::: TSR Weekly Report
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2019-05-18 | NO.43(20) 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
Will Xi Jinping Blockade Taiwan? (2019-05-07)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) While every Chinese leader since Mao has vowed reunification with Taiwan as a top priority, many argue that they haven't had the resources to actually carry out such a plan until Xi Jinping. Due to the infrastructure and resources available, one may argue that Xi could be planning a blockade of Taiwan if he chooses to act. Xi has even declared his intentions to focus on Taiwanese reunification in the coming years. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

Experts Doubt China’s Ability to Launch Assault on Taiwan
 (2019-05-12)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) Beijing is gearing up its efforts to reunify the self-ruled island of Taiwan, but might lack the core assault landing capabilities to conquer the island, military experts said. The assessment follows an annual report to the US Congress saying China was likely to be preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan by force, while simultaneously deterring, delaying, or denying any third-party intervention on the island’s behalf. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

Communist China Has no Right to Tell Taiwan Media What to Do: NSB (2019-05-13)
(CNA, By Chen Chun-Hua and Joseph Yeh) National Security Bureau (NSB) Deputy Director General Ko Cheng-heng told reporters that China has no right to tell Taiwan media what to do since China does not respect freedom of press. Wang Yang, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, boldly stated that the US will not go to war with China and is using Taiwan as a pawn. Ko remarked that Wang's statement would negatively impact both cross-strait relations and China-U.S. relations. <Accessed 2019-05-14>

The Existence of the ROC is Undeniable: President Tsai (2019-05-14)
(CNA, By Wen Kui-hsiang, Sophia Yeh, and Elizabeth Hsu)
In response to comments made by Terry Gou, a KMT presidential nominee hopeful, about the Republic of China and People’s Republic of China existing under one Chinese nation, President Tsai Ing-wen insisted that the Republic of China is an independent and sovereign nation and must be called as such. Gou made these controversial comments last week while expressing his support for the “1992 Consensus”. <Accessed 2019-05-17>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Taiwan an 'Exemplary Partner' of the US, AIT Says (2019-05-15)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) stated that Taiwan is an exemplary partner of the US. On its Facebook post, AIT stated that the US will continue to help expand Taiwan's role globally and is happy to see several countries expressing their support for Taiwan's bid to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA). <Accessed 2019-05-16>

Pennsylvania's Assembly Passes TRA-Related Bills (2019-05-17)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed two resolutions in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the US' Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and to strengthen its relations with Taiwan. The resolution states that both the US and Taiwan champion the values of freedom and democracy and are connected by their shared commitment to human rights, the rule of law and a free market economy. <Accessed 2019-05-18>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
External Factors in Taiwan’s 2020 Election (2019-04-28)
(United Daily News, By Su Chi) These four major changes (the DPP dragging in an external force, US partiality in Taiwan politics, Beijing’s increasing power and boldness, and a changed impression of China and the U.S. by the Taiwan public) are all unprecedented. Should these four arrows of unprecedented change all happen to be shot off at the same time, it will be difficult for anyone to predict what impact they would have on the 2020 election. <Accessed 2019-05-10>

Taiwan Unveils Model of Indigenously-Designed Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine (2019-05-09)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) Taiwan unveiled a model of its first domestically-designed diesel-electric attack submarine on May 9 in Kaohsiung. President Tsai Ing-wen said in a speech how important submarines are to Taiwan's defensive strategy. The first ship in this class will likely begin construction in late 2020. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

Taiwan Seeks to Share Its Advances in Digital Healthcare (2019-05-09)
(The Diplomat, By Chen Shih-Chung) Taiwan's health system, in large part due to innovations in its National Health Insurance (NHI) system, has been incredibly successful in its technological evolution and development. Taiwan also wishes to share its developments in healthcare and related technology, but its obstruction from the World Health Assembly (WHA) prevents it from effectively doing so. Taiwan calls for the World Health Organization to listen to the calls to include Taiwan in this year's WHA. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

Taiwan Picks Up International Support After Being Barred from World Health Assembly (2019-05-10)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) For the third year in a row, Taiwan will not be able to participate as an observer in the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) due to Chinese interference. However, several countries, including the United States and Germany, have spoken up in Taiwan's defense and on its behalf. Several of the countries have issued official statements emphasizing the importance of Taiwan's inclusion in international organizations and events. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

Tsai Gains Support, While Lai Cheered On in Japan
 (2019-05-13)
(Taipei Times, By Yang Chun-hui and Lin Tsui-yi) While opinion surveys demonstrated an increase in support for President Tsai Ing-wen, former Premier Willam Lai received positive encouragement from Japanese and Taiwanese in Japan. Lai remarked that many of his Japanese friends came to meet him and gave him advice during his four-day trip in Japan. <Accessed 2019-05-14>

Eric Chu Rejects Terry Guo's 'two Chinas' (2019-05-13)
(Taipei Times, By Ann Maxon) In light of the criticisms toward his remark that Taiwan is part of China, Taiwanese business tycoon Terry Guo, who is seeking the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) presidential nomination, explained that his statement meant that the "two Chinas" implied "the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China". Former New Taipei City mayor and one of the KMT's potential presidential nominee, Eric Chu stated that the "1992 consensus" should not be interpreted to mean "two Chinas". <Accessed 2019-05-14>

Kaohsiung Mayor Says He Will Run in Presidential Race if Called On (2019-05-14)
(CNA, By Wang Shwu-fen and Ko Lin) Kaohsiun Mayor Han Kuo-yu stated on Monday that he will only run for the presidential race if the Kuomintang (KMT) "recruits" him to take part in the KMT's primary for next year's presidential election. Han further remarked that Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je has the best chance of winning the 2020 presidential election should both the KMT and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) continue to be divided internally. <Accessed 2019-05-14>

Taiwan Helping Tech Firms That Choose Southeast Asia Over China (2019-05-14)
(Bloomberg, By Debby Wu and Miaojung Lin) “Taiwanese companies may bring production of key, high-value components back home, but assembly and mass production of gadgets will go to Southeast Asia,” Kung Ming-hsin, Taiwan’s minister-without-portfolio in charge of economic affairs, said. “Southeast Asian countries know there’s an opportunity here.” <Accessed 2019-05-16>

Eric Chu Unveils 'Three Chinese' Campaign Plan (2019-05-15)
(Taipei Times, By Huang Hsin-po and Johnathan Chin) Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu announced his "three Chinese" platform that includes supporting the Republic of China's democratic Constitution, expressing the uniqueness of Chinese culture and creating a Chinese economic coprosperity sphere. Chu further added that should he be elected as president, he will negotiate a joint declaration for peace with China and create a free-trade zone with China. <Accessed 2019-05-16>

Ministry Assures Vatican Dialogue (2019-05-15)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) An official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) stated that MOFA continues to communicate with the Vatican while the Vatican improves its relations with Beijing. According to MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee, Taiwan-Vatican relations continue to remain stable. <Accessed 2019-05-16>

Taipei Mayor 'Preparing' to Launch Presidential Bid in 2020 (2019-05-16)
(CNA, By Flor Wang, Liang Pei-chi and Yang Ming-chu) The Japanese newspaper, Asashi Shimbun, reported that Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je stated that he is "preparing" to participate in the 2020 presidential election but further added that he would first hold rallies and wait until the last minute before making the decision. Ko also stated that President Tsai Ing-wen's strategy has further caused China to increase its aggression toward Taiwan. <Accessed 2019-05-16>

President Tsai and Challenger Lai to Hold Televised Debates (2019-05-16)
(CNA, By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Yeh Su-ping and Emerson Lim) The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced that president Tsai Ing-wen and former Premier Lai Ching-te will be holding a series of televised debates prior to the DPP's primary for the 2020 presidential election. According to DPP Secretary-General Lo Wen-jia, during the debates, Tsai and Lai will present their opening statements, answer questions and give a conclusion on their platforms. <Accessed 2019-05-16>

President Tsai Thanks EU for Supporting Taiwan's WHA Bid (2019-05-16)
(CNA, By Lee Hsin-yin) During the Europe Day Dinner, President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her thanks to the European Union (EU) for supporting Taiwan in its bid to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA). Tsai also expressed hope that Taiwan and EU could further strengthen their relations based on their shared values of democracy and human rights. <Accessed 2019-05-16>

KMT to Pick Presidential Candidate by Means of Nationwide Poll (2019-05-16)
(CNA, By Yu Hsiang, Liu Kuan-ting, Wen Kuei-hsiang, Yeh Su-ping and Emerson Lim) The Kuomintang (KMT) announced on Wednesday that it will hold a nationwide opinion poll from July 5 to July 15 and will name its presidential candidate on July 28 during its national congress based on the results of the opinion poll. The candidates for next year's presidential election will be announced on June 10. <Accessed 2019-05-16>

Stricter Rules to Protect Reputation: Su (2019-05-17)
(Taipei Times, By Lee Hsin-fang and Johnathan Chin) Premier Su Tseng-chang announced draft amendments to the Foreign Trade Act that will impose stricter regulations to protect the reputation of Taiwan's products. Su remarked that the proposed bill seeks to prevent labeling Chinese import products as made in Taiwan. <Accessed 2019-05-18>

Taiwan Approves Same-Sex Marriage in First for Asia (2019-05-17)
(Wall Street Journal, By Chun Han Wong) Taiwan’s legislature approved Asia’s first same-sex marriage law, reinforcing the island’s reputation as a tolerant democracy despite a turbulent public debate that exposed social divisions about gay rights.

Taiwan Lawmakers Cheer Gay Marriage Bill as Human Rights Landmark (2019-05-17)
(CNA, By Stacy Hsu and Elizabeth Hsu) Taiwanese lawmakers across party lines praised Taiwan's passing of the same-sex marriage bill on Friday as this puts Taiwan as the first Asian country to legalize gay marriage. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Mei-nu remarked that Taiwan has created a human rights miracle. Meanwhile, Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu urged opponents of same-sex marriage to keep an open mind as Taiwan moves forward. <Accessed 2019-05-18>

DPP to Include Cellphone Respondents in Presidential Primary (2019-05-17)
(CNA, By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Ko Lin) The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced on Friday that cellphone interviews will be included in polls to determine the DPP's presidential candidate for next year's election. The DPP's presidential primary will only consist of opinion polls. President Tsai Ing-wen and former premier Lai Ching-te have agreed to hold two debates to discuss their policies. <Accessed 2019-05-18>

Global Community Praises Taiwan's Passage of Gay Marriage Law (2019-05-17)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Frances Huang) The international community praised Taiwan for passing the same-sex marriage law and its efforts to safeguard human rights. U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt twitted that Taiwan's passage of the same-sex marriage law represents one huge step forward in protecting human rights for Taiwan, Asia and the world. <Accessed 2019-05-18>

KMT Big Wigs Slam Tsai for Extending Travel Restriction (2019-05-17)
(CNA, By Flor Wang and Yu Hsiang) Former President Ma Ying-jeou and former Vice President Wu Den-yih from the Kuomintang (KMT) criticized President Tsai Ing-wen for abusing her power by extending the travel restriction for an additional two years. The extension of the ban means that Ma and Wu will not be able to leave Taiwan for two more years. Ma remarked that the travel restriction seriously violated human rights and is an infringement upon democracy. <Accessed 2019-05-18>
U.S.-China Relations
No, There Is No US-China ‘Clash of Civilizations’ (2019-05-08)
(The Diplomat, By Dingding Chen and Junyang Hu) The term "clash of civilizations" is used as a justification of and an overly simplified explanation for the current status quo between the United States and China. However, there is no real "clash of civilizations" between the two countries and the current status quo should not be characterized as such. While there are many conflicts between the two countries, the instances of cooperation and agreement must also be noted. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

U.S.-China Trade Talks Stumble on Beijing’s Spending at Home
 (2019-05-12)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher and Ana Swanson) Trade talks between the United States and China nearly ground to a halt this past week, and a seemingly intractable dispute over subsidies is a big part of it. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

How China’s Military Upgrade and Trade Tensions are Challenging the US in Indo-Pacific (2019-05-12)
(South China Morning Post, By Ankit Panda) Tensions between the United States and China are resurgent in May over the issue of trade as long-standing negotiations between the two sides fall apart. At the same time, the US Department of Defence’s release of an annual report on Chinese military capabilities for American lawmakers has drawn attention to China’s ongoing military modernisation and expansion. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

As Trade War Rages, China’s Sway Over the U.S. Fades (2019-05-17)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) China could still prevail on the trade war’s major issues. But the conflict’s length and severity reflect the growing perception that the country no longer holds the promise that once enthralled politicians and businesses in the United States. <Accessed 2019-05-17>

Former C.I.A. Officer Sentenced to 20 Years After Spying for China (2019-05-17)
(New York Times, By Adam Goldman) A former C.I.A. officer was sentenced on Friday to 20 years in prison by a federal judge in Northern Virginia for passing secrets to China in return for $25,000, bringing to a close one of several cases involving Chinese attempts to recruit former American intelligence officers. <Accessed 2019-05-21>

China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
What’s in China’s New Belt and Road Recalibration? (2019-05-07)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) China is recalibrating its implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as it announced at the second annual Belt and Road Forum, but the effects of such a recalibration remains to be seen. The recalibration, however, shows that Xi Jinping is willing to address the issues that other countries may have with BRI. However, this is recent news, and observers should not look too deeply into the recalibration just yet. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

China’s Second Domestic Aircraft Carrier Is Under Construction: US Report
 (2019-05-08)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) China recently began construction on its second indigenously-produced aircraft carrier, which, according to a U.S. report, will be operational by 2022. The report also says that the carrier will likely feature a catapult launch system. It appears that the new carrier is larger than either of China's currently operational aircraft carriers. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

Beijing’s Persecution of the Uyghurs is a Modern Take on an Old Theme (2019-05-08)
(The Diplomat, By Arch Puddington) According to the Chinese Communist Party, the camps in Xinjiang that Uyghur Muslim citizens are being sent to are centers for education and training that will turn them into more productive Chinese citizens, a tactic used in many dictatorial regimes in the past. Advanced technologies are allowing the CCP to institute greater levels of surveillance and oppression on the Uyghur population than ever before. While the Party describes it as "nation-building," the practices carried out against the Uyghur population is nothing short of an attack on their culture. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

The Significance of China’s Second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (2019-05-10)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) China's second indigenously-built aircraft carrier represents the speed at which China's military technology has developed. Despite the fact that the new ship, the Type 002, is much larger and differently configured than its predecessor, the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) decided to go ahead with its development despite little experience so far with the first generation. It will, however, take some time before the aircraft carrier is useful in military tactics. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

China’s Global Port Play (2019-05-11)
(The Diplomat, By Eleanor Albert) While most China observers pay attention to China's investments in ports in the developing world, China is investing in ports worldwide, including in Europe and North America. The balance of power between China and countries in Europe and North America looks very different, however, from the balance of power between China and some of the developing countries it is investing in. The concerns regarding these ports go beyond the economic aspects -- their dual-use capabilities and the politics behind these deals are areas of interest as well. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

US War on Huawei Shows China’s Belt and Road Needs a Rebrand – and Quick (2019-05-12)
(South China Morning Post, By Cary Huang) To make the belt and road a success, it should be rebranded as a purely economic project – one with a multilateral, multinational basis. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

China Constrained as Much as Controlling in the South Pacific (2019-05-16)
(East Asia Forum, By Denghua Zhang) China’s engagement with the states of the South Pacific Ocean has accelerated in recent years. But while policymakers and academics increasingly talk about China’s growing influence, Beijing actually operates in the region under a number of constraints. <Accessed 2019-05-21>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
The Korean Peninsula

South Korea Announces $8 Million Aid Package for North (2019-05-17)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) South Korea said on Friday that it would provide $8 million in humanitarian aid to help North Korea’s malnourished children and pregnant women, as the North faces severe drought and a food crisis caused by its worst harvest in a decade. <Accessed 2019-05-17>

Territorial Disputes

Duterte’s Scarborough Shoal Moment
 (2019-04-18)
(CSIS, By Richard Javad Heydarian) Three years into his quiescent China policy, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is experiencing a rude awakening in the South China Sea. The ongoing Chinese siege of the Philippines’ largest land feature in the Spratlys, Thitu Island, represents Duterte’s greatest foreign policy crisis and, ironically, the very country he has courted assiduously is at the heart of it. <Accessed 2019-05-13>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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