::: TSR Weekly Report
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2021-02-20 | NO.45(08) 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
Taiwan Coast Guard Ships Add New Livery to Distinguish Them from China's (2021-02-17)
(CNA, By Liu Chien-pang, Wen Kui-hsiang, and Emerson Lim) Taiwan's more-than 200 coast guard vessels will all soon be emblazoned with the word "Taiwan" to distinguish them from Chinese vessels.

Clubhouse Gave Taiwan and China a Rare Opportunity for Cross-Strait Dialogue
 (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) The voice chat app’s brief moment in the sun revealed the stark difference in how Chinese and Taiwanese users experience the internet.

Will Taiwan Be the Next Cuba? (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By William Bratton) China could follow the U.S. approach to Cuba and try to suffocate Taiwan economically.

Covid-19 Vaccine Maker BioNTech Says it Still Plans to Supply Doses to Taiwan (2021-02-18)
(SCMP, By Lawrence Chung) A deal for German pharmaceutical firm BioNTech to supply Taiwan with 5 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine could still be clinched despite possible pressure from Beijing.

Four Taiwan Ex-Intelligence Officers Charged with Spying for Mainland China (2021-02-20)
(SCMP with Agence France-Presse) Four retired Taiwanese military intelligence officers – including a major general – have been indicted for spying for mainland China, prosecutors said on Saturday.
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
What to Expect From US-Taiwan Relations in 2021 (and Beyond) (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) In an exclusive interview, Taiwan’s Ambassador Hsiao Bi-khim discusses U.S.-Taiwan ties under the Biden administration.

U.S. House Introduces Bill to Back Taiwan's WHO Observer Status Bid (2021-02-19)
(CNA, By Stacy Hsu and Evelyn Kao) After the U.S. rejoined the WHO following President Joe Biden assuming office last month, Democrat and incumbent Rep. Brad Sherman and Republican Rep. Young Kim on Thursday introduced a bipartisan bill that would direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the WHO.

Global Chip Shortage Challenges Biden’s Hope for Manufacturing Revival (2021-02-18)
(New York Times, By Ana Swanson) The United States has also tried to leverage its ties with Taiwan, one of the world’s largest chip manufacturers, to make sure American customers are not disadvantaged. In a letter sent on Wednesday, Mr. Deese thanked Wang Mei-Hua, the Taiwanese minister of economic affairs, for her “personal attention and support in resolving the current shortages faced by American automobile manufacturers.”
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics
Taiwan's Cabinet Approves Space Development Promotion Act (2021-02-18)
(CNA, By Yu Hsiang and Evelyn Kao) Taiwan's Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft act regulating space-based activities and promoting the development of space-related industries.

Taiwan Names New Defense, Intelligence, China Affairs Heads (Update) (2021-02-19)
(CNA, By Liu Kuan-ting, Wen Kuei-hsiang, and Matthew Mazzetta) Taiwan's Presidential Office on Friday announced a reshuffle of three Cabinet-level officials, replacing the leaders of the Ministry of National Defense, the National Security Bureau and the Mainland Affairs Council.

KMT Chairman Launches Re-Election Bid (2021-02-20)
(CNA, By Liu Kuan-ting and Frances Huang) Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), chairman of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) announced on Saturday that he will seek re-election of the party's chairmanship scheduled for July.

Taiwan's Foreign Relations 
Taipei Praises Choice of New WTO Head (2021-02-17)
(Taipei Times/CNA/Reuters, By Kayleigh Madjar) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was on Monday chosen as the next director-general of the WTO, drawing praise from Taipei after the former Nigerian minister of finance promised fair treatment for Taiwan during her tenure.
U.S.-China Relations
US Defense Department to Create Big Picture China Task Force (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By Abhijnan Rej) The move comes amid a visible push by the Biden administration to meet the China challenge.

First Biden-Xi Phone Call Shows Not Much Has Changed in US-China Relations (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) While China calls for cooperation, the new U.S. administration shares many of the same talking points of the Trump team.

Biden on ‘Short Leash’ as Administration Rethinks China Relations (2021-02-17)
(New York Times, By Ana Swanson) Biden administration officials have tried to project a tough line on China in their first weeks in office. These early efforts have not concealed the enormous challenge President Biden faces in trying to formulate a strategy to deal with China at a time when any relations with Beijing are treated as thoroughly toxic in Washington.

The Silent Serpent: Why China’s Influence on U.S. Universities Has Gone Unnoticed (2021-02-18)
(The National Interest, By Chad Wolf James, Jay Carafano, and Mike Gonzalez) To be clear, these institutes are nothing but influence operations. Yes, Hanban, the Chinese entity that runs the Institutes represents itself as reporting to the Education Ministry. Its website compares the Institutes to the “British Council, Germany’s Goethe Institute, Spain’s Cervantes Institutes and the Alliance Francaise” and stresses the teaching of the Chinese language. But these are all misrepresentations.

An Unsentimental China Policy (2021-02-18)
(Foreign Affairs, By Graham Allison and Fred Hu) Addressing the immediate threats to U.S. survival requires working with the China that exists, not dreaming of the China one might wish for. Preventing military crises, combating climate change, containing future pandemics, preventing nuclear proliferation, fighting terrorism, managing financial crises—none of this can be done without accepting the reality that the autocratic regime in Beijing runs China now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Semiconductors and the U.S.-China Innovation Race (2021-02-16)
(Foreign Policy) The COVID-19 pandemic and international trade disputes are straining the [semiconductor] industry’s supply and value chains while the battle between the United States and China over tech supremacy risks splintering the supply chain further, contributing to technological fragmentation and significant disruption in international commerce.

China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China's Domestic Politics
China Bans BBC World News Over Xinjiang Reporting (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) The move followed a BBC report on the systemic sexual abuse of Uyghurs, as well as a British decision to ban CGTN broadcasts.

China Blocks Clubhouse, App Used for Political Discussion (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By Joe McDonald and Dake Kang) Thousands of Chinese had flocked to the app, which allowed unfettered discussion with people abroad about democracy, Taiwan, and other sensitive topics.

How the Chinese State Mobilized Civil Society to Fight COVID-19 (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By Diana Fu) The COVID-19 crisis pushed to the frontlines a civil society that is mobilized and led by the Chinese Communist Party, whether directly or indirectly.

China's Foreign Relations 
The Stories China Tells (2021-02-16)
(Foreign Affairs, By Jessica Chen Weiss) Even more important is the simple fact that China’s growing authoritarianism is at odds with the dominant postwar narrative in Europe and the United States that explains why the war was fought: to save democracy from fascism. As an increasingly dictatorial party-state, the CCP obviously cannot embrace that version of history or find an easy way to insert China into it. As Mitter perceptively observes, “keeping the world safe for consumerist authoritarianism is hardly a very attractive offer in the twenty-first century."



How China’s 17+1 Became a Zombie Mechanism (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By Andreea Brînză) The Central and Eastern European countries were supposed to be China’s gateway to Europe; instead they have become its biggest headache.

Military Balance
Chinese Spy Planes Enter Taiwan's ADIZ for 11th Day in February (2021-02-17)
(CNA, By Chen Yun-yu and Emerson Lim) Two Chinese spy planes entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday, the 11th day on which such intrusions have occurred in February.

Chinese Fighters Buzz Taiwan's Air Zone as It Appoints New Defence Minister (2021-02-19)
(Reuters, By Ben Blanchard) Taiwan’s air force scrambled on Friday after eight Chinese fighter aircraft flew into the southwestern part of its air defence zone in another display of stepped-up military activity around the democratic island.
Regional Issues
Indian Defense Minister Outlines Ladakh Disengagement Plan (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By Abhijnan Rej) Rajnath Singh’s speech at the upper house of the Indian parliament described a plan to create a buffer zone in the north bank of Pangong Lake.

Chinese and Indian Forces to Disengage Along Pangong Lake: PLA (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By Abhijnan Rej) If the PLA statement and media reports hold, the disengagement would mark a first, crucial step toward ending the nine-month standoff in Ladakh.

U.S. Ship Sails in South China Sea by China-Claimed Islands (2021-02-17)
(Reuters) A U.S. Navy warship sailed by islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Wednesday in a freedom of navigation operation, marking the latest move by Washington to challenge Beijing’s territorial claims in the contested waters.

Taiwan Calls for Restraint in Waters Around Diaoyutais (2021-02-18)
(CNA, By Chen Yun-yu and Emerson Lim) Taiwan's government on Thursday reasserted its sovereignty over the contested Diaoyutai Islands and called for restraint by all parties as tensions between Japan and China escalate.

US Charges North Korean Computer Programmers in Global Hacks (2021-02-18)
(Associated Press, By Eric Tucker) The Justice Department has charged three North Korean computer programmers in a broad range of global hacks, including a destructive attack targeting an American movie studio, and in the attempted theft and extortion of more than $1.3 billion from banks and companies, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

What’s Behind Cambodia’s Cancellation of Military Exercises with China? (2021-02-16)
(The Diplomat, By Sebastian Strangio) The cancellation, purportedly due to COVID-19, could be a peace offering to the Biden administration.

Report Shows Rising Southeast Asian Trust in US, Falling Trust in China (2021-02-16)
(The DIplomat, By Sebastian Strangio)Fear of China, and optimism about the Biden administration, underpin the shift in regional opinion toward the two superpowers.
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