::: TSR Weekly Report
2019-07-13 | NO.43(28) 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
PRC Threat Obliges Political Defense (2019-07-10)
(Taipei Times, By Kerry Gershaneck) China’s political warfare poses an imminent existential threat to Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Taiwan must invest in counter-political warfare education now to safeguard its freedom and sovereignty, along with that of like-minded Southeast Asian nations. <Accessed 2019-07-16>

Chinese Family Seeks Taiwan Visa Extension to Pursue U.S. Asylum 
(CNA, By Shen Peng-ta and Elizabeth Hsu)
A family of Chinese nationals that fled to Taiwan after their church in Sichuan was shut down has asked for an extension of their limited visas until they are granted asylum in the United States with the assistance of the non-governmental organization Taiwan Association for China Human Rights. The Mainland Affairs Council said that due to Taiwan’s lack of a refugee law, there are no set laws for dealing with Chinese asylum-seekers, but that the government seeks to uphold the spirit of human rights when reviewing these cases. <Accessed 2019-07-10>

Taiwan President Risks Infuriating China With U.S. Visit (2019-07-11)
(New York Times, By Rick Gladstone) The leader of Taiwan, the self-governing island of 24 million claimed by China, visited the United States on Thursday and said her people would “never be intimidated,” risking China’s wrath and a further fraying of ties between Beijing and the Trump administration. <Accessed 2019-07-16>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
 U.S. State Department Approves Possible $2.2 Billion Arms Sale to Taiwan  (2019-07-08)
(Reuters, By Mohammad Zargham, Mike Stone, and Patricia Zengerle)
The Pentagon announced Monday that the U.S. State Department has approved a possible arms sale, despite China’s protest against the sale. The possible sale, worth an estimated $2.2billion, would include M1A2T Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles, and possibly mounted machine guns, ammunition, armored vehicles, and heavy equipment transporters. The Pentagon said it does not believe the sale would alter the military balance in the East Asian region. <Accessed 2019-07-08>

US Approves $2.2 Billion Arms Package for Taiwan for Tanks, Missiles (2019-07-09)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The U.S. State Department approved a $2.2 billion arms package for Taiwan, which include Stinger missiles and tanks. If this arms sales is finalized, it would represent the first major arms deal between the U.S. and Taiwan since the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) in April this year. <Accessed 2019-07-09>

Taiwan Set to Receive $2 Billion in U.S. Arms, Drawing Ire From China (2019-07-09)
(New York Times, By Chris Horton) The United States has tentatively approved the sale of $2 billion in military hardware to Taiwan, demonstrating support for its unofficial ally in a move likely to exacerbate deteriorating ties between Washington and Beijing. <Accessed 2019-07-16>

Arms Sale Will Help Taiwan Maintain Defense: U.S. State Department  (2019-07-10)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yej and Flor Wang)
Following Chinese criticism, the United States Department of State spokesperson Morgan Ortages said Tuesday that the recently approved arms sale to Taiwan is in compliance with the Taiwan Relations Act and its goal of boosting Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities. She added that helping Taiwan maintain its defense capabilities helps promote the ultimate goal of promoting cross-Strait regional stability and peace. <Accessed 2019-07-10>

Taiwan Defends US Arms Deal After China Sanctions Threat (2019-07-13)
(Associated Press, By Staff Writer) China announced Friday that it would implement sanctions on US companies involved in the $2.2 billion arms sale between the United States and Taiwan. Both Taiwanese government agencies and President Tsai Ing-wen have defended the arms sale decision by the United States, stating that the deal will help ensure national security amid growing threats from China. China has also protested Tsai's trip to the Caribbean that includes stops in the United States. <Accessed 2019-07-14>

Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Should Taiwan Take Sides Between the US and China? (2019-06-16)
(UDN, By Su Chi) President Tsai could have refrained from taking sides and therefore gained greater maneuvering room for Taiwan. However, while solemnly intoning that she is “maintaining the status quo," she has in fact arbitrarily taken sides. This most likely will force the U.S. and China to shorten the period of time to work out their new mode of interaction, and puts Taiwan in a more precarious situation. Chinese version <Accessed 2019-07-08> 

Tsai to Transit in New York, Denver on Upcoming Caribbean Visit (2019-07-09)
(CNA, By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Emerson Lim) President Tsai will begin her twelve-day Caribbean trip on July 11, making two stops in Denver and New York City, U.S., before continuing on to visit Taiwan's Caribbean allies. Tsai will be making state visits to four nations: Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Lucia. Tsai will return to Taiwan on July 22. <Accessed 2019-07-10>

Taiwanese Identity Rises for the First Time in Four Years: Poll (2019-07-11)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Chung Yu-chen) The number of Taiwanese citizens that identify as "Taiwanese" has risen the past year after four years of consecutive decline. According to the survey, 56.9% identify as only "Taiwanese," 36.5% identify as both "Taiwanese" and "Chinese," and 3.6% identify as solely "Chinese." The poll's director cites issues such as the protests in Hong Kong and President Xi Jinping's Taiwan policy speech in January for the uptick. <Accessed 2019-07-12>

Chinese Cyber-Operatives Boosted Taiwan's Insurgent Candidate (2019-07-13)
(Foreign Policy, By Paul Huang) Han Kuo-yu, initially an unknown name in Taiwan's political scene, gained popularity and won the 2018 mayoral race in Kaohsiung. On the surface, it appears that Han's overwhelming success was attributable to his charisma and the power of social media. As it turned out, a Facebook group that was created in April of 2018 was not created by Han's fans but was created, managed and nurtured by a professional cybergroup from China. <Accessed 2019-07-13>

Pro-China Groups Step Up Offensive to Win Over Taiwan (2019-07-13)
(Reuters, By Yimou Lee and James Pomfret) China has established networks of supporters in Taiwan and increasing its efforts to attract Taiwanese businesspeople with lucrative business opportunities in exchange for supporting China's plan for reunification. Chinese state agencies have initiated its plan to garner support for unification through the Taiwan Affairs Office and the United Front Work Department. <Accessed 2019-07-13>

Taiwan's KMT Will Choose Its Candidate to Challenge a Resurgent President Tsai (2019-07-13)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) Taiwan's Kuomintang (KMT) party will decide on its presidential candidate on Monday, July 15 for Taiwan's 2020 election. The three KMT candidates are New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu and Foxconn founder Terry Guo. <Accessed 2019-07-13>

Taiwan Welcomes Caribbean Ally's Move to Set Up Embassy (2019-07-13)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Ko Lin) St. Vincent and the Grenadines announced Saturday that the island nation intends to establish an embassy in Taiwan. The Caribbean country currently maintains a consulate general in Taipei and is the only nation of the 17 with formal ties to Taiwan that does not maintain an embassy. President Tsai Ing-wen will be visiting the island on July 16 and 17. <Accessed 2019-07-14>
U.S.-China Relations
Is China Pulling Off Its Own 'Offset' Strategy? (2019-07-09)
(The Diplomat, By Robert Farley) Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work and Greg Grant describe China's offset strategy as a five-step plan for deterring the U.S. rather than defeating it. The question remains whether China seeks to replicate U.S. capabilities or offset U.S. capabilities. <Accessed 2019-07-09>

What China Experts Miss about China and the US (2019-07-09)
(The Diplomat, By Ben Lowsen) While U.S. scholars argue that it is counterproductive to undermine and contain China's engagement in the international scene, they are missing the fact that Chinese President Xi Jinping has amassed a considerable amount of power over the past seven years. In failing to respond to Xi's challenges, the U.S. has encouraged Xi to take greater risks. <Accessed 2019-07-09>

A Koch Executive’s Harassment in China Adds to Fears Among Visitors (2019-07-11)
(New York Times, By Paul Mozur, Alexandra Stevenson and Edward Wong) Business executives, Washington officials and other frequent visitors to China who were interviewed by The New York Times expressed increasing alarm about the Chinese authorities’ harassment of Americans by holding them for questioning and preventing them from leaving the country. <Accessed 2019-07-16>

Understanding the US-China Trade Disconnect (2019-07-11)
(The Diplomat, By Liu Baocheng and Hilton Root) In light of the recent development on the U.S.-China trade dispute, where both nations have agreed to reopen trade talks, it is crucial that both nations gain an understanding of why the last round of trade talk failed. Both the U.S. and China will have to put their vague promises into verifiable agreements that could be enforced. <Accessed 2019-09-11>

China Vows Sanctions on U.S. Firms Selling Arms to Taiwan (2019-07-12)
(New York Times, By Raymond Zhong) China said on Friday that it would impose sanctions on American companies involved in the recently proposed sale of more than $2 billion in arms to Taiwan. The move could further strain ties between the two large powers, whose governments have been targeting each other’s businesses for punishment as a tariff war boils. <Accessed 2019-07-16>

Heads of US and Chinese Navies Talk Miscalculation Amid US Leadership Shuffle (2019-07-13)
(The Diplomat, By Steven Stashwick) According to the U.S. Navy, the video teleconference on July 9 between Admiral John Richardson of the U.S. Navy and Admiral Shen Jinlong of the PLA Navy focused on "reducing strategic, operational, and tactical risk between the two navies". The recent talk between the two leaders was part of a series of regular contacts between the two navies to maintain open communications and positive military-to-military relations. <Accessed 2019-07-13>

China Ignoring US Demand for Trade War Reform by Reinforcing State-Directed Economic Model (2019-07-13)
(South China Morning Post, By Frank Tang) China is reinforcing its state-directed economic model despite demands for change from the United States as a condition to end the trade war, and is in fact increasing the influence of state-owned enterprises and the Communist Party’s intrusion into the boardrooms of private companies, as highlighted by a string of recent events. <Accessed 2019-07-16>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Is the China Model a Threat? (2019-07-07)
(East Asia Forum, By William H Overholt) Western strategists have expressed widespread concern that Chinese leaders will promote the Chinese model of development as an alternative to Western democracy. In fact, the China model works only under severely constrained circumstances and so far, Chinese leaders seem to understand that. <Accessed 2019-07-16>

Tens of Thousands in Hong Kong Take Message to Mainlanders
(Associated Press, By Ken Moritsugu and Alice Fung) Hong Kong protests continue as tens of thousands of Hong Kong citizens marched towards the train station connecting Hong Kong to mainland China this last Sunday in opposition to the controversial extradition bill. Protest organizers stated that they hoped the protest would show visiting mainland Chinese the "true image" of Hong Kong as Chinese media has suppressed reporting of the protests in China. <Accessed 2019-07-08>

Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam Says Extradition Bill 'Dead' (2019-07-09)
(Al Jazeera, By Staff Writer) Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday declared that the controversial extradition bill is "dead," stating that the government does not have any plans to revive the bill in the future. Activists and protest leaders, however, reject Lam's claims, demanding that the bill be officially withdrawn, something that Lam continues to refuse to do. Protests are set to continue in the coming weeks. <Accessed 2019-07-10>

Exclusive: China's PLA Signals It Will Keep Hong Kong-Based Troops in Barracks (2019-07-09)
(Reuters, By Greg Torode and Phil Stewart) In a meeting between Major General Chen Daoxiang (head of the Chinese military in Hong Kong) and a Pentagon official, Chen stated that Chinese troops will not interfere in Hong Kong's affairs amidst the recent protests. A source close to the Chinese military also confirmed that the military currently has no plans to interfere in the city. Officials have stated that the military is likely reluctant to intervene given the potential international criticism. <Accessed 2019-07-10>

China Rebuked at UN Over Uighur Detention: Reuters (2019-07-10)
(Aljazeera, By Reuters News Agency)
Twenty-two countries have signed a letter at the United Nations’ Human Rights Council calling on China to end its detention of Uighurs in Xinjiang and allow international experts full access to Xinjiang. The letter was signed by many European countries, as well as Australia, Canada, and Japan. However, the letter did not include a formal statement or resolution due to no delegation wanting to appear as a “ringleader” and face subsequent backlash from China. <Accessed 2019-07-10>

Xi Jinping Continues His Quest for Absolute Party Control (2019-07-11)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Chinese President Xi Jinping aims to consolidate the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) control from over the state to entertainment and technology to religion and education. Xi is determined to expand the influence and leadership of the CCP, including focusing on the importance of Party building in CCP and state institutions. <Accessed 2019-07-11>

China Comes to Tonga (2019-07-11)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Perry) China's presence in Tonga has created concerns among the international community and some Tongans. Some view China's interest in Tonga as a stepping stone to the Western side. In China's defense, Chinese ambassador to Tonga, Wang Baodong, remarked that China was the only country willing to come to Tonga's aid when Tonga needed help. <Accessed 2019-07-11>

China Throws Support Behind Hong Kong's Lam Ahead of New Protest (2019-07-11)
(Bloomberg, By Natalie Lung) Wang Zhimin, director of China's liaison office in Hong Kong and the top Chinese official in the city, stated Thursday that China supports Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam in the face of the recent Hong Kong protests. Both Wang and China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs hinted at the involvement of "foreign forces" in the provocation of the unrest. Another anti-extradition bill protest will be held this Sunday. <Accessed 2019-07-12>

European Union Will Have Huawei Risk Measures in Place ‘by End of the Year’ (2019-07-11)
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) European Union countries will agree on collective measures to deal with potential spying risks from equipment made by Huawei by the end of the year, the head of an EU advisory body has said. <Accessed 2019-07-16>

China Should Avoid Moves Seen as ‘Trying to Split Europe’, Former European Commission Chief Says (2019-07-12)
(South China Morning Post, By Stuart Lau) China should avoid diplomatic moves that could be seen as dividing Europe, as it would not be in Beijing’s long-term interest, former European Commission president Romano Prodi says. In a wide-ranging interview this week, Prodi also called on the European Union to build what he described as a “shared decision-making process” with China for projects under the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiative. <Accessed 2019-07-16>

Could Hong Kong Become Another Estonia? (2019-07-13)
(The Diplomat, By Walter C. Clemens, Jr.) Many experts could be wrong in thinking that Hong Kong could not break from China and achieve prosperity like how Estonia and other Baltic states successfully broke from Kremlin domination in 1988-1991. Hong Kong is economically stronger compared to any of the Baltic states in the 1980s and has a larger population compared to Estonia. <Accessed 2019-07-13>

China's Overrated Technocrats (2019-07-13)
(Foreign Policy, By James Palmer) While Western leaders have legal or economic training, Chinese leaders are trained as engineers and scientists. However, for Chinese officials, their college degree hardly materialized into actual work experience. China's current leadership seeks to tighten control over the Chinese society. <Accessed 2019-07-13>

Hong Kong Protesters, Police Clash as Demonstrations Target Chinese Traders (2019-07-13)
(Reuters, By Greg Torode and Vimvam Tong) Hong Kong protesters and police clashed this Saturday near the Hong Kong - China border. Protesters gathered in opposition to price increases supposedly caused by "parallel traders," Chinese merchants who enter Hong Kong to buy goods to be carried back into China duty-free and sold at a markup. Hong Kong protesters have begun to focus on more issues than just the proposed extradition bill, expanding their scope to other domestic issues. <Accessed 2019-07-14>

Beijing Security Forum Shows How Chinese Military Takes Belt and Road Route to Africa (2019-07-13)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) On Sunday, Beijing will open the week-long China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, where defence ministers and military chiefs are expected to discuss cooperation, a peace and security fund, and defence capacity building among African states. <Accessed 2019-07-16>

Making the Belt and Road Work for Southeast Asia (2019-07-13)
(East Asia Forum, By Phidel Vineles) But criticisms of the BRI highlight some of the risks of participation. Southeast Asian countries should address these risks by persuading China to adopt multilateral rules that broaden participation in the BRI, including by leveraging ASEAN’s potential role. <Accessed 2019-07-16>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

The Reed Bank Crisis: A Call for Upgrading the Philippine-U.S. Alliance
(CSIS, By Richard Javad Heydarian) Three years into office, Duterte is facing growing pressure to upgrade, rather than vitiate or abandon, the Philippines’ sole treaty alliance, thanks to China’s increasingly aggressive behavior in disputed waters. <Accessed 2019-07-16>

China and Vietnam in Stand-off over Chinese Survey Ship Mission to Disputed Reef in South China Sea (2019-07-12)
(South China Morning Post, By Liu Zhen) Chinese and Vietnamese coastguard vessels have been involved in a week-long confrontation over a reef in the South China Sea, risking the biggest clash between the two nations in five years. <Accessed 2019-07-16>

The Korean Peninsula

Don't Let Trump-Kim Summitry Obscure the Difficult Fundamentals of US-North Korea Relations
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) While the recent Trump-Kim summitry appears to present an optimistic outlook, the underlying fundamentals of U.S.-North Korea relations remain. While the North Korea views its effort to dismantle their main nuclear testing site as a step forward, it is not ready to give up its nuclear weapons. The U.S. on the other hand, is unlikely to revise its position on sanctions relief. <Accessed 2019-07-08>

Other Regional Issues

Australia Tracks Chinese Warship Headed Toward U.S.-Australia War Games
(Reuters, By Colin Packham) Australia announced that it has spotted and is monitoring a Chinese surveillance ship that is approaching Australia's northern coast. Australia and the United States are engaging in joint military exercises this month, and it is believed that the Chinese vessel intends to spy on the war games. Officials have stated that the military will take “appropriate measures” in response. <Accessed 2019-07-09>

Declining Japan-South Korea Relations Could Weaken East Asian Security  (2019-07-08)
(Taiwan News, By Taiwan News)
Sheila Smith, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said in an interview with Kyodo News Sunday that she believes the current dip in Japan-Korea relations is irreversible. She asserted that the countries’ disagreement over North Korea is an issue larger than any previous disputes and that it could lead to a serious regional security threat as well as damaging both nations’ relations with the United States. <Accessed 2019-07-08>

South Korea and the US Indo-Pacific Stategy: At an Arm's Length? (2019-07-10)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) Following the one-on-one talks on bilateral and regional issues with U.S. President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced Korea's New Southern Policy cooperation with the United States' Indo-Pacific strategy. Despite Moon's announcement, South Korea continues to distance itself from participating in the United States' Indo-Pacific strategy. <Accessed 2019-07-10>

Trump’s Asia Gamble: Shatter Enduring Strategies on China and North Korea (2019-07-11)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong) The shifts were prompted by internal changes in each country, combined with Mr. Trump’s unorthodox instincts and the views of his senior Asia advisers. The administration now has growing bipartisan support in Washington to widen an emerging global conflict with China and build diplomacy with North Korea. <Accessed 2019-07-16>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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