::: TSR Weekly Report
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2019-02-09 | NO.43(6) 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@alumni.princeton.edu).
Cross-Strait Relations
Xi Jinping's Message to Compatriots in Taiwan Signals Change in Taiwan Policy (2019-01-24)
(Taiwan Insight, By Elizabeth Freund Larus) Xi Jinping’s January 2ndMessage to Compatriots in Taiwan, in which China’s leader called for unification under a “one country, two systems” formula, has generated much discussion in Taipei and Washington. Although unlikely to change hearts and minds in Taipei, Xi’s speech puts Taiwan and the United States on alert to important modifications in China’s Taiwan policy. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

China's Xi and Taiwan's Tsai - The Opening Salvoes in 2019
 (2019-01-25)
(Taiwan Insight, By Kerry Brown) Preserving the status quo, despite all the dynamic changes going on in the region and the rest of the world, remains the best and likeliest option. Were the Xi administration to make good on their plans to adopt a more militant, bellicose posture, and even to deploy the People’s Liberation Army if they feel it necessary, then they would face immense problems. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

Cross-Strait Relations 2019: Promoting and Rejecting Unification
 (2019-01-29)
(Taiwan Insight, By Qi Dongtao) It is clear from this indirect conversation between the two leaders that cross-Strait relations in 2019 will mainly be characterised by conflict between China’s promotion and Taiwan’s rejection of unification. Two additional factors, namely Taiwan’s upcoming presidential and legislative elections in January 2020 and the increasing efforts of US President Trump’s administration to contain China, will complicate this conflict and bring more uncertainty to cross-Strait relations in 2019. <Accessed 2019-02-13>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
US Officials Vows 'Faithful' Execution of TRA Obligations (2019-02-10)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Randall Schriver, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, announced on Thursday that the US will continue to lend its support to Taiwan in carrying out its obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). Schriver further added that the US-Taiwan relation is important and the US will guarantee that the Taiwanese public will be able to decide on their nation's future. <Accessed 2019-02-10>

Why Speaker Pelosi Should Invite President Tsai Ing-wen Before Congress (2019-02-09)
(The Diplomat, By Gerrit van der Wees) Five U.S. Senators wrote Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi a letter in early February asking her to invite Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to speak before Congress as a show of support for Taiwan, which has been facing increasing hostility from Mainland China since Tsai's election in 2016. Taiwan today is very different from the Republic of China from which the United States switched diplomatic recognition to the People's Republic of China, and the senators' request reflects the changing times. The invitation, if extended, should also be accompanied with a signal that the U.S. Government is ready for policy change. <Accessed 2019-02-10>

Invite President Tsai Before Congress? Not a Wise Move. (2019-02-12)
(The Diplomat, By Dennis V. Hickey) Americans should ask themselves whether hosting a speech by an unpopular Taiwanese president is worth taking such a risk. Given the fact that an October 2018 poll by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found that an overwhelming majority of the U.S. public does not want to go to war with China over Taiwan, the answer to that question should be obvious. <Accessed 2019-02-13>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Han Mum While Calls to Run Rise (2019-02-04)
Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) In light of the rumors that he will be running for Taiwan's 2020 presidential election, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu urged the public not to overthink the rumors. Han remarked that his priority is to improve the city's economy. Meanwhile, several senior Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members have expressed interest in or are rumored to be running for the 2020 presidential election. <Accessed 2019-02-04>

Allies, Others Thanked for WHO Support (2019-02-04)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) thanked Taiwan's allies and like-minded countries for supporting Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization (WHO). MOFA stated that Taiwan hopes that the WHO would acknowledge Taiwan's contribution to health issues globally. <Accessed 2019-02-04>

Taiwan to Host Indo-Pacific Forum on Religious Freedom (2019-02-04)
(CNA, By Wang Cheng-chung and Ko Lin) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Sunday that Taiwan will be hosting an Indo-Pacific forum on religious freedom, human rights and democracy in March. Taiwan will be working with the United States for the Indo-Pacific forum. <Accessed 2019-02-04>

President Highlights Democratic Values in Lunar New Year Greetings (2019-02-04)
(CNA, By Lee Hsin-Yin) In a two-minute video to greet the world's Chinese-speaking community for the Lunar New Year, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen expressed hope that the global community would be able to enjoy freedom and democracy. The Taiwanese president further added that freedom and democracy are values that Taiwanese cherish. <Accessed 2019-02-04>

Taiwan Maintains Rank in Freedom in the World Report (2019-02-08)
(Taipei Times/CNA)Freedom House's latest Freedom in the World report ranks Taiwan 26th out of 195 countries or territories last year for freedom. Taiwan scored an aggregate of 93 out of 100, placing Taiwan behind Japan, which scored 96. China scored 11 and was rated as "not free". <Accessed 2019-02-08>

Taiwan Pledges US$500,000 Donation for Anti-ISIS Effort (2019-02-08)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Evelyn Kao) Stanley Kao, Taiwan's representative to the U.S., announced during a meeting of ministers from the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS that Taiwan will make a donation of US$500,000 to non-governmental organization advocating for victims of sexual violence and rebuilding communities devastated by ISIS. Kao further added that Taiwan, as a responsible member of the global community, joined the coalition in 2014 as part of its efforts to contribute to the international community. <Accessed 2019-02-08>

Taiwan Grants Entry to Chinese Asylum Seekers But Questions Surround Its Refugee Policy (2019-02-09)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) Taiwan has no formal refugee laws and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) does not operate on the island as it is not a UN Member-State. While the Mainland Affairs Council allowed two Chinese refugees trapped in Taoyuan International Airport to enter the country after 125 days, they insisted that it did not reflect a change in official policy towards Chinese refugees. If Taiwan wishes to continue holding itself up as a champion of human rights, it must improve its refugee laws. <Accessed 2019-02-10>

Taiwan Welcomes Visit by Leader of Catholic Missionary Societies (2019-02-10)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Shih Hsiu-chuan) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) welcomed Catholic Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso on Saturday, who is currently in Taiwan to preside over a meeting of directors of the region's Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS). According to MOFA, the Catholic Church in Taiwan has contributed a lot to society in various fields, such as medical care, social welfare and education. MOFA also expressed that the Taiwanese government hopes to continue working closely with the Holy See to advance religious freedom. <Accessed 2019-02-10>
U.S.-China Relations
Donald Trump Says Trade Deal Must Force ‘Structural Change’ to End China’s ‘Theft of US Jobs’ (2019-02-06)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) US President Donald Trump said a trade deal with China needs to include “real structural change” to resolve long-standing complaints of unfair practices, as Washington pushes for an enforcement mechanism ahead of a fresh round of negotiations in Beijing next week. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

David Malpass, US Nominee for World Bank President and Long-Time China Hawk, ‘Will Continue to Take Part in Trade Talks’ (2019-02-07)
(South China Morning Post, By Owen Churchill) David Malpass, a China hawk who is US President Donald Trump’s nominee to become the World Bank’s new president, will continue to play a “very important part” in trade negotiations with Beijing, senior US administration officials said on Wednesday. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

Trump’s State of The Union: What Wasn’t Said on China Spoke the Loudest
 (2019-02-07)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) President Donald Trump's silence on China during his State of the Union address means that either trade negotiations are at a sensitive point that talking about it would risk derailing the discussions, or there is no deal in sight and tariffs are about to be implemented. Trump, however, stayed away from all military issues with China during his speech. The most notable absence in his speech was regarding China's role in North Korea negotiations as well. <Accessed 2019-02-10>

As US-China Prepare for Next Trade Talks, Trump-Xi Meeting Remains Uncertain (2019-02-07)
(The Diplomat, By Darlene Superville) While the Treasury Secretary plans to travel to China soon to continue trade negotiations, no plans are in store for Xi Jinping and Donald Trump to meet. While Trump will travel to Vietnam at the end of February, there is currently no meeting scheduled to happen between the two leaders. Officials are instead focused on meeting the deadline for a deal in Beijing. <Accessed 2019-02-10>

US-China Relations in Flux: The Road to a Showdown (2019-02-06)
(The Diplomat, By Ben Lowsen) The relationship between the United States and China has erupted into full competition, rather than the careful cooperative stance they had before. This is reflected in their ongoing trade war, a central policy of Donald Trump's administration seeking compensation for what it sees as decades of manipulation and extortion. However, while compromise is possible on many fronts, the United States must not compromise on China's treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. <Accessed 2019-02-10>

China Plays Down Liu He’s Meeting With Trump (2019-02-04)
(The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) On January 31, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met with President Donald Trump at the White House. While the White House described the meeting positively, Beijing has not shared the same sentiments within China, keeping it relatively quiet. Xinhua's version of the statements were vague and brief, although various translations of the American version were spread quickly on Chinese social media. <Accessed 2019-02-10>

China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China Offers Lunar New Year Olive Branch to Canada, Saying It Wants to Get Relations Back on Track amid Fallout from Arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou (2019-02-05)
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) Chinese diplomats have issued a Lunar New Year message of goodwill to Canada, saying they want to get relations back on track amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the detention of a senior Huawei executive. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

Governing Hong Kong in Xi’s new Era (2019-02-06)
(East Asia Forum, By Peter TY Cheung) Whether the mainland’s exercise of legal and administrative power over Hong Kong will quell frustration over the lack of democratic reform, fuel more apathy and resistance or encourage more compliance with Beijing’s political prerogatives remains to be seen. What is clear is that in Xi’s ‘new era’, Hong Kong is poised to align itself closely with the parameters of Chinese governance well before 2047. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

Workers’ Activism Rises as China’s Economy Slows. Xi Aims to Rein Them In.
 (2019-02-06)
(New York Times, By Javier C. Hernández) With economic growth in China weakening to its slowest pace in nearly three decades, thousands of Chinese workers are holding small-scale protests and strikes to fight efforts by businesses to withhold compensation and cut hours. The authorities have responded with a sustained campaign to rein in the protests, and most recently detained several prominent activists in the southern city of Shenzhen late last month. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

China Will Build 4 Nuclear Aircraft Carriers in Drive to Catch US Navy, Experts Say (2019-02-06)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan and Guo Rui) Four of at least six aircraft battle groups China plans to have in the water by 2035 will be nuclear-powered, as the Asian giant tries to equal the US in naval strength, according to Chinese military experts. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

China’s Creeping South China Sea Challenge in the Spotlight With New Facility
 (2019-02-07)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) Beijing has followed an ideology of "creeping assertiveness" in the South China Sea, largely exemplified by constructing its own facilities on the islands it claims. Various states have responded differently, as Vietnam unequivocally calls China out for its actions while the Philippines remains quieter. While Duterte has historically been more willing to side with China on maritime issues, he has recently backed away due to domestic pressure. <Accessed 2019-02-10>

Huawei Threatens Lawsuit Against Czech Republic After Security Warning (2019-02-08)
(New York Times, By Marc Santora) In an attempt to push back against attempts to limit its reach in Europe, the Chinese technology giant Huawei threatened legal action against the Czech Republic if its cybersecurity agency did not rescind its warning about the risk the company poses to the nation’s critical infrastructure. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

Is China Undermining Its Own Success in Africa? (2019-02-08)
(The Diplomat, By Brendon J. Cannon) While countries like Japan and the United States often face the narrative that they cannot compete with China in terms of economic development in Africa, the story is incomplete. China may be destroying much it has worked towards just due to sheer numbers and certain economic and social practices. While this is not a guarantee, China may lose its grasp on Africa as African leaders begin to question their dependence on China. <Accessed 2019-02-10>

 What’s Next for China’s Fifth Generation Fighter Jet? (2019-02-09)
(The Diplomat, By Abraham Ait) The Chengdu J-20 is China's response to the F-22 Raptor, the first fifth generation fighter jet active in the world developed outside the United States. As the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has historically adapted existing airframes to perform specialized tasks rather than building completely new airframes, this could be a future use of the J-20. It could even be adapted for a strike and electronic warfare role, which would make it the first fifth generation jet to act in such a role. <Accessed 2019-02-10>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Chinese Fishing Boat Captain Arrested in Waters Close to Japan (2019-02-03)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) A Chinese fishing boat captain has been arrested in waters close to Japan, according to state media in the island nation. Chen Wenting, 40, was detained by the Japanese coastguard on Saturday morning on suspicion of violating Japan’s fishing rights and trying to avoid inspection, NHK reported. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

South China Sea: Trump Military Adviser Calls for Firmer Rules to Stop Near Misses
 (2019-02-07)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) One of the US’ most senior military figures and an adviser to President Donald Trump has called for firmer rules governing naval encounters in disputed waters such as the South China Sea, where near misses between warships continue to test territorial claims and rights to “free navigation”. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

Beijing Sends Fleet of Ships to Disputed South China Sea Island ‘to Stop Philippines Building Facilities’ (2019-02-08)
(South China Morning Post, By Catherine Wong) China has been accused of sending a fleet of almost 100 ships to hamper Philippine construction work on a disputed island in the South China Sea. Beijing started sending vessels to Thitu, part of the Spratly chain, according to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) run by the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

US Shift on South China Sea ‘Grey Zone’ Aggression Signals Stronger Response Ahead (2019-02-08)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) The United States is expected to take more planned and pre-emptive measures in response to China’s “grey zone tactics” in the Asia-Pacific region, according to analysts from the US and Australia. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

The Korean Peninsula

U.S. Envoy Arrives in North Korea to Prepare for 2nd Trump-Kim Summit (2019-02-06)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) A senior American negotiator arrived in North Korea on Wednesday to sort out crucial details for a nuclear summit meeting in Vietnam between President Trump and the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, with only three weeks to go before the talks take place. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

A Guide to Trump and Kim Jong-un’s Next Summit Meeting
 (2019-02-08)
(New York Times, By Russell Goldman) President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the reclusive leader of North Korea, will attempt to iron out the details of a history-making agreement on denuclearization when the pair meet later this month in Vietnam for their second face-to-face dialogue. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

Other Regional Issues

PacNet #10 – America's Two Track Asia Policy (2019-02-05)
(Pacific Forum, By Craig Kafura) In sum, Congress and the public alike, across partisan lines, are rejecting with increasing strength the president’s approach to US allies in the region. Trump and Congress are now taking contradictory approaches to the Indo-Pacific, resulting in a two-track policy agenda. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

Regional Consensus Needed for a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’
 (2019-02-09)
(East Asia Forum, By Nazia Hussain) As different states have different understandings of the FOIP, it is critical to ensure that the concept does not create misunderstandings. There is a need to continue engagement with ASEAN member states and other regional stakeholders so that all actors are on the same page, particularly with Australia, India and Indonesia heading into electoral campaigning in 2019. <Accessed 2019-02-13>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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New Publication Takashi Inoguchi, ed., The SAGE Handbook of Asian Foreign Policy, London: SAGE Publications, forthcoming in December 2019.
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TSR received a favorable review by the Foreign Affairs (July/Aug 2000)
The Best of Asia-Pacific Web Award
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