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  • US Delegation Pledges Support for Taiwan's Self Defense (2018-02-21)
    (CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Several members of the United States Congress visiting Taiwan pledged to continue the US policy of supplying the means for Taiwan to defend itself in case of an attack. The delegation consists of members of the Senate Armed Services Committee as well as the Taiwan Caucus. Senator Jim Inhofe stated that they would fully support measures to sell any range of equipment to Taiwan. 
  • "Goodwill" to Decide Future Cross-Strait Ties: President (2018-02-21)
    (CNA, By Sophia Yeh and Elizabeth Hsu) President Tsai Ing-wen stated that goodwill and constructive interaction would be the main factors determining the future of cross-strait ties between China and Taiwan. She said that all Taiwanese people were concerned about good relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait at a Lunar New Year luncheon. She further said that Taiwan will take responsibility for regional stability and maintaining peace. 
  • China-based Taiwanese Businesses Warned of Tense US-China Relations (2018-02-21)
    (CNA, By Miao Zhong-han and Kuan-lin Liu) The Straits Exchange Foundation sent a warning to Taiwanese businesses in China regarding growing tensions between the United States and China. They cautioned against potential collateral damage to the businesses if relations between the two countries were to worsen. 
  • Taiwan Will Stand with US for Regional Peace (2018-02-21)
    (CNA, By Yeh-Su ping and Kuan-lin Liu) President Tsai Ing-wen met with a visiting delegation of US Congress members and used the opportunity to commend US support of Taiwan. She stated that Taiwan and the US would work together to find solutions for regional peace and stability and that the two have worked closely together in the past. 
  • Business Mediation Proposed as Answer to M503 Flight Route Dispute (2018-02-21)
    (CNA, By Miao Zong-han and Evelyn Kao) Chang Han-wen, a Taiwanese businessman, proposed the idea of letting Taiwanese businesspeople assist in finding a solution to the current dispute over China's unilateral decision to launch the M503 flight route. He argued that the cancellation of flights over Lunar New Year posed difficulties to businesses and that he hoped a solution would quickly be reached. However, others have said that enterprises should support the position already taken by the government. 
  • PLA Air Force Unit Passes Through Bashi Channel (2018-02-21)
    (CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and S.C. Chang) A unit of several jet fighters and reconnaissance planes from the PLA flew through the Bashi Channel, between Taiwan and the Philippines, on Wednesday as part of a training mission. The Ministry of National Defense said that they were aware of the movement and would monitor all movements of the PLA closely. 
  • Jay Chen Vows to Strengthen Taiwan-US Ties If Elected (2018-02-21)
    (Taipei Times/CNA) Jay Chen, a US citizen seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to represent California's 39th district in the US House of Representatives, said that he believes his Taiwanese background could help improve relations between Taiwan and the United States. His candidacy has generated a wave of support from outside the US as well. 
  • Communications with US Smooth Despite Statement: Taiwan Envoy (2018-02-19)
    (CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's envoy to the United States said that despite a recent US comment that the US does not recognize the Republic of China as a country, communications and relations with the US remain strong. He emphasized that Taiwan's status as a sovereign state is "the status quo." He also said that the two nations should move past the issue of recognizing Taiwanese sovereignty and should look to the future. 
  • Taiwan Monitoring Reported China-Vatican Bishop Appointment Deal (2018-02-19)
    (CNA, By Joseph Yeh) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responding to a reported breakthrough in the bishop appointment issue between China and the Vatican. They will be monitoring the issue closely in light of reports of a deal potentially being signed next month. The report also states that Taiwan may be forced to move its embassy in the Holy See as a gesture of goodwill to Beijing. 
  • Hong Kongers Eyeing Emigration Look to Taiwan (2018-02-17)
    (Taipei Times/CNA) Since the return of Hong Kong to the PRC in 1997, many Hong Kong citizens seeking a fresh start have turned to Taiwan as a destination. Many of them cite politics as their primary reason for leaving, but high costs of living in Hong Kong is also a large reason. 
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  • China's Former Internet Czar Lu Wei: A ‘Shameless,’ ‘Extremely Disloyal,’ ‘Double-faced Man’? (2018-02-14)
    (The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Lu Wei, once known as China's "internet czar" for his establishment of great controls over China's internet industry, has been expelled from the CCP and dismissed from his office after being accused of misconduct. The specific wording in the official statement is much more harsh than what has been previously published. 
  • Chinese Media Misrepresents Top China Scholar (2018-02-16)
    (The Diplomat, By Adam Ni) An article written for The Diplomat by Bates Gill was translated into Chinese and published by various Chinese media outlets, but the translation omitted several key sections of the article, leading to massive misrepresentations of the conclusions drawn. It includes the reasons that US allies should be skeptical of President Trump's talk on being tough with China, but neglects to mention the call to action at the end of the article for President Trump to back up what he says. An argument for why this happened is that it does not fall in line with the Chinese narrative presented officially. 
  • Xi Jinping May Turn to Top Ally to Handle US Pressure (2018-02-16)
    (The Diplomat, By Don Tse and Larry Ong) Given the Trump administration's newly confrontational attitude towards the United States, President Xi Jinping is likely seeking to appoint Wang Qishan, former anti-corruption chief, as China's next vice president. Wang and Xi have a long history as comrades and partners, and he has experience dealing with crises within China. However, internal party faction conflict may prevent Xi from appointing Wang to the desired post. 
  • A Cross-Strait Chill? You Wouldn't Know It From Taiwan's Economic Data. (2018-02-16)
    (The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Taiwan's GDP growth over the past year is a good sign of stability despite tense cross-strait relations. Due to President Tsai Ing-wen's refusal to acknowledge the 1992 Consensus, communication across the Taiwan Strait has stopped, but the economic impact of said halting of communications does not seem to be taking a toll on Taiwan. Taiwanese firms face competition from Chinese firms now, serving as a more traditional threat over politically motivated ones. 
  • Maldives Crisis Could Stir Trouble Between China and India (2018-02-14)
    (New York Times, By Mujib Mashal) Opposition leaders want India to intervene against the nation’s president, who declared a state of emergency this month, and who is seen as an ally of China. 
  • 10 Million Catholics in China Face Storm They Can’t Control (2018-02-14)
    (New York Times, By Ian Johnson) As the powers that be in Beijing and the Vatican negotiate over who appoints clerics, many worshipers have more pressing worries. 
  • U.S. Opens Door to North Korea Talks, a Victory for South’s President (2018-02-13)
    (New York Times, By Mark Landler and Choe Sang-hun) The tactical shift by the White House could introduce an unpredictable new phase in the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula. 
  • New Zealand Investigates Claims of Chinese Link to Break-Ins at Academic’s Office and Home (2018-02-20)
    (South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) New Zealand’s prime minister has ordered the country’s security agencies to investigate a university professor’s claims that burglaries at her home and office were linked to her academic research on Chinese government influence in New Zealand politics. Anne-Marie Brady, a specialist in Chinese and polar politics at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury, made the claims while addressing an Australian parliamentary committee last week. 
  • US Secret Service Denies China ‘Nuclear Football’ Skirmish (2018-02-20)
    (Agence France-Presse) The US Secret Service denied on Monday reports that one of its agents and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wrestled with Chinese security officials over the “nuclear football” during President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing in November. Chinese security officials blocked the US military aide carrying the briefcase that carries the procedures and communications equipment that allow the US leader to launch nuclear missiles as the official entered the Great Hall, according to the Axios news website. 
  • Jared Kushner: US Special Counsel Robert Mueller Probes Donald Trump Son-in-Law’s China Business Dealings During Presidential Transition (2018-02-20)
    (Agence France-Presse) Special counsel Robert Mueller is probing Jared Kushner’s efforts to get foreign investors beyond Russia to provide financing for his company during the presidential transition, including in China, CNN reported Monday. 
  • China’s Rising Challenge to US Raises Risk of South China Sea Conflict, Philippines Warns (2018-02-19)
    (South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) The risk of “miscalculation” and armed conflict in the South China Sea is rising as China starts to challenge US dominance in the disputed waters, according to the Philippines’ envoy to Beijing. The assessment comes as Beijing appears to have expanded its communications links and other facilities on artificial islands in the area.  
  • China and Vatican Close to a Deal on Appointment of Catholic Bishops, Report Says (2018-02-19)
    (South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) Beijing and the Vatican are close to reaching an agreement on the appointment of bishops in mainland China, a move that could end decades of hostilities between pro-government and underground Catholic groups. According to a report by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Sunday, from late March onwards “every day is a good day [for the Vatican] to sign the agreement with the Chinese authorities”. 
  • China Issues Formal Charges against Former Communist Party Star Sun Zhengcai (2018-02-13)
    (South China Morning Post, By Nectar Gan) Sun Zhengcai, the former member of China’s Politburo who was once tipped as a possible future leader, has been formally charged with bribery, the top prosecutor’s office announced on Tuesday. 
  • Boss of Taiwanese Shipbuilder Charged with Fraud over US$1.2 Billion Navy Contract (2018-02-13)
    (Agence France-Presse) The chairman of a Taiwanese shipbuilding company that won a contract to build six naval ships was charged in a loan fraud case on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the island’s ambitions to grow its domestic defence industry. Taiwan relies on its main ally the United States as its biggest arms supplier, but since coming to power in 2016, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has been pushing to strengthen the island’s own military equipment technology and manufacturing capabilities. 
  • Coastguard on the Front Line as Japan Protests over Chinese Incursions in East China Sea (2018-02-13)
    (South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng and Kinling Lo) Japan has lodged a formal protest with China over the entry of three Chinese coastguard ships into Japanese territorial waters in the East China Sea. The protest came after the United States said it would expand its coastguard presence in the Western Pacific to strengthen security ties with smaller nations – a move likely to prompt dismay in Beijing. 
  • FBI Chief Says Chinese Operatives Have Infiltrated Scores of ‘Naive’ US Universities (2018-02-14)
    (Associated Press) The FBI on Tuesday warned US universities about Chinese intelligence operatives active on their campuses, adding that many academics display “a level of naivete” about the level of infiltration. FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee that China has aggressively placed operatives at universities, “whether its professors, scientists, students,” and the bureau must monitor them from its 56 field offices across the nation. 
  • Japan Denies Bowing to China Pressure over Taiwan Quake Condolences Message (2018-02-14)
    (Kyodo) The Japanese government has denied that a protest from Beijing was behind a decision to drop the Taiwanese president’s name from an online version of a message sent by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week in response to a devastating earthquake. Abe’s message of condolence and support was addressed to President Tsai Ing-wen when it was released to the press on Thursday, but the version subsequently uploaded to the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s website lacked her name. 
  • China Has Built Seven New Military Bases in South China Sea, US Navy Commander Says (2018-02-15)
    (Kyodo) The commander of the United States Pacific Command on Wednesday warned of China’s growing military might, saying Beijing had unilaterally built seven new military bases in the South China Sea. “China is attempting to assert de facto sovereignty over disputed maritime features by further militarising its man-made bases,” Admiral Harry Harris said in a congressional hearing. 
  • US-South Korea Military Drills to Go On Despite Pyongyang’s Charm Offensive: Former CIA Officer (2018-02-17)
    (South China Morning Post, By Robert Delaney) South Korean government officials have offered assurances that their joint military exercises with the US, which were pre-empted by the Winter Olympic Games, will proceed despite North Korea’s recent efforts to rebuild ties with Seoul by inviting President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang. 
  • China’s South China Sea Islands Won’t Stop Lawful Patrols, US Navy Says (2018-02-17)
    (Associated Press) American forces will continue to patrol the South China Sea wherever “international law allows us”, a senior US Navy officer said aboard a US aircraft carrier on Saturday. Lieutenant Commander Tim Hawkins said the US Navy had carried out routine patrols at sea and on air in the strategic waters for 70 years to promote regional security and guarantee the unimpeded flow of trade crucial for Asian and US economies. 
  • China’s Economic Ties with EU Take Hit as Investment Falls and Distrust Rises (2018-02-18)
    (South China Morning Post, By Wendy Wu) After years of growth, China’s trade ties with its biggest partner, the European Union, seem to be foundering, with frictions growing over a range of issues from steel overcapacity to market access, human rights and the South China Sea. The tensions were apparent at the end of last year when Brussels and Beijing were due to hold the annual China-EU High-Level Economic Dialogue but the meeting never took place, sources told the South China Morning Post.  
  • PacNet #13 - Is the “Indo-Pacific” Construct Trump’s Pivot to Asia Policy? (2018-02-16)
    (CSIS, By Aaron Rabena) The Trump administration appears to have adopted the “Indo-Pacific” as a framework and active instrument of its Asia strategy. Apparently, though, this is not so different from the Obama administration’s 2011 “Pivot” or “Rebalance” to Asia in terms of seeking to sustain US leadership and commitment, centralizing the regional security agenda, and checking Chinese behavior and regional dominance. 
  • The Korean Peninsula after the Olympic Detente (2018-02-19)
    (East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) If the credibility of the negotiation process and North Korea’s post-denuclearisation future can be guaranteed, the peacebuilding intent of the ancient Olympic spirit could yet be carried into modern times. 
  • US Diplomatic Demolition Not Here to Stay (2018-02-16)
    (East Asia Forum, By Jeffrey Robertson) What this suggests is that the US State Department’s diplomatic doldrums will not last, and that a better and stronger foreign service will emerge out of the rubble. Despite what Trump seems to believe, the role of the diplomat is not disappearing. The hope is that it will not require a more serious diplomatic fiasco than the one in South Korea for the United States to realise the importance of strengthening its State Department. 
  • Putting the ‘Pacific’ into Japan’s Indo-Pacific Strategy (2018-02-15)
    (East Asia Forum, By Sandra Tarte) If there are any lessons to be learnt from the recent past, it is the importance of keeping in mind the implications for Japan of the Pacific’s evolving regional order. Whatever the decision taken, Japan should not this time leave the announcement to the last minute. 
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        • China’s United Front Work: Propaganda as Policy (2018-02-14)
          (The Diplomat, By Mercy A. Kuo) The United Front Work Department works to have various groups represented by the CCP under a common set of ideals and goals. However, propaganda is seen as a useful tool in bringing said groups together and painting a specific image towards the public. 
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          New Publication Takashi Inoguchi and Ankit Panda (2018) "Japan's Grand Strategy in the South China Sea: Principled Pragmatism," in Anders Corr, ed., Great Powers, Grand Strategies: The New Game in the South China Sea (Naval Institute Press, PP. 199-223)
          New Publication "Understanding President Trump's Taiwan Policy" by John F. Copper (American Journal of Chinese Studies)
          New Publication "Prospects for Taiwan Maintaining Its Autonomy under Chinese Pressure" by Denny Roy (Asian Survey)
          New Publication Takashi Inoguchi and Richard Estes: "The History of Well-Being in East Asia: From Global Conflict to Global Leadership" in The Pursuit of Human Well-Being: The Untold Global History by Estes, Richard J. and Sirgy, Joseph (eds.) (Springer)
          New Publication Taiwan at a Tipping Point: The Democratic Progressive Party's Return to Power by John F. Copper (Rowman and Littlefield)
          New Publication Taiwan and China: Fitful Embrace by Lowell Dittmer (ed.) (University of California Press) 
          New Publication Learning from Fukushima: Nuclear Power in East Asia by Peter Van Ness and Mel Gurtov (eds.) (Australian National University Press)
          New Publication Playing with Fire: The Looming War with China Over Taiwan by John Copper (Praeger Security International Series)
          Upcoming Conference China Defense & Security Conference 2017 (Jamestown Foundation)
          New Publication Imagining Taiwan: The Nixon Administration, the Developmental States, and South Vietnam’s Search for Economic Viability, 1969–1975 by Simon Toner (Diplomatic History)
          New Publication Religion and the Regime: Cooperation and Conflict in Contemporary Russia and China by Karrie J. Koesel (World Politics)
          New Publication Primordialism, Instrumentalism, Constructivism: Factors Influencing Taiwanese People’s Regime Acceptance of Mainland China’s Government by Chia-Chou Wang (Journal of Contemporary China)
          TSR received a favorable review by the Foreign Affairs (July/Aug 2000)
          The Best of Asia-Pacific Web Award
          TSR was honored with a Four-Star rating by the Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library. 
           

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