::: TSR Weekly Report
2021-01-16 | NO.45(03) 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).  
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Taiwan Found a Strange Bedfellow in Trump (2021-01-10)
(Bloomberg, By Tim ) If Taiwan is to truly take its place in the world, it needs countries like the U.S. to view Taipei not as a better version of their large rival, and a convenient bulwark against Beijing expansionism. Instead, it needs the world to see Taiwan as a place worthy of its own narrative, one that’s apart from their toughening policies toward China.

US Secretary of State Pompeo Lifts Restrictions on Exchanges With Taiwan (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) The announcement itself was not unexpected, but the timing — just 11 days before a new administration takes office — was.

Taiwan Needs Allies, Not Partisans (2021-01-16)
(Foreign Policy, By Jessica Drun) In today’s hyperpartisan domestic environment, there is a real risk in associating support for Taiwan with a specific political party—particularly as the Republican Party grapples with its identity and the direction of its political future.

The US Rescinded Its Taiwan Guidelines. What Does That Actually Mean? (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Gerrit van der Wees) A look at the history of the guidelines, and the timing and implications of the move to end them.

Kudlow Criticizes Trump for Handling of Riot, Treatment of Pence (2021-01-15)
(WSJ, By Andrew Restuccia and Bob Davis) President Trump’s National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said a free-trade deal with Taiwan could signal U.S. support for the island against mounting pressure from Beijing. “It’s essential the U.S. protect Taiwan and make it clear to China we intend to protect Taiwan,” he said. “I think the world community will rally around us.”

US Ambassador to the United Nations Will Visit Taiwan
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Craft will become the latest – and last – high-ranking Trump administration official to visit Taiwan.

Citing Biden Transition, U.S. Cancels U.N. Envoy's Trip to Taiwan (2021-01-12)
(Reuters, By Michelle Nichols, Humeyra Pamuk) A cancellation of all travel by the U.S. State Department this week includes a planned visit to Taiwan by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, a State Department spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

US Cancels Ambassador’s Controversial Trip to Taiwan (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Huizhong Wu) Kelly Craft, the American ambassador to the U.N., would have been the third high-level U.S. official to visit Taiwan in recent months.

US Ambassador to UN and Taiwan’s President Meet Virtually (2021-01-14)
(AP, By Edith Lederer) Her trip canceled in the final days of the Trump administration, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft instead met virtually Wednesday night with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and told her: “The United States will always stand with Taiwan."

Trade Deal Still Key, Ministry Says After US Comment (2021-01-13)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) Striving for a bilateral trade agreement with the US remains key to the government’s diplomatic work, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, after outgoing US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said that trade disputes with Taiwan have not been resolved.

Taiwanese Can Fill Gap Left by Closing Confucius Institutes: AIT (2021-01-16) (CNA, By Chen Yun-yu and Matthew Mazzetta) As many American universities shutter their Confucius Institutes amid scrutiny over their ties to the Chinese government, "now is the time" for the United States and Taiwan to deepen their cooperation in education, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen said Saturday.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
On Taiwan’s New Passport, the Incredible Shrinking ‘Republic of China’ (2021-01-11)
(New York Times, By Livia Albeck-Ripka) The self-governing island’s official name, Republic of China, has been downsized in the new passport, though it remains on the cover in Chinese characters. The words “Taiwan Passport” appear in large bold type. The government said early in the pandemic that it was all an attempt to lessen confusion surrounding its citizens traveling during the coronavirus outbreak, and to disassociate them from people coming from mainland China as many countries rushed to bar entry to Chinese travelers.

U.S.-China Relations
Taiwan Key to Curbing China: US Report (2021-01-14)
(Taipei Times with Bloomberg and CNA, By Jonathan Chin) US President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday declassified a report that casts the defense of Taiwan as critical to the Indo-Pacific strategy of checking China’s ascent, Bloomberg reported yesterday (Link to the report "U.S. Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific").

Will Congress Be a ‘Spoiler’ in Biden’s China Policy?
(The Diplomat, By Robert Sutter) Despite intense partisan frictions, on China policy in particular there is much room for consensus.

Trump, China, and Foreign Policy as Theater (2021-01-12)
(The Diplomat, By Abhijnan Rej) A new op-ed by Mike Pompeo and Marshall Billingslea vividly demonstrates everything that has been wrong with Trump’s China policy.

Chinese Media Calls Capitol Riot ‘World Masterpiece’ (2021-01-12)
(Foreign Policy, By Tracy Wen Liu) Instructions sent to reporters emphasized attacking democracy and promoting censorship.

China Is Already Using the Storming of the US Capitol for Propaganda
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Early statements, both official and on Twitter, reveal how the violence in Washington D.C. will benefit China.

U.S. Bans All Cotton and Tomatoes From Xinjiang Region of China (2021-01-13)
(New York Times, By Ana Swanson) The Trump administration on Wednesday announced a ban on imports of cotton and tomatoes from the Xinjiang area of China, as well as all products made with those materials, citing human rights violations and the widespread use of forced labor in the region.

Hong Kong Protests: Five Fugitives Who Fled to Taiwan ‘Seeking Asylum in the United States’ (2021-01-16)
(SCMP, By Christy Leung) Five Hong Kong fugitives who reportedly fled to Taiwan and were intercepted by the self-ruled island’s coastguard in July last year are now seeking asylum in the United States, according to an activist group.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China's Domestic Politics
Has China Decided That ‘Moderately Prosperous’ Is Good Enough? (2021-01-12)
(Foreign Policy, By Salvatore Babones) As China’s growth model sputters and Xi Jinping prioritizes repression over reform, China looks unlikely to join the ranks of developed countries.

China Is Making Support for Democracy a Crime in Hong Kong (2021-01-12)
(The Diplomat, By Frances Hui) Nearly all of the city’s prominent pro-democracy voices have been arrested or forced into exile.

Hong Kong Police Arrest 53 Pro-Democrats on Subversion Charges (2021-01-12)
(The Diplomat, By Jessie Lau) The charges stem from a plan to win a majority in Hong Kong’s legislature and use that power to veto the government’s budget.

In Hong Kong, a New Party Calls for Stability (and Raises Suspicions) (2021-01-16)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher and Vivian Wang) The Bauhinia Party appears to be offering itself to Beijing as a new model for allies, ones who are more overt about their ties to the central government and their admiration for its top-down approach.

Huawei Patent Mentions Use of Uighur-Spotting Tech (2021-01-13)
(BBC, By Leo Kelion) A Huawei patent has been brought to light for a system that identifies people who appear to be of Uighur origin among images of pedestrians. The filing is one of several of its kind involving leading Chinese technology companies, discovered by a US research company and shared with BBC News.

China's Foreign Relations
A Year After Wuhan, China Tells a Tale of Triumph (and No Mistakes) (2021-01-10)
(New York Times, By Amy Qin and Javier C. Hernández) The Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to hide its missteps have taken on new urgency as the anniversary of the world’s first Covid-19 lockdown nears. 

Disappointing Chinese Vaccine Results Pose Setback for Developing World (2021-01-13)
(New York Times, By Sui-Lee Wee and Ernesto Londoño) Scientists in Brazil have downgraded the efficacy of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine that they hailed as a major triumph last week, diminishing hopes for a shot that could be quickly produced and easily distributed to help the developing world.

Financial Technology Is China’s Trojan Horse (2021-01-13)
(Foreign Affairs, By Nadia Schadlow and Richard Kang) China’s emerging dominance in financial technology, also known as “fintech,” poses an even more fundamental problem for the United States. Washington cannot trust that the Chinese Communist Party will harness its growing influence in financial markets for the benefit of all. More likely, Beijing will use fintech to occupy the high ground in global commerce, bolster its surveillance state, and lay the groundwork to challenge the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

To China, Spades Are Trumps (2021-01-12)
(The Diplomat, By Harry Harding) China has inherited the confidence of Khrushchev’s famous declaration to the West: “We will bury you.”

China Won’t Rush to Join CPTPP. Neither Should the US. (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Alex Yu-Ting Lin and Saori N. Katada) Patience – and careful attention to laying the domestic groundwork – would benefit both countries more than a race to join the trade pact.

China-EU Investment Deal Sparks Backlash Over Rights Concerns (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Civil society organizations and members of the European Parliament alike are objecting to the deal amid China’s continuing crackdowns in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

What Does a New White Paper Tell Us About China’s International Aid? (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By By Zhang Chao and Tang Yuxuan) The official document casts light on how China’s aid program has grown and evolved since 2014.

China’s Foreign Minister Revives Belt and Road on 5-Country Africa Tour (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Eleanor Albert) Wang Yi’s visit added two new partners for the BRI, among other agreements.
Military Balance
Air Force Command Receives Upgraded Hsiung Feng-2E Missile System (2021-01-11)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Ko Lin) A small batch of upgraded Hsiung Feng-2E surface-to-surface cruise missiles, which Taiwan hopes will give it a stronger deterrent against China's military threat, has been delivered for use by an active Air Force unit, a military source said Monday.

Navy Cancels Port Visits to Allies Over COVID-19 Concerns (2021-01-12)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Chung Yu-chen) Taiwan Navy's midshipmen crusing training mission will not include port calls in the country's diplomatic allies this year as the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of easing, a military source said Tuesday.

Three Chinese Military Planes Enter Taiwan's ADIZ (2021-01-12)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Chung Yu-chen) Three Chinese military aircraft entered the southwest corner of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND).

Third Chinese Aircraft Carrier Nears Completion Amid Shipyard Expansion (2021-01-12)
(The Diplomat, By Steven Stashwick) Work begins on fourth carrier, but future plans remain murky.
Regional Issues
Trump Has Made America a Laughingstock (2021-01-12)
(New York Times, By Ivan Krastev) For the past century, America’s power has also represented the power of democracy. In the days after the storming of the Capitol, democratic leaders in Europe cannot take the resilience of American democracy for granted, nor the standing power of America’s global influence.

How America Can Shore Up Asian Order (2021-01-12)
(Foreign Affairs, By Kurt M. Campbell and Rush Doshi) The key implication today of A World Restored is not that the Indo-Pacific requires its own version of Europe’s great-power condominium or a modern U.S.-Chinese concert. It is instead that regional orders work best when they sustain both balance and legitimacy and that Washington should work to advance both in Asia.

France and India Hold Strategic Dialogue
(The Diplomat, By Abhijnan Rej) Paris has been an old friend of New Delhi; their relations continue to deepen amid a French Indo-Pacific push.

Indian Defense Ministry Year End Review Focuses on China (2021-01-12)
(The Diplomat, By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan) India’s year end defense review explicitly mentions China, an interesting feature given the reluctance of Indian leaders to directly address Beijing at times.

India and Indonesia Push Ahead with Defense Relationship (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Abhijnan Rej) Despite deepening strategic relations, the two countries have latent differences in the maritime domain.

What Does the US Indo-Pacific Framework Say About Southeast Asia? (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Sebastian Strangio) The document lays out ambitious aims for the region, with little apparent sense of how they can be fulfilled.

Australia’s Reading of the US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Joshua Mcdonald) Australia is noted in the document not nearly as often as Japan, South Korea, or India, but that likely underscores the already tight relations between the two countries.

China’s Goals for Wang Yi’s Southeast Asian Tour (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Nian Peng) The foreign minister’s trip was about much more than COVID-19 vaccines.

What Are Asian Governments Saying About the Storming of the US Capitol? (2021-01-12)
(The Diplomat) A collection of official statements from across the Asia-Pacific.

Want a Rules-Based Order for the Indo-Pacific? Start With Diego Garcia.
(The Diplomat, By Peter Harris) The U.S. pushing for the divesting of colonialism in the Chagos Archipelago would be a good place to begin.

Gen. Vance Falls for Grand Strategy to Confront China and Russia (2021-01-11)
(Globe and Mail, By Robert Fife) At this time, Gen. Vance said, there is no indication China will invade Taiwan, even though the People’s Liberation Army has stepped up cyberattacks and used its warplanes and navy to harass the self-governing island of 24 million almost on a daily basis. But he said the West needs to put plans in place to make sure Beijing understands that there will be consequences if it uses force against Taiwan.

Kim Jong Un Declares North Korea Will Advance Nuclear Capabilities (2021-01-16)
(The Diplomat, By Mitch Shin) During the Eighth Party Congress, Kim vowed to enhance the country’s missile programs and nuclear power – a worrying sign for diplomacy with the U.S. and South Korea.

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