::: TSR Weekly Report
2017-09-18 | NO.21(37) 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
It is in Beijing’s Interests to Resume Cross-Strait Dialogues (2017-08-30)
(Global Taiwan Institute, By David An) Taiwan’s leaders are directly chosen by the people and reflect the will of the people, therefore China should unconditionally hold official dialogues to sustain its connection to the people of Taiwan.

“Four Cities Forum” Spotlights Role of GACC in Cross-Strait Relations
(Global Taiwan Institute, By Russell Hsiao) Against the backdrop of Beijing’s refusal to engage in senior governmental dialogue with Tsai’s government, pseudo non-governmental organizations such as the GACC may start playing a greater role in cross-Strait exchanges. While there is no adequate substitute for senior dialogues through official channels, the reported participation of the vice-secretary general in the December conference is potentially a positive sign for cross-Strait dialogue.

Premier Urges Lee Ming-che's Swift Release by China
(CNA) Premier William Lai voiced his concern over Lee Ming-che, requesting his quick release from Chinese custody. Lee had pleaded guilty to "subversion of state power" earlier this week, and the court said that they would announce his sentence at a later date. This comes after Lee's detention and arrest in China in March of this year.

Don’t Use Taiwan Activist’s Trial to Attack Chinese Law, Mainland Authorities Warn (2017-09-13)
(Reuters) Attacks on China’s legal or political system using the trial of Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-che will prove futile, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said on Wednesday after Lee’s wife and supporters rejected the authority of the court that tried him.

China Using Lee Case as Warning to NGOs: Wang Dan (2017-09-14)
(CNA) China is using human rights activist Lee Ming-che to warn all foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The government of China has created two laws meant to increase scrutiny upon these organizations and mandate stronger registration and reporting requirements.

Taiwan Sentences Mainland Chinese Man to 14 Months in Prison for Trying to Recruit Spies (2017-09-15)
(Agence France-Presse) A graduate of one of Taiwan’s top universities accused of recruiting spies for Beijing was sentenced to 14 months in prison on Friday. The verdict comes amid tense cross-strait relations and just days after China put on trial a Taiwanese democracy activist who had been held incommunicado since March.

US Official Queries Defense, China Spies (2017-09-16)
(Taipei Times, By Nadia Tsao and Jack Chung) The United States questioned Taiwan's ability to protect sensitive technologies from Chinese spies should the U.S. decide to transfer this technology to Taiwan. This follows the Hsieh Chia-kang case last month where a Taiwanese former missile commander was placed under investigation after being accused of working with Chinese covert operatives.

China Ties Could Change After CCP Congress: Expert (2017-09-17)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) Central Police University professor Tung Li-wen said that due to China's current conflicts in the Pacific region, cross-strait relations may deteriorate following the 19th National Congress of the CCP. Two ministers in the 19th Congress are vehemently against Taiwanese independence and are outspoken critics of Taiwan and its policies, but they will both be replaced after the congress, at which point experts claim that relations may improve.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taipei Forum Report on U.S. Politics and Asia-Pacific Policy under President Trump (2017-07-28)
(Taipei Forum) To better understand U.S. politics and Asia-Pacific policy under President Trump, a Taipei Forum Foundation delegation visited New York and Washington D.C. in early June 2017. The following reportcontains information and perspectives from the conversations between the group and U.S. officials and experts and is divided into six parts: current U.S. domestic politics, foreign policy making in the Trump administration, U.S.-China relations, U.S.-Taiwan relations, Taiwan’s major challenges, and the North Korea nuclear issue. A Chinese version of the report is available here.

Taiwanese Observers to Attend Black Dart Counterdrone Exercises in US (2017-09-12)
(Taipei Times, By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin) The United States has invited Taiwan to attend its military's Black Dart counterdrone exercise in June next year, which are live-fire exercises held annually at the Elgin Air Force Base in Florida. These exercises are aimed at testing countertactics of all sorts, including jamming signals, sniper fire, machine guns, and cannons.

Taiwan to Urge Greater UN Participation (2017-09-12)
(CNA) Taiwan is calling for greater participation in the United Nations through allies' speeches, official letters, and asking its diplomatic allies in the UN to speak out for Taiwan's participation. Unlike previous years, these calls include the following demands: do not reject Taiwan from the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Taiwanese should be able to attend UN meetings, and to include Taiwan on the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030.

Taiwan Urged to Invest in Central America (2017-09-16)
(CNA) The ambassador of Honduras Rafael Fernando Sierra Quesada urged Taiwan to invest more aggressively in Central America at an event marking the 196th anniversary of Central American independence from Spanish rule. Quesada wanted Taiwan to search for a win-win situation for both sides, especially in light of Taiwan's loss of Panama as a diplomatic ally in June.

Taiwan Delivers First Agenda 2030 Performance Review (2017-09-17)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) Environmental Protection Administration Minister Lee Ying-yuan gave a speech on contributing to the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He described Taiwan's commitment and progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, outlining that Taiwan has achieved more than several European countries and the US in some regards. The presentation is part of Taiwan's push for greater participation in UN activities.
PLA, Military Balance and Arms Sales
Taiwan Urged to Boost Military Power (2017-09-17)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) In response to China's rapidly growing military and strategic pursuits, foreign academics have urged Taiwan to take a new focus on their military power. Given Taiwan's strategic position and its status in the international community, it has a unique role in balancing US-China tensions as well. Former AIT Director William Stanton also said that if US-China relations continue to deteriorate, the US would have no choice but to proceed with continued arms sales and military support for Taiwan.

Military Denies Report of Missile Drill Plan (2017-09-18)
(China Post) Taiwan's military has denied a report stating that the newly formed Air Force Air Defense and Missile Command plans to conduct live-fire surface-to-surface missile exercises. The weapon in question is the Hsiung Feng IIE, a surface-to-surface cruise missile system seen as the "secret weapon"against military threats from China.

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

Japan Deepens Surveillance Capabilities for Base Near Controversial Waters
(Japan News/ANN) The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) will strengthen its training system for the JCG around the waters surrounding the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and increase the number of patrol vessels by 2018. This is reportedly in response to the increase of Chinese and Taiwanese fishing boats and Chinese government vessels in the waters since 2012.

The Korean Peninsula

North Korea Resumes Work at Nuclear Test Site, Analysts Say (2017-09-13)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) The analysts, who gave no indication that another test was imminent, also said that the North’s Sept. 3 test may have been much more powerful than previously estimated.

Trump and Xi Reaffirm Vow to Jointly Confront North Korea over Nuclear Threats (2017-09-13)
(South China Morning Post, By Robert Delaney) President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump spoke directly to reiterate their commitment to jointly confront military threats from North Korea. In a second phone call between the two leaders in as many weeks, “the two leaders committed to maximising pressure on North Korea through vigorous enforcement of United Nations Security Council resolutions”, according to a White House statement.

North Korea Launches Another Missile, Escalating Crisis
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun and David E. Sanger) The test is the 15th such one this year and the first since the country detonated its most powerful nuclear bomb to date.

North Korea’s Threat Pushes Japan to Reassess Its Might and Rights (2017-09-15)
(New York Times, By Motoko Rich) The limits of missile defense and a pacifist Constitution are weighing on the debate over how Japan should respond to the North’s nuclear program.

China Rejects US Demand to Cut Oil Exports to North Korea (2017-09-16)
(Bloomberg News) China rebuffed US demands to cut off oil exports to North Korea as a way to dissuade Kim Jong-un’s regime from pursuing nuclear weapons, saying instead it was American leaders who needed to tone down their rhetoric and come to the negotiating table. China will implement all United Nations Security Council resolutions, “no more, no less”, Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the US, told reporters at a briefing in Washington when asked if Beijing would cut oil shipments.

US Deploys Stealth Jets and Bombers as China-Russia Naval Drills Held Near North Korea (2017-09-18)
(Agence France-Presse) The US flew four F-35B stealth fighter jets and two B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula on Monday in a show of force after North Korea’s latest nuclear and missile tests, South Korea’s defence ministry said. The flight was to “demonstrate the deterrence capability of the US-South Korea alliance against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats”, the ministry said in a statement.

Managing the North Korean Nuclear Issue (2017-09-18)
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) As is now widely understood, both in Pyongyang and around the region, there are no good military options for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue. That will crucially require countries to get much better at talking to their adversaries and negotiating on fundamental, long-term political and security questions.

Other Regional Issues

U.S. Navy Investigating if Destroyer Crash Was Caused by Cyberattack (2017-09-14)
(Foreign Policy, By Elias Groll) The military is examining whether compromised computer systems were responsible for one of two U.S. Navy destroyer collisions with merchant vessels that occurred in recent months, Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, said on Thursday.

Trump Says He Will Visit China, Japan and South Korea in November
(Agence France-Presse) US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced he intends to visit China, Japan and South Korea later this year, a blockbuster maiden presidential visit to Asia. Trump said aboard Air Force One that a US delegation would likely make the trip in November, adding that he will “possibly” go to the Apec summit in Vietnam at the same time.

Democracy in Asia: A Glass Half Full or Half Empty? (2017-09-15)
(The Diplomat, By Leena Rikkila Tamang and Mette Bakken) Although certain hotspots in Asia have called into question the spread and effectiveness of democratic rule, the bigger picture shows that democracy has taken hold and is making progress throughout the continent. Especially in South and Southeast Asia, democracy is making substantial progress. However, lots of gains are left to be made, and the road ahead is not without its bumps.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Beijing and Hong Kong

Beijing Gnaws at Rule of Law in Hong Kong (2017-09-14)
(East Asia Forum, By Alvin Y H Cheung) The refusal of Yuen and of others in the Hong Kong government to face these questions bodes ill for the city’s rule of law. It points to an even more fundamental question: just what is the rule of law in Hong Kong for? Worryingly, Yuen appears to believe that it is only valuable insofar as it is ‘good for business’.

Top Chinese Think Tank Sets Up in Hong Kong in Bid to Boost Beijing’s Understanding of City
(South China Morning Post, By Xie Yu and Minnie Chan) A top-level Chinese think tank that advises the leadership has set up a branch in Hong Kong in what analysts said was an attempt by the central government to improve its knowledge of the city and better formulate policy. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), a ministerial-level research institution that covers issues from border disputes to international trade policy, registered a company in Hong Kong on June 27, named the Chinese Institute of Hong Kong, according to a submission to the Hong Kong Companies Registry.

China's Foreign Relations

The Rise of China through the Eyes of China (2017-09-12)
(East Asia Forum, By Nicholas Thomas) In sum, China is a complex state, one whose position in the world and whose perceptions of that world order are still developing. To view it through a simple theoretical lens is to reduce its complexities to sound-bites and platitudes. Equally, to suggest that the state (even one as authoritarian as China) can impose its geopolitical agenda on a passively accepting population simplifies the social contract into a one-directional dictate.

China Expresses Concern over EU Push to Curb Foreign Takeovers
(Reuters) China expressed concern on Monday over a proposal by European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to limit its ability to buy European companies in the infrastructure, hi-tech manufacturing and energy industries. In the European Union’s equivalent of a US president’s state-of-the-union address last week, Juncker presented proposals for an investment screening framework. It aims to give EU members a tool to intervene in cases of foreign direct investment in strategic assets, in particular if carried out by state-controlled or state-financed enterprises.

Rise of the Redback: Internationalizing the Chinese Renminbi (2017-09-16)
(The Diplomat, By David G. Landry and Heiwai Tang) While the Belt and Road Initiative may not actually turn global trade entirely in China's favor, it could assist in internationalization of the renminbi, a longtime goal of China's. The RMB is currently facing a low adoption rate, especially as deposits in Hong Kong fall. While the BRI may not be very attractive for some countries, as the White House threatens to push countries away, countries may need to somehow rebalance. Achievement of this objective could help Beijing achieve further long-term economic goals.
New Articles and Books on Taiwan and East Asia
Religion and the Regime: Cooperation and Conflict in Contemporary Russia and China by Karrie J. Koesel (World Politics)
How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, Not Engaged Argument by Gary King, Jennifer Pan, and Margaret E. Roberts (American Political Science Review)

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New Publication China's Strategic Multilateralism: Investing in Global Governance by Scott L. Kastner, Margaret M. Pearson, and Chad Rector (Cambridge University Press)
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New Publication Assessing the Presidency of Ma Ying-jiu in Taiwan: Hopeful Beginning, Hopeless End? Edited by André Beckershoff and Gunter Schubert (Routledge)
New Publication Understanding China’s New Diplomacy: Silk Roads and Bullet Trains by Gerald Chan (Edward Elgar Publishing)
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New Publication Learning from Fukushima: Nuclear Power in East Asia by Peter Van Ness and Mel Gurtov (eds.) (Australian National University Press)
New Publication Playing with Fire: The Looming War with China Over Taiwan by John Copper (Praeger Security International Series)
Upcoming Conference China Defense & Security Conference 2017 (Jamestown Foundation)
New Publication Imagining Taiwan: The Nixon Administration, the Developmental States, and South Vietnam’s Search for Economic Viability, 1969–1975 by Simon Toner (Diplomatic History)
New Publication Religion and the Regime: Cooperation and Conflict in Contemporary Russia and China by Karrie J. Koesel (World Politics)
New Publication Primordialism, Instrumentalism, Constructivism: Factors Influencing Taiwanese People’s Regime Acceptance of Mainland China’s Government by Chia-Chou Wang (Journal of Contemporary China)
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