::: TSR Weekly Report
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2017-08-07 | NO.21(31) epaper |
Note to Readers
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
Beijing Is Considering a Special Passport for Taiwanese (2017-08-01)
(China Post) A Hong Kong-based media outlet reported that Beijing was mulling a pilot program that would allow it to issue passports for citizens of the "Taiwan Special Administrative Region (SAR).” In reply, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said that Republic of China (R.O.C.) nationals were not permitted to take a mainland Chinese passport.

A Coming Crisis Over Taiwan? (2017-08-03)
(East Asia Forum, By Andrew Tan) While attention is currently focused on the Korean peninsula on account of North Korea’s development of ballistic missiles capable of hitting the United States, the crisis over Taiwan is quietly brewing in the background. Indeed, it is over Taiwan that the United States and China could potentially come into direct conflict.

Taiwan is Telling China to Quit Playing Games After More Nationals were Deported to China (2017-08-04)
(Jakarta Post/ANN) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) lodged a protest with Beijing after Indonesian authorities deported 22 Taiwanese nationals accused of cyber-fraud to China. MAC called on Beijing to stop focusing on political objectives and work with Taiwan's law enforcement.

Beijing Reaches Out to Young Taiwanese with Summertime Sweeteners (2017-08-05)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Beijing is actively reaching out to younger Taiwanese this summer after giving up on top-level contacts with the island’s administration. With Taiwanese still enjoying freedom of movement despite strained cross-strait relations, local authorities on the mainland have invited many Taiwanese grass-roots leaders and students to visit the mainland for a variety of activities in the past year. They’ve included cultural and education events, interschool contests, research on community service and elderly health care, internships and seminars on job creation and business start-ups – anything that could appeal to ordinary Taiwanese, and especially younger islanders.

China a ‘Joke’ for Barring Study in Taiwan: Legislator (2017-08-07)
(Taipei Times, By Jonathan Chin) The Chinese government could make itself an “international joke” by discouraging its citizens from enrolling in Taiwanese universities, New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Hsu Yung-ming said on Saturday. Hsu was responding to allegations made on Friday that the Chinese Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) had denied travel documents to a Chinese student who was to attend National Cheng Kung University on the grounds that the university supports Taiwanese independence.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Urges Mainland China to Work with Her to Break Deadlock (2017-08-09)
(Kyodo) Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has called on mainland China to work with her government to establish “a new model of cross-strait interactions”. “We hope that both sides of the Taiwan Strait can work on a new model for cross-strait interactions that benefit the stability and prosperity of both sides and the region as a whole,” Tsai said in an address at a forum on regional security issues held in Taipei.

Tsai Seeks ‘New Model for Interaction’ to End Deadlock with Beijing (2017-08-10)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen appears to be searching for a way to end the year-long impasse since Beijing suspended official contact with the island in June last year. One analyst said Taipei was hoping the situation would change after the Communist Party holds its 19th national congress in autumn, a key leadership reshuffle that will mean new people to work with from the Beijing side on cross-strait relations.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 New Japan-Taiwan Exchange President to Visit, Promote Ties (2017-08-02)
(CNA) The new president of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, Yasuaki Tanizaki, will visit Taiwan later this month to meet with several official. During his visit, the two sides will discuss ways to develop the relationship between Taiwan and Japan and how the two might cooperate on Taiwan's New Southbound Policy.

William Tseng Asks If ‘Dollar Diplomacy’ Is Back (2017-08-01)
(Taipei Times, By Abraham Gerber) The government should review its foreign policy after a Belizean news site reported that Taiwan promised the Central American nation millions of dollars in loans and aid, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator William Tseng said yesterday. “President Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly said that she would not continue ‘dollar diplomacy,’” Tseng said, urging the government to review its foreign policy for consistency.

US Source Says the US Likes the New Southbound Policy (2017-08-01)
(Taipei Times, By Lu Yi-hsuan and William Hetherington) The US government fully supports the President Tsai Ing-wen administration’s New Southbound Policy, describing it as in line with the US’ own policy direction in the region, a US Department of State source said. The source said that the US is happy to see Taiwan treating the policy as a long-term project, adding that it anticipates the two nations working together on such regional issues as the digital divide, medical training and fostering of a community mindset in the Asia-Pacific region.

More Foreign Offices Should Be Shuttered, Experts Say (2017-08-03)
(Taipei Times, By Lu Yi-hsuan and Jake Chung) The government should reduce the number of its foreign missions and reallocate the resources to offices that promote the New Southbound Policy, academics and lawmakers said yesterday. Many argued that such reductions would not weaken Taiwan's international standing, but would instead allow the country to streamline and strengthen its foreign policy.

DPP Launches Democracy Camp for Foreign Students (2017-08-04)
(Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) To mark the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial law in Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive party (DPP) has created a three-day democracy camp to teach foreign students of the democratization process Taiwan underwent. The DPP Secretary-General stated that the goal of the DPP for the next thirty years is to protect Taiwan's democracy.

Lagos Office Has Found a New Site: Foreign Ministry (2017-08-04)
(Taipei Times, By Abraham Gerber) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has found a new location in Lagos for its Nigerian office after being evicted from its previous location in the country's capital Abuja. This is following a months-long standoff during which the Nigerian office was forced to change its name and Nigeria was ordered to move its trade office out of Taipei.

New Policy Must Consider Human Rights: Advocates (2017-08-05)
(Taipei Times, By Abraham Gerber) Human rights and environmental considerations should be incorporated into the government’s New Southbound Policy, a group of Taiwanese and Vietnamese campaigners said yesterday, proposing measures to remedy the problems revealed by a major environmental scandal.

Group Promotes ‘Taiwan’ in Tokyo (2017-08-07)
(Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) Taiwan United Nations Alliance members yesterday rallied in Tokyo to call for Taiwan’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 under the name “Taiwan,” as part of their “name rectification campaign” and Taiwanization efforts. After a meeting with Taiwan’s Deputy Representative to Japan Kuo Chung-shi at the alliance’s Tokyo chapter, alliance members staged a parade calling for the name of Taiwan’s national sports team to be changed from “Chinese Taipei” to Taiwan.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
Chinese Navy Aiding US, Japan in Search for Missing American Sailor (2017-08-02)
(Defense News, By David B. Larter) Two PLAN frigates that were shadowing the Japan-based US destroyer Stethem have joined it and two JMSDF ships in searching for a US sailor who has been missing since midmorning August 1st. This is a positive moment amidst mounting tensions in the region.

Anti-Aircraft Cannon Firing Drill Conducted in Pingtung (2017-08-07)
(CNA) Troops from the Air Defense Artillery Command’s 303rd battalion on Thursday conducted a drill simulating air-to-ground combat in Pingtung County to test their ability to handle aerial attacks. The drill, during which a Oerlikon GDF-006 35mm anti-aircraft cannon firing drill was conducted at night, took place at the Air Defense Artillery Training Center in Fangshan Township, a location for ground-to-air and ground-to-sea live fire practice.
U.S.-China Relations
No Rabbits Pulled Out of Hats at the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue. Now What? (2017-08-01)
(Center for Strategic & International Studies, By Claire Reade) The United States and China did not effectively address their problem-solving strategies at the end of the 100-day period following the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue as planned. However, solely increasing exports will not solve the bilateral trade deficit the US appears to be attempting to fix. Furthermore, attempts at intimidation will not work on China, and stability within US leadership must be considered to effectively address these concerns regarding future US-China relations.

The Stalemate in U.S.-China Economic Talks: Turning a Corner or Going Around in Circles? (2017-08-03)
(Center for Strategic & Economic Studies, By Scott Kennedy) The Comprehensive Economic Dialogue did not have the successful results the US intended for it to have, with China refusing to budge on certain issues. A stalemate was possible for many reasons, but a prevailing persuasion is that the two sides did not line up on what the expectations of success would have been. Regardless, the failures of the CED have led to a new intersection in the US-China economic relationship, possibly forcing the United States to unilaterally pursue its interests. This could risk either incremental change and resistance from Beijing or massive retaliation impacting other aspects of the bilateral relationship.

The US-China Maritime Surveillance Debate (2017-08-04)
(The Diplomat, By Mark J. Valencia) While many in the international community accuse China of hypocrisy when it comes to its positions on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in other countries' EEZs due to their recent activities in the Australian EEZ, to suggest that China is warming up to the US's position would be misleading and dangerous. The United States has much more power and advanced technologies in ISR than China does and therefore stands as a much higher danger to China than the other way around. Furthermore, due to the US's lack of transparency within the field, the public does not know exactly what activities to compare between the US and China. As a result, we must learn the US's true power and capabilities in order to discover whether China is engaging in "similar actions" or following in the US's lead.

How has China Managed to Get Along with Trump? (2017-08-06)
(East Asia Forum, By Zha Daojiong) Trump has undoubtedly let North Korean behaviour drive a wedge between Washington and Beijing. His team will have to find a creative way to climb down on that and it is unclear how much sympathy he can expect from China in the process. Yet there remains a good deal of resilience in bilateral ties between China and the United States.

Can China and Mr Trump Find a Way Through? (2017-08-07)
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) There are bargains that might be done on these and other options to resolve the North Korean problem — including a deal on tighter UN sanctions or a freeze on North Korea’s armament programs, as China suggests, combined with direct negotiations towards converting the Korean War armistice into a permanent peace agreement between the United States and North Korea — but all of them require trust and agreement between Washington and Beijing.

Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Vietnam, Yielding to Beijing, Backs Off South China Sea Drilling (2017-08-04)
(New York Times, By Mike Ives) A gas project at the edge of Vietnam’s economic zone has been called off, an apparent victory for China at a time when the Trump administration is distracted.

China Tells India That It Won’t Back Down in Border Dispute (2017-08-04)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley and Ellen Barry) The comments, the most blunt yet from Beijing, indicated that the diplomatic quarrel over a mountainous piece of land could escalate.

China-Vietnam Maritime Tensions Flare as Foreign Ministers Meeting Called Off (2017-08-07)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) Strife between Beijing and Hanoi over the South China Sea boiled over on Monday when a scheduled one-on-one meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers was called off. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was due to meet his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh in Manila on the sidelines of a gathering of diplomats from Asean countries. But a Chinese official said the meeting did not take place.

Vietnam ‘May Tilt Towards US’ in Regional Power Play with China (2017-08-08)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) Vietnam has emerged as China’s most vocal rival claimant in the South China Sea and could move closer to the United States as the Philippines tilts towards China, analysts say. Hanoi’s tensions with Beijing came to the surface in Manila on Monday when a scheduled one-on-one meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers was called off during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) foreign ministers meeting.

Diplomacy to Defuse China-India Border Crisis Hits a Roadblock, Sources Say (2017-08-08)
(Reuters) India’s diplomatic efforts to end a seven-week military standoff with China have hit a roadblock, people briefed on the talks said, prompting Chinese state-run media to trumpet rhetoric of “unavoidable countermeasures” on the unmarked border. China has insisted that India unilaterally withdraw its troops from the remote Doklam plateau claimed by both Beijing and Indian ally Bhutan.

Korean Peninsula

U.S. Tests Unarmed Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (2017-08-02)
(New York Times, By Eileen Sullivan and Helene Cooper) The test of the missile, launched overnight from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, came amid concerns about North Korea’s missile program.

All Eyes Are on Tillerson and North Korean Counterpart at Asean Meeting
 (2017-08-05)
(New York Times, By Gardiner Harris) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be in the same room as North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, on Sunday, and the world will be watching.

China ‘Fires Warning’ with Array of Navy Drills off Korean Peninsula (2017-08-07)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) Chinese naval forces will conduct more than 10 kinds of drills and launch dozens of types of missiles during four days of live-fire exercises off the Korean peninsula, according to state media. The details of the drills, which end on Tuesday, were released less than two weeks after North Korea fired off its second long-range missile in a month.

North Korea’s Alarmed Neighbors Consider Deploying Deadlier Weapons (2017-08-08)
(New York Times, By Jonathan Soble and Choe Sang-hun) In Japan and South Korea, politicians are calling for new military capabilities, in what could become a regional arms race.

Trump Threatens ‘Fire and Fury’ Against North Korea if It Endangers U.S. (2017-08-08)
(New York Times, By Peter Baker and Choe Sang-hun) North Korea hinted that it would conduct another nuclear or missile test, as it has often done in response to past United Nations sanctions.

Trump’s ‘Fire and Fury’ Threat Raises Alarm in Asia (2017-08-09)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers and Choe Sang-hun) While some officials played down the president’s warning to North Korea, some analysts said that the escalating rhetoric increased the likelihood of war.

On North Korea, Tillerson Plays Good Cop to Trump’s Bad Cop (2017-08-09)
(Foreign Policy, By Robbie Gramer and Paul McLeary) Despite his calming words, Tillerson defended Trump’s provocative remarks, saying they would get through to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a way past diplomatic signals didn’t. “What the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language,” he said.

North Korea’s Potential Targets: Guam, South Korea and Japan (2017-08-09)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun) Pyongyang has the capability to launch a devastating military attack on Seoul, and its leader has missiles could hit Tokyo and perhaps Guam.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Russia-China Exercises: Kremlin Moves to Calm Nordic-Baltic Fears (2017-08-05)
(Defense News, By Gerard O'Dwyer) The recent Russia-China naval exercises in the Baltic, known as Marine Interaction 2017, ended July 28th, but Nordic and Baltic leaders are worried that this signals the beginning of a Sino-Russian military alliance. In response, Vladimir Putin met with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and refuted these claims and described the relationship with China as "strategic", spanning political, military and economic common interests.

Duterte Wants to Pivot to China—but the Law May Prevent This
 (2017-08-06)
(The National Interest, By Richard Javad Heydarian) With the Philippines running out of energy reserves, it looks to the hydrocarbon reserves of Reed Bank in the South China Sea. Reed Bank lies within the Philippines EEZ, but also within the PRC's "nine-dash line". With Duterte adhering closely to promises of avoiding conflict with the PRC, he's seeking closer ties. However, such a move would not only legitimizes PRC claims in the South China Sea, but also violate both the Philippines’ constitution and the Arbitral Tribunal award at The Hague last year.

The ‘Belt and Road’ Projects China Doesn’t Want Anyone Talking About (2017-08-08)
(South China Morning Post, By He Huifeng) But the provincial authorities have obscured the location of a brand new, 29.2 billion yuan (US$4.27 billion) oil refinery that sits at the end of the 2,500km pipeline and made talk about the rail network taboo. The refinery is not marked on online maps, but its outline is visible in satellite images of the area. The two projects, linked to China’s ambitious “Belt and Road” trade-development scheme, have sparked protests, quarrels and suspicions in Yunnan and in neighbouring countries before delivering on promises of peace and prosperity.


Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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