::: TSR Weekly Report
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2020-12-19 | NO.44(47) 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 Executive Editor, Dalton Lin (dalton.lin@inta.gatech.edu).     
Cross-Strait Relations
Stay Alert on the U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations Next Year (2020-12-13)
(UDN, Su Chi) Beijing’s rare initiative reveals two things. One, the game the two great powers now play is strategic in nature, not economic as before, and what matters more is each side’s strength, not public opinion. Second, Beijing’s sense of urgency on Taiwan is abundantly clear. This change originated from the Tsai Ing-wen administration’s blatant actions in Taiwan’s domestic affairs and U.S.-Taiwan relations.
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
President Sends Congratulatory Letter to New U.S. President: MOFA (2020-12-15)
(CNA, By Chen Yun-yu and Emerson Lim) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has sent a congratulatory letter to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday after the U.S. Electoral College affirmed his victory.

Taiwan’s President Makes the (Virtual) Rounds at DC Think Tanks (2020-12-15)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) President Tsai gave virtual remarks at three separate events in two days, a flurry of engagement designed to highlight her agenda for U.S.-Taiwan cooperation.

Taiwan, U.S. Sign Agreement on Scientific Cooperation (2020-12-18)
(CNA, by Emerson Lim and Matt Yu) Taiwan and the United States on Friday jointly announced the signing of a U.S.-Taiwan Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement aimed at providing a legal structure for further cooperation in these fields.

Congress Members Urge U.S. to Allow Name Change for Taiwan Office (2020-12-18)
(CNA, By Stacy Hsu and Ko Lin) Members of the United States Congress on Thursday sent a joint letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging the U.S. government to allow Taiwan to change the name of its office in Washington to the "Taiwan Representative Office."
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Foreign Relations 
Pound for Pound, Taiwan Is the Most Important Place in the World (2020-12-14)
(New YorkTimes, By Ruchir Sharma) The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union perpetually threatened to spark conflict in nations all over the world, including battles over the control of a vast array of natural and industrial resources. The new Cold War, between the United States and China, is increasingly focused on access to just one industry in one place: computer chips made in Taiwan.

Taiwan, Chips, and Geopolitics: Part 1 (2020-12-15)
(The Diplomat, By John Lee and Jan-Peter Kleinhans) Taiwan’s TSMC is a critical part of the global semiconductor supply chain. What does that mean for the U.S. and China’s Taiwan policies?

Would China Invade Taiwan for TSMC? (2020-12-18)
(The Diplomat, By John Lee and Jan-Peter Kleinhans) The second piece of a two-part analysis focusing on semiconductors and cross-strait geopolitics.

Taiwan and Switzerland Sign Prisoner Transfer Deal
 (2020-12-13)
(Taipei Times/CNA) An agreement on the transfer of convicted and sentenced criminals between Taiwan and Switzerland took effect on Friday, the Ministry of Justice said in a statement on the same day.

Taiwan Opens Annex Representative Office in Southern France (2020-12-14)
(CNA, By Emerson Lim) Taiwan opened its second representative office in France on Monday in Aix-en-Provence to serve the Taiwanese nationals in the region and foster mutual cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.

Taiwan, U.S., Japan Announce Priority Areas of Cooperation for 2021 (2020-12-15)
(CNA, By Emerson Lim) Taiwan, the United States and Japan announced their priority areas of cooperation next year on a platform that can help other countries develop their human resources, according to a joint statement issued by the three sides on Tuesday.

Taiwan in ‘Informal’ Talks with CPTPP Members (2020-12-16)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) Taiwan is working on “informal consultations” with member states of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) before it formally applies to join the trade bloc, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said yesterday.

Taiwan's Domestic Politics
Pro-China TV Station Goes Off Air in Taiwan After Losing Broadcast License (2020-12-15)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) CTiTV went off air on midnight Friday after losing a court battle fighting its license renewal. Opposition politicians are crying foul.

Taiwan One of Countries Most Improved in Human Freedom: HFI Report (2020-12-19)
(CNA, By Emmanuelle Tzeng and Frances Huang) Taiwan is one of the countries that has made the largest improvement in human freedom in the 10 years from 2008 to 2018, according to the Human Freedom Index (HFI) 2020.
U.S.-China Relations
Competition With China Could Be Short and Sharp (2020-12-17)
(Foreign Affairs, By Michael Beckley and Hal Brands) In foreign policy circles, it has become conventional wisdom that the United States and China are running a “superpower marathon” that may last a century. But the sharpest phase of that competition will be a decadelong sprint. The Sino-American contest for supremacy won’t be settled anytime soon. Yet history and China’s recent trajectory suggest that the moment of maximum danger is just a few years away.

The New China Scare (2019-12-06)
(Foreign Affairs, By Fareed Zakaria) China presents a new and large challenge. But if Washington can keep its cool and patiently continue to pursue a policy of engagement plus deterrence, forcing China to adjust while itself adjusting to make space for it, some scholar decades from now might write about the United States’ not-so-secret plan to expand the zone of peace, prosperity, openness, and decent governance across the globe—a marathon strategy that worked.

China’s Space Program Suggests Decoupling Won’t Work Like the US Hopes (2020-12-18)
(The Diplomat, By Brantly Womack) The U.S. has long frozen China out of space cooperation. That hasn’t stopped China from making substantial progress.

The Trump State Department’s Swan Song? A Strange, Flawed China Paper. (2020-12-15)
(Foreign Policy, By Daniel Baer) The U.S.-China conflict may be the defining 21st-century challenge, but the recommendations stand out by what they fail to address.

Biden's 'Middle-Class Foreign Policy' Departs from Obama and Trump (2020-12-15)
(Nikkei, By Ken Moriyasu) A little-noticed report, released by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace shortly before the Nov. 3 presidential election, looks to serve as the foreign policy road map for the administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.

How Should China Use a Biden Window of Opportunity?
 (2020-12-15)
(The Diplomat, By Jianhao Ge and Dingding Chen) How Should China Use a Biden Window of Opportunity?

China a No-Show at Joint Military Safety Meeting With U.S. (2020-12-17)
(WSJ, By Chun Han Wong) The Chinese absence is “another example that China does not honor its agreements, and this should serve as a reminder to all nations as they pursue agreements with China going forward,” Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said in the statement.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China's Domestic Politics
China’s Fateful Inward Turn: Beijing’s New Economic Strategy as Spelled Out by the Resolution of the CCP Central Committee’s 5th Plenum (2020-12-16)
(China Leadership Monitor, By Minxin Pei) At the 5th plenum of the 19th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the end of October 2020, Chinese leaders unveiled a new strategy for sustaining economic development during the next fifteen years. General Secretary Xi Jinping was deeply involved in the formulation of the framework underpinning the new strategy. Although aspirational and lacking in specifics, China’s new economic strategy makes it clear that Beijing will be shifting the focus of its economy inward and achieving scientific and technological self-sufficiency to improve its national security and sustain growth. Chinese leaders frame the rationale for this shift in terms of a response to radical and unfavorable changes in the external environment. They also will rely on a new “whole-of-nation” system to mobilize resources to achieve their objectives. The immediate political objective of issuing this economic blueprint seems to reassure the Chinese nation that the CCP has a plan to sustain its strategic competition with the U.S.

China Charges H.K. Activists Over Attempted Flight to Taiwan
 (2020-12-16)
(Bloomberg News) China has charged Hong Kong activists detained for more than three months over their attempt to flee to Taiwan.

How Can Shenzhen Replace Hong Kong?
 (2020-12-15)
(The Diplomat, By Jason Hung) China is planning to focus on Shenzhen as a new global hub. Will it work?

China's Foreign Relations

China’s Combative Nationalists See a World Turning Their Way (2020-12-14)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) Critics worry that hubris could lead China to overestimate its strengths and misjudge how far it can push the United States and other Western countries. 

China and the EU: Public-Private Dissonance (2020-12-15)
(The Diplomat, By Eleanor Albert) Despite official optimism over a trade deal, tensions continue to simmer at the people-to-people level.

China’s Policy Banks Are Lending Differently, Not Less (2020-12-15)
(The Diplomat, By Tristan Kenderdine and Niva Yau) How Chinese policy and commercial banks are behaving operationally in their foreign lending activities is shifting, but not necessarily diminishing.

The China-India Standoff in Ladakh: A Relook (2020-12-15)
(The Diplomat, By Daniel Balazs) Historical patterns in China’s behavior suggest that Beijing is willing to pick fights in order to stave off external anti-China coalitions.

In Indonesia, Confucius Institutes Struggle to Dislodge Anti-Chinese Sentiment (2020-12-18)
(The Diplomat, By Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat and M. Habib Pashya) Despite Beijing’s best efforts at public diplomacy, suspicion is widespread among the Indonesian public.

China Building Massive Myanmar Border Wall: Reports (2020-12-18)
(The Diplomat, By Sebastian Strangio) Western coverage has framed the wall as an attempt to keep dissidents from fleeing the country. The reality is more complex.

China’s Digital Silk Road Initiative: A Boon for Developing Countries or a Danger to Freedom? (2020-12-18)
(The Diplomat, By Joshua Kurlantzick) Some observers worry that it will equip authoritarian governments with next-generation surveillance technologies.

China’s Digital Silk Road Grows With 5G in the Middle East (2020-12-18)
(The Diplomat, By Sophie Zinser) Huawei and other Chinese firms continue to make rapid inroads among Gulf countries – despite the United States’ efforts.

China Issues National Security Rules on Foreign Investment (2020-12-19)
(Reuters) China published rules on Saturday for reviewing foreign investment on national security grounds, potentially broad measures that it insisted did not amount to protectionism.
Military Balance
Taiwan Sees Role as Arms Supplier for West as Launches New Warship (2020-12-15)
(Reuters, By Ann Wang) Taiwan may become a supplier of weapons to Western democracies, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, praising the island’s ramped up weapons-design ability as she launched an advanced, missile-laden warship and commissioned a new minelayer.

What Taiwan’s Military Can Learn From the Armenia-Azerbaijan War
 (2020-12-15)
(The Diplomat, By Eric Chan) Taiwan can take valuable lessons from the role of drones, decoys, and flexible thinking in the conflict.

Two Chinese Military Planes Enter Taiwan's ADIZ (2020-12-15)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Emerson Lim) Two Chinese military Y-8 aircraft entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday, marking the 10th day on which such maneuvers have occurred in December, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND).

Four Chinese Military Planes Enter Taiwan's ADIZ (2020-12-16)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Emerson Lim) Four Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday, the most planes to engage in such maneuvers on any day in December, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND).

China Says Tailed U.S. Warship in Taiwan Strait (2020-12-19)
(Reuters) China’s military tailed a U.S. warship as it passed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Saturday, the Chinese military said, denouncing such missions as sending “flirtatious glances” to supporters of Taiwan independence.

China’s Moon Mission Returns to Earth as Some Call for Greater International Space Collaboration (2020-12-18)
(The Diplomat, By Abhijnan Rej) The Chang’e-5 becomes the first mission since 1976 to bring lunar samples back to earth.
Regional Issues
The Southeast Asian Crucible (2020-12-17)
(Foreign Affair, By David Shambaugh) The contest with China is now playing out all over the world and across all functional domains—diplomacy, commerce, security, influence operations, ideology, values, education, science and technology, and more. The competition in these realms in Southeast Asia represents a microcosm and a harbinger of how it might develop elsewhere in the world. The outcome there will at the very least affect the rest of the vast Indo-Pacific region.

The Endangered Asian Century (2020-06-04)
(Foreign Affairs, By Lee Hsien Loong) Asia has prospered because Pax Americana, which has held since the end of World War II, provided a favorable strategic context. But now, the troubled U.S.-Chinese relationship raises profound questions about Asia’s future and the shape of the emerging international order. Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, are especially concerned, as they live at the intersection of the interests of various major powers and must avoid being caught in the middle or forced into invidious choices.

Biden’s First Foreign-Policy Crisis Is Already Here (2020-12-15)
(Foreign Policy, By Tanner Greer) China’s threats against Australia cannot go unanswered by the United States.

Australia-China Economic and Trade Relations Are Heading for a Hard Reset (2020-12-18)
(The Diplomat, By Chan Kung and He Jun) Amid worsening geopolitical tensions, the economic relationship will never be the same again. What will the new normal look like?

Democracies Need a United Strategy Against China (2020-12-15)
(Foreign Policy, By Edward Lucas) “America first” doesn’t work against a global opponent.

Exclusive: U.S. Warns Pacific Islands About Chinese Bid for Undersea Cable Project - Sources (2020-12-17)
(Reuters, By Jonathan Barrett) The United States has warned Pacific island nations about security threats posed by a Chinese company’s cut-price bid to build an undersea internet cable, two sources told Reuters, part of an international development project in the region.

How Trump and the 2020 US Election Are Helping Authoritarians’ Domestic Causes (2020-12-18)
(The Diplomat, By Mai Truong) The Trump administration has gifted autocrats with three key tools for consolidating their strength at home.

India’s Out of RCEP: What’s Next for the Country and Free Trade? (2020-12-18)
(The Diplomat, By Prachi Priya and Aniruddha Ghosh) India’s foreign trade policy must be aligned to its self-reliance goals. But it also needs to work towards making domestic industries competitive.
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