::: TSR Weekly Report
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2020-02-29 | NO.44(6) 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
Coronavirus: Taiwanese Workers Call Time on Mainland China over Covid-19 Fears (2020-02-23)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) As of Saturday, about 98 per cent of the infections and 99 per cent of the fatalities were in mainland China, two figures that have prompted many Taiwanese to rethink their employment plans. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

China Prepares For Conflict With Taiwan, US; Orders 1.4M Body Armor Units
 (2020-02-26)
(International Business Times, By James Patterson) The Global Times, China’s state-run daily tabloid newspaper and “mouthpiece” of the Chinese Communist Party, announced Saturday that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is purchasing 1.4 million units of body armor. The justification for such a transaction amid the COVID-19 epidemic: To prepare for war with Taiwan and the United States. <Accessed 2020-02-26> 

Sister-City Relations and Identity Politics: The Case of Prague, Beijing, Taipei, and Shanghai (2020-02-27)
(The Diplomat, By Matej Šimalčík and Adam Kalivoda) The incident speaks to the deeper nature of how sister-city ties can be used and abused in modern power and identity politics. <Accessed 2020-02-27>

Taiwan Government Condemns Hong Kong Media Tycoon's Arrest (2020-02-28)
(CNA, By Chen Yun-yu, Lai Yen-hsi, Stanley Cheung and Emerson Lim) Taiwan's government on Friday condemned the arrest of Hong Kong pro-democracy businessman Jimmy Lai (黎智英) by Hong Kong police on charges of illegal assembly and intimidation. <Accessed 2020-03-02> 

Coronavirus: Taiwan’s Tourism Industry Crumbles as Virus Fears Add to Mainland China Travel Restrictions (2020-02-29)
(South China Morning Post, By Ralph Jennings) Buffeted first by mainland Chinese politics, Taiwan’s tourism industry is now crumbling because of growing fears about the spread of the deadly coronavirus. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Taiwan Accuses China of Waging Cyber 'War' to Disrupt Virus Fight (2020-02-29)
(Reuters, By Ben Blanchard) Taiwan’s foreign minister on Saturday accused giant neighbor China of waging cyber “war” on the island to disrupt its fight against the coronavirus by using fake news, as the island Beijing claims as its own reported a jump in new cases. <Accessed 2020-03-01>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
U.S. Would Take Military Action if China Attacks Taiwan: Bernie Sanders (2020-02-24)
(CNA, By Chiang Yi-ching) United States Senator Bernie Sanders, who is vying for the Democratic Party's nomination for president, said Sunday that if elected, he would be prepared to take military action if China attacked Taiwan. <Accessed 2020-02-24> 

AIT Chair James Moriarty to Visit Taiwan Next Week (2020-02-27)
(CNA, By Emerson Lim) The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced Thursday that its Chairman James Moriarty will visit Taiwan from March 1-7, his eighth trip to the country since he assumed the post in October 2016. "While in Taiwan, he will meet with Taiwan authorities and other senior political and business figures," the AIT said in a press release. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Coronavirus Threat Shows ‘Unacceptability’ of Beijing Isolating Taiwan, US Official Says (2020-02-28)
(South China Morning Post, By Robert Delaney) The global spread of the new coronavirus has prompted the US government to push back against Beijing’s isolation of Taiwan, a state department official said on Thursday. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Opportunity Exists for Better Ties: Ex-Official (2020-02-29)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) Taiwan and the US should continue deepening defense ties amid concerns about “real wars,” former US assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs Randall Schriver said in a video released by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday. <Accessed 2020-03-01>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics

Satisfaction with Taiwan's Government Hits New High Amid Wuhan Virus Scare (2020-02-24)
(Taiwan News, By Ching-Tse Cheng) As more and more countries fall victim to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), the Taiwanese government's preventive measures against the epidemic have resulted in a historically high satisfaction rate among its citizens, according to a survey released Monday (Feb. 24). <Accessed 2020-02-24> 

Air Force Command, CAA Censured for 2018 F-16 Crash (2020-02-24)
(CNA, By Flor Wang and Wang Cheng-chung) The Control Yuan, Taiwan's government agency watchdog, censured the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) and the Air Force Command on Monday for their roles in an F-16 crash in New Taipei in 2018 and required them to make improvements. <Accessed 2020-02-24> 

Virus Outbreak: Special COVID-19 Act Passed, Ratified (2020-02-26)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) Lawmakers passed the Special Act on COVID-19 Prevention, Relief and Restoration (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例) yesterday, providing for a NT$60 billion (US$1.97 billion) special budget to help businesses and workers, and it was immediately sent to the Presidential Office, where President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) signed it into law. <Accessed 2020-02-26> 

Local Governments Cancel Big Gatherings Due to Coronavirus Scare (2020-02-26)
(CNA, By Cheng Chih-chung, Sunrise Huang, Chang Jung-hsiang and Evelyn Kao) New Taipei, Taipei, Tainan and other cities on Wednesday announced the cancellation or suspension of large scale school and sporting events in their cities, in a bid to control the rising number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Taiwan. <Accessed 2020-02-26> 

The Coronavirus Outbreak: How Democratic Taiwan Outperformed Authoritarian China (2020-02-27)
(The Diplomat, By Victor (Lin) Pu) On the contrary, Taiwan, a country that has been excluded from the WHO for decades thanks to China’s political pressure, has demonstrated that the better way to contain the coronavirus is not to quarantine news about epidemic, but to make it easier and more convenient for people to access relevant information. <Accessed 2020-02-27>

Taiwan's 2020 Election Analysis (2020-03-01)
(China Leadership Monitor, By Shelley Rigger) The magnitude of the DPP’s victory was surprising; barely a year earlier it was drubbed in local elections. Between November 2018 and January 2020, domestic and external factors became far more favorable to the DPP and the incumbent president, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Taiwan's Foreign Relations

Czech Companies the Latest Target of Chinese Retaliation for Taiwan Ties (2020-02-23)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) The letter said that “China is the largest foreign market for many Czech companies like Skoda Auto, Home Credit Group, Klaviry Petrof and others.” It added that Czech companies doing business in China “will have to pay for Chairman Kubera’s visit to Taiwan.” <Accessed 2020-02-23>

Taiwanese Military Personnel Returning From 29 Countries to be Quarantined (2020-02-24)
(Taiwan News, By Huang Tzu-ti) Military personnel who have traveled to any of the 29 countries on which travel warnings have been imposed will be subject to a 14-day quarantine after returning as Taiwan beefs up efforts to stem the spread of the Wuhan virus (COVID-19). <Accessed 2020-02-24> 

Taiwan Sets Up Hydroponics Demo Area in Marshall Islands (2020-02-26)
(CNA, By Emerson Lim) A hydroponics demonstration area has been established by Taiwan's International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) in the Marshall Islands to help the people there to achieve better self-sufficiency in food. <Accessed 2020-02-26> 

How Does Asia Think About Taiwan and Its New Southbound Policy? (2020-02-27)
(The Diplomat, By Jeremy Huai-Che Chiang) We can see three general themes in these writings: On the positive side, Taiwan is viewed as a progressive democracy and open society as well as a trade and industry partner; and on the negative side, the highly influential China factor complicates potential relationships. <Accessed 2020-02-27>

Travel Alert Related to Italy's Inclusion of Taiwan as Part of China (2020-02-27)
(CNA, By Chen Yun-yu and Emerson Lim) The Italian government's lumping of Taiwan in with China's COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic area is one of the reasons Taiwan decided to raise its travel alert for Italy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Wednesday. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Foreign Envoys Praise Taiwan's Quick Response to COVID-19 Threat (2020-02-29)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou, Chen Yun-yu, and William Yen) Foreign envoys have praised Taiwan's "quick" and "effective" response to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, saying Taiwan has set an example other countries can learn from. <Accessed 2020-03-01>
U.S.-China Relations
The US Is Losing the 5G Fight, But Hampering China Is Not the Solution (2020-02-23)
(The Diplomat, By Enea Gjoza) However, the current U.S. strategy is unlikely to succeed because it is based on two faulty premises: that allies will subordinate their economic interests to U.S. demands, and that the U.S. can outcompete China through a strategy of market denial rather than superior value creation. <Accessed 2020-02-23>

Trump Administration Considers Punishing Chinese News Organizations (2020-02-24)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong and Julian E. Barnes) The Trump administration is considering punishing Chinese journalists and state-run news organizations — as well as Chinese intelligence agencies — because of China’s decision to expel three Wall Street Journal reporters, American officials said on Monday. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Chinese Research Funding, Economic Espionage, and Disclosure (2020-02-27)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) These concerns won’t evaporate overnight, especially as American concerns about economic competitiveness vis-a-vis China are likely to persist, even if there is a change in administration after the 2020 elections. Lieber and Lookman’s cases both suggest that a lack of disclosure is a problem. <Accessed 2020-02-27>

Pompeo’s Africa Trip Reinforces Message of Competition With China  (2020-02-27)
(The Diplomat, By Eleanor Albert) “Not every nation doing business in Africa from outside the continent adopts the American model of partnership. Countries should be wary of authoritarian regimes with empty promises,” Pompeo said. <Accessed 2020-02-27>

US Navy Says Chinese Warship Pointed Laser at Patrol Aircraft Near Guam (2020-02-28)
(South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng) A Chinese destroyer pointed a laser at an American maritime patrol aircraft over the western Pacific Ocean last week, the US Navy said, calling the incident “unsafe and unprofessional”. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

China Criticizes US Over ‘Attack’ on UN IPR Body Nominee (2020-02-28)
(Taipei Times/AP News) A Chinese ambassador on Wednesday ripped into the US for an “attack” on Beijing’s candidate to head a UN agency that monitors and tracks intellectual property rights (IPR) such as patents, trademarks and industrial designs — a lucrative and crucial part of the growing digital age. <Accessed 2020-03-02> 

Top US Navy Official Expresses Concerns about Growing Threat from China (2020-02-29)
(South China Morning Post, By Mark Magnier) The US Navy would have no problem defeating its Chinese counterpart in a naval conflict today, but Beijing’s outsized ambition and “off the charts” shipbuilding capabilities are rapidly turning it into a formidable adversary, the nation’s top naval official said on Friday. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

United States Expresses Concern Over Arrest of Hong Kong Publisher (2020-02-29)
(Reuters, By Kane Wu) The U.S. State Department has expressed concern after Chinese-ruled Hong Kong arrested publishing tycoon Jimmy Lai, an outspoken critic of Beijing, and two pro-democracy activists. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

China and the Return of Great Power Strategic Competition (2020-02-29)
(Brookings, By Bruce Jones) Beijing’s shift in strategy towards a more assertive posture towards the West is amplifying a change in international dynamics from patterns of multilateral cooperation towards a pattern of competition. We are entering, or have entered, a phase of rivalry between the great and major powers. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

U.S.-China Relations: The Search for a New Equilibrium (2020-02-29)
(Brookings, By Ryan Hass) This paper will explore how the relationship reached its current moment, why the relationship has been nose-diving, and what steps the United States could take to protect its interests in its relationship with China going forward. <Accessed 2020-03-01>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

New Coronavirus Cases Decline in China as Counting Method Revised Again (2020-02-23)
(The Diplomat, By Ken Moritsugu) New cases of a novel coronavirus in China have again declined, up just 394, after authorities on Thursday again changed how they count new daily infections. They are now discounting cases that came back negative after laboratory tests. <Accessed 2020-02-23>

Questions About China’s DF-17 and a Nuclear Capability (2020-02-23)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Even if a system is nuclear-capable (or dual-capable) in an intelligence assessment, that does not imply that it has any assigned nuclear role in practice. <Accessed 2020-02-23>

China Spins Coronavirus Crisis, Hailing Itself as a Global Leader (2020-02-28)
(New York Times, By Javier C. Hernández) Now the ruling Communist Party, facing a storm of anger from the Chinese public over its missteps, is trying to rehabilitate its image by rebranding itself as the unequivocal leader in the global fight against the virus. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Do China’s New Missiles Change the Game? (2020-02-29)
(East Asia Forum, By Tsuyoshi Minami) The United States and China already are engaged in a trade war, and perhaps even a tech-war. Add to that a missile race and it’s clear the US–China struggle for power in Asia is escalating. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Financial Liberalization in China: The Contradiction Between Opening and Guaranteed Outcomes (2020-03-01)
(China Leadership Monitor, By Victor Shih) For investors interested either in attractive pricing or greater transparency, the Chinese financial market continues to hold less profitable potentials than other emerging market economies. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

China’s Social Credit System: Genesis, Framework, and Key Provisions (2020-03-01)
(China Leadership Monitor, By Minxin Pei) At the moment, Beijing’s current approach remains experimental, seeking to gradually improve the design and capabilities of the system through trial-and-error at the local levels. Judging by the ambitious goals set forth in the State Council’s outline document issued in 2014, actual progress in building the system may be limited due to the immense technological and administrative challenges. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Beijing and Hong Kong

Beijing’s Appointment of Xia Baolong Signals a Harder Line on Hong Kong (2020-02-21)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Willy Wo-Lap Lam) Xia’s comeback to power in a position of prominence is emblematic of Xi’s desire to tighten Beijing’s grip over politics, economics, and civil society in the Hong Kong SAR. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

China Sentences Hong Kong Bookseller Gui Minhai to 10 Years in Prison
 (2020-02-25)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy) A court in China has sentenced to 10 years in prison a Hong Kong-based book publisher with Swedish citizenship whose secretive detention in China ignited international controversy. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Where Does Hong Kong’s Protest Movement Stand Amid Coronavirus Fears?
 (2020-02-27)
(The Diplomat, By Brian C.H. Fong) Such mobilizations are clearly not based upon narrow class interests and cannot be interpreted through the traditional perspective of left-right class politics, because they are built upon an all-encompassing “Hong Konger identity.” In short, street protests have entered a “little break” now, but the movement has carried on in new forms. <Accessed 2020-02-27>

Hong Kong Police Fire Tear Gas as Black-Clad Protesters Return to Streets (2020-02-29)
(Reuters, By Jessie Pang) The clashes are among the most violent in the Chinese-ruled city after a period of relative calm following intense anti-government protests that escalated in June last year, with fears over the coronavirus keeping many residents indoors. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

China's Foreign Relations

The Future of Chinese Foreign Economic Policy Will Challenge U.S. Interests, Part 2: Renminbi Internationalization and International Economic Institutions (2020-02-13)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Sagatom Saha) While past efforts stumbled, RMB internationalization and increased Chinese influence will directly confront U.S. economic and geopolitical interests. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Japanese Senior Official Bashes Proposal of Raising Funds for China (2020-02-26)
(Taiwan News, By Ching-Tse Cheng) Japan's state minister for foreign affairs, Keisuke Suzuki, has objected to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) initiative to donate money to the Chinese government amidst the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. <Accessed 2020-02-26> 

Countering China’s Influence Campaigns at European Universities (2020-02-23)
(The Diplomat, By Ivana Karásková) China’s efforts to manipulate academic discourse in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) cannot be easily discerned, yet there are examples that indicates the risks are real. <Accessed 2020-02-23>

China, Southeast Asia Hold Emergency Meeting on Coronavirus Outbreak (2020-02-23)
(The Diplomat, By Jim Gomez) They pledged to intensify “timely sharing” of information within the bloc and with China and the World Health Organization. While affirming policies of maintaining openness for ASEAN economies and borders, the heads of state underscored “the need to coordinate and standardize measures to ensure proper health inspection at borders and entry points of ASEAN member states.” <Accessed 2020-02-23>

China, Japan, and the Art of Economic Statecraft (2020-02-29)
(Brookings, By Mireya Solís) Both China and Japan are pushing visions of regional integration (the Belt and Road Initiative and the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, respectively) and offering development finance to see them through, but neither is pressing developing Asia with binary choices. The regional order in Asia is contested, but not exclusionary. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Sino-Russian Consolidation at a Time of Geopolitical Rivalry (2020-03-01)
(China Leadership Monitor, By Elizabeth Wishnick) Strong personal ties between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin enable them to steward the relationship, which is further strengthened by their parallel approaches to authoritarian governance. However, potential shifts in U.S. policy and especially developments in Central Asia and the Arctic may challenge the Sino-Russian partnership in the future. <Accessed 2020-03-01>
Territorial Disputes and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Prospects for the South China Sea in 2020 (2020-02-14)
(Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, By Lucio Blanco Pitlo III) If recent developments are any indication, the South China Sea will remain an intense flashpoint for the rest of this year. Two things are especially worth following. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Malaysia Picks a Three-Way Fight in the South China Sea (2020-02-21)
(Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative) AMTI has tracked the standoff using the vessels’ automatic identification system (AIS) broadcasts along with commercial satellite imagery. This data reveals a dangerous, ongoing game of chicken involving law enforcement, militia, and civilian vessels. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Conflict Prevention in the South China Sea Depends on China Abiding by the Existing Rules of Navigation (2020-02-27)
(South China Morning Post, By Bonnie Glaser and Jeff W. Benson) US Navy freedom of navigation operations, do not ipso facto raise the risk of an accident. Rather, it is Chinese actions that contravene international law that increase the potential for a collision. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Turbulence on the Horizon in the South China Sea? (2020-02-27)
(East Asia Forum, By Shicun Wu) The South China Sea remains a focal concern within the international community, grabbing headlines and placed firmly on the agendas of many bilateral and multilateral political and academic summits. While likely to remain relatively stable in 2020, worrying developments and uncertainties are on the rise. <Accessed 2020-03-01>

Other Regional Issues

What Does the New Australia-ASEAN Informal Defense Ministers’ Meeting Mean for the Future of Security Ties? (2020-02-23)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) And as Reynolds herself noted in her remarks, beyond symbolism and status, this would also provide more opportunities for Australia and ASEAN to engage on defense issues and further develop this aspect of their relationship. <Accessed 2020-02-23>

Huawei 5G Debate Causes Rift Between Western Powers (2020-02-23)
(The Diplomat, By Joshua Mcdonald) Earlier this month, details from a high-level meeting between British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and members of the Australian parliament’s Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees were leaked to the press. <Accessed 2020-02-23>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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Recent Publication James Lee, US grand strategy and the origins of the developmental state, Journal of Strategic Studies
Recent Publication Elizabeth Freund Larus, Politics and Society in Contemporary China, 2nd edition (Lynne Rienner Publishers)
Recent Publication John F. Copper, ""Cross-Strait Relations in the Wake of Taiwan’s January 2016 Election: Taiwan’s Narratives" in Chineseness and Modernity in a Changing China: Essays in Honour of Professor Wang Gungwu, edited by Yongnian Zheng and Litao Zhao (World Scientific)
Recent Publication James Lee, American Diplomacy and Export-Oriented Industrialization on Taiwan (Journal of East Asian Studies)
Recent Publication J. Michael Cole, Cross-Strait Relations Since 2016: The End of the Illusion (1st Edition) (Routledge)
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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)
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