::: TSR Weekly Report
2019-04-20 | NO.43(16) epaper |
Note to Readers
Forthcoming Publication Takashi Inoguchi, ed., The SAGE Handbook of Asian Foreign Policy, London: SAGE Publications, forthcoming in December 2019.
Cross-Strait Relations
 China’s Surreptitious Economic Influence on Taiwan’s Elections (2019-04-12)
(The Diplomat, By Jason Li) One of the most significant developments from the November elections in Taiwan is that cross-strait issues were not seen as nearly as important as they have been in the past on election outcomes. However, Beijing indirectly led to the DPP's defeat in the November elections by clamping down and restricting Taiwan's economy as a direct response to the DPP's refusal to acknolwedge the 1992 Consensus. While voters may not claim cross-strait relations as an important factor in their decision, analysts must be aware of the ever-present effects China has upon Taiwanese politics. <Accessed 2019-04-15>

China's Military Actions Challenge Regional Status Quo (2019-04-15)
(CNA, By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Ko Lin) Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang stated that China's repeated military actions toward Taiwan not only disrupt the peace and stability in the region but are also irresponsible. Huang remarked that China's actions are not welcomed by the international community. Huang assured the Taiwanese public that the Ministry of National Defense (MND) is closely monitoring the situation to ensure national security. <Accessed 2019-04-16>

Numerous Chinese Military Aircraft Operate Near Taiwan: MND (2019-04-15)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and William Yen) Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced that several Chinese military fighter jets and surveillance and transport planes were operating near Taiwan on Monday. The MND stated that Taiwan's military responded by sending aircraft and surveillance ships to closely monitor the situation and ensure that Taiwan's national airspace and sea areas are safe. <Accessed 2019-04-16>

Bills on Cross-Strait Deals Flawed: Union (2019-04-17)
(Taipei Times, By Ann Maxon) The Economic Democracy Union remarked that the proposed bills by both the ruling and opposition parties to monitor cross-strait agreements are seriously flawed. Union convener Lai Chung-chiang explained that none of the proposed bills guarantee legislative oversight, public participation, transparency or a preliminary impact evaluation for cross-strait deals signed before their actual enactment. <Accessed 2019-04-18>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
 High-Level US Visits to Taiwan Mark 40 Years of Unofficial Ties (2019-04-13)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) On Monday, 26 delegates from the United States, including former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, will visit Taiwan to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has praised the visit, seeing it as a chance for the United States and Taiwan to emphasize their commitments to one another. President Tsai Ing-wen also will use the opportunity to express her appreciation for the TRA. <Accessed 2019-04-15>

After Controversial Phone Call with Taiwan’s Leader, Donald Trump Was ‘Urged to Show Restraint’ (2019-04-15)
(South China Morning Post, By Wendy Wu) White House adviser Michael Pillsbury says even before Donald Trump took office, he carried a message to the US president-elect that China wanted him to show restraint in managing America’s relations with China – including no more phone calls with Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen. And Trump took the advice, as a way to build constructive ties with the country and a personal relationship with President Xi Jinping, Pillsbury said in an interview with the South China Morning Post. <Accessed 2019-04-24>

U.S. Supports Taiwan's Participation in WHA, Interpol, ICAO: Envoy (2019-04-15)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), stated that the US will continue to support Taiwan's participation in the international community. Christensen further remarked that the US will continue to work with like-minded nations to urge international organizations to put health, security and economic well-being above politics. <Accessed 2019-04-16>

Ex.House Speaker Reaffirms U.S. Support for TRA (2019-04-15)
(CNA, By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Evelyn Kao) Paul Ryan, the former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker, stated that the US continues to strongly support the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) that was passed 40 years ago. Ryan remarked that the Congress supports the TRA due to the shared values between both nations and emphasized that both nations share a vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region. <Accessed 2019-04-16>

U.S. Will Work with Whoever Wins Taiwan's Presidential Election: AIT (2019-04-15)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty remarked that the US would respect the decision of the Taiwanese people and continue to cooperate with the leader whom the Taiwanese people will elect in the 2020 presidential election. Moriarty further stressed that the US does not wish to be involved in the Taiwan election and its goal is to have a free and fair process that is a reflection of the Taiwanese people's will. <Accessed 2019-04-16>

'Unification Not in the US' Favor' (2019-04-15)
(Taipei Times, By Ann Maxon) During a speech at a conference to mark the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), Former American Institute in Taiwan director William Stanton remarked that a unification between Taiwan and China is not in the United States' interests. Stanton further remarked that the US should present "a clear statement" that the US does not support unification unless China becomes a free and democratic country. <Accessed 2019-04-16>

Rest of World Should be More Like Taiwan: Ex-U.S. House Speaker (2019-04-15)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Speaking at a reception in Taiwan, former US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan remarked that the rest of the world could "be more like Taiwan" and Taiwan is a reliable partner. Ryan further added that a democratic Taiwan presents a better path for all Chinese people and praised Taiwan's leadership for upholding democracy, free markets, rule of law, religious freedom and human rights. <Accessed 2019-04-16>

U.S.' New Arms Sales will Boost Taiwan Combat Capabilities: Tsai (2019-04-17)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping, Yang Sz-ruei, Matt Yu and Emerson Lim) At a visit to Magong Air Base in Penghu, President Tsai Ing-wen stated that arms sales by the U.S. will help boost Taiwan's military capabilities. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense Security Cooperation Agency issued a statement stating that the State Department has approved a possible US$500 million arms deal with Taiwan that includes pilot training program and logistics support for F-16 aircraft. (Accessed 2019-04-18>

China's Insistence on Force 'Destabilizes Ties' (2019-04-17)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) During a keynote speech at the Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue, former U.S. House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan remarked that China's persistence on using force against Taiwan is the most destabilizing factor of cross-strait relations. Ryan also stated that the international community is watching whether China treats Taiwan with the respect that it deserves as this will further show whether China can take on the leadership role globally. <Accessed 2019-04-18>

Arms Sale in Line with Taiwan Relations Act: U.S. (2019-04-17)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Flor Wang) The U.S. Department of State has confirmed its approval for a US$500 million arms sale to Taiwan. The State Department explained that the arms deal is in line with the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the United States' support for Taiwan's self-defense capabilities, particularly in light of China's increasing aggression toward Taiwan. <Accessed 2019-04-18>

AIT Reiterates U.S.’ Neutrality after Gou Announces Presidential Bid (2019-04-18)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh)
In response to Terry Gou’s official announcement that he is competing in the KMT presidential primary, the American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty reiterated the U.S.’ neutrality in Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election. Moriarty insisted the U.S. would respect whoever the Taiwanese people chose and believe that Taiwan and the U.S. share key values and interests, regardless of administration. <Accessed 2019-04-18>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Canadian Officials Back Taiwan's Participation in WHA (2019-04-15)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou, Tai Ya-chen, Hu Yu-li, Elizabeth Hsu and Chi Jo-yao) Several Canadian officials expressed their support for Taiwan's participation in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland stated that Taiwan's participation would furnish important contributions to the global public good. <Accessed 2019-04-16>

The Man Who Made Your iPhone Wants to Run Taiwan. A Sea Goddess Backs Him, He Says. (2019-04-17)
(New York Times, By Chris Horton) Mr. Gou’s entrance into the presidential race shakes up Taiwan’s political playing field and draws into sharp focus the self-ruled island democracy’s strained relations with China, where his consumer electronics giant, Foxconn, has large investments. <Accessed 2019-04-24>

Saint Kitts Prime Minister in Taipei to Improve Ties (2019-04-17)
(Taipei Times, By Su Yung-yao and Jake Chung) Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris is in Taipei to discuss measures to strengthen bilateral ties between both nations. Besides praising Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen for her "extraordinary leadership", Harris also stated that his country continues to support Taiwan's participation at international events. <Accessed 2019-04-18>

Taiwan Should Get Invite to Interpol Assembly: MOFA (2019-04-17)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Andrew Lee remarked that Taiwan should be invited to participate in the International Criminal Police Organization's (Interpol) general assembly in Chile in October. Lee explained that since Taiwan does not belong to China, Taiwan should not be represented by China on the international stage. <Accessed 2019-04-18>

Terry Gou Touts Willingness to Run in KMT Presidential Primary (2019-04-17)
(CNA, By Yu Hsiang, Liang Pei-chi, Wang Hong-kuo and Evelyn Kao) Taiwanese tycoon Terry Guo, chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, announced that he is willing to take part in the Kuomintang (KMT) primary. Meanwhile, the KMT has to resolve Guo's eligibility to participate in the KMT primary due to his lapsed party membership, as Guo did not re-register in 2000. <Accessed 2019-04-18>

Bills on Oversight of Cross-Strait Agreements Pass Committee Stage (2019-04-17)
(CNA, By Chen Chun-hua and Emerson Lim) On Wednesday, the Legislature's Internal Administration Committee passed a few versions of a bill that seeks to monitor cross-strait agreements. However, there was no consensus on the title or other aspects of the proposed bill. The bill will allow the Taiwanese public to participate and monitor cross-strait agreements. <Accessed 2019-04-18>

Taiwan to Tighten Screening of HK, Macao Reporters (2019-04-18)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and Emerson Lim)
Following several cases of reporters from Hong Kong and Macao illegally conducting media work while on tourist visas, the Mainland Affairs Council has announced that it will tighten the screening process and permit and visa process for certain media workers from Hong Kong and Macao. MAC deputy minister Chiu Chui-cheng said that Taiwan respects the freedom of press but that media activities should not be conducted under false guises. <Accessed 2019-04-18>

Han Denies that He Demanded Presidential Spot (2019-04-19)
(Taipei Times, By Wang Jung-hsiung, Chu Pei-hsiung and Johnathan Chin) At a news conference at Kaohsiung City Hall, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu rejected the allegation that he wrote a letter to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih demanding that Wu nominates him as KMT's presidential candidate without a primary. Han further remarked that the next Taiwanese president must ensure Taiwan's safety and the people's economic well-being. <Accessed 2019-04-20>

U.S., Japan Express Sympathy over Taiwan Earthquake (2019-04-19)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Chung Yu-chen) The U.S. and Japan expressed their sympathy to the victims of an earthquake that struck Taiwan on Thursday. The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) posted on Facebook stating that the U.S. hopes to support Taiwan during this difficult time. Japan's representative to Taiwan Mikio Numata remarked that Japan will pray for Taiwan's recovery from the earthquake. <Accessed 2019-04-20>

Tsai Touts Her Presidential Credentials in Interview (2019-04-19)
(CNA, By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Elaine Hou, and Chung Yu-chen) During an interview with GreenPeace Broadcasting Station, president Tsai Ing-wen remarked that Taiwan's leader should have diplomatic skills to garner support from the international community in facing China's aggression. Tsai further added that Taiwan needs a strong defense capacity to deal with China peacefully. According to Tsai, next year's presidential election will show whether the people wishes to preserve an independent and sovereign Taiwan or seek unification with China. <Accessed 2019-04-20>

Will Taiwan’s Opposition Kuomintang Draft Its Star Mayor into the Race for President against Terry Gou? (2019-04-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan’s Beijing-friendly opposition might enlist popular Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu to run in its presidential primary, challenging billionaire Foxconn boss Terry Gou for the party’s candidacy. <Accessed 2019-04-24>

KMT Leaving Window Open for Han Kuo-yu Despite Hon Hai Boss's Bid (2019-04-19)
(CNA, By Yu Hsiang, Cheng Chi-fong and Elizabeth Hsu) Despite many supporters of the Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu urging the Kuomintang (KMT) to directly "draft" Han as the party's presidential candidate, the KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih stated that the party will hold a presidential primary now that Hon Hai's boss Terry Guo has announced his presidential bid. Wu also stated that the party cannot force Han to join the primary if he is unwilling to. <Accessed 2019-04-20>

MOFA Looking to Aftermath of U.S.-Japan Security Meeting  (2019-04-20)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Frances Huang)
Last Friday, the U.S. and Japan held the latest session of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee in Washington, DC. At the meeting, the two countries jointly expressed opposition to any actions that alter the status quo of the South China Sea. In response, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it will closely monitor the regional situation and work with likeminded countries to support regional peace and stability. <Accessed 2019-04-22>

Polling May Damage DPP Unity: Tsai  (2019-04-20)
(Taipei Times, By Chang Yi-chen, Yang Hsin-hui, and Jonathan Chin)
Following the postponement of the DPP presidential primary to May 22, President Tsai Ing-wen said yesterday that using public opinion polls for the primary would hurt the unity of the DPP because competition is not conducive to unity. She said the DPP needs to be united in order to win the general election because that is the only way to preserve Taiwan’s democracy. <Accessed 2019-04-22>

U.S.-China Relations
 America's China Bashers Are Gaining Steam (2019-04-09)
(The Diplomat, By Mark J. Valencia) The Trump administration cancelling the United States's participation in the China-hosted multilateral naval review can be seen as a victory for China critics in the United States. This poses a potentially dangerous precedent for the Trump administration's China policy as it caters more to hardliners. While China has its share of U.S. policy hardliners as well, Beijing has taken less influence from them. <Accessed 2019-04-15>

How the US Can Win Its Trade War With China (2019-04-10)
(The Diplomat, By Arjun Kapur) By avoiding presenting China with a binary set of choices and instead targeting clear-cut, achievable goals through negotiations, the United States could theoretically win the trade war most experts claim is "unwinnable." Trade wars do not necessarily end in disaster, and economic measures can push for better political situations in specific cases. However, America will definitely lose the trade war if the Trump administration pushes for a larger but symbolic victory. <Accessed 2019-04-15>

The US-China Trade War: The Case of Kentucky Bourbon (2019-04-12)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) The bourbon industry has remained generally quiet about the effects that the trade war between the United States and China has brought about. The industry is centered around the U.S. state of Kentucky, where 95% of the world's bourbon is produced and where President Trump enjoys strong popular support. However, the trade war has also increased uncertainty, especially among rural working-class voters. <Accessed 2019-04-15>

F.B.I. Bars Some China Scholars From Visiting U.S. Over Spying Fears (2019-04-14)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) The F.B.I. has mounted a counterintelligence operation that aims to bar Chinese academics from the United States if they are suspected of having links to Chinese intelligence agencies. <Accessed 2019-04-24>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China Is Best Placed to Tackle Rural Poverty Globally, and the West Isn’t Happy about It (2019-04-10)
(South China Morning Post, By John F. Copper) The global problem of rural poverty is likely to generate more headlines before too long. It has already been linked to global warming. One thing is clear: if China does not act to relieve rural poverty, it will not happen. <Accessed 2019-04-19>

To Entice Foreign Firms, China Needs to Do More Than Show Good Intentions
(The Diplomat, By Zijia He and Amy Qingyi Xie) China's economic growth has been dropping due to weak foreign investments, and it has not improved since China's adoption of the Foreign Investment Law (FIL). Business outlooks and China's stated goals of social control have made international business leaders wary of doing business in China. While Beijing has been working hard to paint a good image of government addressing firms' concerns, government actions have not yet done enough to address some of the larger problems international companies have dealt with. <Accessed 2019-04-15>

Will China Undermine Its Own Influence in Southeast Asia Through the Belt and Road? (2019-04-13)
(The Diplomat, By Xue Gong) Most states in Southeast Asia are on board with greater infrastructure development from China as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). However, a big factor inhibiting BRI's progress in the region is the belief that China will use its greater economic leverage for its own strategic purposes. By distancing BRI as a China-centric initiative and one that is more of a multilateral coalition, China may be able to gain more international support for BRI. <Accessed 2019-04-15>

China’s Acceptance of Vatican-Approved Bishop Candidates ‘A Positive Sign’ (2019-04-16)
(South China Morning Post, By Mimi Lau) Beijing’s acceptance of two Vatican-approved bishop candidates from Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi sends a “cautiously positive” signal over their controversial agreement ahead of Good Friday, experts said. But they expected new tensions to emerge amid uncertainty over the fate of the unofficial church in China. <Accessed 2019-04-24>

Tightening the Belt and Road in Malaysia (2019-04-18)
(East Asia Forum, By Stewart Nixon) Relations between Malaysia and China can be expected to tighten as their interests converge in promoting a rules-based international order amenable to a rising Asia, peaceful and prosperous regional development and non-interference in national affairs. <Accessed 2019-04-24>

China Asks Britain for Help to Boost Image of Belt and Road Initiative (2019-04-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Hilary Clarke) China has asked Britain for help to offset claims its “Belt and Road Initiative” investments are opaque and justify its overseas spending to critics. It made the move days before UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond was expected to head to the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. <Accessed 2019-04-24>

Who’s Afraid of Huawei? Where Asia Stands on China’s 5G Tech Giant (2019-04-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Meaghan Tobin and Zen Soo) While much of Southeast Asia has embraced Huawei as the preferred provider of 5G communications equipment, Japan and South Korea seem to be hedging their bets, and India’s implementation of the technology is still a long way off. <Accessed 2019-04-24>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

With New South China Sea Tensions With Philippines, China Overplays Its Hand (2019-04-15)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Filipino leadership under President Rodrigo Duterte has been much more willing to compromise with China regarding territorial disputes in the South China Sea. However, China's recent actions in the Spratly Islands come following the United States's clarification of its intentions of defending the Philippines if China continues to threaten Filipino sovereignty according to their Mutual Defense Treaty. China continues to attempt to test the limits of the U.S.-Filipino defense pact. <Accessed 2019-04-15>

Standing on the Shoulders of Science above the South China Sea Fray (2019-04-19)
(East Asia Forum, By James Borton and Jackson Ewing) The waters of the South China Sea face environmental peril that is ‘inseparable from the territorial disputes that plague it’. As claimants solidify their positions through artificial island construction, with China driving the most ambitious builds, habitats with wide-ranging ecological and economic value are being destroyed. <Accessed 2019-04-24>

The Korean Peninsula

South Korean President, Called ‘Officious’ by Kim Jong-un, Still Wants Another Summit (2019-04-15)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) President Moon Jae-in of South Korea said on Monday that he wanted to meet again with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, making the overture three days after Mr. Kim dismissed Mr. Moon’s mediating efforts between the North and the United States as “officious.” <Accessed 2019-04-24>

South Korea’s Moon Tries to Leave US-China Orbit, but Lands Back on Beijing’s Belt and Road (2019-04-16)
(South China Morning Post, By Josh Doyle) South Korean President Moon Jae-in began a week-long tour of Central Asia on Tuesday, in an effort to shore up support for ambitious energy deals and move the country beyond its diplomatic and economic reliance on the US and China. But while Moon seeks to buffer Seoul against turmoil between Washington and Beijing, his plans in Central Asia might inevitably link him to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. <Accessed 2019-04-24>

North Korea’s Latest Weapons Test: Short in Range but Long in Message
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) Kim Jong-un’s test of what analysts said could be a new short-range guided or cruise missile shows the North Korean leader reverting to saber rattling as he seeks to end sanctions that are derailing his hopes of rejuvenating the North’s economy. <Accessed 2019-04-24>

North Korea’s State-Run Economy Falters Under Sanctions, Testing Elite Loyalty
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) Together they suggest that American-led sanctions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program are hurting Mr. Kim in a way they haven’t before: by targeting the state-run economy and the party and military elite who support his totalitarian rule. <Accessed 2019-04-24>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

Subscribe to the Taiwan Security Research Weekly Report!

Bulletin Board

Subscribe to the Taiwan Security Research Weekly Report!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin!
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. 

Read more
cron web_use_log