::: TSR Weekly Report
2018-05-01 | NO.41(69) 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
China Warns of More Action after Military Drills near Taiwan (2018-04-24)
(Reuters, By Ben Blanchard and Jess Macy Yu) A series of Chinese drills near Taiwan were designed to send a clear message to the island and China will take further steps if Taiwan independence forces persist in doing as they please, Beijing said on Wednesday, as Taiwan denounced threats of force. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

China's Greatest Wish: Is Taiwan's Air Force Dying? (2018-04-24)
(National Interest/Asia Times) Taiwan’s air force has more than 110 F-16 Fighting Falcons and 46 Mirage 2000 multi-role fighters, and the fleet is facing higher service and maintenance costs due to the increasing age of these planes. Now the Taiwanese military is looking to boost its surface-to-air missile deterrence to fend off incoming Chinese warplanes, as its relatively small fleet of fighters is becoming overstretched. <Accessed 2018-04-29>

Wife of Jailed Taiwanese Activist Appeals to EU For Support
(CNA, By Tang Pei-chun and Evelyn Kao) Lee Ching-yu, wife of Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che, asked the European Commission to urge Beijing to respect human rights and free her imprisoned husband. She mentioned that he was different from other Chinese prisoners because he is Taiwanese and therefore a foreigner in China. Lee was arrested in early 2017 and charged with "subversion of state power," for which he was sentenced to five years in prison. <Accessed 2018-04-27>

Chinese Air Force Conducts Drill Around Taiwan (2018-04-26)
(CNA, By Kuan-lin Liu and Yang Sheng-ju) China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted an Air Force drill around Taiwan on Thursday morning, the latest in a series of air and sea military exercises by China over the past two weeks. Thursday's drill included fighter jets, airborne-warning planes, intelligence gathering aerial vehicles, and Xi'an H-6K strategic bombers. In response, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said the exercises were not unusual and posed no threat to Taiwan's safety. The ministry also said it had a firm grasp of the activities by China. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Taiwan Calls for Cross-Strait Negotiations Without Prerequisites (2018-04-27)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and Romulo Huang) While marking the 25th anniversary of the 1993 Koo-Wang Talks, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council called for cross-strait talks without any prerequisites. A statement said that peace and communications were the basis for co-prosperity on both sides of the strait. The statement also criticized Beijing's latest efforts to heighten tensions between the two sides through political and economic pressure. <Accessed 2018-04-29>

Taiwan Tells Firms to Seek Approval for Trading with ZTE: Nikkei (2018-04-27)
(Reuters) The Taiwanese government has ordered all of the island’s companies that sell to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp to suspend shipments until they obtain approval, the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

China Blocking Taiwan From the WHO: Ministry (2018-04-27)
(Taipei Times/AFP) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Beijing of having a "secret agreement" with the World Health Organization and using its veto powers to prevent Taiwan from attending the World Health Assembly conference. It said that the arrangement not only endangered Taiwanese people, but also prevented any progress on reducing the global epidemic of disease. MOFA also denied that China's Taiwan Affairs Office released a statement saying that Taiwanese experts could attend any WHO conference other than the WHA. <Accessed 2018-04-29>

H-6K Bombers Encircle Taiwan: PLA (2018-04-27)
(Taipei Times/Reuters) The People's Liberation Army said that they had flown several bombers around Taiwan as part of a military exercise on Thursday. They claimed that the maneuvers practiced were to ensure their ability to defend national sovereignty. The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense also monitored the situation and found nothing out of the ordinary. <Accessed 2018-04-29>

Public Split on President's Policy on Cross-Strait Relations (2018-04-27)
(CNA, By Liu Lee-jung and Kuan-lin Liu) A recent survey conducted by the Taiwan Cross-Strait Policy Association found that the public was almost evenly divided on how President Tsai Ing-wen handles cross-strait relations, with almost a 50/50 split. The opinions tended to be divided via party lines. <Accessed 2018-04-29>

Despite Chinese Pressure, Taiwan Keeps Its Press Free (2018-04-27)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Reporters Without Borders earlier this month listed Taiwan as having the most free press in East Asia. The level of press freedom offered in Taiwan is especially notable given its relationship with China, which was listed very low in the Press Freedom Index. China has been exerting more pressure on Taiwanese media through both political and economic pressure. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

MAC Urges Precondition-Free Cross-Strait Dialogue (2018-04-28)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) reiterated calls for Beijing to begin a precondition-free constructive dialogue with Taipei, as it marked the 25th anniversary of the so-called landmark Koo-Wang talks. MAC said Beijing should look back at what encouraged both sides in the first place to overcome barriers, resolve their differences and safeguard peace across the Taiwan Strait over the past years when it looks to the future of cross-strait relations. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Taiwan Office in Jordan to Be Renamed Under Pressure from China: MOFA (2018-04-28)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan and Kuan-lin Liu) Jordan has asked Taiwan to change the name of its representative office in Amman due to pressure from China. As a result, the name of the office will soon be changed from the Commercial Office of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. Despite the name change, the office will continue to function as usual. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

How Taiwan Is Planning to Stop an Invasion by China (2018-04-29)
(National Interest, By Zachary Keck) Taiwan’s military is scheduled to simulate defending the island from an invasion by mainland China. The simulation will be part of Taiwan’s annual Han Kuang drills. Although Taiwan holds these drills every year, two things are different about the 2018 edition. First, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense announced that “civilian resources will also be integrated into this exercise to support military operations” for the first time ever. The other important development is that mainland China has been ramping up military pressure against Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

The Great Game in Asia: How China Sees Taiwan (2018-04-29)
(National Interest, By Quinn Marschik) The resolution of Taiwan’s status has major implications for the Communist Party of China’s (CCP) legitimacy as the ruling party of China. This legitimacy can be broken down into three parts: legitimacy from the Chinese Civil War, CCP statements and policies, and history. The island is not just a haven for the Kuomintang who lost the civil war on the Mainland, but also represents a threat to Beijing’s system of governance as an alternative model for the Chinese people. From a historical perspective, which ties into the China Dream, unification of the country is typically required for lasting legitimacy. Lastly, in addition to serving as a potential check against the United States and Japan, Taiwan can be seen in China’s eyes as the first wall in the Mainland’s defenses. <Accessed 2018-04-29>

Taiwan Says China Dangled $3 Billion to Grab Ally Dominican Republic (2018-04-30)
(Reuters, By Jess Macy Yu and Ben Blanchard) China offered the Dominican Republic a $3.1 billion package of investments and loans to get them to sever ties with Taiwan, a Taiwan official said on Tuesday, after the Caribbean nation switched allegiance to China in a diplomatic blow to the self-ruled island. China said there were no economic pre-conditions. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

Taiwan’s Diplomatic Isolation Increases as Dominican Republic Recognizes China (2018-05-01)
(New York Times, By Austin Ramzy) The Dominican Republic said it had established ties with China, a move that furthers the international isolation of Taiwan, with which it simultaneously severed diplomatic relations. The decision was announced by Flavio Darío Espinal, an adviser to the government of the Dominican Republic, and the foreign ministers of China and the Dominican Republic signed a joint communiqué Tuesday morning in Beijing. <Accessed 2018-05-01>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Taiwan Caught in the Middle of the U.S.-China Trade Tiff (2018-04-24)
(The Diplomat, By Riley Walters) Taiwan is worried that it will be a casualty in the face of unpredictable trade barriers that the US is instituting against China. Maintaining the trade relationship with Taiwan may be as important to the US as maintaining the security relationship, but currently, the trade aspect of the two countries' relationship has been hit hard. There is currently no true trade pact between the US and Taiwan -- it is only a framework agreement. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

US Reiterates Support for Taiwan's Participation in World Bodies
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Flor Wang) The United States Department of State reiterated the country's support for Taiwan's right to participate in international collaborative organizations and committed to supporting Taiwan in any future efforts to do so. A spokeswoman said that Taiwan is a valuable partner that shares similar values to the US. Taiwan still has not received an invitation to participate in this year's World Health Assembly conference. <Accessed 2018-04-29>

US ‘Will Not Take the Bait and Respond’ to China's Attempt to Intimidate Taiwan, Pentagon Says (2018-04-27)
(South China Morning Post, By Zhenhua Lu) A senior US defence official said on Thursday that while recent military activities by China’s air force over Taiwan were considered an attempt at “intimidation”, the Pentagon would not “take the bait and respond”. Thomas Harvey III, the acting assistant secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities at the Defence Department, told the South China Morning Post that the mainland’s flights around the island were “a definite message of intimidation”. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

Taiwan Force for Good in World, US Official Says (2018-04-28)
(Taipei Times, By Lu I-hsuan and Sherry Hsiao) Katina Adams, Spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, reiterated the United States' backing for Taiwan to take part in world bodies. Adams said the U.S. considers Taiwan to be a vital partner and a force for good in the world. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Taiwan Puts US Abrams Battle Tanks on Military Wish List (2018-04-30)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) Taiwan will decide by the end of this year whether it will buy a series of US battle tanks – and if so, how many – amid expectations of greater military pressure from mainland China. National Defence Minister Yen Teh-fa told a panel of legislators that the US M1A2 Abrams tanks would be key to the island’s last line of defence under a strategy Taipei unveiled late last year. Yen also said the tanks could help transfer technology to the island’s defence industry, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported on Monday. <Accessed 2018-05-01>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
 Taiwan's Press Freedom Best in Asia (2018-04-25)
(CNA, By Emmanuelle Tzeng and Elizabeth Hsu) Reporters Without Borders, in their World Press Freedom Index, has listed Taiwan as having the best press freedom throughout Asia. They mentioned that Taiwan, along with Hong Kong, is doing as much as they can to resist China and its controls on free expression in the press. <Accessed 2018-04-27>

Some WHA Invitations Have Been Sent: Ministry (2018-04-25)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) The WHO has apparently already sent out several observer invitations to the World Health Assembly conference, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, Taiwan has still not received an invitation to attend the conference, which it has done from 2009 until 2017. Several of Taiwan's diplomatic allies have submitted requests for Taiwan's invitation as an observer as well. <Accessed 2018-04-27>

Netherlands Celebrates Ties with Taiwan on National Day (2018-04-27)
(CNA, By Lee Hsin-Yin) During the Netherlands's National Day celebrations, the country recognized strengthening ties with Taiwan on cooperation within several different fields. The two countries also pledged to continue to strengthen relations and create bilateral ties for better investments and new projects. <Accessed 2018-04-29>

Approval of Cabinet-Level Restructuring Bills Likely (2018-04-29)
(Taipei Times, By Lee Hsin-fang) The Executive Yuan plans to approve over 40 bills designed to restructure the Cabinet-level government according to a source. Many of these conclusions include upgrades to the Environmental Protection Administration. The proposed restructuring plans have been under development since as early as 2012. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Foreign Laborers and Taiwan’s Evolving Democracy (2018-04-27)
(The Diplomat, By Tabatha Anderson) As Taiwan suffers from increased pressure from China, it is trying to serve as an example for the region in democracy. However, Taiwan's treatment of its foreign workers directly contradicts the pride Taiwan has in its level of freedom of democracy in contrast to China. The Tsai administration should work towards fair treatment and equality of the foreign workers which provide so much labor for Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Despite Chinese Pressure, Taiwan Keeps Its Press Free (2018-04-27)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Reporters Without Borders earlier this month listed Taiwan as having the most free press in East Asia. The level of press freedom offered in Taiwan is especially notable given its relationship with China, which was listed very low in the Press Freedom Index. China has been exerting more pressure on Taiwanese media through both political and economic pressure. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Tsai Pushes Defense, Aviation Industry Development (2018-04-28)
(CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen reiterated the need to promote the development of the nation’s indigenous defense systems and help the domestic aviation industry expand into the global market. sai said the aviation industry is part of the government’s “5+2 Innovative Industries Plan” aimed at boosting the nation’s competitiveness. This plan refers to seven developmental projects proposed by the government to transform the nation's economic and industrial structure. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Public Mixed on Tsai's Defense Policy (2018-04-28)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) In a recent poll conducted by the Cross-Strait Policy Association, 56 percent of respondents supported President Tsai Ing-wen's move to board a warship in response to China's military exercises, and 47.1 percent of respondents approved of her performance on the national defense front overall. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

New Ocean Affairs Council Tasked With Promoting Maritime Industry (2018-04-28)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping, Chen Chi-fong and Kuan-lin Liu) Taiwan inaugurated a new central government agency, the Ocean Affairs Council (OAC), on Saturday, with President Tsai Ing-wen outlining its three main responsibilities as protecting the marine environment, promoting the maritime industry and strengthening ocean research. Under the new Cabinet-level OAC, there will be three entities -- the Coast Guard Administration, the National Ocean Research Institute, and Ocean Conservation Administration, with the latter focusing on implementing Taiwan's marine environment and anti-pollution laws. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Taiwan to Continue Bid for Participation in World Bodies: President (2018-04-30)
(CNA, By Lu Hsin-hui and Ko Lin) President Tsai Ing-wen affirmed that Taiwan will continue to push its bid for participation in international organizations, with the aim of contributing to societies around the world. Tsai said the recent passage of the Taiwan Travel Act, which promotes meetings and exchange visits between high-ranking U.S. and Taiwanese government officials, is testament to the continuing improvement in relations between Taiwan and the United States. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Han Kuang Drills Open With Computerized War Games (2018-04-30)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) The computer-aided war games section of this year's Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan's biggest annual military drill, kicked off Monday with a simulation of an invasion by Chinese forces. These computerized war games will continue until May 4. The goal of the simulation this year is to find out how these war games can help decision-makers to consider their decisions and to improved combat readiness. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Publicly Funded Security Think Tank to be Launched Tuesday (2018-04-30)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) A semi-official think tank responsible for studying and offering advice on national security issues to the government will be officially launched Tuesday, with a former defense minister Feng Shih-kuan serving as its first head. It will be responsible for doing research on national security, regional security, and China's politics and military and for conducting exchanges with counterparts around the world. <Accessed 2018-04-30>
China's Foreign Relations
Trump to Send Trade Delegation to China for Talks (2018-04-25)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) China and the United States have agreed to return to negotiations following massive trade disputes that have resulted in tariffs on both sides. President Donald Trump is sending over a trade delegation to discuss the future of trade with China. However, both China and the US report different perspectives when discussing who requested the meeting. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Is China Forging a New Tripolar World Order?
(The Diplomat, By N. Janardhan) China's recent developments regarding term limits, North Korea, and trade with the US imply that China may be preparing to launch itself into a position alongside the United States and Russia as the world's third great superpower. This would be in stark contrast to the current US-based hegemonic unipolar world order. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

Germany Eyes Stricter Rules for Foreign Takeovers amid China Worries (2018-04-26)
(Reuters, By Michael Nienaber) The German government could lower the threshold at which it can intervene in response to foreign investments in companies, the economy minister said on Thursday, amid growing concern that China and other rivals are gaining access to key technologies. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

China Flexes Muscles with 'Guam Killer' Missile; New Drills Near Taiwan (2018-04-26)
(Reuters, By Philip Wen and Ben Blanchard) China confirmed on Thursday that it had put into a service a new missile that Chinese media has dubbed the “Guam killer” for its ability to hit the U.S. Pacific Ocean base with a conventional or nuclear weapon. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

Sino-US Trade: The Battle for the Future (2018-04-26)
(The Diplomat, By Maurits Elen) UBS Wealth Management chief economist Paul Donovan describes intellectual property and the role it plays in Sino-US trade. <Accessed 2018-04-30>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

The South China Sea: Reality Is Slowly Sinking In (2018-04-26)
(The Diplomat, By Mark J. Valencia) As China increases its military presence and the US backs away from the South China Sea, various other powers in the region are beginning to realize that the US will not be investing its military very heavily in the issues. While the US might have strong rhetoric against China, the actions suggest the opposite. Washington may have realized that a military conflict with China is not in their best interests and have backed away. <Accessed 2018-04-30>

U.S. Air Force Says Trains in Vicinity of South China Sea (2018-04-26)
(Reuters, By Tim Kelly and Ben Blanchard) U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers have carried out training in the vicinity of the South China Sea and the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, the Air Force said on Friday, in what a Chinese newspaper linked to China’s drills near Taiwan. The U.S. Air Force said the B-52s took off from Andersen Air Force Base on the U.S. Pacific island of Guam and “transited to the vicinity of the South China Sea” on Tuesday. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

India and China Agree on Maintaining Border Peace: Govt. Official (2018-04-28)
(Reuters) India and China have agreed to improve communication between their militaries to maintain peace at the border, India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said, months after a dispute over a stretch of their Himalayan border rekindled fears of war. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

The Korean Peninsula

Kim Jong-Un Made Donald Trump an Offer He Couldn't Refuse
(The Interpreter, By Kristian McGuire) Donald Trump has always shown at least some positive reception to the idea of meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. However, it seems that the "right circumstances" have finally arisen, following a shift in North Korean policy that expresses willingness to discuss denuclearization. Several risks run with the two leaders' meeting, as they would had Trump refused to meet as well, but choosing for diplomatic talks over a military confrontation is definitely the least risky option. <Accessed 2018-04-27>

Trump’s Pick for U.S. Ambassador to Australia Heads to Seoul Instead (2018-04-24)
(New York Times, By Gerry Mullany and Jacqueline Williams) The Trump administration has abruptly decided that Washington’s pick for ambassador to Australia should instead become envoy to South Korea, filling a diplomatic void just as President Trump prepares to meet Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, officials said on Wednesday. The shift involving Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of the United States forces in the Pacific, is a diplomatic blow to Australia, a close American ally. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

Japan Worries It’ll Be Forgotten as Its Allies Talk to North Korea (2018-04-25)
(New York Times, By Motoko Rich) On Tuesday, in a phone call, Mr. Abe asked President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, who will meet with the North Korean leader on Friday, for a similar commitment. In principle, both Mr. Trump and Mr. Moon have agreed to Mr. Abe’s requests. But given how unpredictable at least two of the players are, Japan is by no means assured that it will be happy with the outcome. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

Korea Talks Begin as Kim Jong-un Crosses to South’s Side of DMZ (2018-04-26)
(New York Times, By David E. Sanger and Choe Sang-Hun) Kim Jong-un on Friday became the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korean-controlled territory, starting a historic summit meeting with the South’s president that will test Mr. Kim’s willingness to bargain away his nuclear weapons. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

Kim-Moon Summit Could be Good for Regional Development: President (2018-04-27)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Kuan-lin Liu) President Tsai Ing-wen said that she hoped that the upcoming summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un would prove beneficial for the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. Several people have questioned whether the meeting between the two sides of Korea could also signal the potential for the leaders on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to meet, to which President Tsai said that she would be open to meeting as long as there were no political requirements. <Accessed 2018-04-29>

North and South Korea Set Bold Goals: A Final Peace and No Nuclear Arms (2018-04-27)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) At a historic summit meeting, the first time a North Korean leader had ever set foot in the South, the leaders vowed to negotiate a treaty to replace a truce that has kept an uneasy peace on the divided Korean Peninsula for more than six decades. A peace treaty has been one of the incentives North Korea has demanded in return for dismantling its nuclear program. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

Kim Says He’d End North Korea Nuclear Pursuit for U.S. Truce (2018-04-29)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) Keeping diplomatic developments coming at a head-snapping pace, the South Korean government said on Sunday that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had told President Moon Jae-in that he would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States agreed to formally end the Korean War and promise not to invade his country. In a confidence-building gesture ahead of a proposed summit meeting with President Trump, a suddenly loquacious and conciliatory Mr. Kim also said he would invite experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States to watch the shutdown next month of his country’s only known underground nuclear test site. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

Chinese Government's Top Diplomat Wang Yi to Visit North Korea This Week (2018-04-29)
(Reuters) The Chinese government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, will visit North Korea this week, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kan said on Monday. The visit to North Korea is set for Wednesday and Thursday, he said in a statement published on the ministry’s website. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

Japan to Host Summit with China, South Korea on May 9 (2018-05-01)
(Reuters) Japan will host a summit with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Tokyo on May 9 to discuss regional issues, the government said on Tuesday, with observers expecting North Korea to be high on the agenda. <Accessed 2018-05-01>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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