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  • Trump Says U.S. Won't End Arms Sales to Taiwan: Report (2017-11-14)
    (CNA) U.S. President Donald Trump made clear to Beijing that Washington will continue to supply Taiwan with defensive weapons. Trump arrived in China on November 8 as a part of his Asian tour, but neither party mentioned Taiwan at the joint press conference the following day. The subject was supposedly brought up during the meeting. 
  • Taiwan is an Independent, but not Normal Nation: Ko (2017-11-14)
    (Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia) In response to questions on cross-strait relations posed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at the Taipei City Council, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said Taiwan is an independent, sovereign state and is not a part of China. He said he can accept being culturally Chinese, but that Taiwan is not politically a part of China, adding that he would rather be viewed as Taiwanese. 
  • Taiwan Losing Out, Should Start China Talks: Ex-Minister (2017-11-14)
    (Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia) Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou said that Taiwan should start political negotiations with China soon because its importance as a bargaining chip against China is decreasing. Universal values like democracy and freedom which used to play a large role in international relations were not mentioned during Trump's Asia trip; instead, talks focused on economic relations. Ou believes Taiwan needs to confront China continuously in order to remain an important factor in US-China relations. 
  • Tsai Praises TPP Progress at APEC (2017-11-14)
    (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen affirmed Taiwan's ambition to be a part of regional economic integration by praising the efforts of the APEC leaders to create a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. Tsai said Taiwan will continue to improve its industrial structure to show its capability to be a part of such a partnership and to increase its international visibility. 
  • Taiwan Advocate Considered For US Defense Position (2017-11-13)
    (Taipei Times, By Nadia Tsao and Jake Chung) Sources in Washington, DC have reported that Alexander Gray may soon be tapped for deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Trump administration. Grey has long been a proponent of increased Taiwanese national defense and is familiar with military affairs between China and Taiwan. 
  • Taiwan Urged to Move Fast to Join Regional Trade Deal (2017-11-12)
    (CNA) Taiwan has been urged by its spokesperson to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) to conduct policy reforms to be ready to join the newly proposed Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTPP is a new version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) created after the U.S.'s formal withdrawal in January.
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  • Susan Rice: Trump Is Making China Great Again (2017-11-15)
    (New York Times, By Susan Rice) In China, the wheels began to come off President Trump's diplomatic bus. The Chinese leadership played President Trump like a fiddle, catering to his insatiable ego and substituting pomp and circumstance for substance. 
  • Why China’s Central Military Commission Got Downsized (2017-11-15)
    (The Diplomat, By Don Tse) There are three primary reasons as to why the CMC was downsized in the 19th Party Congress. These include Xi Jinping's objective of power consolidation, his avoidance of internal backlash from expanding it, and to buy time.  
  • Taiwan in a Challenging East Asia Security Environment (2017-11-14)
    (Taiwan Insight, By Gordon Houlden) The economic rupture of East Asia caused by a meltdown of deeply intertwined relations between the US and China would not spare Taiwan, or its economy. The potential gains of closer political and military linkages between Washington and Taipei in the wake of fractured US-PRC relations would most probably be more than outweighed by the economic dislocation that would likely follow, as well as the prospect of a more aggressive stance by Beijing towards Taipei. 
  • Xi Jinping’s Taiwan Policy in the New Era (2017-10-29)
    (Taiwan Security Research, By Dr. Su Chi) Clearly the weight of “peaceful reunification” and the importance of the “hearts and minds of Taiwan people” are reduced in Beijing’s policy toward Taiwan in Xi’s “New Era.” 
  • Trump’s Mixed Messages Fail to Reassure Asian Allies (2017-11-14)
    (New York Times, By Mark Landler) The president’s marathon trip left many unsure about America’s staying power and fed a growing sense that China drives the region’s agenda. 
  • Taiwan Policymaking in Xi Jinping’s “New Era” (2017-11-10)
    (Jamestown Foundation, By Lauren Dickey) To understand the “new era” in Chinese policymaking toward Taiwan requires assessments of both personnel and policy. The introduction of new blood is intended to enhance the Party’s ability to achieve its agenda toward Taiwan. Those selected to fill the ranks of the CCLGTW—appointments likely to be formalized at, if not before, the Lianghui (两会, National People’s Congress and CPPCC meetings) in March 2018—are those either trusted by Xi or with experiences relevant to implementing Taiwan policy. 
  • One Belt One Road and East Africa: Beyond Chinese Influence (2017-11-10)
    (Jamestown Foundation, By Cobus van Staden) From its earliest iterations, OBOR was envisioned as both connecting regional hubs to China and connecting them to each other. Since to its coining in 2013, Chinese government statements have consistently called for greater regional integration, and emphasized the provision of trans-frontier transportation and logistics networks as key to the entire project (NDRC, March 30, 2015). Even if one takes the often grandiose official OBOR rhetoric with a grain of salt, it is worth noting that the initiative was articulated as a series of “interlinked regional integrations that ultimately translate into a link with Beijing. 
  • Has Xi Jinping Become “Emperor for Life”? (2017-11-10)
    (Jamestown Foundation, By Willy Wo-Lap Lam) The just-ended 19th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress has confirmed Xi Jinping’s status as China’s “Emperor for Life.” The 64-year-old “core leader” has filled the country’s highest-ruling councils—the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC)—with his cronies and loyalists. 
  • CCP Revises Constitution For a “New Era” (2017-11-10)
    (Jamestown Foundation, By Peter Wood) On October 24, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) issued a revised version of its constitution (中国共产党章程). Since the current version adopted in 1982, it has been amended several times, including in 1987, 1992 and 2012. As the foundational document of China’s ruling political party—and in practice more significant than the national constitution—the revisions act as an important coda to the results of the recently concluded 19th Party Congress and point out where China is likely headed for the next five years. 
  • Freedom and Openness in the Asia Pacific Free and Open for Interpretation (2017-11-14)
    (East Asia Forum, By James Laurenceson) Last month US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made it clear that (North Korea aside) the United States regarded China as the main country undermining its ‘free and open’ vision, while a quadrangle of the United States, India, Japan and Australia were hailed as its core defenders. 
  • World’s Eyes on Asian Summits (2017-11-13)
    (East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) There is no doubt that the region faces a range of crucial political and security challenges. But zero-sum security relationships can be nested within positive-sum economic relationships in the region. That is why APEC is an appropriate setting in which to make progress on some more difficult political security issues. 
  • Behind the Scenes, Communist Strategist Presses China’s Rise (2017-11-13)
    (New York Times, By Jane Perlez) Wang Huning, a close adviser to the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, has brought a steadiness of vision and purpose to China’s rivalry with the United States. 
  • Trump Lauds ‘Great Relationship’ With Duterte in Manila (2017-11-13)
    (New York Times, By Julie Hirschfeld Davis) Human rights issues “briefly came up” as the leaders met in a friendly session on the sidelines of a summit meeting in the Philippines. 
  • Duterte Warms to Trump, but Keeps His Focus on China (2017-11-12)
    (New York Times, By Richard C. Paddock and Felipe Villamor) The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, is “talking as friends” with the American president, but his long-term goal is a closer relationship with the Chinese. 
  • Trans-Pacific Trade Partners Are Moving On, Without the U.S. (2017-11-11)
    (New York Times, By Alexandra Stevenson and Motoko Rich) As President Trump dismissed global trade talks, the other members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership revived a major multinational agreement that would include American allies. 
  • Trump to Asia: Unite on North Korea, but Go It Alone on Trade (2017-11-11)
    (New York Times, By Mark Landler) Reconciling the contradictory messages to the region may determine the near-term fate of the United States as a Pacific power. 
  • Vietnam, in a Bind, Tries to Chart a Path Between U.S. and China (2017-11-11)
    (New York Times, By Hannah Beech) It is hard to overstate the long history of Vietnamese antipathy toward the Chinese. But with the U.S. apparently withdrawing from the region, Hanoi can’t ignore Beijing. 
  • Donald Trump’s Early Summit Exit Casts Doubt over US Ties to Asia (2017-11-14)
    (South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou and Viola Zhou) US President Donald Trump has again raised doubts about his country’s commitment to the region by opting abruptly to skip a full session of an Asian summit and head home. Trump had been expected wrap up his marathon 12-day regional tour by attending the main session of the East Asia Summit in Manila on Tuesday, a gathering that was dominated by discussions on North Korea and trade. But Trump left for home from the Philippines after a lunch with other state leaders because meetings were running about two hours late. 
  • China-led Regional Trade Pact Tries to Make Ground as Restyled TPP Pushes On Without US (2017-11-14)
    (South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou and Liu Zhen) The leaders of the 16 countries that signed up to a China-led trade pact sought to make progress on the deal during an Asean business summit in the Philippines capital Manila on Tuesday. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a regional free-trade agreement supported by the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, along with China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. However, after 20 rounds of negotiations, the details of the deal remain under discussion. 
  • China, Vietnam Sign Cooperation Pacts in Bid to Play Down South China Sea Tensions (2017-11-14)
    (South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) China and Vietnam have signed a series of deals to increase cooperation as the two nations move to play down tensions over their rival claims to parts of the South China Sea. The deals were signed on Monday as Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up a state visit to Vietnam, his first since the last month’s Communist Party national congress. However, analysts said the maritime disputes were still likely be a source of friction between the two neighbours. 
  • Beijing Bars Taipei from United Nations Climate Talks, Island Says (2017-11-14)
    (Reuters) Taiwan’s environment minister was stopped from attending an annual UN climate meeting under pressure from Beijing despite having credentials as a non-governmental participant, the island said. Environmental Protection Agency Minister Lee Ying-yuan was planning to attend a United Nations climate change meeting in Germany, the island’s foreign ministry said in a statement late on Monday. 
  • South China Sea Code of Conduct Talks to Help Stabilise Region, Says China’s Premier (2017-11-14)
    (Reuters) China’s agreement to begin discussions with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on the fine print of a code of conduct framework for the disputed South China Sea will be a “stabiliser” for the region, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said. “China’s greatest hope is for peace and stability in the South China Sea,” Li told Asean leaders in Manila. 
  • Wary China on ‘Quad’ Bloc Watch after Officials from US, Japan, India and Australia Meet on Asean Sidelines (2017-11-13)
    (South China Morning Post, By Shi Jiangtao and Laura Zhou) Beijing cautioned on Monday against an alliance between the United States and three of its regional allies after officials from the four countries met for the first time in Manila, raising prospects for a bloc to counter China’s strategic expansion. In response to Sunday’s meeting of officials from the US, India, Australia and Japan, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said regional cooperation should neither be politicised nor exclusionary. 
  • Taiwan Tells US It Does Not Want to Cause Trouble in Taiwan Strait (2017-11-13)
    (Reuters) Taiwan has assured the United States it has no intention of causing trouble in the Taiwan Strait, the self-ruled island’s envoy to a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders said on Monday. The comments by James Soong Chu-yu came after he said in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang on the weekend that he had good exchanges with both US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during informal moments between summit events. 
  • How Beijing and Taipei Are Teaming Up in Space to Track Earthquakes (2017-11-12)
    (South China Morning Post, By Stephen Chen) Beijing and Taipei will join hands in space to monitor the electromagnetic signals that can precede earthquakes following a landmark intergovernmental agreement last month. The agreement, reached by the governments on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, will see the mainland give Taiwan partial access to data collected by an electromagnetic surveillance satellite it will launch next year. In exchange, Taiwan will share some of its data with the mainland. 
  • ‘I’m a Very Good Arbitrator’: Donald Trump Offers to Mediate on South China Sea Disputes (2017-11-12)
    (Reuters) US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he was prepared to mediate between claimants to the South China Sea, which include China and Vietnam. “If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know,” Trump said in comments at the start of a meeting with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi. 
  • The 19th Party Congress and Its Implications for the PLA (2017-11-14)
    (The Diplomat, By Ben Lowsen) The most significant event during the 19th Party Congress was the incorporation of Xi Jinping's name into the PRC Constitution. However, another important event was the new structure of the Central Military Commission. Military-to-military relations should not change much. 
  • Trump's Half-Baked Post-Pivot Strategy (2017-11-14)
    (The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Some policy experts have dubbed US President Donald Trump's notion of a "free and open Asia-Pacific" as the "post-pivot strategy," even though his plan does not seem to have a complete picture of what he wants done. The entire strategy is centered around the extremely broad "America First" policy. 
  • What Xi Jinping said about Taiwan at the 19th Party Congress (2017-10-19)
    (Taipei Forum, By Richard C. Bush) In the opening speech to the 19th Party Congress, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed many of the historical beliefs towards cross-strait issues, but he did not reaffirm several important ones, including popular opinion on the Taiwan issue. He did, however, reiterate that a unified China, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, was the only way to restore China to its historical glory. Xi mentioned that he would respect the way of life and societal structure in Taiwan, but he failed to say that he would respect Taiwanese public opinion. 
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