::: TSR Weekly Report
2021-01-30 | NO.45(05) epaper |
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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
Ryan Hass On Taiwan: The path to protecting bipartisan US support for Taiwan (2021-01-25)
(Taipei Times, By Ryan Hass) As this rhetorical arms race on China heats up, so too will Congressional statements and symbolic legislation in support of Taiwan. Taiwan policymakers will need to decide whether to embrace and encourage such gestures, given the risk that doing so could invite a perception of cheering partisan statements that are in tension with the policies of the Biden administration, and the fact that most such gestures will have negligible influence on US policy.

No Notification from U.S. on Suspension of Arms Deals to Taiwan: MOFA
(CNA, By Emerson Lim) Communication channels between Taiwan and the U.S. remain smooth and the U.S. pledge to support Taiwan's defense capabilities remains unchanged, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said, citing a State Department statement issued Jan. 23, three days after Joe Biden was sworn in as the new U.S. president.

Taiwan to Discuss Supply Chains with U.S. Next Week Amid Auto Shortage (2021-01-29)
(Reuters) Taiwan Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua will hold a virtual meeting with the United States next week to discuss supply chains, with semiconductor firms present, her ministry said on Friday, amid a global shortage of chips used by automakers.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics
Formosa Poll January 2021 (2021-01-24)
(Formosa) According to the Taiwan Mood Barometer Survey conducted by Formosa in late January, 59.6% of respondents indicated that they trusted President Tsai Ing-wen (an increase of 6.0% since the previous survey), while 36.2% indicated that they did not trust Tsai (a decrease of 5.0% since the previous survey). 57.8% indicated that they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance (an increase of 3.5% since the previous survey), while 39.5% indicated that they were dissatisfied (an increase of 5.2% since the previous survey). 52.0% indicated that they were satisfied with the performance of Premier Su Tseng-chang (a decrease of 0.8% since the previous survey), while 43.4% indicated that they were dissatisfied (a decrease of 5.9% since the previous survey). 21.8% respondents cosidered their party affiliation pan-blue, while 37.8% pan-green, and 33.0% independent.

The Role of Political Culture in Taiwan’s COVID-19 Success
(The Diplomat, By Marc Marmino and Layne Vandenberg) Taiwan’s political culture is the unexpected key to public compliance with COVID-19 digital surveillance.

Taiwan's Foreign Relations 
Germany Urges Taiwan to Help Ease Auto Chip Shortage (2021-01-24)
(Reuters, By Michael Nienaber) Germany has asked Taiwan to persuade Taiwanese manufacturers to help ease a shortage of semiconductor chips in the auto sector which is hampering its fledgling economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taiwan Asks Germany to Help Obtain Coronavirus Vaccines (2021-01-28)
(Reuters) Taiwan has sought Germany’s help in securing COVID-19 vaccines, Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said on Thursday, after Berlin asked for the island’s assistance in easing a shortage of automobile semiconductor chips.
U.S.-China Relations
Biden’s Nightmare May Be China (2021-01-30)
(New York Times, By Nicholas Kristof) Biden has recruited an excellent, tough-minded team of Asia experts, but the criticisms reflect a hardening toward Beijing across the political spectrum that leaves little room for diplomacy. That makes me nervous.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden’s pick for U.N. ambassador, calls 2019 China speech ‘a huge mistake.’ (2021-01-27)
(New York Times, By Pranshu Verma) Linda Thomas-Greenfield, President Biden’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Wednesday called for America’s muscular return to the multilateral body to counter the rise of China during her confirmation hearing, while facing tough questions for her decision to deliver a speech two years ago at an institute that some have described as disseminating Chinese propaganda.

A Scientist Is Arrested, and Academics Push Back (2021-01-26)
(New York Times, By Ellen Barry) “To put this threat into perspective, we have now reached the point where the F.B.I. is opening a new China-related counterintelligence investigation about every 10 hours,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, the F.B.I.’s Boston special agent in charge.

U.S. Blocks Hong Kong's Escalation of WTO Trade Dispute
(Reuters) The United States on Monday blocked a decision by Hong Kong to escalate a Trump-era trade disagreement at the World Trade Organization, in its first meeting on disputes at the Geneva-based body since U.S. President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Want US-China Nuclear Arms Control? Start With the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
(The Diplomat, By Jonathan Stutte) Neither China nor the U.S. has ratified the treaty banning nuclear tests. It’s a great place to start talks on nuclear arms control.

The Trump Administration’s Final China Push (2021-01-27)
(The Diplomat, By Ben Lowsen) The Trump administration in its waning hours took more aggressive measures against Beijing. Has it locked new President Biden into a needlessly hostile policy?
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China's Domestic Politics
Hong Kong’s Present Echoes Tibet’s Past (2021-01-27)
(The Diplomat, By Simon Shen) In both 1959 Tibet and 2019 Hong Kong, popular dissent became a flashpoint for the end of meaningful autonomy – just as Beijing had planned.

China to Stop Recognizing Special U.K. Passports for Hong Kongers (2021-01-29)
(New York Times, By Vivian Wang) Britain’s plan had incensed Beijing, which quickly warned of potential retaliation. On Friday, Chinese government officials made clear that they saw the new visa rules as a direct challenge to their sovereignty.

China’s Ocean Policy Specialist to Miss Out on 20th Central Committee (2021-01-27)
(The Diplomat, By Tristan Kenderdine) Liu Cigui’s promotion from Hainan party secretary effectively takes him out of the running for the ultimate prize: membership in the CCP Politburo.

China's Foreign Relations 
China’s Xi Champions Multilateralism at Davos, Again (2021-01-27)
(The Diplomat, By Eleanor Albert) Once again, China’s leader addressed the World Economic Forum to outline his vision for global governance.

China’s ‘Vaccine Diplomacy’ Leaves its Mark on ASEAN
(The Diplomat, By Luke Hunt) Most Southeast Asian governments are looking to China for help in combating COVID-19.

China Wanted to Show Off Its Vaccines. It’s Backfiring. (2021-01-25)
(New York Times, By Sui-Lee Wee) Beijing officials who had hoped the vaccines would burnish China’s global reputation are now on the defensive. State media has started a misinformation campaign against the American vaccines, questioning the safety of the Pfizer and Moderna shots and promoting the Chinese vaccines as a better alternative.

The Pitfalls of the China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (2021-01-27)
(The Diplomat, By Dr. James Carafano, Dr. Arvind Gupta, Jeff M. Smith) Two of Europe’s important partners, India and the U.S., share concerns about the new deal.
Military Balance
America Can Defend Taiwan (2021-01-26)
(WSJ, By Elbridge Colby) To put it simply, defeating a Chinese invasion would require the U.S., Taiwan and any other engaged parties to cripple or destroy enough Chinese amphibious ships and transport aircraft to prevent the PLA from holding the island. For a country spending more than $700 billion a year on defense, this is a tractable problem, if America focuses on it.

China Sends Warplanes to Taiwan Strait in a Show of Force to Biden
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy) China sent warplanes into the Taiwan Strait over the weekend, a show of force to the Biden administration that signals Beijing’s plans to maintain pressure on Taiwan even as it calls for a reset with the United States.

Four Chinese Military Planes Enter Taiwan's ADIZ (2021-01-27)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Matthew Mazzetta) Four Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MDN).

Air Force Showcases Taiwan-Made Long-Range Cruise Missile in Drill (2021-01-26)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's Air Force on Tuesday conducted a rare public drill of loading a type of locally made cruise missiles that reportedly has a range within reach of coastal Chinese provinces to one of its fighters, amid increasing military threats from the other side of the Taiwan Strait.

Navy Unveils New Assault Speedboat in Kaohsiung Drill (2021-01-27)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh) The Navy on Wednesday showed the public for the first time a locally built assault speedboat that will be used by the military to defend harbors and counter terrorists, pirates and hijackers at sea. The M109 special operations speedboat took part in a series of drills at sea off Tsoying Naval Base in southern Kaohsiung that simulated an attempted invasion by an enemy vessel.

China Sharpens Language, Warns Taiwan that Independence 'Means War' (2021-01-28)
(Reuters, By Tony Munroe and Yew Lun Tian) China toughened its language towards Taiwan on Thursday, warning after recent stepped up military activities near the island that “independence means war” and that its armed forces were acting in response to provocation and foreign interference.

How Space Became the Next ‘Great Power’ Contest Between the U.S. and China (2021-01-24)
(New York Times, By William J. Broad) Among the most important national security issues now facing President Biden is how to contend with the threat that China poses to the American military in space and, by extension, terrestrial forces that rely on the overhead platforms. 

What’s Ahead for China’s Space Program in 2021? (2021-01-27)
(The Diplomat, By Namrata Goswami) From a Mars mission to the beginnings of a new space station, this year will be full of milestones for China.
Regional Issues
US Carrier Group Enters South China Sea (2021-01-25)
(Taipei Times/Reuters, By Ben Blanchard) A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington.

Germany to Send Naval Frigate to Japan with Eye on China (2021-01-25)
(Nikkei, By Shogo Akagawa) The German government is considering sending a naval frigate to Japan as part of its new focus on the Indo-Pacific, Nikkei has learned.

Australian Military to Continue Patrols (2021-01-30)
(Taipei Times) Australian military ships and aircraft would continue to patrol the South China Sea amid warnings from China that a declaration of independence by Taiwan would “mean war."

Biden, Japan PM Discuss China Action Near Senkaku Islands (2021-01-27)
(Associated Press, By Aamer Madhani) President Joe Biden spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday and offered his administration’s commitment to protecting the Senkaku Islands, a group of uninhabited islets administered by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing, the White House said.

New India-China Border Clash Shows Simmering Tensions (2021-01-25)
(New York Times, By Jeffrey Gettleman, Emily Schmall and Hari Kumar) Indian and Chinese troops have clashed along their disputed Himalayan border, according to media and military reports on Monday, as Beijing quietly intensifies pressure against its southern neighbor with new incursions into territory claimed by both sides.

Is the China-India Border Dispute Shifting East? (2021-01-27)
(The Diplomat, By Bérénice Guyot-Réchard and Kyle Gardner) In the larger scheme of things, the eastern segment of the Line of Actual Control and Arunachal Pradesh are more consequential for both Asian giants than Ladakh.

Artificial Intelligence Collaboration in Asia’s Security Landscape (2021-01-27)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) AI represents an emerging area of regional security collaboration in spite of its inherent challenges.

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