Taiwan’s CPTPP Bid, Urges it to Solicit More Support (2019-02-14)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
Taiwan-Japan Relations Association Deputy Secretary-General Hsieh Bor-huei confirmed that Japan’s government welcomes Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Japan’s stance is that any country that can accept the principles and standards of the economic bloc is welcome. Hsieh also said that Japan has reportedly encouraged Taiwan to reach out to more CPTPP members to solicit support in its effort to gain membership, which it needs a consensus vote to do. <Accessed 2019-02-15>

Japan Welcomes Taiwan's Bid to Join Trade Pact (2019-02-16)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Taiwan-Japan Relations Association Deputy Secretary General Hsieh Bor-huei announced that the Japanese government is welcoming Taiwan's bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Hsieh further added that Japan has proposed to Taiwan that Taiwan should also seek support from other CPTPP members. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

Proof of Interference in Ex-President's Trial: Report (2019-02-16)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) Several members of the Control Yuan released a report which found that there have been undue interference and misconduct on the part of top government officials and judges during Taiwan former president Chen Shui-bian's trial. They have requested for the Judicial Yuan to initiate a retroactive assessment and take necessary measures to remedy the situation. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

New Marshall Islands Ambassador Presents Credentials to President Tsai (2019-02-16)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Chung Yu-chen) During a ceremony on Friday, where Marshall Islands new Ambassador to Taiwan, Neijon Rema Edwards, presented her credentials to President Tsai Ing-wen, the President extended her warm welcome to Edwards and expressed her hope that both nations will continue to strengthen their bilateral ties. The President further added that Taiwan is committed to help Marshall Islands toward achieving sustainable development. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

Taiwan to Donate US$500,000 to Help Venezuela (2019-02-16)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Flor Wang) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that Taiwan will make a donation of US$500,000 to Venezuela. The donation seeks to provide humanitarian assistance to Venezuela, which is currently facing political, economic, and humanitarian crises. In a statement posted on MOFA's website, Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu expressed hope that peace and stabiltiy will be restored in Venezuela. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

Premier's Report to Legislature Streamed Live for First Time (2019-02-16)
(CNA, By Fan Cheng-hsiang, Chen Chun-hua, Wang Yang-yu, Su Lung-chih and Frances Huang) As a new approach to increase the public's awareness of the government's policies, Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang presented his semi-annual administrative report to the Legislature by streaming the presentation live on his Facebook and LINE accounts. The government's polices include reforming Taiwan's economic and industrial structures, preventing drugs among young people, prioritizing public safety, increasing protection of disadvantaged groups and boosting cultural values in Taiwan. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

Canadian Envoy Seeking to Increase His Country’s Visibility in Taiwan (2019-02-18)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
Canada’s representative to Taiwan, Jordan Reeves, said in a meeting with the Central News Agency that Canada and Taiwan have a history of close exchanges and that he wants to increase Canada’s visibility in Taiwan. He also reiterated Canada’s support of Taiwan’s greater international participation. Reeves said that in addition to increasing Canada’s presence among Taiwanese, he also wants to work to increase bilateral investment between Taiwan and Canada in 2019, specifically in the area of Canadian investment in Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. <Accessed 2019-02-18>

European Parliament Members Decorated for Taiwan-EU Contributions (2019-02-18)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
While at a ceremony in the foreign ministry headquarters, a group of European Parliament members were awarded a Friendship Medal of Diplomacy for their contributions to promoting EU-Taiwan relations by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. He expressed his gratitude to the members for their active support of Taiwan. The members responded by praising Taiwan’s model of democracy and assuring Wu that they will continue to promote peaceful cross-Strait relations within the EP. <Accessed 2019-02-18>
U.S.-China Relations
Pompeo Warns European Partners That US May Scale Back Cooperation Over Huawei Concerns (2019-02-12)
(The Diplomat, By Matthew Lee) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned several European allies that the United States may not be able to work with them on certain projects if they continue to do business with Huawei. Pompeo is currently on a tour of Europe, where he will discuss human rights and democracy, and he plans to bring up security concerns regarding Huawei with U.S. partners. The Chinese response maintains that such concerns are unfounded and that the United States is simply trying to get rid of a global competitor. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

Where? When? How? China and United States at Odds over Right Place and Time for Next Xi-Trump Summit (2019-02-13)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou and Zhou Xin) Beijing has suggested the next China-US summit take place on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan next month, following suggestions from the White House that US President Donald Trump is eager to meet with his counterpart, Xi Jinping, sooner than later. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

Why the US Needs a China Specialist at Trade Talks in Beijing (2019-02-13)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) Neither U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer nor Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, the two top U.S. envoys to Beijing working on negotiating a trade agreement with China, is a China specialist. The negotiating team needs a China expert who can negotiate in the Chinese style with respect to Chinese culture and customs. Otherwise, the March 1 deadline may come with no solution to the issues at hand. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

US Investment in China More than Doubles in January despite Trade War, Hi-Tech Industry Grows Significantly (2019-02-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Karen Yeung) Investment into China from the United States more than doubled in January, with the hi-tech industry witnessing the most significant increase. Overall growth in China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) slipped to 4.8 per cent from a year earlier to 84.18 billion yuan (US$12.45 billion) in January, according to figures released by the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

China and U.S. to Continue Trade Talks Next Week (2019-02-15)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher and Alan Rappeport) United States officials said on Friday that they had made “progress” during a week of trade talks with their Chinese counterparts, but big sticking points remain and the two sides plan to continue negotiations next week in Washington to try to end the trade war. <Accessed 2019-02-20>

US Commander Pushes for More Funding to Counter China’s Influence in Indo-Pacific (2019-02-15)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) The US Indo-Pacific commander has urged America’s strategic decision-making body to increase financial investment in the region to counter China’s expanding economic and military influence. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

US President Donald Trump Is Light on Specifics But Says Trade Talks with China Are ‘Going Extremely Well’ (2019-02-16)
(South China Morning Post, By Owen Churchill) US President Donald Trump said on Friday that trade negotiations with China were going well, as a week of discussions wrapped up in Beijing with positive comments from participants but no tangible outcomes. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

China, US Trade Barbs over Huawei and South China Sea at Munich Conference (2019-02-16)
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) Beijing and Washington traded barbs over Huawei Technologies and the South China Sea at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, as both sides also sought to sell their vision for regional security. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

Don’t Expect a US-China Trade Breakthrough By March 1 (2019-02-17)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) While both the United States and China have admitted that progress has been made on trade talks, both countries also claim that much work has to be done before the March 1 deadline on new tariffs. The White House seems willing to push back the introduction of new tariffs depending on how progress is going, and the deadline does not seem absolute. A possibility of a second meeting between Trump and Xi remains as well. <Accessed 2019-02-17>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China Hits Back at European Union’s Claim It Has 250 Spies Working in Brussels (2019-02-10)
(South China Morning Post, By Kinling Lo) China has dismissed as “groundless” claims made by the European Union that it has hundreds of spies working in Brussels, the bloc’s de facto capital. The Chinese mission to the EU issued a statement on Sunday in response to a report published a day earlier on the website of German television company Welt that said EU diplomats and military officials had been warned of “about 250 Chinese and 200 Russian spies” operating in the Belgian city. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

China-EU 5G Research Project to Continue despite Growing Concerns about Huawei
 (2019-02-10)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) A 5G collaboration project between the European Union and China is going ahead as planned, despite calls to ban Chinese telecoms companies from the EU network, according to the head of the European side of the project. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

How Old Is China’s Belt and Road Initiative Exactly?
 (2019-02-11)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) In 2013, President Xi Jinping announced the two components of the "One Belt, One Road" Initiative, which went on to become the Belt and Road Initiative as it stands today. However, Chinese exports and relations with involved countries had dramatically shifted much earlier than just five years ago. The 2013 announcement of the Initiative was simply an attempt to brand a global round of Chinese infrastructure investments in various countries. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

Sweden Investigates Its Ambassador to China After Report of Secret Talks to Free Publisher (2019-02-14)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley and Christina Anderson) Sweden said it was investigating its ambassador to China after she was accused of arranging unauthorized, secret talks between the daughter of a Swedish bookseller detained in China and two Chinese men who had offered to help free him, but instead pressured her to keep silent. <Accessed 2019-02-20>

Ambassador to China Anna Lindstedt Sent Back to Sweden after Gui Minhai Reports (2019-02-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) The Swedish embassy in Beijing says its ambassador has been sent back to Stockholm after reports emerged that she was involved in arranging a meeting between Gui Minhai’s daughter and Chinese businessmen said to be trying to secure the release of the bookseller. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

Predicting the Chinese Navy of 2030 (2019-02-15)
(The Diplomat, By Rick Joe) While most predictions on the future of the People's Liberation Army Navy have focused on the number of submarines the PLAN will possess, looking at the future from a qualitative standpoint offers different insights. However, making such predictions are also difficult due to the opacity of the PLAN's plans. While this prediction is not final and is dependent on several ever-changing factors, we can create an educated guess as to what the PLAN will look like in ten years. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

China’s Trade Practices Spawn Tough Questions But No Easy Solutions (2019-02-15)
(The Diplomat, By Stephen Olson) A new report from Germany shows that the West is reacting to China's trade practices by reforming their own practices and regulations. The United States has also reported that China is falling short of compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations. A United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report also shows that roughly 82% of sales subject to U.S. tariffs against Chinese imports will be felt by other uninvolved countries in the dispute. <Accessed 2019-02-16>

MK Tang: China’s Reforms Are Unfinished Business (2019-02-15)
(The Diplomat, By Maurits Elen) Man-Keung Tang, chief China economist at Goldman Sachs, discusses Chinese economic growth and reform in the context of Asia's growth as a whole. <Accessed 2019-02-15>

Malaysia ‘Values China’: Mahathir Signs Up to Xi’s Second Belt and Road Summit (2019-02-15)
(South China Morning Post, By Tashny Sukumaran) Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad has become the first world leader to confirm his attendance at China’s second Belt and Road Initiative summit this April, in a move analysts say is aimed at reassuring Beijing of his commitment to the project. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

It’s China’s Huawei against the World as Spying Concerns Mount (2019-02-17)
(South China Morning Post, By Martin Choi) Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has been under intense scrutiny around the world in recent months amid concerns its technologies and products could be used for espionage by Beijing. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

Warship Row: Why Britain Can’t Afford to Be on China’s Bad Side (2019-02-18)
(South China Morning Post, By Hilary Clarke) When the UK voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum, it became apparent the UK needed China more than China needed it. <Accessed 2019-02-21>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Taiwan Takes Issue With Manila's South China Sea Island Buildup
 (2019-02-11)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Andrew Lee, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) remarked on Monday that despite the ongoing construction on an island in the South China Sea by the Philippines, all parties are advised to refrain from taking action that could potentially increase tension in the disputed region. Lee further added that Taiwan continues to seek resolution in the South China Sea dispute through multilateral mechanism for negotiations and is willing to engage in peaceful dialogue with other nations. <Accessed 2019-02-12>

Britain Urges the West to Be Ready to Flex Military Muscle in the Pacific as US Navy Steps Up Activities in South China Sea (2019-02-12)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) Western powers should be prepared to back their interests with military power just as Britain is prepared to send its new aircraft carrier to the Pacific, British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Monday. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

US Steps Up Freedom of Navigation Patrols in South China Sea to Counter Beijing’s Ambitions (2019-02-16)
(South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng) The United States has stepped up its freedom of navigation operations in the disputed South China Sea as it challenges Beijing’s efforts to strengthen its maritime claims in the region. American officials have signalled Washington will boost measures to counter China’s expansion in the area, and include allies in future missions, but observers say Beijing is unlikely to be deterred. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

The Korean Peninsula

U.S. and South Korea Sign Deal on Shared Defense Costs (2019-02-10)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) Washington and Seoul on Sunday signed an agreement on how to share the cost of the American military presence in South Korea, resolving a dispute between the allies before President Trump’s meeting this month with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader. <Accessed 2019-02-20>

US–South Korea Military Negotiations Could Cost the Alliance (2019-02-13)
(East Asia Forum, By Se Young Jang) South Korea will not immediately disrupt its relationship with the United States because the ruling Moon Jae-in administration regards cooperation between Washington and Seoul as vital to establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula. But eventually, if the United States fails to adequately signal its security commitment to South Korea and links its excessive financial demands to the possibility of a USFK withdrawal, South Korean may question the durability of their alliance. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

Trump Says South Korea Is Paying $500 Million More for U.S. Troops. The Deal Says Otherwise.
 (2019-02-13)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) South Koreans were left flustered on Wednesday after President Trump asserted that he had made their government pay $500 million more to help cover the cost of maintaining American troops in the country. The claim contradicted the terms of a cost-sharing deal South Korea and the United States signed on Sunday after months of contentious negotiations. <Accessed 2019-02-20>

The $89,000 Verdict Tearing Japan and South Korea Apart (2019-02-13)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun and Motoko Rich) The ruling is now at the center of a bitter dispute that has called into question the foundation of diplomatic ties between America’s top allies in Asia, driving them apart even as Washington is trying to build a united front against China’s rise and a nuclear-armed North Korea. <Accessed 2019-02-20>

Other Regional Issues

US Policy in Asia Heads from Bad to Worse (2019-02-10)
(East Asia Forum, By Sheila A Smith) If the past year is any indication of the year ahead, US policy in Asia will be erratic and self-serving. The beginnings of an Indo-Pacific strategy notwithstanding, the Trump administration continues to work out its issues with countries in the region bilaterally and sporadically. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

Trump’s Foreign Policy Wreckage in Asia
 (2019-02-11)
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) Trump’s trade war with China and his trade actions against others, including US allies like Japan, Europe and Canada, show utter disrespect for its core rules. This system is the international system of rules, whatever its weaknesses, on which Asia’s political security also vitally depends. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Uneasy Relationships
 (2019-02-13)
(East Asia Forum, By Zhang Xiaoming) The SCO is already the world’s largest regional organisation in terms of population and economic potential. Its recent expansion following the accession of India and Pakistan may strengthen the organisation’s position in world politics. But wider membership could also lead to a loss of efficiency in SCO decision-making if competition between India and Pakistan and India and China hamper its functioning. <Accessed 2019-02-21>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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New Publication Inoguchi, Takashi, Quynh Le, and Lien Thi. The Development of Global Legislative Politics: Rousseau and Locke Writ Global (Springer Singapore) (includes analysis of East Asian cases)
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