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  • China Says Taiwan’s ‘Permission’ Is Not Needed to Open New Air Route above Narrow Strait, Dismissing Objections from Taipei (2018-01-17)
    (Reuters) The Chinese government said Wednesday that it does not need Taiwan’s permission to open new air routes, after Taipei complained that a new route over the narrow Taiwan Strait that separates the two was a security and safety risk. 
  • US House Passes Taiwan Travel Act (2018-01-11)
    (Taipei Times/CNA) The US House of Representatives passed a bill that encourages official visits between Taiwan and the US at all levels of government. While the bill still must be passed by the Senate and signed by the President before becoming law, it is considered a follow-up to the Taiwan Relations Act. The bill cites certain self-imposed restrictions the US has placed upon high-level officials from visiting Taiwan as a source of the insufficient communication between the US and Taiwan. The bill would allow high-level officials to meet and better communicate with one another. 
  • Delegation Builds Southbound Bonds (2018-01-15)
    (Taipei Times/CNA) A delegation to the Philippines visited in order to boost legislative exchanges and discuss and explain the New Southbound Policy to the Filipino government. The Philippines is a major trade partner for Taiwan and was a key focus during the design of the New Southbound Policy. Furthermore, the two countries share many values and have always held a good relationship. 
  • Group Lists Last Year's Top 10 Democracy Incidents (2018-01-15)
    (Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) Taiwan Democracy Watch made a list of the top events related to democracy in Taiwan throughout 2017. The list includes incidents such as the ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, the arrest and sentencing of Lee Ming-che, and others. The organization further said that the Chinese military threat and Lee's arrest pose the greatest threats against Taiwanese democracy. 
  • Name "Taiwan" Should Be Used at 2020 Tokyo Olympics: Groups (2018-01-15)
    (CNA, By Fan Cheng-hsiang and Flor Wang) Several groups have called for a public referendum on whether Taiwan should be allowed to compete in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 under the name "Taiwan." Currently, Taiwan's delegations must go to the Olympics and other major international events under the title "Chinese Taipei," which the groups feel is depressing and humiliating. The referendum could potentially be held as early as February, depending on the results of public petitioning efforts. 
  • Taiwan, Belarus Exchanges Sign Cooperation MOU (2018-01-15)
    (CNA, By Wei Shu and Frances Huang) The Taiwan Futures Exchange and the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote market sharing between the two exchanges, setting the stage for future avenues of cooperation between the two countries. Each exchange expects to use the cooperative agreement to gain better insight into the other country's geographic region and characteristics thereof. Taifex has signed several other similar agreements around the world. 
  • Expanded Taiwan-Austria Working Holiday Program Goes Into Effect (2018-01-13)
    (CNA, By Elaine Hou and Frances Huang) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Austria and Taiwan will be expanding a working holiday program to extend visa lengths and approval quotas. Taiwan has similar working holiday programs with several other countries.  
  • Fraud Ring with 8 Taiwanese Members Busted in China: Report (2018-01-13)
    (CNA, By Shine Chen and Ko Lin) A telecommunications fraud ring led by Taiwanese was brought down by Chinese authorities, leading to fourteen total arrests from July to October of last year. The arrests include eight Taiwanese citizens. The authorities also froze 33 million yuan spread over 320 bank accounts for laundering purposes. 
  • Thai Workers Still Drawn to Taiwan (2018-01-13)
    (Taipei Times/CNA) For Thai workers, Taiwan and South Korea remain the most popular destinations to apply for work. While a report stated that Thai citizens planned to leave Taiwan due to low wages, several others claim that the opportunities offered in Taiwan are much better than those in Thailand. 
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  • Days After Hawaii’s False Missile Alarm, a New One in Japan (2018-01-16)
    (New York Times, By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura) NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, accidentally sent news alerts that North Korea had launched a missile, before quickly correcting the error. 
  • Huge Oil Spill Spreads in East China Sea, Stirring Environmental Fears (2018-01-15)
    (New York Times, By Gerry Mullany) The disaster could be the worst oil spill in decades, and Greenpeace calls it a threat to “an important spawning ground” for fish and several whale species. 
  • Hawaii Panics After Alert About Incoming Missile Is Sent in Error (2018-01-13)
    (New York Times, By Adam Nagourney, David E. Sanger, and Johanna Barr) The alert appeared on cellphones warning people to “seek immediate shelter,” and said, “This is not a drill.” The authorities said it was a false alarm. 
  • Chinese Police Dynamite Christian Megachurch (2018-01-12)
    (New York Times, By Russell Goldman) Paramilitary officers used explosives and heavy machinery to destroy the church, reflecting tensions between Christians and the Communist Party. 
  • Plastics Pile Up as China Refuses to Take the West’s Recycling (2018-01-11)
    (New York Times, By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura) Since Jan. 1, China has banned imports of 24 kinds of waste, including materials used in plastic bottles, in a campaign against “foreign garbage.” 
  • A Blue Sky in Beijing? It’s Not a Fluke, Says Greenpeace (2018-01-11)
    (New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers) The advocacy group says air quality has drastically improved in several northeastern Chinese cities, but regions far from the capital have not seen the same results. 
  • China Rejects Vancouver Talks on North Korea Crisis as Illegitimate (2018-01-16)
    (South China Morning Post, By Sidney Leng) China has dismissed a 20-nation meeting in Vancouver on the North Korea nuclear crisis as “illegitimate” because representatives from Beijing were not invited. The two days of talks sponsored by Canada and the United States involve diplomats from South Korea’s allies during the 1950-1953 Korean war, including Australia, Britain, France and Japan. 
  • Xi Jinping Calls on Donald Trump to Revive Economic Dialogue Programme (2018-01-16)
    (South China Morning Post, By Wendy Wu) Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on his US counterpart to resume talks to improve economic ties between the two nations, as tensions rise over the huge imbalance in Sino-US trade. In their first phone conversation this year, Xi told US President Donald Trump on Tuesday that both countries should take “constructive measures” to open their markets to each other and “broaden cooperation” to address their trade and economic issues. 
  • China-Led Bank Spreads its Wings to Africa, South America to Bankroll Infrastructure Projects (2018-01-16)
    (South China Morning Post, By Xie Yu)The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will be spreading its tentacles to South America, Africa and further into the Middle East soon, as it marks the start of its third year in business, its president says. “We have quite a number of South American countries joining, and I think it will be very good for us to finance some middle-income projects in South America, bringing South America and Asia together, cutting the transaction and shipping costs between Asia and South America,” said the bank’s president, Jin Liqun, in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post. 
  • Chinese Nuclear Attack Submarine that Raised Flag in International Waters May Have Been Testing Japan’s Patrol Capabilities (2018-01-15)
    (Kyodo) A Chinese naval submarine detected in waters near Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea last week was a nuclear-powered attack submarine, Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said Monday. The 110-metre-long Shang-class submarine was detected on Thursday while submerged just outside Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands, also known as the Diaoyu Islands. 
  • IMF Says China Should ‘Look at Its Own Barriers’ to Trade if It Truly Wants Globalisation (2018-01-15)
    (South China Morning Post, By Sidney Leng) China should take a good look the restrictions it places on trade and investment if it wants to promote globalisation, a senior executive with the International Monetary Fund said in Hong Kong on Monday. The comments by David Lipton, the IMF’s first deputy managing director, come as Beijing tries to paint itself as the victim of the protectionist measures against its products and investment deals, most notably by the United States. 
  • Sanctions Did Not Stop North Korea’s Sallow Sustenance in 2017 (2018-01-16)
    (East Asia Forum, By Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein) In all discussions about the North Korean economy, it must be remembered that North Korea has a deeply dysfunctional system with structural flaws that inhibit its economic growth. This fact did not change in 2017 and is not likely to change drastically in 2018 either.
  • All Eyes on Xi in 2018 (2018-01-15)
    (East Asia Forum, By Ryan Manuel) 2018 will see China take stock after the recently concluded 19th Party Congress, which outlined the new administration that will run the country for the next five years. 
  • Is China Proselytising its Path to Success? (2018-01-11)
    (East Asia Forum, By Bonnie Glaser) Rather than seeking to export China’s own experience, Xi Jinping is championing the achievements of China’s development model and attempting to legitimise China’s system of governance — first and foremost at home, but also abroad. 
  • The Taiwan Strait After a Second Korean War (2018-01-10)
    (The Diplomat, By Eric Chan and Peter Loftus) As the United States focuses more on the increasing tensions in the Korean Peninsula, other crises in the Indo-Pacific region that would have caused greater concerns have receded in urgency. However, a collapse of the North Korean regime, while in the short term may reduce tensions as the major powers of the region combat a refugee crisis, will end up with fewer avenues for cooperation between China and the US, the biggest flashpoint potentially being Taiwan. This would lead to a lesser reason for either side to hold back on inciting a conflict. 
  • China 2017: Year in Review (2018-01-10)
    (The Diplomat, By Tuan N. Pham) China -- and Xi Jinping in particular -- ended 2017 on a high note, having advanced its position in the international arena and holding its own against the United States. It will continue to expand into this new role throughout 2018 as it pushes its foreign policy and influence around the world. Through several developments throughout 2017, China enters 2018 ready to continue its initiatives. 
  • China in 2018: What to Expect (2018-01-11)
    (The Diplomat, By Tuan N. Pham) Following a successful 2017, China is poised to embark on several strategic conquests throughout 2018. Beijing's grand strategy combines four distinct goals as part of Chinese policy throughout the year, including promoting socialism with Chinese characteristics, displacing the Western-centric international arena, strengthening the PLA, and exercising a much more assertive foreign policy. 
  • China’s Hybrid Warfare and Taiwan (2018-01-13)
    (The Diplomat, By Ying Yu Lin) "Hybrid warfare" entails the use of both military and non-military forces to achieve strategic high grounds, especially using information and public opinion. A situation involving hybrid warfare may be possible in Taiwan, similar to Russia's campaign in Crimea in 2014. China is extremely skilled at using the internet to spread propaganda throughout its domestic sphere and has a chance at doing the same in Taiwan. Taiwan, in response, should strengthen its ability to prevent misinformation from being spread throughout all public channels. 
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            New Publication "Understanding President Trump's Taiwan Policy" by John F. Copper (American Journal of Chinese Studies)
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