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  • A Presidential Office Guard Has Been Attacked By a Man with a Samurai Sword and a PRC Flag (2017-08-18)
    (dpa) A military police officer on guard outside the Presidential Office was wounded Friday by a sword-wielding man with a PRC flag who allegedly tried to break into the building, according to police and state-run media reports. The guard sustained cuts to his neck and was rushed to the National Taiwan University hospital for treatment, the Central News Agency said. 
  • Lee Ching-Yu to Meet with UN Commission (2017-08-17)
    (Taipei Times, By Lu Yi-hsuan and Jake Chung) Lee Ching-yu, wife of Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che, who is detained in China, is planning to attend the 113th session of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances in September, Taiwan Association for Human Rights Secretary-General Chiu Ee-ling said on Tuesday. 
  • Lu Urges Peace on Korean Peninsula (2017-08-16)
    (Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) Former vice president Annette Lu yesterday sent an open letter to US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, urging them to exercise restraint amid escalating military tension. The letter, sent on the 72nd anniversary of the end of World War II, urges the two leaders to “exhaust all possible diplomatic means to find peaceful solutions” to the confrontation that has brought East Asia to the brink of nuclear war, Lu said. 
  • Travel Requirements for Japanese Visitors Relaxed (2017-08-16)
    (CNA) Japanese will have an easier time visiting Taiwan after the government yesterday lifted the requirement that their passports be valid for at least three months from the time of entry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Japan has allowed Taiwanese to visit Japan with only a valid passport, Chung said, but Taiwan had required Japanese visitors to present a passport with at least three months of validity to enter without a visa.
  • Coast Guard Submits Plan to Replace 130 Sea Vessels (2017-08-14)
    (Taipei Times, By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin) The coast guard is to retire up to 130 aging seafaring vessels in its fleet over the next 10 years, an official said on Saturday, citing a plan submitted by the Coast Guard Administration to the Ministry of the Interior. Set to coincide with the purchase of 141 new vessels, the plan would save maintenance costs and insurance expenses for the coast guard, the official said. 
  • Tsai Praised As ‘Careful’ at US Academic Conference (2017-08-14)
    (CNA) US academics on Friday expressed positive views about President Tsai Ing-wen’s approach toward China during a conference in Washington, with some saying she has been dealing with Beijing in a careful and relatively conservative manner. 
  • Former Detainee Warns Over Direct Contact with CCP (2017-08-13)
    (Taipei Times, By Abraham Gerber) The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) abusive past still holds lessons for Taiwanese, one of the last living victims of China’s Anti-Rightist Movement said yesterday at an event celebrating the movement’s 60th anniversary, calling for Taiwan to avoid direct dealings with Beijing. 
  • PLA Again Skirts Taiwan Airspace (2017-08-13)
    (CNA) Several Chinese military aircraft yesterday morning flew east of Taiwan as part of a long-distance training program, the latest in a series of Chinese military activities close to Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense said. Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Xian H-6K bombers and Shaanxi Y-8 aircraft flew near southern Taiwan through the Bashi Channel, but remained outside of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the ministry said in a statement. 
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  • Counterintelligence Remains Weakness in Taiwan’s Defense (2017-08-17)
    (The Jamestown Foundation, By Peter Mattis) Despite Beijing’s relentless and sometimes fruitful efforts to penetrate the most sensitive parts of Taiwan’s national security institutions and society, Taiwan’s leaders have not been able to push forward a stronger legal foundation for counterintelligence. This is partially in part due to the distrust of the national security apparatus by Taiwanese politicians, as well as the misfounded belief that reducing economic reliance on China and attempting to balance Southeast Asia against China with the "Southbound Policy" will reduce the Chinese threat.
  • America: China Doesn't Care about Your Rules-Based Order (2017-08-17)
    (The National Interest, By Koh Swee Lean Collin) With China's newfound economic and political strength comes the confidence to assert it's will in the Asia-Pacific and address perceived grievances. This also gives China the confidence to pick-and-choose international law when it benefits its own territorial claims as it seeks to be regional hegemon. 
  • Chinese Double Standards in the Maritime Domain (2017-08-16)
    (The Diplomat, By Tuan N. Pham) China has launched intelligence gathering ships into both American and Australian Exclusive Economic Zones, a practice which China routinely condemns its international counterparts of illegally engaging in. However, as China is slowly starting to engage in the same practice, it gets rid of any hope of China's "seeing the light" and instead highlights its hypocrisy by its justification of engaging in the same actions. Beijing should not play by its own set of rules and should maintain behaviors set by international law, especially if it regularly points to those laws to criticize other countries' actions. 
  • Locating Taiwan on Austraila's Strategic Radar (2017-08-15)
    (The Diplomat, By Sinclaire Prowse) Australia and Taiwan, while historically have been great partners, must reexamine their bilateral relationship in the face of Australia's position as a balancing act between China and the United States, especially given Canberra's strict adherence to the "one China" policy. Australia has tended to base its Taiwan policy on the current relationship between China and the United States. However, as the relationship between Taiwan and China grows more tense, Canberra cannot sit idly by and base its decisions entirely on the China-US relationship and must begin to make its own decisions.  
  • Trump Eyes China Sanctions While Seeking Its Help on North Korea (2017-08-12)
    (New York Times, By Jane Perlez and Peter Baker) The American president is trying to enlist Beijing in his struggle with North Korea even as the White House is set to announce trade crackdown. 
  • American Allies and Adversaries Urge Caution on North Korea (2017-08-11)
    (New York Times, By Sewell Chan) World powers in Europe and the Pacific expressed concern about the bellicose rhetoric from Washington and Pyongyang. 
  • South Korea Says U.S. Promises Coordination in Standoff With North (2017-08-11)
    (New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) Amid jitters over President Trump’s escalating war of words with North Korea, the South said that Seoul and Washington had reaffirmed a pledge to work together to ensure safety. 
  • Beijing Warns U.S. Over Navy Patrol in South China Sea (2017-08-11)
    (New York Times, By Chris Buckley) After an American warship sailed near a disputed reef in the South China Sea, Beijing said that such operations would only force it to build up its forces there. 
  • Hong Kong Activist Says Chinese Agents Stapled His Legs Over Messi Photo (2017-08-11)
    (New York Times, By Austin Ramzy and Alan Wong) Howard Lam, a democracy activist, said he was abducted and beaten after he got the soccer star Lionel Messi to send a photo for the dissident Liu Xiaobo. 
  • As Trump Unnerves Asia, China Sees an Opening (2017-08-10)
    (New York Times, By Jane Perlez) Mr. Trump’s threat to bring “fire and fury” to North Korea has Beijing hoping to emerge as the sober-minded power in the region. 
  • U.S. General and South Korean Leader Push for Diplomacy on North Korea (2017-08-14)
    (New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. said the priority on North Korea was to support diplomatic and economic measures. China said it would enforce new sanctions. 
  • China Extends Ban on Imports from North Korea in Line with United Nations Resolution (2017-08-14)
    (South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng and Shi Jiangtao) China announced sweeping sanctions against North Korea on Monday, extending an import ban to iron, iron ore and seafood. The Ministry of Commerce said the ban, which also covered coal, would take effect on Tuesday. The order extends the existing ban on coal imports to next year and is expected to hit the North Korean economy hard. 
  • Chinese Officials Told to Focus on Performance Not Promotion as Party Congress Nears (2017-08-15)
    (South China Morning Post, By Nectar Gan) As the countdown begins to China’s 19th party congress, Communist Party officials across the country have been told to stay focused on their performance rather than obsess over the possibility of a promotion. According to a signed commentary in Thursday’s edition of People’s Daily, officials should not make scaling the party ranks their “highest pursuit”. Such behaviour was leading officials to become indolent and “slack”, the article said. 
  • US ‘Moving Forward’ with THAAD Deployment in South Korea as North Korean Crisis Grows (2017-08-15)
    (South China Morning Post, By Zhenhua Lu) The US and South Korea are “moving forward” to deploy a US missile defence system on the Korean Peninsula, the US Defence Department said, as the North Korean nuclear crisis worsens after Pyongyang announced a plan to fire four missiles near US Pacific island territory Guam. The announcement came as North Korea reportedly said leader Kim Jong-un was briefed on plans for missile tests near Guam. 
  • Trump Launches US Probe into ‘Unlawful’ China Trade Practices, Raising Spectre of Trade War (2017-08-15)
    (South China Morning Post, By Robert Delaney) US President Donald Trump called China’s policies toward US companies operating in the country “unlawful”, as he kicked off an investigation that threatens to spark a trade war between the two largest economies. “We will stand up to any country that unlawfully forces American companies to transfer their valuable technology as a condition of market access,” Trump told reporters in Washington after signing a “Memorandum Addressing China’s Laws, Policies, Practices, and Actions Related to Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Technology”.  
  • Chinese Military Aircraft Conduct More Drills Near Taiwan (2017-08-14)
    (Reuters) PLA aircraft conducted a third day of training near Taiwan on Monday after doing close flybys of the island over the weekend, Taiwan’s defence ministry said. Two People’s Liberation Army military transport aircraft flew through the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan from the Philippines, then took different courses before returning to base, the ministry said. 
  • Taiwan’s Museum for ‘Comfort Women’ Launches Campaign for Compensation (2017-08-15)
    (Associated Press) A museum dedicated to Taiwanese women forced to work in Japan’s wartime military brothels has launched a campaign to press the Japanese government to apologise and compensate the “comfort women”. The Ama Museum had begun providing cards for visitors to write a short message to the Japanese government, with all the cards to be forwarded on August 31 to the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, Japan’s de facto embassy in Taiwan, museum director Kang Shu-hua said. 
  • Beijing Faces Fresh Challenges Over its South China Sea Claims (2017-08-13)
    (South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) Beijing might have got its way over the language used in last week’s communique from Asean foreign ministers, but observers say its sweeping claims to the South China Sea are facing fresh challenges. At the gathering in Manila, Association of Southeast Asian Nations members avoided using any expressions that might displease Beijing in their statement regarding the territorial disputes. But Beijing is facing a more vocal rival claimant in Hanoi, and ties are strained with Singapore, which is edging closer to the United States and will take over as chair of Asean next year. 
  • Asean and China Have Moved On ... Didn’t Vietnam Get the Memo? (2017-08-13)
    (South China Morning Post, By Bhavan Jaipragas) Vietnam insists it pursues a neutral foreign policy straddling major powers China and the United States, but its emergence this year as the most strident Southeast Asian critic of Beijing’s controversial island building in the South China Sea raises questions about that stance. Hanoi’s China policy came into focus this month, as the two neighbours locked horns over an oil drilling project in a maritime block claimed by both sides, and as Vietnamese diplomats attempted to use a communique at a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to pile pressure on Beijing’s rising assertiveness in the disputed waters. 
  • China and India on Brink of Armed Conflict as Hopes of Resolution to Border Dispute Fade (2017-08-11)
    (South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) Chinese and Indian troops are readying themselves for a possible armed conflict in the event they fail in their efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution to their border dispute on the Doklam plateau in the Himalayas, observers said. On Friday, India’s defence minister Arun Jaitley told parliament that the country’s armed forces are “prepared to take on any eventuality” of the stand-off, Indian Express reported the same day. 
  • Chinese Air Force Chief Defends Sea of Japan Exercises Because Waters ‘Do Not Belong to Tokyo’ (2017-08-11)
    (Reuters) China’s air force chief has defended military manoeuvres in the Sea of Japan, saying the waters do not belong to Tokyo, after a Japanese defence review warned of increasing Chinese military activity there. Japan worries that China’s testing of its air defences is part of a push to extend its military influence in the East China Sea and western Pacific, where Japan controls an island chain stretching 1,400 kilometres south towards Taiwan. 
  • China Joins the Crowd in Djibouti (2017-08-14)
    (East Asia Forum, By Sam Bateman) China is in the process of setting up its first overseas military base at Djibouti in northeast Africa. The base will be large enough to house a few thousand troops, berth six ships and pre-position supplies. This development is particularly disturbing for India and the United States and will likely spur naval competition in the region. 
  • Manila’s Pivot to Pragmatism on the South China Sea (2017-08-14)
    (East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) In disputed South China Sea territory, episodes like the standoffs between military personnel on remote reefs, tiffs over fishing rights, and brinkmanship over ‘red lines’ like the Scarborough Shoal are a reminder of the importance of the waters to the west of the Philippine archipelago.The Philippines’ handling of China’s rise holds lessons for other countries sandwiched between Beijing’s provocation and US pressures.
  • Duterte’s China Policy Shift: Strategy or Serendipity? (2017-08-13)
    (East Asia Forum, By Aileen S. P. Baviera) Duterte’s strategy of not abandoning but de-emphasising and compartmentalising territorial and maritime issues is a wise move that can pay off if done smartly. By de-linking economic relations from management of the disputes, Manila can benefit from Beijing at a time when sustained high growth and investor confidence in the Philippines coincides with a massive investment drive by China as part of BRI. The challenge will be to see to it that China itself separates the two aspects of relations, considering that it had previously used economic leverage against the Philippines for political ends. 
  • Taiwan: A Derogation of International Law? (2017-08-12)
    (East Asia Forum, By Brian Christopher Jones) Friendly relations among nations, self-determination of peoples, and universal peace are bedrock principles of the UN, which pledges to be ‘a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends’. But these laudable aims now seem adrift. Nowhere is this more evident than when considering Taiwan. 
  • A New Brand of Chinese Soft Power? (2017-08-12)
    (East Asia Forum, By Sacha Cody) But a new ingredient has recently emerged in China’s quest for soft power — Chinese brands and their global influence. A recent study identified 30 Chinese brands that are ‘going global’ (meaning they derive a significant portion of their revenue and positive sentiment from overseas), including businesses in ‘traditional’ industries such as Lenovo and Huawei as well as newer internet and digital businesses like Alibaba and Elex. 
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  • Tsai’s Approval Rating Sinks to New Low (2017-08-15)
    (Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) President Tsai Ing-wen’s approval rating has dropped to below 30 percent, the lowest of her presidency, while Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je has an approval rating of about 70 percent nationwide, one of the highest for any politician in the nation’s history, according to a monthly poll by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation released yesterday. 
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