::: TSR Weekly Report
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2018-05-29 | NO.41(73) 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
Report on the May 2018 Taipei Forum Foundation Visit to Mainland China (2018-05-23)
(Taipei Forum) The Taipei Forum visited Mainland China between May 1st and 9th, 2018, to get first-hand understanding of Beijing's latest thinking on international and cross-strait relations. The delegation also made several suggestions to its interlocutors. Among them, the delegation urged China to allow track two communication with Taiwan, without which, President Tsai will not have effective channels to offer overtures even if her government intends to do so. Here is the report in Chinese.

WHO Is the Latest Victim in Beijing’s War on Taiwan
 (2018-05-22)
(The Nation, By Kerry Gershaneck) WHO’s failure to invite Taipei was simply Beijing’s latest victory in its decades-long political warfare campaign against Taiwan. As part of this campaign, China has waged an intense and highly coercive offensive against Taiwan’s formal diplomatic allies and international organisations that have, in the past, allowed Taiwan’s participation. <Accessed 2018-05-24>

"Maintaining Status Quo" Remains Common Denominator in Taiwan: CSPA (2018-05-22)
(CNA, By Fan Cheng-hsiang and Ko Lin) The leader of the Cross-Strait Policy Association said that the main goal for the Taiwanese people remains to be maintaining the status quo. Despite Chinese attempts to lure Taiwanese away into the Mainland by offering investments and other incentives, the Taiwanese people still aim to maintain the current status quo. The leader also said he supported President Tsai Ing-wen's refusal to acknowledge the 1992 Consensus. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

Taiwan Loses Second Ally in a Month amid China Pressure
 (2018-05-24)
(Reuters, By Thiam Ndiaga and Jess Macy Yu) Taiwan lost its second diplomatic ally in less than a month on Thursday when Burkina Faso said it had cut ties with the self-ruled island, following intense Chinese pressure on African countries to break with what it regards as a wayward province. <Accessed 2018-05-24>

China Fines Retailer Muji for Listing Taiwan as a Country (2018-05-24)
(BBC News) Japanese retail chain Muji has been fined in China for listing Taiwan as a country on some of its packaging. The company has to pay 200,000 yuan (£23,400; $31,300) for listing Taiwan as a "country of origin". <Accessed 2018-05-24>

Taiwan Retaliates over China's Poaching of Allies (2018-05-24)
(CNA, By Miao Tsong-han and S.C. Chang) The Mainland Affairs Council announced that they would increase security screening of applications from Chinese officials to visit Taiwan as a response to China's continued poaching of Taiwan's diplomatic allies. They said that Taiwan would never bow to Beijing and that Taiwan would continue to lessen its relationship with China as long as hostilities continued. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

China Anxious Over Taiwan's Ties with World: President (2018-05-24)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan) President Tsai Ing-wen said Thursday night that China's recent attempts to isolate Taiwan on the global diplomatic stage stems from an increased fear regarding Taiwan's successes in forging economic and security ties with various countries around the world. She also said that Taiwan would not return to dollar diplomacy tactics for Taiwan's diplomatic allies. This statement comes on the back of Burkina Faso's announcement that they were ending diplomatic relations with Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

China's Snatching of Taiwan's Allies will Alienate Public: Lawmakers (2018-05-24)
(CNA, By Justin Su, Liu Kuan-ting, Fan Cheng-hsiang and Kuan-lin Liu) Following Burkina Faso's severance of diplomatic relations with Taiwan, local lawmakers in Taiwan have said that China's poaching of Taiwan's diplomatic allies will only serve to stirring up negative emotions among the Taiwanese people. Burkina Faso has not explicitly named China as the cause of their switch, but all of Taiwan's political parties have blamed Beijing for it. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

MAC Head Brushes Off "1992 Consensus" (2018-05-25)
(CNA, By Miao Zong-han and Flor Wang) Chen Ming-tung, the leader of the Mainland Affairs Council, dismissed KMT suggestions that accepting the 1992 Consensus would solve problems in Taiwan and lead to a diplomatic breakthrough. Although Beijing claims that Taiwan's refusal to acknowledge the Consensus is why cross-strait talks have stopped, Chen claims that Beijing would never allow a free interpretation of "one China" in the first place. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

Beijing's Attacks on Taiwan a Distraction for Chinese Public (2018-05-25)
(CNA, By Kuan-lin Liu) J. Michael Cole, a Canadian journalist focusing on Taiwan, said that Beijing was attempting to distract the Chinese public by targeting Taiwan so that the public would not notice the lack of benefits reaped by the general public of China's growth and development. He claims that the strategy is not working and that reactions from Taiwan have been calm and rational. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

China Tries to Erase Taiwan, One Ally (and Website) at a Time (2018-05-25)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers and Chris Horton) Although China has long sought to isolate Taiwan, people here said its latest efforts have been the most intense in decades. China’s economic and diplomatic moves have coincided with a series of military exercises that officials said were explicitly aimed at Taiwan and its president since 2016, Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party has traditionally supported independence. <Accessed 2018-05-31>

China Puts the Squeeze on Taiwan (2018-05-25)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Less than a month after the Dominican Republic switched its diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China, Burkina Faso has also severed relations with Taiwan, handing another loss to Taipei. While they did not immediately establish relations with China, the Foreign Ministry of Taiwan has said that China is the only possible reason behind the split. China has been increasing its pressure on Taiwan in many aspects over the last few months. <Accessed 2018-05-30>

Foreign Ministry Condemns China's Efforts to Belittle Taiwan (2018-05-26)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Ko Lin) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement criticizing China’s recent pressure on international airlines to change Taiwan’s online designations. They said that this sort of action would only go to stir resentment among the Taiwanese people. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

China's Taiwanese ID Card 'Pointless': Cabinet (2018-05-26)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Taiwan’s Executive Yuan Council criticized Beijing for studying the idea of issuing Chinese ID cards to Taiwanese citizens who are having trouble returning to Taiwan after being in China for a prolonged period of time. The Cabinet considers this idea “pointless” and “political." <Accessed 2018-05-26>

Air Force Monitors Chinese Bombers over Bashi Channel (2018-05-26)
(Taipei Times, with CNA) The Taiwanese Air Force on Friday monitored Chinese aircrafts over the Bashi Channel. China was practicing a military drill, an action that has steadily increased since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen, which is commonly considered an act of pressure towards President Tsai. The Air Force asserted it closely monitors all Chinese military action in the region. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

After Snubbing Taiwan, Burkina Faso Establishes Diplomatic Ties With China (2018-05-26)
(New York Times, By The New York Times) Burkina Faso and China formally established diplomatic ties on Saturday, days after the West African nation broke off relations with Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing has been trying to isolate on the global stage. <Accessed 2018-05-31>

Taiwan Condemns Beijing for Jeopardizing Universal Values  (2018-05-28)

(CNA, By Ku Chuan and Elizabeth Hsu)

Following Beijing’s requests to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) members to change Taiwan’s online designation as a country on their websites, the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized Beijing’s actions. The ministry in the process of contacting IATA and the involved airlines to reiterate Taiwan’s commitment to maintaining its national designation. In addition to restating its position, the ministry also called upon IATA and other nations to acknowledge that China’s actions were unjust. <Accessed 2018-05-28>

Taipei, Shanghai Most Likely to Host Twin City Forum: Taipei Mayor (2018-05-29)
(CNA, By Liang Pei-chi and Kuan-lin Liu) The Taipei-Shanghai Forum will most likely still take place this year, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said Tuesday while addressing the city council on what will become of the annual event now that Beijing has increased its suppression of Taiwan internationally. <Accessed 2018-05-29>

U.S.-Taiwan Relations
President Urges US to Include Taiwan in Tariff Exemption (2018-05-22)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Frances Huang) President Tsai Ing-wen asked the United States to exempt Taiwan from its new list of steel and aluminum tariffs, claiming that the economic relationship between the two partners is important for the US's economic security. There is room in the US-introduced law to allow for exceptions for certain trade partners. Taiwan plans to send a delegation to the US in June to prove the Taiwanese commitment to the partnership. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

US Supports Taiwan's WHA Participation: Taiwan's Health Minister (2018-05-24)
(CNA, By Tang Pei-chun, Tai Ya-chen and William Yen) The United States Health and Human Services Secretary said that the US would continue to support Taiwan's right to participate in the World Health Assembly conference as an observer. The US would not wait for the invitations for next year's conference to be sent out and would instead advocate for Taiwan's participation starting immediately. He called it "disappointing" that Taiwan would not be invited to participate. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

US Congressmen Back Taiwan After Loss of Burkina Faso (2018-05-25)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Kuan-lin Liu) Several US members of Congress have expressed support for Taiwan following its diplomatic split from Burkina Faso. Some have said that they will stand with Taiwan and the US will continue to stand against Beijing's increasing pressure. Taiwan's representative office in the US also expressed its thanks through another message. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

Pro-Taiwan Provisions Pass US House as Part of a Defense Bill (2018-05-25)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Y.F. Low) The US House of Representatives passed its defense fiscal policy for 2019 on Friday, which includes provisions to enhance and assist Taiwan's military forces. It would require coordination with several bureaus of the US government, including the Department of Defense and the Department of State. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

U.S. Senators Introduce Taiwan International Participation Act (2018-05-26)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Y.F. Low) Following increased exclusion of Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, such as the World Health Assembly, largely due to objections from China, the U.S. has stepped up efforts to include Taiwan in international organization participation. On May 25, two U.S. senators, Cory Gardner (R) and Edward J. Markey (D) introduced the Taiwan International Participation Act of 2018, legislation that calls on American representatives in international organizations to include Taiwan in decision-making, specifically in bilateral interactions with China. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

Foreign Minister Thanks U.S. Congress for Pushing Taiwan Friendly Bill  (2018-05-28)

(CNA, By Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao)

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister, Joseph Wu, thanked U.S. Congress for pushing another bill, introduced by Don Bacon (R), in support of Taiwan, this time aimed at establishing the “Taiwan Defense Assessment Commission”, which will asses and provide recommendations for Taiwan’s self-defense capability. Wu expressed his gratitude for Congress’ continued support for Taiwan and looked forward to working together in the future. <Accessed 2018-05-28>

U.S. Gives Its Ties With Taiwan a $250 Million Upgrade (2018-05-31)
(New York Times, By Chris Horton) The institute, which is commonly known by its English acronym, A.I.T., is getting a face-lift at a moment when the relationship between Washington and Taipei — long been kept low-key to avoid angering Beijing — has been elevated to levels not seen in decades. <Accessed 2018-05-31>

Taiwan Sends Top Military Officials to US Pacific Command Ceremony in Hawaii (2018-05-31)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan sent senior military officials to Hawaii for a ceremony marking Admiral Harry Harris handing over the reins of the US Pacific Command to Admiral Phil Davidson. Their attendance has prompted speculation over whether Taiwan could for the first time be invited to join the biennial US-led Rim of the Pacific exercise to be held off Hawaii in summer. <Accessed 2018-05-31>

Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan Pledges Solomon Islands Help in Hosting 2023 Pacific Games (2018-05-22)
(CNA, By Kuan-lin Liu and Ku Chuan) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has offered its support and assistance to the Solomon Islands in their plan to host the 2023 Pacific Games, but they did not confirm whether they would provide the financial assistance requested. Taiwan and the Solomon Islands are diplomatic allies, and Taiwan has repeatedly denied any claims of potentially returning to checkbook diplomacy against Beijing. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

China Tells "Brazen Lie" About Taiwan Joining WHO Tech Meetings: MOFA (2018-05-23)
(CNA, By Tang Pei-chun, Tai Ya-chen and S.C. Chang) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the claim that China made at the World Health Assembly, saying that China's saying that Taiwan attended numerous health tech meetings was completely untrue. MOFA has listed very few technical meetings as ones in which Taiwan was approved to attend. Chinese pressure led to Taiwan being denied an invitation to attend the WHA this year. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

UK Supports Taiwan's WHA Participation (2018-05-23)
(CNA, By Tai Ya-chen and Kuan-lin Liu) The United Kingdom announced its support for Taiwan to attend the World Health Assembly conference as an observer on Tuesday. They also said that they would continue to support Taiwan's participation despite Taiwan's exclusion this year. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

Taiwan's Exclusion from WHA A Shame: eSwatini Health Minister (2018-05-23)
(CNA, By Tai Ya-chen, Tang Pei-chun and Kuan-lin Liu) The representative from Eswatini, the nation formerly known as Swaziland, said that Taiwan's lack of an invitation to attend the World Health Assembly was a shame due to the political nature of the refusal. She said that the WHO's mission should be about health and not politics. Taiwan and Eswatini have had a diplomatic relationship for over 50 years. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

16 Countries Voice Support for Taiwan at WHA Meeting (2018-05-23)
(CNA, By Tang Pei-chun, Ta Ya-chen, Frances Huang and Flor Wang) 16 countries have come out in outspoken support for Taiwan's right to participate in the World Health Assembly conference as an observer. Taiwan has been unable to attend the conference since 2016 due to increased Chinese pressure on the WHO. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

Taiwan Denies Heading Back to Checkbook Diplomacy Days (2018-05-23)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said that strategic loans to diplomatic allies do not signal a return to the days of checkbook diplomacy from Taiwan. This came in the wake of promises to Haiti and the Solomon Islands for assistance in future development projects. Wu said that Taiwan was no match for Beijing in terms of economic power and that Taiwan would not attempt to compete. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

Taiwan Foreign Minister Resigns over Ruptured Burkina Faso Ties (2018-05-24)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and S.C. Chang) Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has stated that he has requested to leave his position following the severance of diplomatic ties with Burkina Faso, the second diplomatic ally to leave Taiwan in less than a month. Taiwan is now left with only 18 diplomatic allies around the world. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

Taiwan Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Burkina Faso (2018-05-24)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Ko Lin) Taiwan and Burkina Faso have split diplomatic ties with one another. The African nation held ties with Taiwan for 24 years. They did not mention a switch to recognize China in their statement, and Taiwan is now left with only 18 diplomatic allies around the world. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

Taiwan FM Protests China's Blocking of WHA Participation (2018-05-24)
(CNA, By Tai Ya-chen, Elaine Hou and Evelyn Kao) Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said in an interview that Taiwan's prevention of participation in the World Health Assembly for two years in a row stems from Chinese obstruction. He said that he hopes that Taiwan can contribute to the global network of health initiatives through its experiences. He also said that Taiwan is not a part of the People's Republic of China and should not have to get Beijing's permission in order to participate in global organizations. <Accessed 2018-05-25>

Taiwan Reaches Preliminary Deal to Upgrade 2 Diesel-Electric Subs (2018-05-25)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) The Ministry of National Defense has reached an agreement with a Dutch firm to upgrade two of its submarines. Upgrade costs are around $13 million and will extend the lifespan of the submarines into the 2030s. The US State Department has also approved a license for Taiwan to use proprietary technology to construct its own submarine fleet. <Accessed 2018-05-30>

President Tsai Calls for Unity Among Severing of Diplomatic Ties (2018-05-25)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Ko Lin) President Tsai Ing-wen called for all political parties in Taiwan to stand united against China's "oppression" of Taiwan. She also claimed that the opposition party remains critical of the government and ruling party while being tolerant of China's advances. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

Taipei Will Maintain City Diplomacy Despite Cut in Ties: Mayor (2018-05-25)
(CNA, By Chen Yan-chun, Liu Chien-pan and Elizabeth Hsu) Taipei said that it would continue to maintain a relationship with Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, even though Burkina Faso severed ties with Taiwan yesterday. The two cities are sister cities and will attempt to continue their city diplomacy. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

Military Equipment Will Not Reach Burkina Faso: Defense Ministry (2018-05-25)
(CNA, By Liu Lee-jung and Ko Lin) The Ministry of National Defense said that a shipment of weapons bound for Burkina Faso would not be allowed to reach the country following the split in diplomatic relations between the two. The Defense Ministry is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to return the weapons to Taiwan. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

Foreign Minister to Stay in Post Despite Latest Diplomatic Setback (2018-05-25)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Flor Wang) Despite his initial statement suggesting otherwise, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has changed his mind and says that he will remain in his post following Burkina Faso's diplomatic split from Taiwan. The Presidential Office also denied his resignation. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

Taiwan to Donate US$1million to WHO to Fight Ebola (2018-05-26)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Frances Huang) Despite its exclusion from the World Health Assembly meeting, Taiwan has committed to a US$1million donation to the WHO to fight Ebola. President Tsai Ing-wen stated that this donation represented Taiwan’s refusal to bow down from international participation despite China’s opposition. The fund used for this donation was previously allocated to the cooperation between Taiwan and Burkina Faso, which is no longer needed due to the cutting of ties on Thursday. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

KMT Asks Tsai to Share Strategy for Maintaining Ties (2018-05-26)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) Following the Thursday announcement of Burkina Faso’s severing of ties with Taiwan and the other recent loss of allies, the Kuomintang (KMT) Party requested a briefing of President Tsai Ing-wen’s plans to address the loss of allies and plan to avoid losing any more diplomatic allies. Tsai Ing-wen has been facing criticism from the KMT regarding the loss of allies, which is widely believed to be due to China’s disapproval of Tsai and consequent pressure on Taiwan’s allies and international organizations. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

Haitian President Moise Visits Taiwan (2018-05-27)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Evelyn Kao) Haitian President Jovenel Moise will be arriving in Taiwan on Monday for his first official visit to Taiwan. There will be a military ceremony prior to signing a joint communique between the two partners, and the leaders of both Taiwan and Haiti will confer upon each other medals of honor in an effort to strengthen bilateral relations. Taiwan and Haiti have held deep bilateral diplomatic ties since 1956. <Accessed 2018-05-28>

Taiwan Seeks Correction of its Designation on Canadian Bank's Site (2018-05-27)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh and Hu Yu-li) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Royal Bank of Canada to change the designation of Taiwan on its website, which currently has Taiwan listed as a province of China. Taiwan used to be listed as a separate country on the website. This comes shortly after China's Civil Aviation Administration sent a letter to several North American airlines to reflect that Taiwan was under the sovereignty of China. <Accessed 2018-05-28>

Taiwan to Invest in Non-Diplomatic Allies: MOFA (2018-05-28)
(Taipei Times, By Peng Wan-hsin) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) presented a report at the Legislative Yuan today discussing the methods Taiwan will use to further its foreign bilateral and multilateral relations, including through its New Southbound Policy, focused on ASEAN members, South Asia, New Zealand and Australia, and regional economic organizations. The report also discussed China’s pressure on Taiwan’s former allies in Latin America and the recent plans of expansion of the Belt and Road Initiative to Latin America and the Caribbean. The ministry pointed to China as the biggest roadblock in Taiwan’s foreign relationships, citing China’s “aggressive” foreign policy. <Accessed 2018-05-28>


Taiwan, Haiti Sign Joint Communique on Bilateral Cooperation (2018-05-29)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Kuan-lin Liu) The Presidents of Taiwan and Haiti signed a joint communique on Tuesday to further bilateral cooperation for development in Haiti from Taiwanese investors. The two countries pledged their friendship and support for one another. Haiti also reaffirmed its support for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly conference. <Accessed 2018-05-30>

President Talks with Haitian President on Sustainable Development (2018-05-29)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping, Elaine Hou and Evelyn Kao) The Presidents of Taiwan and Haiti discussed sustainable development in their respective countries on Tuesday. The two countries have held diplomatic relations for over 60 years and Haiti has often defended Taiwan's right to participate in international organizations. President Tsai Ing-wen said she would look forward to increasing cooperation on projects and increase exchanges. <Accessed 2018-05-30>

Taiwanese Attend UN-Related Meeting in Bangkok (2018-05-29)
(CNA, By Lu I-hsuan and Sherry Hsiao) Representatives from Taiwan were in a meeting with the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the UN to discuss their commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Nine subjects, including social development to human rights, were discussed at the meeting. <Accessed 2018-05-30>

President Tsai's Approval Rating Hits Record Low: Poll (2018-05-29)
(My Formosa Epaper) In May 2018, President Tsai Ing-wen's approval rating dropped to 23.5%, a new low since she took power in 2016, while her disapproval rating rose to 62.6%. Meanwhile, Premier William Lai's approval rating also dropped to 34.1%, which for the first time was surpassed by his disapproval number that stood at 44.7%.
U.S.-China Relations
U.S. Launches Auto Import Probe, China Says Will Defend Interests (2018-05-23)
(Reuters, By David Shepardson and Jeff Mason) The Trump administration has launched a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new U.S. tariffs similar to those imposed on imported steel and aluminum in March. <Accessed 2018-05-24>

U.S. Disinvites China From Military Exercise Amid Rising Tensions (2018-05-23)
(New York Times, By Helene Cooper) The United States has disinvited China from participating in a multinational naval exercise scheduled for this summer, further escalating tensions with Beijing that have spanned from trade to North Korea to the military. <Accessed 2018-05-24>

Pompeo Says Mysterious Sickness Among Diplomats in Cuba Has Spread to China (2018-05-23)
(New York Times, By Gardiner Harris) The same symptoms of a mysterious attack that sickened American diplomats in Cuba have been reported at a United States consulate in southern China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told lawmakers on Wednesday. At least one American government employee in China recently reported what the State Department’s consulate in Guangzhou described as subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure. <Accessed 2018-05-24>

U.S. Accuses China of Changing Cross-Strait Status Quo (2018-05-26)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Y.F. Low) The U.S. State Department expressed its disapproval of Burkina Faso’s decision to cut ties with Taiwan, which the State Department presumes to be due to pressure from Beijing. The State Department also highlighted its mutually beneficial relationship with Taiwan under the one-China policy. Burkina Faso joins multiple other nations which have cut ties with Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 2016. <Accessed 2018-05-26>

Is China Really Targeting US Diplomats With a 'Sonic Attack'? (2018-05-25)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) Recently, the US embassy in China released a warning that an employee had been experiencing symptoms consistent with those found in people affected by the "sonic" attacks in Cuba last year. However, researchers believe that the Chinese embassy is not under threat from any sort of sonic attack. China has not taken any hostility to the supposed accusations. <Accessed 2018-05-30>

Why China Won’t Abandon Its Controversial Trade Policies (2018-05-24)
(The Diplomat, By William Weightman) China and the United States have declared a temporary truce in the ongoing trade war between the two countries. However, China's goals should remain to be protecting its domestic industries at all costs, including potentially alienating foreign trade partners. China is negotiating with the United States not to fall in line with any global norms, but to protect its national interests, which are best served by protectionism. <Accessed 2018-05-30>

The US-China Trade War (2018-05-27)
(The Diplomat, By Roncevert Ganan Almond) The recent break in the trade war between the United States and China should be interpreted as a US retreat for now, but it may also be the best strategy for the US at the moment. As evidenced by the negotiations over ZTE, the US does not seem to have a coherent policy regarding trade with China. The White House should use this opportunity to build a coherent strategy with a set goal in mind. <Accessed 2018-05-30>

Ivanka Trump Wins China Trademarks, Then Her Father Vows to Save ZTE (2018-05-28)
(New York Times, By Sui-Lee Wee) China this month awarded Ivanka Trump seven new trademarks across a broad collection of businesses, including books, housewares and cushions. At around the same time, President Trump vowed to find a way to prevent a major Chinese telecommunications company from going bust, even though the company has a history of violating American limits on doing business with countries like Iran and North Korea. <Accessed 2018-05-31>

US-China Trade War Escalates (2018-05-29)
(The Diplomat, By Anthony Fensom) US President Donald Trump, despite an initial agreement, has chosen to pursue additional restrictions on trade with China. This includes a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of goods. The Chinese Foreign Ministry quickly responded, saying that the statement goes against the agreement between the two countries and that they would defend Chinese interests to their fullest extent. <Accessed 2018-05-30>

China 'Experts' and US-China Relations (2018-05-29)
(The Diplomat, By Chi Wang) More people have recently been claiming to be "experts" on US-China relations and have gotten increased attention in the media. The general public is therefore tasked with the responsibility of attempting to identify whose credentials to trust and who to believe. This includes US leadership as well, where very little focus has been given to China experts when crafting foreign policy teams. <Accessed 2018-05-30>

China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China's Foreign Relations

Merkel Woos China as Trump Poses New Trade Challenge
 (2018-05-24)
(Reuters, By Andreas Rinke and Ben Blanchard) China said on Thursday it would “open its door wider” to German businesses, giving a warm reception to visiting Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has wooed Beijing to counterbalance trade threats from U.S. President Donald Trump. <Accessed 2018-05-24>

"Belt and Road" Spreading China's Power: Academics (2018-05-27)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) Several academics have said that China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a ploy to obtain economic and political control over various other countries involved in the project. China does this by offering economically weak countries massive loans, then demand control of ports and resources when they cannot repay them. <Accessed 2018-05-28>

China’s Pursuit of Power in Asian Seas (2018-05-29)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) A recently published U.S. Congressional Research Service Report covers new Chinese actions in the South China Sea and East China Sea areas. Specifically, it details how China's interpretations of international law are used to stake out its territorial claims in the regions as well as take advantage of various countries' exclusive economic zones. The response also outlines the primarily verbal responses that the US has given to Chinese actions. <Accessed 2018-05-30>

Trading in Old Tensions for New Ties at the Trilateral Summit (2018-05-30)
(East Asia Forum, By Takashi Terada) More significantly, China is challenging Trump’s ‘do-anything’ approach to redressing trade imbalances by turning to more like-minded states— especially Japan, a key US ally — that will continue to support free trade against the rise of US protectionism. <Accessed 2018-05-31>

Huge Foreign Aid Programmes Push China Past Japan and India in Global Influence, Report Says (2018-05-31)
(South China Morning Post, By Kinling Lo) China’s massive foreign aid programmes are pushing the country past Japan and India for international influence and narrowing the gap with the United States as the world’s biggest donor nation, according to a report by US researchers. <Accessed 2018-05-31>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

A ‘New Normal’ in the South China Sea? (2018-05-26)
(East Asia Forum, By Mark J Valencia) The United States and China have apparently reached a tacit agreement to disagree and maintain a leaky status quo in the South China Sea. Not coincidentally, relations on this issue between ASEAN claimants and between ASEAN and China are more or less at the same place. <Accessed 2018-05-31>

China Warns 2 American Warships in South China Sea (2018-05-27)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers) China’s military announced on Sunday that it had dispatched warships to challenge two United States Navy vessels that sailed through waters in the South China Sea that China claims as its own. The Chinese confronted the American ships and warned them to leave, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement posted on its website, but other details of the encounter were not immediately clear. <Accessed 2018-05-31>

China’s Amphibious Ambitions Emerge in South China Sea
 (2018-05-31)
(Asia Times, By Kerry K Gershaneck) From islands China has militarized in the South China Sea, H-6K bombers are today technically able to strike Singapore and much of Indonesia, with potential capability to hit US installations in Guam and northern Australia. But nuclear-capable bombers are not the only formidable power projection capability China is forward basing in the maritime area. Another potent force China has inserted into these disputed waters is the PLA Navy Marine Corps (PLAMC). <Accessed 2018-05-31>

The Korean Peninsula

Trump Backs Away From Demand for Immediate North Korean Denuclearization (2018-05-22)
(New York Times, By Mark Landler) President Trump opened the door on Tuesday to a phased dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, backing away from his demand that the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, completely abandon his arsenal without any reciprocal American concessions. <Accessed 2018-05-31>

North Korea Said It Destroyed Nuclear Site, Hours Before Trump Canceled Meeting
 (2018-05-24)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) North Korea said on Thursday that it had destroyed its only known nuclear test site, three weeks before its leader, Kim Jong-un, had been planning to meet with President Trump. But only hours after the North Korean announcement, Mr. Trump announced he had decided to cancel the meeting “based on the tremendous anger and open hostility” displayed by Mr. Kim’s government in recent statements. <Accessed 2018-05-24>

China May Benefit From a Delay in a Trump-Kim Meeting
 (2018-05-24)
(New York Times, By Jane Perlez) Analysts in China and the United States say that Mr. Xi is probably nervous about the North Korean leader’s getting too close to the Americans, particularly given Mr. Kim’s independent streak and past willingness to buck China. But a delay in the meeting also benefits Mr. Xi in another way, allowing him to use his influence with North Korea as leverage while China negotiates a trade deal with Washington. <Accessed 2018-05-24>

Trump Pulls Out of North Korea Summit Meeting with Kim Jong-un
 (2018-05-24)
(New York Times, By Eileen Sullivan) President Trump has notified Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, that he has canceled their much-anticipated meeting, which was set for June 12. In a letter dated Thursday to Mr. Kim, the American president said he would not attend the summit due to “tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement.” <Accessed 2018-05-24>

From New York to Singapore, Scrambling to Pull Off Trump-Kim Summit (2018-05-30)
(New York Times, By Motoko Rich) Ever since President Trump pulled out of planned talks with Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, officials from both countries have been scrambling to salvage the summit meeting and keep it on track for June 12 in Singapore. <Accessed 2018-05-31>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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New Publication Understanding China’s New Diplomacy: Silk Roads and Bullet Trains by Gerald Chan (Edward Elgar Publishing)
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The Best of Asia-Pacific Web Award
TSR was honored with a Four-Star rating by the Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library. 
 

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