::: TSR Weekly Report
2017-05-02 | NO.21(17) epaper |
Note to Readers
New Release The China Order: Centralia, World Empire, and the Nature of Chinese Power by Fei-Ling Wang (SUNY Press)

TSR is pleased to announce newly published books about Taiwan and East Asia on its website and in its weekly newsletter. If you're a scholar or your book is coming out from an academic press, please send the title of your book and a link to the publisher's web site to TSR's Senior Editor, James Lee (JL18@princeton.edu).
Cross-Strait Relations
 'Unfair and Suppressive': Gov't Slams Chinese WHA Pressure (2017-04-27)
(China Post, By Stephanie Chao) Taiwan's Presidential Office accused China of halting progress on fighting disease, following rumors that Beijing had sought to prevent Taiwan's participation in this year's World Health Assembly. Taiwan is still awaiting an invite to the WHO's annual decision making summit that will be held next month. A spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office said that Taiwan's participation should be predicated on the "One China" principle.

Lee Ming-che ‘in Good Health,’ TAO Spokesman Says (2017-04-27)
(Taipei Times/Reuters) The Chinese government said that rights campaigner Lee Ming-che, who has been detained on suspicion of endangering national security, was in good health and that it had reassured his family in a letter.

Boycott Travel To, Products From PRC, Rights Groups Say (2017-04-29)
(Taipei Times, By Abraham Gerber) Following the detention of human rights activist Lee Ming-che and the refusal from Chinese authorities to provide any information on him, rights groups in Taiwan have called for a total boycott of all travel to China and any Chinese-made products. They cite the lack of definitive proof on Lee's condition, despite the repeated claims of the Taiwan Affairs Office that Lee is healthy and well. They wish for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assign China a "red" level of travel warning.

New China Fears Brew in Taiwan After Snub (2017-04-29)
(China Post/AFP) After US President Donald Trump said that he would not do anything to upset Beijing, Taiwan has faced heightened fear that it will be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations between Beijing and Washington. This follows Trump's dismissal of any possibility of a second phone call between himself and President Tsai Ing-wen.

WHA Snub Would be an Insult: Minister (2017-05-02)
(Taipei Times, By Abraham Gerber) A Taiwanese Minister of Foreign Affairs said yesterday that denying Taiwan the right to participate in this year’s World Health Assembly would be an insult to the Taiwanese people. There are concerns that Beijing might try to block Taiwan's WHA participation due to elevated cross-strait tensions. The minister also said that extensive vacancies within the U.S. State Department make policy implementation problematic.

Chinese Delegation Blows Up at Anti-Conflict Diamond Meeting to Sideline Taiwan (2017-05-02)
(Foreign Policy, By Robbie Gramer) As a senior Australian official began to introduce the ceremony and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, the Chinese delegation hijacked the microphone and loudly interrupted. They were incensed a Taiwanese delegation was invited to the four-day meeting in Perth, and wouldn’t let the task of combating conflict diamonds get in the way of that.

Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 Taiwan "Has the Freest Press in Asia": Reporters Without Borders (2017-04-26)
(China Post, By the news staff) The advocacy group Reporters Without Borders has listed Taiwan as having the highest level of media freedom in all of Asian countries in their annual report. They also cite China as a threat to media freedom in the region. They also warned that freedom of the press faces new threats in recent times.

AIT Head Affirms WHA Participation (2017-04-26)
(Taipei Times, By Lee I-chia) AIT Chairman James Moriarty said that the United States looks forward to Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly this year. He cited certain medical exchanges between the two countries as a key part of their bilateral relationship. Taiwan last year received a late invitation to the WHA and has faced concern that Beijing will block their attendance this year.

Tsai Should Place Equal Weight on US, Cross-Strait Ties: Experts (2017-04-28)
(China Post, By the news staff) Experts urged President Tsai Ing-wen to focus on her relationship with the United States and to ensure its prosperity and that overdependence on the US would not be beneficial for Taiwan's relationship with China. Furthermore, experts stated that Tsai should continue addressing issues with China, including the one-China policy. If cross-strait relations don't improve, Taiwan must turn to the United States.

Tsai Says Trump Phone Call Could Happen Again (2017-04-28)
(China Post, By Stephanie Chao) In an interview with Reuters, President Tsai Ing-wen said that another phone call with US President Donald Trump was possible. After Trump first took office, President Tsai's first phone call to him broke previous precedent of the US's one-China policy. Tsai discussed the potential for Taiwan and the US to have more direct lines of communication with one another.

Trump Snubs Tsai's Suggestion for Another Phone Call: Report (2017-04-28)
(China Post, By the news staff) In an interview with Reuters, US President Donald Trump said he did not want to create more problems with Beijing by accepting another phone call from President Tsai Ing-wen. This comes after Tsai suggested another phone call may occur. Her initial phone call to the US President broke diplomatic precedent of the US's one-China policy and caused an angry reaction from Beijing.

Terry Gou in Apparent White House Meeting with Trump (2017-04-28)
(China Post, By the news staff) Taiwanese billionaire Terry Gou was spotted leaving the White House on Thursday after reportedly meeting with US President Donald Trump. He did not respond to questions and would not confirm if the meeting took place. News outlets also could not confirm with the White House if the meeting took place.

We Didn't Pose the Question of a Tsai-Trump Call: Presidential Office (2017-04-28)
(China Post, By the news staff) Despite US President Donald Trump rejecting the potential for another phone call between himself and President Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese government has insisted it will remain in contact with the US government. The government also clarified that Reuters approached the President with the question for another phone call and Tsai did not bring up the topic on her own.

WHA Attendance A Right: Tsai (2017-04-29)
(Taipei Times/CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen defended her view that Taiwan had a right to attend the World Health Assembly by describing it as part of the right to good health. She said that Taiwan deserves recognition from the US and other powers for Taiwan's major contributions to the global health field. She further discussed her hopes for US-Taiwan bilateral cooperation.

AIT Chairman Met With Lawmakers In Private, Source Says (2017-04-30)
(Taipei Times, By Peng Wan-hsin, Chiu Yen-ling and Jonathan Chin) American Institute in Taiwan chairman James Moriarty met with several high-level lawmakers from the Legislative Yuan and the DPP. A source claims that the meeting oversaw the discussion of matters of defense. Moriarty claimed that he also invited several KMT lawmakers, who could not make the meeting.

Terry Gou Confirms US Investment Push After Another White House Visit (2017-04-30)
(China Post, By the news staff) Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou confirmed his initiative to expand investments into the United States. This comes after his second visit to the White House in two days. He will be revealing more information over the summer.

Visits Help US Military Ties: MND (2017-05-01)
(Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) The Ministry of National Defense stated that US visits to Taiwan have helped improve Taiwan's military and the bilateral ties between the two countries. This comes in conjunction with Taiwan working closely with the US to obtain better weapons technologies and defensive systems. Washington and Taipei have been in regular contact about defense since President Trump and President Xi met in the US last month.

Nation Should Raise Support Ahead of WHA: Ex-Official (2017-05-01)
(Taipei Times, By Lu Yi-hsuan and Jonathan Chin) Former WHO representative Peter Chang said that Taiwan needs to gain more international recognition and support prior to the World Health Assembly. Taiwan has yet to receive a formal invitation to the conference. The Minister of Health and Welfare has also shared plans to lead a delegation to the conference even if Taiwan does not receive an invitation.

Government Caught Unawares by Gou-Trump White House Meet (2017-05-01)
(China Post, By the news staff) Economics Minister Lee Chih-kung stated that the Taiwanese government had no prior notice of any meeting between billionaire Terry Gou and the White House. However, he added that the government was well aware of Gou's desire to invest overseas. The government has been in contact with Gou since the meeting.

Taiwan Stays Off US IP Watch List for 9th Year (2017-05-01)
(China Post/CNA) In recognition of Taiwan's efforts to protect intellectual properly rights, the United States has decided not to place Taiwan on a special watch list for the ninth year in a row. It was first placed on the list in 2004, but has since been removed as of 2009. The two countries often discuss how to expand trade and deepen cooperative efforts.

Reuters Apologizes Over ‘Misunderstanding’ (2017-05-02)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Reuters has apologized to Taiwan following a misunderstanding stemming from an interview with President Tsai Ing-wen last week, during which she was asked about the possibility of another phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump. The news agency was accused by some Taiwanese officials of "misinterpreting" President Tsai's words, allowing the response by Donald Trump in a subsequent Reuters interview to be framed as a "humiliation" to Tsai.
U.S.-China Relations
Huawei, Chinese Technology Giant, Is Focus of Widening U.S. Investigation (2017-04-26)
(New York Times, By Paul Mozur) American officials are looking at whether Huawei, a maker of smartphones and cellular equipment, broke trade controls on Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria.

Wealthy Chinese Scramble for Imperiled Commodity: U.S. ‘Golden Visa’
(New York Times, By Javier C. Hernández) President Trump’s vow to tighten immigration policies have spurred thousands to seek an EB-5 visa before tougher requirements can be put in place.

China, Russia, and the Long ‘Unipolar Moment’ Revisited (2017-04-27)
(The Diplomat, By Nathan A. Sears) In the contemporary unipolar world, the international system continues to be shaped primarily by the logic of U.S. hegemony. Thus, the argument I made a year ago continues to look pretty good: the U.S. alliance system remains intact and represents a significant systemic constraint against the emergence of new great powers.

China Deports American Woman Convicted on Spying Charge (2017-04-29)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) The deportation ended uncertainty about the fate of Phan Phan-Gillis of Houston, who was sentenced on Tuesday to three and a half years in prison on an espionage charge.

Sino-American Trade: What Comes Next (2017-04-29)
(The Diplomat, By Joe Renouard) A full-scale trade war now seems less likely than it did when Trump was elected, though it is still possible.

A Spring Thaw? Trump Now Has ‘Very Good’ Words for China’s Leader (2017-04-29)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) President Trump came into office fuming about China. But lately he has been describing his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, as if he were an old pal.

After Failed Talks With Kushner, More Trouble for a Chinese Tycoon (2017-05-01)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) Wu Xiaohui has threatened to sue a Chinese magazine that examined his company’s labyrinthine funding.

US-China Rapprochement Under President Trump? (2017-05-01)
(The Diplomat, By Yun Sun) Several key developments on the China policy front since Trump’s inauguration suggest a positive turn in bilateral relations compared to the days of the Obama administration.

Shunning Rule Book, Trump Pursues ‘Art of the Deal’ With China (2017-05-01)
(Foreign Policy, By Jessica Holzer) Frustrated with Beijing over a slew of issues, the former Manhattan negotiator seems to be pursuing a more transactional approach that doesn’t wall off the economic relationship from security issues. Some experts believe the United States needs an “all chips on the table” strategy to counter an increasingly defiant China, and they see in Trump the appetite and chutzpah for carrying it out.
South China Sea Disputes and Other Regional Issues
Philippines Choose Chinese Investment Over Territorial Defense (2017-04-20)
(Jamestown Foundation, By Peter Wood) The Philippines are an interesting test case for the effectiveness of Chinese attempts to export values and win allies through economic incentives—even those with whom it has competing territorial claims.

One Belt, One Road and the Concept of the India-Pacific Maritime Space
(The Diplomat, By Shin Kawashima) Trump might ignore it, but for East Asia this region remains a strategic concern.

India, Japan, Australia, and the US: The Return of Asia's 'Quad' (2017-04-28)
(The Diplomat, By Harsh V. Pant) Like-minded democracies in Asia are increasingly drawn together.

Trump’s Volatility in Asia Distresses a Longtime U.S. Ally: Australia (2017-05-01)
(New York Times, By Damien Cave) Some in Australia worry about the risk of being drawn into a conflict that forces it to side with either the United States, its military ally, or China, its biggest trading partner.

Trump Invites Rodrigo Duterte to the White House (2017-04-30)
(New York Times, By Mark Landler) The two leaders spoke late on Saturday and addressed the Philippines’ violent campaign against drugs, which has been condemned by human rights groups and many Western governments.

Rodrigo Duterte Says He May Be Too Busy for White House Visit (2017-05-01)
(New York Times, By Felipe Villamor) The Philippines leader, who is accused of ordering extrajudicial killings, has said he “cannot make any definite promise” to accept President Trump’s invitation.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
 Advisory Board Harming Defense Matters: Lawmakers (2017-04-26)
(Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) The National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology has a military advisory board responsible for providing professional recommendations on research matters, but lawmakers claim that the board has had detrimental effects on Taiwanese defensive matters. They cite potential conflicts of interests within board members as reasons for their claims.

Taiwan Could Counter Chinese Carrier: Analysts (2017-04-28)
(Taipei Times, By Aaron Tu and Jake Chung) In response to China launching its first domestically built aircraft carrier earlier this week, Taiwanese defensive experts have determined that Taiwanese R&D into their own technology should be enough to withstand the threats from the new Chinese carrier. The Ministry of National Defense stated that Taiwan is fully prepared to defend itself through "layered defense." The President of Taiwan has also expressed her desire for Taiwan to gain offensive weapon capabilities.

China Reduces and Restructures Army (2017-05-01)
(The Diplomat, By Cal Wong) China eliminates five army corps as part of a restructuring and force reduction drive.

What Does China's New Aircraft Carrier Mean for the Liaoning? (2017-05-01)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) China seems to be taking the same careful approach to its carrier program as Japan took during the interwar period.

China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
New Balance Court Ruling in China Is Rare Win Against Piracy (2017-04-27)
(New York Times, By Sui-lee Wee) Trademark lawyers said the ruling suggested that Chinese court orders protecting intellectual property would be enforced more strictly.

China’s Angriest Newspaper Doesn’t Speak for China (2017-04-28)
(Foreign Policy, By Eric Fish) Nationalist tabloid Global Times has the Communist Party’s backing, but its editorial strategy is more independent than you might think.

China, Singapore Launch Maritime Security Drills Amid Port Call (2017-04-28)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) Following its current port call, the Intrepid will continue on with another port call in Laem Chabang, Thailand from May 5 to 8 before returning back to Singapore. Singapore-China defense interactions are set to continue as usual, with the PLAN expected to participate in the International Maritime Review as part of the RSN’s Golden Jubilee celebrations next month.

Why China Is Not Bound to Lead Latin America (2017-04-29)
(The Diplomat, By Dawisson Belém Lopes) Since China is not a safe bet quite yet, and neither will the United States simply do for the time being, a quixotic dream of autonomy is what the region may be left with. Not so differently from, say, two centuries ago; back in the old days when Latin American peoples were gaining their independence from Spain and Portugal.

China’s Appetite Pushes Fisheries to the Brink (2017-04-30)
(New York Times, By Andrew Jacobs) Overfishing is depleting oceans across the globe, but China’s enormous appetite and massive fleet of deep-sea fishing vessels is having an outsize impact.

China's Mediterranean Interests and Challenges (2017-05-01)
(The Diplomat, By Andrea Ghiselli) The region is one of expanding interests and growing challenges for Beijing.
The US, China and the Korean Peninsula
PacNet #33A - A new strategy toward North Korea: proactive, comprehensive, and productive (2017-04-21)
(CSIS, By Lloyd R. Vasey) This is an extremely ambitious and complex undertaking and requires US statesmanship, creativity, and leadership of the caliber which launched the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine to re-build war-torn regions and economies after World War II, and led the way in creating NATO to cope with the threat of aggressive Communist expansion sponsored by the Soviet Union.

Trump Warns That ‘Major, Major Conflict’ With North Korea Is Possible
(New York Times, By Gerry Mullany) He praised the Chinese president for efforts to resolve the dispute with the North but cautioned that such diplomatic efforts might fail.

South Korea-Japan-US: A Window for Trilateral Cooperation (2017-04-27)
(The Diplomat, By Pamela Kennedy) Abe and the next ROK president must delve into the regional intricacies of the North Korea threat with Trump (which he has heard from the Chinese perspective), so that he can incorporate the interests of the two allies. Abe and the ROK president can also discuss past policy approaches, ranging from hard to soft, and their combined influence might temper Trump’s North Korea policy and prevent it from unexpectedly changing course.

News Analysis: Trump on North Korea: Tactic? ‘Madman Theory’? Or Just Mixed Messages? (2017-04-28)
(New York Times, By David E. Sanger) The White House has been sending different signals to Kim Jong-un, a master at keeping his adversaries unsettled.

Tillerson Keeping ‘All Options’ Open if Diplomacy With North Korea Fails (2017-04-28)
(New York Times, By Somini Sengupta and Gardiner Harris) Speaking at the United Nations Security Council, Mr. Tillerson called for stiffer international sanctions against Pyongyang.

Trump Rattles South Korea by Saying It Should Pay for Antimissile System
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) The president’s comment about Thaad, which is being deployed to defend against North Korea, shook the South’s presidential race ahead of the election in May.

A New North Korean Missile Test Ends in Failure (2017-04-28)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) It was the North’s first test since it launched a ballistic missile near its submarine base on North Korea’s east coast on April 16. That launch was also a failure.

$1 Billion For THAAD? Trump Chips Away at the US-South Korea Alliance (2017-04-28)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) In an interview released Thursday evening (Friday morning in Asia) by Reuters, Trump suggested that he may look to “terminate” the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), which he described as a “horrible deal.” He went on to add that he want South Korea to pay an estimated $1 billion for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which is days away from deployment.

Watch Out for the Blowback of Secondary Sanctions on North Korea (2017-04-28)
(The Diplomat, By Aaron Arnold) Why would secondary sanctions against North Korea be any different from secondary sanctions against Iran?

U.S. Confirms It Will Pay for Antimissile System, South Korea Says (2017-04-30)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) President Trump said last week that South Korea should pay for the so-called Thaad system, but officials said Sunday that the original agreement would not change.

Trump’s Mafia Diplomacy Rattles South Korea (2017-05-01)
(The Diplomat, By Mintaro Oba) Trump fundamentally misunderstands the function of U.S. alliances, but others are working to mitigate the damage.

Mike Pompeo, C.I.A. Chief, Visits South Korea as Tensions Grow With North (2017-05-01)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) His visit comes at a time of increasing anxiety on the Korean Peninsula over the North’s nuclear ambitions and increased ballistic missile activity.

North Korea’s Mysterious New Islands (2017-05-01)
(The Diplomat, By Damen Cook) China isn’t the only country with suspicious island construction sites.

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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