::: TSR Weekly Report
2020-09-05 | NO.44(33) epaper |
Note to Readers
TSR announces newly published books about Taiwan and East Asia on its website and in its weekly newsletter. If you're a scholar or your book will be published by 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
Beijing’s Ambitions to Build Cross-Strait Transportation Infrastructure (2020-08-31)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Kristian McGuire) Although this rhetorical campaign mellowed somewhat following the re-election of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Beijing has not abandoned its long-term ambitions to construct transportation infrastructure projects—including some of unprecedented scale—across the waters between mainland China and Taiwan. <Accessed 2020-08-31>

Semi-Submersible Heavy Lift Vessels: A New “Maritime Relay Platform” for PLA Cross-Strait Operations? (2020-08-31)
(Jamestown Foundation, By John Dotson) This represents another example of the PLA’s drive to achieve “military-civil fusion”—as well as an innovative use of civilian shipping, which could potentially increase the PLA’s capabilities to conduct joint maritime operations in either a Taiwan invasion scenario or an island landing campaign. <Accessed 2020-08-31>

China's Military Buildup Eroding Taiwan's Advantages: Pentagon (2020-09-02)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Joseph Yeh) Beijing's military modernization has eroded Taiwan's potential advantages should a cross-Taiwan Strait conflict occur, even though Taiwan is taking steps to compensate for the growing disparities, the Pentagon said in a report Tuesday. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Military Plans to Improve Surveillance, Buy Vehicles (2020-09-02)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The military plans to purchase tactical uncrewed aerial vehicles (TUAVs) and underwater vehicles, and improve its radar surveillance and camouflage capabilities in response to the increasing military threat from China, according to a defense budget proposal it submitted to lawmakers for review on Monday. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

With a Wary Eye on China, Taiwan Moves to Revamp Its Military (2020-08-30)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers and Javier C. Hernández) The self-governing democracy is taking steps to bolster its armed forces in order to deter or defeat an invasion from China — with or without American help. <Accessed 2020-09-02>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
China's Belief U.S. Won't Fight for Taiwan a 'Risky Gamble': Schriver (2020-08-27)
(CNA, By Chen Yi-wei and Ko Lin) Randall Schriver, a former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, said it would be a "risky gamble" for China to think that the U.S. would not go to war over Taiwan. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Tsai Takes a Political Risk to Pursue a Taiwan-US Trade Agreement
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) Her Friday announcement that she would ease restrictions on U.S. pork and beef imports led to a backlash from opposition politicians and local farmers. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Taiwan-U.S. Dialogue to Be Held by Year-end: Economics Minister (2020-09-02)
(CNA, By Liang Pei-chi, Yeh Su-ping, Stacy Hsu and Kay Liu) The newly announced Economic and Commercial Dialogue between Taiwan and the United States will be held by the end of this year, Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said Wednesday. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

‘Six Assurances’ Clarify US Backing: Tsai (2020-09-03)
(Taipei Times/CNA, By Jason Pan) The US has made its security commitment to Taiwan clearer, after the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) unveiled declassified documents in which the administration of former US president Ronald Reagan laid out the “six assurances” to Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

U.S., Taiwan Agree to Promote Alternatives to Chinese Supply Chain (2020-09-04)
(CNA, By Chen Yun-yu and Emerson Lim) The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) have agreed to work closer together to restructure the global supply chain and make it more resilient, in an apparent attempt to avoid overreliance on China, especially in the ICT and medical sectors. <Accessed 2020-09-05>

American Support for Taiwan Must Be Unambiguous (2020-09-05)
(Foreign Affairs, By Richard Haass and David Sacks) The time has come for the United States to introduce a policy of strategic clarity: one that makes explicit that the United States would respond to any Chinese use of force against Taiwan. <Accessed 2020-09-04>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Solomons Province Pushes for Independence in 'China Switch' Fallout (2020-09-01)
(Reuters, By Jonathan Barrett) The large Solomon Islands province of Malaita said it will conduct an independence referendum after rejecting the Pacific nation’s decision last year to cut its association with Taiwan and establish formal ties with China. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Taiwan’s Opposition KMT to Uphold ‘One China’ Consensus as Part of Cross-Strait Policy (2020-09-02)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang, has decided to keep the 1992 consensus on “one China” as part of its cross-strait policy, a move that is certain to please Beijing, which sees the self-ruled island as part of its territory. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

MOFA Raises Budget to Accommodate Global Projects
(Taipei Times, By Lu Yi-hsuan and William Hetherington) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has submitted a budget of NT$29.53 billion (US$1 billion) for fiscal year 2021, citing an increase in international cooperative projects and assistance provided to other nations. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

New Passport Design that Highlights 'Taiwan' Released (2020-09-02)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's government has released a new design for the country's passport highlighting the English word for "Taiwan" in the hope of drawing a clearer distinction between Taiwan and China. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Countries Interpret ‘One China’ Differently: Vystrcil (2020-09-04)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil yesterday said that he disliked a comment by Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) about the Czech delegation’s visit to Taiwan, adding that countries have their own ways of interpreting China’s “one China” principle. <Accessed 2020-09-05>

Wu Hails 23 Tangible Feats of Czech Delegation Visit (2020-09-04)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) Twenty-three tangible accomplishments have been achieved during the Czech delegation’s visit to Taiwan, with bilateral ties in various sectors upgraded to comprehensive partnerships, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday. <Accessed 2020-09-07>
U.S.-China Relations
TikTok Deal Is Complicated by New Rules From China Over Tech Exports (2020-08-29)
(New York Times, By Paul Mozur, Raymond Zhong and David McCabe) In an 11th-hour twist, Beijing raised a potential hurdle for a sale of TikTok, further roiling the race to buy the Chinese-owned app. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Pentagon Concerned by China's Nuclear Ambitions, Expects Warheads to Double (2020-09-01)
(Reuters, By Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart) China is expected to at least double the number of its nuclear warheads over the next decade from the low 200s now and is nearing the ability to launch nuclear strikes by land, air and sea, a capacity known as a triad, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

With Latest Sanctions, US Casts a Shadow Over China’s Belt and Road (2020-09-02)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) was targeted over its South China Sea island-building. But the firm is also a crucial player in the BRI. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

U.S. Rural Telecom Networks Need $1.8 Billion to Remove Huawei, ZTE Equipment: FCC (2020-09-04)
(Reuters, By David Shepardson) U.S. rural telecommunications networks, which have relied on inexpensive network equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp (000063.SZ), have told the government that it would cost $1.837 billion to replace those switches and routers, the Federal Communications Commission said on Friday. <Accessed 2020-09-05>

U.S. Happy to Help in China-India Border Dispute, Trump Says (2020-09-04)
(Reuters) The United States is ready to help resolve the dispute between India and China over the mountain border running through the western Himalayas, President Donald Trump said on Friday. <Accessed 2020-09-05>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Curbs on Mongolian Language Teaching Prompt Large Protests in China (2020-08-31)
(New York Times, By Amy Qin) Rights activists say the demonstrations are the biggest in the northern region since 2011. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Hong Kong Police Arrest 16, Including 2 Opposition Lawmakers (2020-09-02)
(The Diplomat, By Zen Soo) The latest round of arrests, already being decried as politically targeted, includes charges linked to protests last year. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Chinese-born Australian CCTV Journalist Detained in China  (2020-09-02)
(The Diplomat, By Rod McGuirk) Australian officials say Cheng Lei has been detained by Chinese authorities, but the reason has not been made clear. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Cracks in China-Europe Relations Run Deep (2020-09-02)
(The Diplomat, By Laurens Hemminga) Looking at Europe-China ties since the 1990s it becomes clear that the recent tension is driven by deeper structural factors — and is therefore likely to stick. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

U.N. Experts Decry Hong Kong Security Law in Open Letter to China (2020-09-03)
(Reuters, By Stephanie Nebehay) U.N. human rights experts have told China a new security law for Hong Kong “infringes on certain fundamental rights” and voiced concerns that it could be used to prosecute political activists in the former British colony. <Accessed 2020-09-05>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
India and China Face Off Again at Border as Troops Move In (2020-08-31)
(New York Times, By Jeffrey Gettleman, Sameer Yasir and Hari Kumar) Indian and Chinese troops have locked horns again along their disputed border, Indian officials said Monday, in a sign that the deadly tensions that erupted in June between the world’s two most populous countries are not going away. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Is Putin’s Russia Seeking a New Balance Between China and the West? (2020-09-02)
(The Diplomat, By Stanislaw Skarzynski and Daniel Wong) 20 years ago, Putin flipped Russia’s entire strategic orientation on its head. Is he ready to do so again? <Accessed 2020-09-02>

In a Drill, Beijing Launches Missiles into the South China Sea (2020-09-02)
(The Diplomat, By Abhijnan Rej) The show of resolve comes amidst growing tensions with the U.S. about the future of the region. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Tibetan Soldier's Death Near Tense India-China Border Sheds Light on Covert Unit (2020-09-02)
(Reuters, By Rupam Jain and Devjyot Ghoshal) The death of a Tibetan member of an Indian special forces unit in a mine blast near the site of a border flare-up with Chinese troops has offered a rare glimpse into a little-known group of elite, high-altitude warriors. <Accessed 2020-09-02>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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