::: TSR Weekly Report
2020-12-26 | NO.44(47) epaper |
Note to Readers
 TSR thanks our readers for the year's support and wishes readers a happy and healthy 2021!
Cross-Strait Relations
Report: "Avoiding a Taiwan Crisis: Improving Signals and Reducing Mistrust” (2020-12-22)
National Committee on American Foreign Policy, By Rorry Daniels) In the final months of 2020, the NCAFP assembled a group of prominent scholars and former officials from Taiwan, Mainland China and the US in another series of Track II video teleconferences. The same group met just before and after the US presidential election to assess the opportunities and challenges for cross-Strait dialogue amid COVID-19 recovery, economic issues, and political transitions.

China’s Military Actions Against Taiwan in 2021: What to Expect
(The Diplomat, By Ying-Yu Lin) A look at the security environment facing Taiwan in the upcoming year.
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Ahead of Taiwan Protests, U.S. Says Pork 'Needlessly Politicised' (2020-12-21)
(Reuters) A heated debate in Taiwan about U.S. pork imports has been “needlessly politicised” as all U.S. food exports are safe, Washington’s de-facto embassy in Taipei said on Monday, ahead of two days of planned protests later in the week.

U.S. Congress Passes Pro-Taiwan Provisions in Massive Funding Bill
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Matthew Mazzetta) The United States Congress on Monday adopted provisions to support Taiwan's defense capacity and encourage its participation in international organizations as part of a US$2.3 trillion government funding and pandemic relief package.

Ministry Confirms It Held Talks with US Lawmakers on Renaming TECRO (2020-12-23)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday confirmed that it had held talks with members of the US Congress on changing the name of its office in Washington to the “Taiwan Representative Office,” but said that there was no “definite timeline” for a change.

US Reviewing Application for Preclearance Program (2020-12-24)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) An application by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to join the US border preclearance program is being reviewed by Washington, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Acting US Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf mentioned Taiwan’s application in a speech on national security and the challenge of China in a virtual event hosted by the Heritage Foundation.

Biden and the Credibility Conundrum: What If China Attacks Taiwan? (2020-12-23)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) American presidents have worried about the credibility of their threats since the beginning of the Nuclear Age.

Taiwan, “Strategic Clarity” and the War Powers: A U.S. Commitment to Taiwan Requires Congressional Buy-In (2020-12-04)
(Lawfare, By Patrick Hulme) Given the enormous political exposure a president would be risking by engaging in a major conflict unilaterally, the threat to do so absent congressional support would lack significant credibility in the eyes of potential U.S. opponents. Therefore, in order to minimize the possibility of a war over Taiwan, pursuing a policy of strategic clarity requires that Congress make its own policy position clear and unambiguous as well.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics
DPP Blocks Proposals on Banning, Controlling Ractopamine- Use in Pork (2020-12-24)
(CNA, By Kuo Chien-shen, Lin Yu-hsuan and Joseph Yeh) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-controlled legislature on Thursday blocked all proposals put forward by opposition parties to ban or control imports of pork containing a controversial feed additive for local consumption and use.

KMT to Launch Signature Drive for Pork Referendum
(Taipei Times, By Sherry Hsiao) The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is on Jan. 6 to launch a nationwide signature drive to put the importation of US pork containing traces of ractopamine on the ballot, KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said yesterday.

Taiwan's Foreign Relations
Democracy Summits Open Doors for Taiwan (2020-12-26)
(CNA, By Chen Shih-min) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to visit India next month to promote the D10 summit of democracies he proposed in May, inviting Australia, India and South Korea to participate in next year’s G7 summit with Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.
U.S.-China Relations
The U.S. Can’t Check China Alone (2020-12-10)
(Foreign Affairs, By Odd Arne Westad) One key lesson from the twentieth century that remains valid today is that the United States cannot check China without broad cooperation from international allies and friends. Going it alone today would exceed U.S. capabilities, much more so than would have been the case against the Soviet Union when the Cold War began. 

China Offers to Work with Joe Biden on Three Issues (2020-12-20)
(Taipei Times) Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on Friday offered cooperation on key priorities of US president-elect Joe Biden, warning that Beijing’s many US critics were creating an atmosphere of “McCarthyism” and ignoring common interests.

US Blacklists More Chinese Companies, Including Chip Giant (2020-12-20)
(Taipei Times) The US on Friday announced that it has imposed export controls on 77 Chinese companies including the country’s biggest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), restricting its access to US technology over its alleged ties to China’s military.

Tibetan Leader Welcomes U.S. Bill that Reaffirms Rights, Angering China (2020-12-22)
(Reuters, By Neha Arora and Cate Cadell) The political head of Tibetans in exile on Tuesday welcomed legislation passed by the U.S. Congress that reaffirms the rights of Tibetans to choose a successor to their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, a move that infuriated China.

Beijing Ransacked Data As U.S. Sources Went Dark in China (2020-12-23)
(Foreign Policy, By Zach Dorfman) As Xi consolidated power, U.S. officials struggled to read China’s new ruler.

PLA No-Shows US-China Maritime Safety Talks (2020-12-23)
(The Diplomat, By Steven Stashwick) Chinese officials skipped a virtual session of the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement.

China Used Stolen Data to Expose CIA Operatives in Africa and Europe (2020-12-23)
(Foreign Policy, By Zach Dorfman) The discovery of U.S. spy networks in China fueled a decadelong global war over data between Beijing and Washington.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China's Domestic Politics
‘The Whole City Was Dark’: China Rations Electricity for Millions (2020-12-21)
(New York Times, By Vivian Wang) Warning of coal shortages, officials are trying to curb energy usage by telling residents not to use electric stoves and extinguishing lights on building facades and billboards.

Why China Turned Against Jack Ma (2020-12-24)
(New York Times, By Li Yuan) On its surface, the shift in Mr. Ma’s public image stems in large part from the Chinese government’s growing criticism of his business empire. A look beneath the surface shows a deeper and more troubling trend for both the Chinese government and the entrepreneurs who powered the country out of its economic dark ages over the past four decades.

With Money, and Waste, China Fights for Chip Independence (2020-12-24)
(New York Times, By Raymond Zhong and Cao Li) Beijing’s drive to free itself from reliance on imported semiconductors has lifted start-ups and big firms alike. Some have flamed out. But there has been progress.

She Chronicled China’s Crisis. Now She Is Accused of Spreading Lies. (2020-12-25)
(New York Times, By Vivian Wang) Zhang Zhan, who reported about the coronavirus from Wuhan during the lockdown, will face trial next week, in the first known case against a citizen journalist from the crisis.

AP Interview: China Signals Shift But No Letup in Xinjiang (2020-12-21)
(Associated Press, By Ken Moritsugu) An official from China’s Communist Party signaled Monday that there would likely be no letup in its crackdown in the remote Xinjiang region, but said the government’s focus is shifting more to addressing the roots of extremism.

What Apple Daily Means for Hong Kong
(The Diplomat, By Jessie Lau) The crackdown on Apple Daily and Jimmy Lai is the culmination of a decades-long saga that encapsulates the broader struggle for press freedom in Hong Kong.

HK Court Grants Tycoon Jimmy Lai Bail in National Security, Fraud Case (2020-12-23)
(Reuters) A Hong Kong court granted HK$10 million ($1.3 million) bail on Wednesday to media tycoon Jimmy Lai, the highest profile pro-democracy activist charged under the city’s new national security law on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces.

China’s Hyperactive Debates on Personal Data Protection (2020-12-23)
(The Diplomat, By Xiao Liu) The draft of China’s first comprehensive law on personal information protection is the culmination of intense public interest in the subject.

China's Foreign Relations 
The World China Wants (2020-12-08)
(Foreign Affairs, By Rana Mitter) Chinese power today is a protean, dynamic force formed by the nexus of authoritarianism, consumerism, global ambitions, and technology. Call it the ACGT model: with the same initials as the nucleotides in DNA, these strands of Chinese power combine and recombine to form China’s modern political identity and approach to the rest of the world.

What Do Chinese People Think of Developed Countries? (2020-12-23)
(The Diplomat, By Adam Y. Liu, Xiaojun Li, and Songying Fang) Perceptions of China have darkened in the United States and much of Europe. Are those feelings mutual?

China-E.U. Talks Hit Another Snag as Biden Camp Objects (2020-12-23)
(New York Times, By Jack Ewing, Steven Lee Myers and Ana Swanson) Beijing and Brussels were on the brink of an agreement to roll back restrictions on investment. But the deal’s fate is uncertain amid growing animosity toward China and increasingly vocal opposition.
Military Balance
The Day after the Battle (2020-12-11)
(Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, By Kenneth W. Allen and Brendan S. Mulvaney) Post-hostility planning is notoriously hard and often gets short shrift. Diplomats care about the “road to war” and how to avoid it; military planners care about how to fight the battle and rightly focus their efforts there. And thus, “The Day after the Battle” is put aside. In the case of a conflict over Taiwan, we feel such an oversight would be a mistake of monumental proportions.

MND Says Chinese Carrier Group Sailed Through the Strait
(Taipei Times/Reuters, By Ben Blanchard) The navy and air force were yesterday deployed as a Chinese aircraft carrier group led by its newest carrier, the Shandong, sailed through the Taiwan Strait, one day after USS Mustin, a guided-missile destroyer transited the Strait.

Two Chinese Military Planes Fly Into Taiwan's ADIZ (2020-12-25)
(CNA, By Flor Wang and Chen Yun-yu) A Chinese Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine patrol plane and another Y-8 surveillance plane entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Friday but left the area after Taiwan responded to their intrusion.

Why Is China Going to the Moon? (2020-12-23)
(The Diplomat, By Namrata Goswami) Following the successful conclusion of the Chang’e 5 mission, a look at the motivations driving China’s lunar program.
Regional Issues
China’s Coercive Trade Measures toward Australia: A Conversation with Jeffrey Wilson (2020-12-22)
(China Power) Dr. Wilson analyzes China’s trade strategy of targeted geoeconomic sanctions and argues that China’s goal is to maximize economic pain without hurting its own welfare. In addition, Dr. Wilson explains how China’s targeted sanctions on Australia’s top 20 exports to China could serve as a precedent for other nations in the Indo-Pacific region.

China Battles the World’s Biggest Coal Exporter, and Coal Is Losing
(New York Times, By Damien Cave) China has officially blocked coal imports from Australia after months of vague restrictions. For Australia, the world’s largest coal exporter, the decision is a gut punch.

Australia and India Economic Relations: The Stars Have Aligned
(The Diplomat, By Natasha Jha Bhaskar) India recently released an Australia Economic Strategy; Australian businesses must seize this opportunity.

Biden Is Expected to Expand U.S.-India Relations While Stressing Human Rights (2020-12-24)
(New York Times, By Pranshu Verma and Jeffrey Gettleman) As President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is set to move into the White House, American diplomats, Indian officials and security experts are resetting their expectations for relations between the world’s two largest democracies.

South Korea Scrambles Jets as Chinese, Russian Aircraft Enter Air Defence Zone (2020-12-22)
(Reuters) South Korea said it scrambled fighter jets in response to an intrusion into its air defence identification zone by 19 Russian and Chinese military aircraft on Tuesday.

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