::: TSR Weekly Report
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2019-09-07 | NO.43(36) 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
Taiwan Denies Stoking Hong Kong Unrest and Blasts Communist Party for Refusing to Meet Protestors’ Demands  (2019-09-02)
(Time, By Adela Lin / Bloomberg)
The Mainland Affairs Council released a statement Sunday denying that Taiwan had interfered in Hong Kong’s affairs and saying that the ongoing protests are instead a result of Beijing’s refusal to “face up to its mistakes… and respect human rights”. The MAC suggested that the only way to diffuse the protests would be through recognizing the protestors’ democratic demands. <Accessed 2019-09-03>

HK Student Activist to Meet with Party Officials in Taiwan Tuesday (2019-09-02)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Ko Lin) Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong is set to arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday to meet with officials from the New Power Party (NPP) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Wong will meet with the NPP to discuss Hong Kong's situation before conducting a closed-door meeting with DPP leaders. Wong will be accompanied by Hong Kong lawmaker Eddie Chu and activist Lester Shum. <Accessed 2019-09-09>

Gov't to Give Assistance to Hong Kong People in Taiwan: President (2019-09-02)
(CNA, By Chi Shu-fang and Evelyn Kao) President Tsai Ing-wen stated Monday that the Taiwanese government would aid Hong Kongers in Taiwan "based on humanitarian considerations." Tsai also urged Beijing and Hong Kong's government to avoid the excessive use of force and attempt to peacefully resolve the conflict between the government and protesters. <Accessed 2019-09-09>

Joshua Wong Arrives in Taiwan, Calls for Wider Support of HK Protests
 (2019-09-03)
(CNA, By Chiu Chun-chin and Joseph Yeh) Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday for a two-day visit with Taiwanese legislators and government representatives. Wong hopes to discuss ways Taiwan can assist protesters as well as spark additional Taiwanese support for Hong Kong. Wong and two additional Hong Kongers will meet with the leadership of the New Power Party (NPP) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). <Accessed 2019-09-04>

HK Activist Calls for Rally in Taiwan Before China's National Day (2019-09-03)
(CNA, By Lee Hsin-Yin) Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong called on Taiwanese citizens and the international community to rally in support of Hong Kong's democracy movement before China's October 1st National Day. In a meeting with Wong, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials called for the development of democracy and human rights in both Hong Kong and in Taiwan. <Accessed 2019-09-09>

New Session Expected to See Lawmakers Discuss Amendments to Cross-Strait Law (2019-09-03)
(Taipei Times, By Hsieh Chun-lin and Jake Chung) Taiwanese lawmakers are expected to discuss potential amendments to the law governing cross-strait relations in order to further limit Chinese influence in Taiwan. The second regular legislative session of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan will begin this month, during which such amendments will be discussed. The Kuomintang is against the amendment in light of freedom of speech concerns. <Accessed 2019-09-09>

Xi Jinping Names ‘Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan’ as A Risk for the Chinese Communist Party (2019-09-04)
(South China Morning Post, By Jun Mai) The designation came in a speech to officials on Tuesday, where Xi listed a number of challenges facing the country. He listed the three places as a single item in his list, placing it ahead of “foreign affairs” despite the global economic and strategic challenges China faces such as the trade war with the United States. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

Taiwan Insists Existing Laws Serve Well Amid Call for Refugee Act (2019-09-04)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou, Ku Chuan, Liu Chien-pang, and Elizabeth Hsu) The government of Taiwan has insisted that its asylum system is sufficient and contains the legal framework necessary to handle the issue of Hong Kong asylum seekers. The statement comes amidst calls for greater Taiwanese assistance to Hong Kongers facing penalty from China for involvement in the anti-extradition bill protests. <Accessed 2019-09-09>

UN Parade to End at Chinese Office (2019-09-04)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) The Taiwan United Nations Alliance (TAIUNA) will lead a rally through New York to China's New York consulate general to protest China denial of Taiwanese United Nations participation and its oppression of other groups. The rally will include exiled Tibetan groups, Uighurs, and Hong Kong protest representatives. <Accessed 2019-09-10>

MAC Welcomes 'Positive Step' Taken by HK Government (2019-09-05)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and Chung Yu-chen) Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) publicly welcomed the decision by Hong Kong's government to officially withdraw its controversial extradition bill, the spark behind the recent mass protests. The MAC called on Hong Kong's leaders to respond to the protester's demands. The MAC also stated that Taiwan will handle cases of Hong Kongers seeking asylum in accordance with existing law. <Accessed 2019-09-06>

Taiwan’s Refugee Bill Does Not Apply to Hong Kong Protesters for Now, Taipei Says (2019-09-05)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan’s existing laws provide adequate opportunities for Hongkongers to relocate to the self-ruled island, but a refugee bill before the island’s legislature does not apply to protesters seeking to flee the city, Taipei said on Thursday. The statement by the interior ministry came after visiting pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung appealed to Taiwanese lawmakers for more concrete support for his fellow protesters in Hong Kong. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

TSU Protests Inaction Over China Arrest of Taiwanese (2019-09-05)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) on Wednesday called on the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) to do more to ascertain the location of Morrison Lee and provide him legal assistance. Morrison Lee, a member of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, was reportedly detained when entering China in August and has not been contacted since. <Accessed 2019-09-10>

Taiwan Public Opinion Polling Regarding Forced Unification with China (2019-09-06)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Timothy Rich and Andi Dahmer) However, detailed public opinion research on forced unification remains rare. Our own research reveals significant concern about forced unification among Taiwan’s population, albeit with stark differences along the partisan divide of Taiwan politics. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

Fundraising to Reopen HK Causeway Bay Books in Taiwan Hits Target (2019-09-06)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and Chung Yu-chen) Dissident Hong Konger Lam Wing-kee has reached the fundraising target necessary to reopen his bookstore that sold titles critical of Beijing. Lam was one of five booksellers that sold such books that disappeared into Chinese custody in 2015. Having been released in 2016, Lam fled to Taiwan this year where he intends to reopen his bookstore. <Accessed 2019-09-09>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Taiwan Getting a Bargain on F-16V Jets: Lawmakers (2019-09-02)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Taiwan is expected to spend NT$250 billion on the 66 F-16V fighter jets from the United States, which places the per-plane cost at lower than what other nations pay for the same model. Taiwan and the U.S. are expected to sign a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) to finalize the deal before the end of the year. <Accessed 2019-09-09>

Cabinet Passes Bill for NT$250 Billion F-16 Budget
 (2019-09-05)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan and Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's Cabinet passed a draft bill this Thursday to finance the NT$250 billion purchase of sixty-six F-16V fighter jets from the United States. Premier Su Tseng-chang called on lawmakers to pass the bill in order to counter China's growing military threat against Taiwan. According to the vice defense minister, the military will most likely finalize the arms sale sometime next year. <Accessed 2019-09-08>

U.S. Interested in Taiwan’s Links with Allies: Kao  (2019-09-08)
(Taipei Times, with CNA)
Taiwan’s Representative to the U.S. Stanley Kao said Saturday that Taiwan’s diplomats stationed overseas need to maintain close and positive relations with the nations they are in because the U.S. and other like-minded countries pay close attention to Taiwan’s relations with its diplomatic allies. This is because it is important to them that Taiwan maintains strong and stale relations with its allies in order to maintain regional stability. He also said that his office and Washington have been in close contact on this subject. <Accessed 2019-09-08>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics
Tsai Authorizes 500 Campaign Staff Nationwide in Re-Election Bid (2019-09-01)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Joseph Yeh) President Tsai Ing-wen officially launched her re-election campaign team this Sunday, authorizing five hundred staff across the nation. Tsai and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will face newly formed political parties as well as the Kuomintang's Han Kuo-yu and potential independent candidates in the 2020 elections. The DPP's 2020 goal is Tsai's re-election and majority control of the legislature. <Accessed 2019-09-09>

Taiwan's All-Volunteer Force Transition Still a Challenge
 (2019-09-02)
(The Diplomat, By Vanessa Molter) Taiwan faces transition challenges to its all-volunteer force (AVF) system. The challenges include high costs, personnel quality and unfavorable demographics. However, policymakers have argued that the AVF system will boost Taiwan's defense readiness. <Accessed 2019-09-02>

Taiwan's Foreign Relations
Taiwan United Nations Alliance Prepares for Annual Trip to US (2019-09-03)
(Taiwan News, By Duncan DeAeth) The Taiwan United Nations Alliance (TAIUNA) will be traveling to New York City this year to lobby the United Nations to recognize Taiwan as an official UN member. In addition to New York, TAIUNA members will be traveling to Washington, D.C. and Toronto to meet with U.S. and Canadian legislators as well as potentially with U.S. Department of State officials. <Accessed 2019-09-04>

MOFA Urges Norwegian Government to Correct Taiwan's Designation (2019-09-03)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Frances Huang) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has urged the Norwegian government to correct Taiwan's designation on residency permits issued to Norway's Taiwanese residents. Norway has changed the wording of the permit to switch mentions of Taiwan to China and to change the citizenship designation to China. Taiwanese living in Norway have filed lawsuit against the Norwegian government over the issue. <Accessed 2019-09-09>

Ties with Taiwan in Solomon Islands' Interests: MOFA (2019-09-03)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Emerson Lim) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Tuesday stressed the current positive state of bilateral relations between Taiwan and the Solomon Islands. MOFA reiterated the long history of relations shared by the two nations and mentioned that high-level political figures from the Solomon Islands may soon be visiting Taipei. <Accessed 2019-09-09>

Report: Solomon Islands 'Clearly Leaning' Toward Changing Recognition from Taipei to Beijing (2019-09-04)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The Solomon Islands, one of a small number of countries that maintains normal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, is considering a shift in diplomatic recognition to China, according to multiple reports in recent days. <Accessed 2019-10-26>

Sweden Joins Framework on Media Literacy: MOFA (2019-09-04)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) Sweden will be joining the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) between the United States, Taiwan, and Japan. The next meeting of the GCTF will focus on media literacy as a way to reduce the impact of misinformation on democracy and elections. The framework was originally launched in 2015 as workshops between Taiwan and the United States. <Accessed 2019-09-09>

Beijing Offers Development Fund if Solomon Islands Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Taipei (2019-09-05)
(South China Morning Post / Reuters) China has offered the Solomon Islands a development fund should the island nation switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. The task force responsible for evaluating the Solomon Islands' diplomatic relations has yet to complete their report on the issue of Taiwan's recognition, although the head of the task force has spoken about the possibility of a switch. <Accessed 2019-09-06>

As China Watches, Solomon Islands Weighs Cutting Ties to Taiwan (2019-09-05)
(New York Times, By Chris Horton) The Solomon Islands is said to be considering breaking diplomatic relations with Taiwan in order to establish formal ties with China, a move that comes as American officials accuse Beijing of destabilizing the Pacific as its influence in the region grows. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

Solomon Islands Has No Set Date to Decide on Taiwan or China: Embassy (2019-09-05)
(CNA, By Emerson Lim) The Solomon Islands has not determined when it will decide whether to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan or switch to China, according to the nation's embassy in Taiwan. The government's decision will come once its task force has completed its review and the government has had time to deliberate. The Solomon Islands will continue to strengthen bilateral ties with Taiwan in the meantime. <Accessed 2019-09-08>

Building an Inclusive United Nations with Taiwan on Board (2019-09-06)
(The Diplomat, By Jaushieh Joseph Wu) Taiwan, a full-fledged democracy, has made considerable progress in fulfilling the SDGs and has provided assistance to countries in need. Nevertheless, it continues to be barred from participating in related meetings, mechanisms and activities due to political interference.<Accessed 2019-10-26>

Delegation Departs for U.S. to Appeal for Taiwan's U.N. Inclusion (2019-09-06)
(CNA, By Wu Jui-chi and Ko Lin) The Taiwan United Nations Alliance (TAIUNA) departed Friday for the United States to urge the United Nations to allow Taiwan’s participation. The group will host a march in New York City after which the delegation will visit Washington to meet with officials from the U.S. Congress and White House to discuss the issue of Taiwanese inclusion in the organization. <Accessed 2019-09-08>

Solomon Islands Top Diplomat to Visit Taiwan: MOFA (2019-09-07)
(CNA, By Emerson Lim) The Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele will be in Taiwan this week for a five-day visit. Manele will meet with President Tsai Ing-Wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu as well as tour various agricultural companies and research institutions to study Taiwanese agriculture. The visit comes amid speculation that the Solomon Islands may soon switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. <Accessed 2019-09-08>

Filip Grzegorzewski Assumes Position as Head of EU Mission in Taipei (2019-09-07)
(CNA, By Emerson Lim) Filip Grzegorzewski, a senior diplomat in the European Union who specializes in Asian affairs, has been selected to head the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taiwan. According to the EETO, Grzegorzewski has already assumed his new position and is set to arrive in Taiwan next week. <Accessed 2019-09-08>

EU Parliamentarians Support Taiwan's Participation at ICAO Assembly (2019-09-07)
(CNA, By Tang Pei-chun and Chung Yu-chen) Members of the European Parliament delivered a letter to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) this week, requesting that the ICAO allow Taiwanese participate in this year's assembly. The parliamentarians argued that Taiwan's exclusion has created gaps in international civil aviation and is inconsistent with a G7 communique on the issue. Taiwan last participated in 2013 but was not invited in 2016. <Accessed 2019-09-08>

Human Rights Office to Open in New Taipei City (2019-09-07)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The Asia-Pacific office of the Federation of International Human Rights Museums will be opening in New Taipei City, according to the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture. The goals of the office are to raise awareness of regional issues such as poverty, discrimination, and human trafficking, among other issues. The office will also serve to create connections between Taiwan and human rights organizations. <Accessed 2019-09-10>

Taiwanese March in New York for U.N. Membership  (2019-09-08)
(CNA, By Ozzy Yin and Evelyn Kao)
Around 500 overseas Taiwanese in the U.S. took part in the annual “Keep Taiwan Free” march ahead of the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly this weekend. The march is aimed at promoting the inclusion of Taiwan in the United Nations. This year, the march also highlighted the recent events in Hong Kong, including having protestors from Hong Kong speak at the march. <Accessed 2019-09-08>
U.S.-China Relations
The US Democrats' China Debate (2019-09-03)
(The Diplomat, By Craig Kafura) The pivot in relations between Washington and Beijing comes as policymakers on both sides of the aisle debate how — or whether — the long-held bipartisan strategy of engagement with China failed. <Accessed 2019-10-26> 
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

PLA Air Force Formation ‘A Sign of Stealth Fighter Mass Production’ in China (2019-09-04)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) China has released video of a flight of seven Chengdu J-20 stealth fighters, the largest formation seen so far, suggesting that the fifth-generation warplane has gone into production as an arms race with the United States mounts in the region. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

Beijing and Hong Kong

Protests on Roads Near Hong Kong Airport Disrupt Air Travel (2019-09-01)
(Associated Press, By Vincent Yu and Katie Tam) Protesters disrupted Hong Kong's airport on Monday, leading to the cancellation of multiple flights and the halting of train and bus service to the airport. Later in the day, protesters attacked a nearby train station and barricaded adjacent streets. On Sunday, demonstrators gathered outside the British Hong Kong Consulate to urge the United Kingdom to grant citizenship to those born before the city was returned to China. <Accessed 2019-09-02>

Special Report: Hong Kong Leader Says She Would ‘Quit’ If She Could, Fears Her Ability to Resolve Crisis Now ‘Very Limited’ (2019-09-02)
(Reuters, By Greg Torode, James Pomfret, and Anne Marie Roantree)
Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam said in a closed-door meeting last week that she has caused unforgivable havoc to Hong Kong and that she would quit if she could. She also said that Beijing does not have any plans to deploy the People’s Liberation Army to dispel the protests but said that her room for political maneuvering in this situation is now very limited. <Accessed 2019-09-03>

In Hong Kong, The World of Suzie Wong Became a War Zone (2019-09-04)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) Wanchai District in Hong Kong, the setting for the iconic 1960 film The World of Suzie Wong, became the center of Saturday night’s protests against the now infamous extradition bill proposed in June by the territory’s Legislative Council (LegCo). <Accessed 2019-10-26> 

Hong Kong’s Leader, Carrie Lam, to Withdraw Extradition Bill That Ignited Protests (2019-09-04)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy and Elaine Yu) Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said Wednesday that the government would withdraw a contentious extradition bill that ignited months of protests in the city, moving to quell the worst political crisis since the former British colony returned to Chinese control 22 years ago. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

Young Students Make Their Voices Heard in Hong Kong (2019-09-05)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) Monday was meant to be the first day back to school for students in Hong Kong. Instead, it may have been the first time, for many, that they joined a public protest against their government authorities. <Accessed 2019-10-26>

The Hong Kong Government is as Leaderless as the Protesters (2019-09-06)
(Foreign Policy, By Ryan Manuel) The Hong Kong government, the body that possesses the power to grant most of the demands of the protesters, is hampered by its own deliberately flawed design, which gives undue weight to Hong Kong tycoons and high society. <Accessed 2019-10-26>

Hong Kong Protests Resume After Carrie Lam Offers Olive Branch (2019-09-06)
(New York Times, By Amy Qin and Elaine Yu) Tear gas, pepper spray and fire returned to the streets of Hong Kong on Friday, as police officers clashed with masked pro-democracy protesters in the first notable display of unrest since Hong Kong’s top leader announced on Wednesday that she would withdraw a deeply unpopular extradition bill. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

Why the Mutually Assured Destruction Rhetoric in Hong Kong is Dangerous (2019-09-07)
(The Diplomat, By Brian Wong) A negative-sum mentality that seeks mutual destruction is likely to further stifle such room. To pull Hong Kong back from the edge of the bottomless abyss, all potentially influential parties must act – with strategic savvy. <Accessed 2019-09-26>

China's Foreign Relations

China Opens Education Opportunities for Uzbekistan's Youth (2019-09-02)
(The Diplomat, By Umida Hashimova) China is using education as a soft power tool to boost positive perception of China in Central Asia. China offers young Uzbekistan scholarship opportunities to study at Chinese universities and employment opportunities upon graduation at leading Chinese companies such as Alibaba and Huawei. <Accessed 2019-09-02>

Georgia Can Still be a Hub for China, But Only if the Belt and Road Survives (2019-09-02)
(The Diplomat, By Revaz Topuria) Georgia continues to seek an active role in China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) but the problem lies with BRI's uncertain future. Many experts have expressed doubts on whether the BRI was realistic as a framework for what the project consists of is still unclear. <Accessed 2019-09-02>

Why Did China Charge an Australian Blogger with Espionage? (2019-09-02)
(The Diplomat, By Grant Wyeth) China has charged Australian writer Dr. Yang Hengjun with espionage. Yang's arrest sends a warning to other ethnic Chinese who are citizens of Western countries that their advocacy for greater freedom and democracy in China comes with a price. For Australia, it would be a test of its resolve in pushing back against China. <Accessed 2019-09-02>

Economic Exchange Anchors China-Arab Ties (2019-09-03)
(The Diplomat, By Eleanor Albert) The gathering, intended to bolster economic and trade exchanges between Beijing and partners in the Middle East and North Africa, will focus on agricultural issues such as rural revitalization, desertification, and the further development of new technologies. <Accessed 2019-10-26>  

EU and US Jostle over Europe’s 5G Future (2019-09-04)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) Telecom fault lines are opening up across Europe as the US and Poland team up on 5G security in a veiled attempt to fend off alleged threats from Beijing and as the EU prepares to stake out its own strategy on the next-generation technology. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

Xi Jinping Rallies China for Decades-Long ‘Struggle’ to Rise in Global Order, amid Escalating US Trade War (2019-09-05)
(South China Morning Post, By Zhou Xin and Sarah Zheng) Chinese President Xi Jinping has rallied Communist Party cadres to meet the country’s coming “struggles” and ensure a “great national rejuvenation” by 2049, signalling that China is preparing for continued friction with the US and other Western powers over the next three decades. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

Xi Jinping Promises to Keep Opening Up China’s economy as He Welcomes Germany’s Angela Merkel to Beijing (2019-09-06)
(South China Morning Post, By Wendy Wu) Chinese President Xi Jinping told visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday that China would keep its promise to open up its economy as he courted European support in the trade war with the US. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

China's Great Game in Iran (2019-09-06)
(Foreign Policy, By Alex Vatanka) But despite Tehran’s deep need for Beijing to come to its rescue, the prevailing view there is that a qualitatively different relationship with the Chinese government is needed before Iran can commit itself to becoming China’s anchor in Western Asia. The question is how China sees its own long-term interests in Iran. <Accessed 2019-10-26>

Fully Invested: India Remains the China-led AIIB's Biggest Borrower (2019-09-07)
(The Diplomat, By Krzysztof Iwanek) It looks as if New Delhi, while increasingly perceiving China as its biggest threat – or at least one on par with Pakistan – is at the same time keen to borrow from a bank that has come to symbolize for some China’s growing financial engagement across Eurasia. <Accessed 2019-09-26>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes
Japan Plans Police Unit for Isles Disputed With China, NHK Says (2019-09-01)
(Bloomberg, By Isabel Reynolds) Japan plans to establish a new police unit next year to patrol islands disputed by China and Japan in the East China Sea and south of Japan. This includes the disputed Senkakus/Diaoyus islands. In a statement Monday, China stated that it hopes Japan will follow their 2014 agreement on improving relations and stability in the East China Sea. <Accessed 2019-09-02>

China's Dominance on Display in the South China Sea (2019-09-02)
(The Diplomat, By Trinh Le) The recent Vanguard Bank standoff between China and Vietnam is the latest episode in the ongoing South China Sea (SCS) disputes and China's unwillingness to abide by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). China's disregard for international law could leave the region worse off. <Accessed 2019-09-02>

The Korean Peninsula

North Korea Missile Tests, ‘Very Standard’ to Trump, Show Signs of Advancing Arsenal (2019-09-02)
(New York Times, By David E. Sanger and William J. Broad) Now, American intelligence officials and outside experts have come to a far different conclusion: that the launchings downplayed by Mr. Trump, including two late last month, have allowed Mr. Kim to test missiles with greater range and maneuverability that could overwhelm American defenses in the region. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

China Foreign Minister Visits North Korea (2019-09-04)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, arrived in North Korea on Monday for a three-day visit, according to North Korean state media. <Accessed 2019-10-26>

A Return to Normal for Beijing and Pyongyang? (2019-09-07)
(The Diplomat, By Eleanor Albert) While the intrigue of triangular dynamics tends to dominate the news cycle, it is worthwhile to review how ties between Beijing and Pyongyang have shifted of late, especially as the two mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations. <Accessed 2019-09-26>

Other Regional Issues


U.S. Will Drill With Southeast Asian Navies, Echoing Move by China (2019-09-01)
(New York Times, By Mike Ives) Southeast Asian countries tend to be deeply reluctant to collectively challenge China’s growing military and economic prowess in their region. But this week, they appear to be doing just that — by holding their first joint naval drills with the United States Navy. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

ASEAN Needs More than An ‘Outlook’ on the Indo-Pacific (2019-09-03)
(East Asia Forum, By Ja Ian Chong) Given existing cleavages within ASEAN and the temptation for major powers to manipulate ASEAN centrality for their own purposes or simply to create stasis through division, a desire for leadership may not be enough to defend members’ collective interests and individual autonomy. Absent these components, the ‘Outlook’ remains a small step whose usefulness for guiding ASEAN through present challenges is unclear. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

How Does the Indo-Pacific Defense Chiefs Conference Fit into Asia's Security Landscape?
 (2019-09-04)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) Last week, the United States and other select Indo-Pacific countries held another iteration of the Indo-Pacific Chief of Defense conference in the Thai capital of Bangkok. The engagement spotlighted the evolution of the institution within the wider U.S. approach to defense policy in Asia-Pacific under the new U.S. Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy. <Accessed 2019-10-26>

America Should Not Ask South Korea to Host Intermediate-Range Missiles (2019-09-05)
(Brookings, By Michael E. O’Hanlon and Jung H. Pak) However, asking South Korea to host any American ground-based intermediate-range surface to surface missiles would be a mistake. It is precisely the kind of stress that the alliance does not need right now, as President Trump and President Moon of South Korea seek to cooperate on the key priority of reining in the North Korean nuclear program and as a very strained relationship between Japan and South Korea adds further complications to American strategic missions in Northeast Asia. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

South Korea and Japan Have More in Common than They Think (Like the China Challenge) (2019-09-05)
(Brookings, By Jung H. Pak and Ethan Jewell) While negotiation and engagement at the leader level are critical, both sides also should be reminded about their convergence of interests and potential ways that the two countries could—and should—cooperate to confront their present and future challenges. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

Asia has Three Possible Futures (2019-09-06)
(Foreign Policy, By Stephen Walt) At times like this, it’s useful to step back from today’s headlines and look at the big picture. And for a realist like me, the most important factors to consider are, first, the balance of power between the United States and China and, second, the likely response of other Asian countries to any significant shifts in that balance. <Accessed 2019-10-26>

Are Japan and China Really Getting Along? (2019-09-07)
(East Asia Forum, By Tsuyoshi Minami) The trajectory of Japan–China rapprochement is positive, but it rests on shaky ground. The US–China trade war is forcing regional stakeholders to adjust and it now seems that the future of Japan–China relations may be decided by the progress of US–China relations. <Accessed 2019-09-07>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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