::: TSR Weekly Report
2020-03-21 | NO.44(9) 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
Taipei Says Chinese Military Aircraft Flew Night Exercise across Taiwan Strait (2020-03-17)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan sent fighter planes to intercept a flight of PLA Air Force aircraft that briefly approached the island on Monday evening in what analysts said was a rare exercise by Beijing aimed at showing off its night navigation capabilities. <Accessed 2020-03-17>

Friend or Foe? Beijing Sizes up the KMT’s New Chair (2020-03-17)
(The Diplomat, By Jo Kim) The CCP is taking a wait-and-see stance, but it has some cause to worry about Johnny Chiang. <Accessed 2020-03-17>

Chinese Warplanes Approach Taiwan at Night
(Taipei Times/Reuters) An unspecified number of Chinese J-11 fighters and KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft flew into the waters southwest of Taiwan for nighttime exercises, the ministry said late on Monday. <Accessed 2020-03-25>

KMT’s Chiang Says He is ‘Taiwanese and Chinese’ (2020-03-19)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Liang-sheng) Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) on Tuesday said that he is “both Taiwanese and Chinese” at a meeting with former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱). The KMT is the Republic of China’s (ROC) founding party, Chiang said, adding that for the KMT, China is the ROC. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

Human Rights Groups Mark Third Anniversary of Taiwan Activist's Arrest (2020-03-19)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping, Chen Chun-hua, Lai Yen-hsi, and Chiang Yi-ching) Human rights groups in Taiwan marked the third anniversary of Lee Ming-che's (李明哲) arrest in China Thursday, calling for people to remember the jailed activist and urging China to release him. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

Taiwanese Air Force Scrambles Jets Amid PLAAF Flyby (2020-03-20)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) In reacting to the Chinese aircraft, the Taiwanese air force — officially known as the Republic of China Air Force — scrambled its fighters. The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense condemned the Chinese move. <Accessed 2020-03-20>

CCP Resets its Ties with KMT, Sets Eyes on Ko (2020-03-20)
(Taipei Times, By Christian Fan Jiang 范姜提昂) When the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) elects a new chairperson, the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) customarily sends a congratulatory telegram to the newly elected leader. They sent messages to other former chairs, former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Eric Chu (朱立倫), Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and even the relatively controversial Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), but newly elected Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) has not received one. <Accessed 2020-03-25> 

Why China’s COVID-19 Disinformation Campaign Isn’t Working in Taiwan (2020-03-21)
(The Diplomat, By Yi-Ting Lien) Taiwan’s resiliency highlights the importance of its participation in global efforts to fight coronavirus misinformation.<Accessed 2020-03-21>>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics

KMT Chair, Kaohsiung Mayor Agree to Jointly Promote City's Development (2020-03-15)
(CNA, By Chang Ming-hsuan, Wu Hsin-yun, and Evelyn Kao) Opposition Kuomintang Chairman Chiang Chi-chen (江啟臣) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) reached an agreement Sunday to work together to develop the southern city, according to the city government. <Accessed 2020-03-17>

Can Johnny Chiang Save Taiwan’s Troubled Kuomintang Party?
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) After Johnny Chiang easy victory in his party’s leadership election, Taiwan is asking if he is the man to save the island’s century-old Kuomintang (KMT). <Accessed 2020-03-17>

Tracking the Coronavirus: How Crowded Asian Cities Tackled an Epidemic
(New York Times, By Hannah Beech) Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong offer successful strategies, at least so far, in battling a pandemic. But they use tactics that the U.S. and Europe may not be able to replicate. <Accessed 2020-03-17>

The Rise and Rapid Fall of Han Kuo-yu (2020-03-20)
(The Diplomat, By Dominique Reichenbach) But while Trump won the presidency, Han faltered. And now even the fruits of his previous election win are in jeopardy — Han faces a recall campaign in Kaohsiung. <Accessed 2020-03-20>

Taiwan Closes Borders in Preparation for Possible ‘Second Wave’ of the Coronavirus (2020-03-21)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) The country has managed to contain the outbreak, but it’s on edge after an influx of imported cases from foreign tourists and returning Taiwanese travelers. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

Taiwan's Foreign Relations

POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS: MOFA Says Ambassador to Haiti has Returned to Taiwan, Reaffirms Ties (2020-03-16)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) Ambassador to Haiti Bernard Liu (劉邦治) has returned to Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday, reaffirming bilateral relations amid media reports that the diplomatic ally has demanded a new ambassador. <Accessed 2020-03-17>

TAIPEI Act Awaits Trump’s Signature (2020-03-18)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The US’ Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019 was on Monday delivered to US President Donald Trump to be signed into law after it was passed by both chambers of the US Congress. <Accessed 2020-03-25> 

Taiwan Shows Its Mettle in Coronavirus Crisis, While the WHO is MIA
(Brookings, By Don Shapiro) The public health professionalism and sense of global responsibility Taiwan has displayed underscore the irrationality of Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Organization and its information channels due to political objections from China. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

CORONAVIRUS/Foreign Offices in Taiwan Support Border Control Measures (2020-03-19)
(CNA, By Emerson Lim) Several foreign representative offices in Taiwan have expressed support for Taiwan's strict border control measures, which took effect Thursday, saying they understand the need for such actions to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan, EU Discuss Joint Efforts to Fight COVID-19 (2020-03-19)
(CNA, By Wu Hsin-yun, Han Ting-ting, and Chiang Yi-ching) Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institute, said Wednesday that it hosted a video conference with European Union (EU) officials that day to discuss possible collaborative efforts to fight COVID-19. <Accessed 2020-03-26>
U.S.-China Relations
China State Media Accuses U.S. Politicians of Spreading 'Political Virus' (2020-03-15)
(Reuters, By Dominique Patton) Some United States politicians are using coronavirus as a weapon to smear China, the Xinhua official news agency said on Sunday, as a war of words escalated between the two countries over China’s handling of the epidemic. <Accessed 2020-03-17>

China Guts U.S. Press Corps in Beijing With Mass Expulsions
(Bloomberg) China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday said U.S. reporters at the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post must hand in their media cards within 10 days, calling the move a response to U.S. caps on Chinese media imposed early this month. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

China Defends Expulsion of American Journalists, Accusing U.S. of Prejudice (2020-03-18)
(New York Times, By Alexandra Stevenson and Austin Ramzy) An official said the expulsions were needed to defend China’s media against American suppression. Chinese state media outlets criticized American newspapers for coverage that they described as biased. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

Beijing Revokes Work Permits for Chinese Assistants Working for US Media Organisations (2020-03-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) Beijing has upped the ante in its diplomatic row with the United States by revoking the licences of Chinese citizens working as researchers and assistants at US media organisations in the country. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

Coronavirus: the High Stakes Propelling the US-China Blame Game (2020-03-20)
(South China Morning Post, By Mark Magnier) Already battered relations between the United States and China have declined to their lowest level in recent memory at a time when the coronavirus crisis calls for unprecedented global cooperation and collaboration. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

Chinese Factories Face New Threat: US Anti-Virus Controls (2020-03-21)
(The Diplomat, By Joe McDonald) Just as China reopens for business, the U.S. is shutting down amid a massive surge in coronavirus cases. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

China Is Fighting the Coronavirus Propaganda War to Win (2020-03-21)
(Foreign Policy, By Suzanne Nossel) But China’s characterization belies the reality of a rising power bent on controlling its global image at all costs and by any means. <Accessed 2020-03-21>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China's Domestic Politics

Chinese Tycoon Who Criticized Xi’s Response to Coronavirus Has Vanished (2020-03-14)
(New York Times, By Javier C. Hernández) Ren Zhiqiang appears to be the latest government critic silenced by the Communist Party as it cracks down on dissent over the epidemic. <Accessed 2020-03-17>

Limited Payoffs: What Have BRI Investments Delivered for China Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak? (2020-03-16)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Johan van de Ven) Applying an understanding of soft power as a state’s ability to induce other states to take actions favorable to its own interests, available evidence across domains related to the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic—such as the issuance of evacuation orders, and restrictions on public transportation—indicates that BRI investments have had only modest success in building China’s soft power. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

The Illicit Wildlife Trade in China and the State Response Following the Coronavirus Outbreak (2020-03-16)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Leo Lin) This article examines the Chinese government’s policy response towards the wildlife trade in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, and what this might portend for the future. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

Disposing of “Zombies”: Why the Reform of Non-Performing State-Owned Enterprises Has Gotten Even Harder (2020-03-16)
(Jamestown Foundation, By April A. Herlevi) This article will focus on one aspect of China’s efforts to achieve “high-quality development” (高质量发展, gao zhiliang fazhan): the dismantling of “zombie firms” (僵尸企业, jiangshi qiye). <Accessed 2020-03-21>

China’s New Long March-7A Rocket Fails First Launch (2020-03-18)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) A new type of Chinese rocket failed in its first launch on Monday night, raising questions over the country’s ambitious space missions planned for the rest of the year. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

China Hits a Coronavirus Milestone: No New Local Infections (2020-03-18)
(New York Times, By Javier C. Hernández) All of the new cases reported on Thursday involved people who had come to China from elsewhere, the government said. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

COVID-19 and Xi Jinping: How the Strongman Got Stronger (2020-03-19)
(The Diplomat, By Thomas Reilly) As the rest of the world struggles to formulate coherent policies for stemming the tide of the onslaught of COVID-19, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the Communist Party as a whole are faced with a challenge of their own as the virus ebbs in China: how do we profit from all of this? <Accessed 2020-03-19>

China’s Military Claims to Be Virus-Free (2020-03-21)
(Foreign Policy, By Joel Wuthnow) A strong circumstantial case can be made that the PLA is unlikely to have been spared from infections that have ravaged the country since the end of last year. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

Beijing and Hong Kong

As Beijing, Hong Kong Face Second Coronavirus Onslaught, Quarantine Gets Serious (2020-03-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Linda Lew) Beijing and Hong Kong are toughening up their 14-day quarantine restrictions as a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic returns to China, brought by homecoming citizens and visitors from overseas and threatening to push up infection rates that had been coming under control. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

China's Foreign Relations

Competition With China Goes Subnational (2020-03-14)
(The Diplomat, By Scott Moore) Can Beijing successfully exploit divisions between local and central governments? <Accessed 2020-03-17>

Coronavirus: China Vows to Help Spain amid Questions over EU Support for Its Worst-hit Countries
(South China Morning Post, By Stuart Lau) China has widened its coronavirus diplomacy in Europe, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi pledging medical support for Spain, which begins a national lockdown on Monday. <Accessed 2020-03-17>

How China Is Expanding Beyond Western Institutions (2020-03-16)
(The Diplomat, By Eva Seiwert) Even as the coronavirus unsettles the world, China’s bid to reshape international relations beyond Western formats is quietly gathering steam. <Accessed 2020-03-17>

China-Iran Relations: The Not-So-Special “Special Relationship” (2020-03-16)
(Jamestown Foundation, By John Calabrese) In what manner and to what extent has the current unstable situation affected China’s interests in, and relationship with, Iran? <Accessed 2020-03-21>

Its Coronavirus Cases Dwindling, China Turns Focus Outward (2020-03-18)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers and Alissa J. Rubin) Beijing is mounting a humanitarian aid blitz in countries struggling with their own outbreaks. In doing so, it’s stepping into a role the West once dominated. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

Virus Outbreak: China Showers EU with Virus Aid (2020-03-20)
(Taipei Times/Bloomberg) As Europe becomes the epicenter of the coronavirus, Beijing is stepping up its outreach to individual governments there. That is coming at the very moment that the US — and in some cases the EU — is seen to be turning away. <Accessed 2020-03-25> 

Coronavirus: Xi Jinping Calls Leaders of France, Spain, Germany and Serbia with Offers of Support (2020-03-21)
(South China Morning Post, By Stuart Lau) Chinese President Xi Jinping made an unusually intense diplomatic gesture towards Europe on Saturday by calling the leaders of France, Germany, Spain and Serbia to offer support in their fight against Covid-19. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

China’s ‘Development Approach’ to the Mekong Water Disputes (2020-03-21)
(The Diplomat, By Zhang Hongzhou) China’s solution to the Mekong’s problems is the same as its approach to most nontraditional security issues: increase development. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

China, Italy, and Coronavirus: Geopolitics and Propaganda  (2020-03-21)
(The Diplomat, By Theresa Fallon) In Italy, China is no longer thought of as the origin of COVID-19, but as a friend in a time of dire need. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

China Casts Itself as Global Savior While U.S. and EU Focus on Virus at Home (2020-03-21)
(Foreign Policy, By Morten Sendergaard Larsen, Robbie Gramer) That has led to a combination of praise, mistrust, and criticism from top Western officials and experts who see China’s pandemic response as reflective of its growing global clout, especially in the face of what critics characterize as stumbling responses by the EU and United States. <Accessed 2020-03-21>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Did Vietnam’s Maritime Militia Really Swarm a China Military Base ? (2020-03-17)
(The Diplomat, By Do Thanh Hai) Though recent allegations raise more questions than they provide answers, they should reinforce the need for greater transparency in the South China Sea. <Accessed 2020-03-17>

In Disputed South China Sea, Asean Claimant States Are Neither Friends Nor Foes
(South China Morning Post, By Ding Duo) Over the past decade, the Philippines has viewed China as its biggest challenger in the contested South China Sea. But even as it shares a common rival in Beijing with other Southeast Asian claimant states, Manila has also sought to reject bids by its neighbours in the contested waterway. <Accessed 2020-03-17>

China Remains Unfazed by Warming US-Vietnam Security Ties (2020-03-21)
(The Diplomat, By Derek Grossman) U.S.-Vietnam ties continue to advance, and Beijing doesn’t seem too concerned. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

Chinese Naval Planes Conduct Anti-submarine Drills in South China Sea (2020-03-21)
(South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng) Chinese military aircraft recently conducted an anti-submarine drill over the South China Sea, the People’s Liberation Army said on Friday, amid a growing number of patrols and exercises by US warships in the region. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

The Korean Peninsula

PacNet #13 – Keep an Eye on North Korean Cyber-crime as the Covid-19 Spreads (2020-03-17)
(Pacific Forum, By Todd Wiesel) Learning from the DPRK’s past behavior, national security leaders should be less concerned about military action and focus their attention on shoring up their cyber defenses. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

North Korea Fires Short-Range Ballistic Missiles, South Says
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) The South Korean military called it “deeply inappropriate” for the North to test missiles as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

Trump Writes to Kim Jong-un Offering Help in Virus Fight, North Korea Says
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) The North, which says it is waging an all-out campaign against the coronavirus, expressed “sincere gratitude” for the president’s letter. <Accessed 2020-03-21>

Other Regional Issues

Coronavirus and the Future of Globalization (2020-03-20)
(The Diplomat, By Mie Oba) Of course, once the pandemic has eased, these restrictions will surely be removed. But with this new awareness of the risks associated with the free movement of people, there are some who may avoid future life, business or leisure plans that require crossing borders. <Accessed 2020-03-20>

Pandemic Control: A New Area for ASEAN Defense Cooperation? (2020-03-20)
(The Diplomat, By Henrick Z. Tsjeng) Militaries not only have medical personnel and equipment available, but also their capacities in chemical, biological and radiological defense mean they can support the healthcare sector in countering infectious diseases like COVID-19. <Accessed 2020-03-20>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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Recent Publication Kerry Gershaneck, "To Win without Fighting: Defining China's Political Warfare" (Expeditions with Marine Corps University Press)
Recent Publication James Lee, "Did Thucydides Believe in Thucydides’ Trap? The History of the Peloponnesian War and Its Relevance to U.S.-China Relations" (Journal of Chinese Political Science)
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)
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