• Tsai Transit Stops to be Announced Later: Ministry (2017-10-17)
    (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen is currently preparing for a diplomatic trip to Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, and the Solomon Islands. However, her transit stops along the way to the Pacific islands will be announced at a later date, following negotiations between the United States and Taiwan. The transit stops will be taking place in US territories. 
  • All-Volunteer Military Will Not Ensure Safety: Groups (2017-10-17)
    (Taipei Times, By Jonathan Chin) The World United Formosans for Independence chairman said yesterday that the government and public of Taiwan are too complacent to be aware of the Chinese military threat. He continued to say that the all-volunteer army due to be implemented next year would not be sufficient to fend off the Chinese threat and that Taiwan should move to a draft, but politicians would not do so in fear of losing votes. The plan for an all-volunteer military was first proposed under the Ma Ying-jeou administration. 
  • White House Job Openings Hampering Taiwan-US Defense Ties: Council Head (2017-10-17)
    (CNA) Taiwan Business Council president Rupert Hammond-Chambers said on Sunday that the remaining job vacancies in the White House have negatively affected US-Taiwan defense relations. The US Department of State has yet to approve US firms providing technical support to Taiwanese submarines, but this is due to a lack of a person to do the job. Hammond-Chambers also said that Taiwan's insufficient defense budget did not allow for Taiwan to upgrade several of its air combat capabilities. 
  • U.S.-Taiwan Forum Weighs Impact of Trump Policies on National Defense (2017-10-16)
    (CNA) The 2017 U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference, held in Princeton, is focusing this year on U.S. President Donald Trump's administration and its policies' impact on Northeast Asia. The conference is now in its 16th year and will include the Deputy Defense Minister General of Taiwan Chang Guan-chung, the American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James F. Moriarty, and the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David F. Helvey. 
  • US Officials Check ROC Ship With Eye on N Korea: Report (2017-10-16)
    (Taipei Times, By William Hetherington) U.S. military officials are reported to have inspected the Republic of China Navy's fast combat support ship Panshi to evaluate its capacities in the event of combat with North Korea. Panshi could also be interesting for the U.S. because of its ability to accommodate the largest and heaviest helicopter in the U.S. military. 
  • Taiwan Policy Will Not Change: Paal (2017-10-15)
    (Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) A former director for the American Institute in Taiwan stated that he does not anticipate any changes in the CCP's policy towards Taiwan to arise from the 19th Party Congress. However, the officials who shared these views may not share the same sentiments as President Xi Jinping, whose future actions remain unpredictable. The former director expressed his desire to see the reinstatement of some cross-strait ties and hopefully better relations in the future. 
  • Think Tanks Important for Policy Formation: Tsai (2017-10-15)
    (Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her desire for think tank involvement in crafting future polices and enabling Taiwan to better find its place in the international arena. She discussed these ideas at the opening of the Asia-Pacific Think Tank Summit, where over 30 think tank leaders gathered in Taipei to address regional issues. The DPP has regularly referenced think tanks in crafting policy due to Tsai's faith in them.
  • Exchanges Key to Bilateral Ties, Honduran VP Says (2017-10-15)
    (CNA) Ana Rossana Guevara Pinto, the Second Vice President of Honduras, expressed a desire for greater cultural, political, and economic exchanges to improve ties between Honduras and Taiwan. She suggested an exchange program between the Central News Agency and Honduran journalism students. Taiwan is a crucial partner and investor in Honduras's developing economy. 
  • President Tsai to Visit Three Pacific Diplomatic Allies (2017-10-14)
    (CNA) From October 28 to November 4, President Tsai Ing-wen will visit its diplomatic allies Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands, and the Marshall Islands. Tsai will meet with senior officials at these three countries, promoting bilateral ties and Taiwan's New Southbound Policy. 
  • US Able to Respond to a Crisis: Former Official (2017-10-14)
    (Taipei Times, By Nadia Tsao and Jonathan Chin) Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia Abraham Denmark said the U.S. military would be able to respond to a crisis similar to the Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996, stating that the U.S. is legally obligated to ensure it has the military capabilities to defend Taiwan. The U.S., however, is not legally bound to intervene in the case of a crisis, and that will be a decision the President will have to make. 
  • Moriarty Urges Defense Spending (2017-10-14)
    (CNA) Jack Moriarty, Chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, said Taiwan should invest more in self-defense because the United States alone will not be able to protect the nation. He compared Taiwan's defense spending to those who also face outside threats, such as Ukraine and Israel, and found Taiwan's budget to be lacking. 
  • Japanese, Thai Ex-Officials Call for More Cooperation (2017-10-14)
    (CNA) Two former government officials from Japan and Thailand hope to increase cooperation with Taiwan to preserve peace and stability in the region. Tokuichiro Tamazawa, the former Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries wants to start an economic partnership agreement with Taiwan, and called on Taiwan to grant visa-free entry to as many countries that fit the security criteria as possible. 
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  • Can We Preserve Asia’s ‘Long Peace’? (2017-10-18)
    (East Asia Forum, By Kevin Rudd) An expanding East Asia Summit, perhaps one day evolving into a wider East Asian community or an Asia Pacific community, will not exist as a substitute for evolving and existing alliance structures. But it could well help take the sharper edges off what is currently unfolding, as well as slowly evolving concepts of common security, military transparency and common military exercises which could over time help preserve the ‘long peace’ from which we have collectively benefited since the end of the last Korean War. 
  • China’s Xi Approaches a New Term With a Souring Taste for Markets (2017-10-16)
    (Wall Street Journal, By Lingling Wei) Going into his second term, Mr. Xi finds relying on markets too risky and state capitalism a better model. When the Chinese leadership talks of reform today it doesn’t mean economic liberalization as it did in, say, the era of Deng Xiaoping. It means fine-tuning a government-led model. 
  • Xi Jinping’s Marathon Speech: Five Takeaways (2017-10-18)
    (New York Times, By Chris Buckley and Keith Bradsher) President Xi Jinping of China gave a 205-minute speech to open the Communist Party congress. Here is what mattered. 
  • Xi Jinping Opens China’s Party Congress, His Hold Tighter Than Ever (2017-10-17)
    (New York Times, By Chris Buckley) Warning of deep and complicated changes but describing the outlook as “extremely bright,” the president is set to make himself the indispensable man. 
  • U.S. Evacuation Drills in South Korea Heighten Fears of Military Action (2017-10-16)
    (New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) The military’s plan to practice evacuating noncombatants, despite being a routine exercise, raises concerns because of heightened tensions with North Korea. 
  • Xi Vows Wider ‘Open Door’ Policy Amid Foreign Demands for More Market Access (2017-10-18)
    (South China Morning Post, By Jane Cai and Wendy Wu) Chinese President Xi Jinping has again promised greater market access to foreign investors to shore up confidence in his country amid louder complaints from Washington to Brussels about Beijing’s protectionism. In his marathon speech at the start of the Communist Party’s twice-a-decade national congress on Wednesday, Xi said China would significantly lower the threshold for entrance to China’s markets, protect the legal interests of foreign businesses in China, and treat locally registered companies in an equal and fair way. 
  • China-led AIIB Ushers in Afghanistan as China Seeks to Expand its Influence (2017-10-16)
    (South China Morning Post, By Kinling Lo) The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has formally granted Afghanistan full membership, taking the lender’s membership to 80. The Afghan finance ministry said on Saturday it received a certificate of membership from the Beijing-based multilateral bank on the sidelines of a meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington. 
  • What Will Xi Do to Deng’s Legacy? (2017-10-18)
    (East Asia Forum, By Sourabh Gupta) From his commemoration of Deng’s famous economic-reform minded ‘southern tour’ to the November 2013 Third Plenum reforms to his ongoing anti-corruption campaign, Xi has styled himself as Deng’s successor in ways no party leader has over the past quarter-century. Having been anointed ‘core leader’ much before Jiang ever managed or Hu even sought, will Xi become the greatest consolidator of Deng’s political legacy? Or will he set in motion its slow unravelling? 
  • Taiwan’s Southward Integration Faces a Long Uphill Battle (2017-10-17)
    (East Asia Forum, By Kwei-Bo Huang) It is very likely that aggravated cross-Strait relations will be inimical to the success of the NSP. Tsai was adamant in early 2016 that Taiwan’s diplomacy ‘would rely on its own power, not China’s goodwill’. If Tsai keeps this stance when it comes to Taiwan’s foreign and cross-Strait relations, the prospect of the NSP’s success will become even smaller. 
  • What China Can Learn from Its First 18 Party Congresses (2017-10-18)
    (The Diplomat, By Sergey Radchenko) The Chinese Communist Party, which is now 96 years old, can learn much by analyzing the history of the Party Congresses up until the present date. While at first they represented tumultuous times in Chinese history, occurring on an irregular schedule, they became more regular following the Chinese Civil War. The biggest takeaway from the regular Party Congresses following the Civil War is that they are not good indicators as to what the future of Chinese politics may hold. The Party Congresses should be seen as milestones in Chinese history, not directional signs. 
  • Xi’s Legacy and the Party Congress (2017-10-16)
    (East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) For China to deal with its new circumstances and responsibilities in the world one thing is clear: the Party will have to change again or it will fail the nation’s new ambitions, including those that Xi has helped define. It may seem now that things can stay the same as they look right now but there is a powerful dynamic that says they can’t. How change is managed next will determine how and whether the CCP can continue to play a positive role in China’s future that most in China are persuaded it has thus far. 
  • Ahead of Party Congress, Keep an Eye on China’s Leading Groups (2017-10-17)
    (The Diplomat, By Tristan Kenderdine) While most of the attention during the 19th Party Congress will be on the changes within the Politburo Standing Committee, it is important to keep in mind that the leaders of the state leading groups will be crucial in policy formation. New leading groups are emerging in China, and the composition of these groups seem to suggest a transition from a focus on steel and coal into reforming other inefficient industries. In order to truly understand what China's impact on the global economy may be in the future, understanding the leadership of these leading groups is crucial. 
  • China's Lobbying Against the Taiwan Travel Act Backfires (2017-10-17)
    (The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) The United States House Foreign Relations Committee voted to remove all restrictions on high-level travel between the US and Taiwan despite strong objections from Beijing. China accuses the US of violating the One-China Policy by passing the bill, following a unique move of the Chinese Embassy lodging a formal complaint in Washington prior to the meeting of the House Foreign Relations Committee that led to the bill's passing. The bill must still make its way through the entire House of Representatives, then the Senate, and then the US President before becoming a full law. 
  • China on Edge Amid 19th Party Congress (2017-10-17)
    (The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Chinese citizens, especially those in Beijing, currently face an extraordinary level of social control prior to the start of the 19th Party Congress. Internet censorship is more prevalent as prominent websites, including Weibo, shut down certain functionalities as a temporary measure. Several businesses also closed early the night prior to the start of the Congress. 
  • Chinese Communist Party Expels Former Justice Minister for ‘Serious Discipline Problems’ (2017-10-16)
    (The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Former Chinese Justice Minister Wu Aiying had stepped down from her post in February, but the Chinese Communist Party revealed that she had been expelled from the Party for "serious discipline problems." The announcement comes right before the start of the 19th Party Congress. Her expulsion brings the total number of 18th Central Committee members expelled from the Party to 16.  
  • Beijing Launches Strict Security Checks for the 19th CCP Congress (2017-10-16)
    (The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) In order to prepare for the 19th Party Congress in Beijing, the Chinese government has instituted stricter security measures throughout the country. While increased security in Beijing is commonplace during important events, this level of increase, especially due to the outreach throughout the entire country, is unprecedented. These measures include greater scrutiny at metro and railway stations as well as the deployment of plainclothes officers into the population. 
  • Who Will Be the Adult in the Room on North Korea? (2017-10-14)
    (East Asia Forum, By Peter Van Ness) Speaking in the name of a world that wants no more wars, Xi Jinping could move all parties to begin to explore new roads to reconciliation and accommodation on the Korean peninsula. He could show the world that China was prepared to accept the responsibility of a major power to help resolve the most pressing problems of our time. No other world leader is better positioned than President Xi to be ‘the adult in the room’. 
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  • Premier's Satisfaction Rating at 70% After One Month in Office (2017-10-16)
    (CNA) A new poll conducted by Taiwan NextGen Foundation and released at a press conference shows that the new Premier William Lai has a 68.8 percent satisfaction rating, and is believed to have helped President Tsai Ing-wen raise her satisfaction rating to almost 50 percent.  
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