::: TSR Weekly Report
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2019-12-16 | NO.43(50) 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
‘We Are Fleeing the Law’: Hong Kong Protesters Escape to Taiwan (2019-12-08)
(New York Times, By Cora Engelbrecht) While many vow to fight indefinitely, a mounting climate of mistrust is prompting some demonstrators to leave Hong Kong. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

AP Interview: Taiwan May Help if Hong Kong Violence Expands
 (2019-12-10)
(Associated Press, By Adam Schreck) Taiwan’s top diplomat said Tuesday that his government stands with Hong Kong citizens pushing for “freedom and democracy,” and would help those displaced from the semi-autonomous Chinese city if Beijing intervenes with greater force to quell the protests. <Accessed 2019-12-10> 

Cross-Strait Ties to Decline Regardless of Poll: Experts (2019-12-11)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) Cross-strait relations are expected to continue deteriorating in the short term, while Taiwan should consolidate ties with other major economies, regardless of which party wins the Jan. 11 elections, US policy experts said in Taipei yesterday. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

China Says Anti-Infiltration Bill Causing 'Alarm, Panic' (2019-12-12)
(Taipei Times/Reuters) A proposed anti-infiltration bill that the government says is needed to combat Chinese influence is spreading alarm among the Taiwanese business community in China, Beijing said yesterday. <Accessed 2019-12-12> 

Taiwan Investigates Exchange Programmes ‘Used for Illegal Visits by Mainland Chinese Government Officials’ (2019-12-12)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan prosecutors are investigating alleged misuse of a security loophole that has allowed thousands of mainland Chinese including government and propaganda officials to visit the self-ruled island illegally in the past two years. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

Beijing's Animosity Toward Taiwan's DPP is Bad for Everyone (2019-12-14)
(The Diplomat, By Jeremy Huai-Che Chiang) Thus, in Beijing’s mind, being consistently unbending toward DPP positions should be able (and is seen as the only way) to send a strong signal to the DPP and ultimately force them to concede. <Accessed 2019-12-14>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
China Not Trustworthy: Ex-AIT Director (2019-12-09)
(Taipei Times/CNA, By Lu Yi-hsuan) “China is not to be trusted,” former American Institute in Taiwan director Stephen Young said in Taipei yesterday, using Beijing’s dealings with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong as an example. Young made the remark at a forum in Taipei on Taiwan-US relations hosted by the Taiwan Thinktank and the Washington-based Global Taiwan Institute. <Accessed 2019-12-09>

President Pitches Bilateral Trade Pact in Meeting with U.S. Official (2019-12-09)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping, Emerson Lim, and Evelyn Kao) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed hope Monday during a meeting with a high-level U.S. Department of Commerce official that Taiwan and the United States can sign a bilateral trade agreement to add new impetus to bilateral economic growth. <Accessed 2019-12-09>

Tsai Tells US Official of Trade Deal Hopes
 (2019-12-10)
(Taipei Times/CNA, By Su Yung-yao) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday expressed hope that a bilateral trade agreement (BTA) could be signed between Taiwan and the US. <Accessed 2019-12-10>

Bill Asks Pentagon to Form US-Taiwan Cybersecurity Group (2019-12-10)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Joseph Yeh) A conference agreement version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal 2020 suggests the U.S. government should study the feasibility of forming a U.S.-Taiwan working group to coordinate responses to cybersecurity issues, among other recommendations designed to enhance defense and security cooperation between the two countries. <Accessed 2019-12-10> 

US Hopeful about Taiwan's Diplomatic Relations with Pacific Island States (2019-12-10)
(Taiwan News, By Ching-Tse Cheng) The deputy director of the U.S. Department of State, Jennifer Spande, said Monday (Dec. 9) that the U.S. government remains hopeful about expanding Taiwan's diplomatic circle among Pacific Island countries. <Accessed 2019-12-10> 

Taiwan Invites US Military Observers to Computer War Games during Annual Han Kuang Exercises (2019-12-11)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan has formally invited US officers to observe the computer-simulated part of its annual Han Kuang military exercises in April to help assess the self-ruled island’s ability to fend off a threat from mainland China, according to a Taiwanese military source. US officers have observed war games on the island before but their presence was not publicly acknowledged. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

Different Priorities for Tsai, Han in U.S. Relations: Former AIT Chair (2019-12-12)
(CNA, By Chiang Ching-yeh and Matthew Mazzetta) Taiwanese presidential candidates Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) have different priorities in their relations with the United States, former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Richard Bush said Wednesday. <Accessed 2019-12-12>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics

Taiwan’s Minor Political Parties Could Play a Major Role in Upcoming Elections (2019-12-08)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) While the latest polls suggest incumbent Tsai Ing-wen is on course to win a second term in Taiwan’s presidential elections in January, conditions may be less favourable for her ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the race for the legislature, according to analysts. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

2020 Elections: Fewer China-Based Voters Expected
 (2019-12-10)
(Taipei Times, By Yang Chun-hui and Lin Liang-sheng) The number of China-based Taiwanese businesspeople returning home to vote in next month’s elections is expected to be lower than for previous elections, a person familiar with the matter said on Sunday.<Accessed 2019-12-10>

Bill Passed to Establish Human Rights Committee Under Control Yuan (2019-12-10)
(CNA, By Wang Yang-yu and Matthew Mazzetta) Taiwan's legislature on Tuesday voted to establish a National Human Rights Committee under the Control Yuan, a body with wide-ranging government oversight powers. <Accessed 2019-12-10>

Taipei Mayor Ko Eying 2024 Presidential Run If Health Permits (2019-12-11)
(CNA, By Liang Pei-chi, Kuang Jui-ping, and Evelyn Kao) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said Wednesday that if his health permits, he will run for president in 2024, and he will start preparing to do so when he completes his second and final term as mayor. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

Taiwan’s January 2020 National Election: The View from One-Month Prior (2019-12-12)
(Asia Dialogue, By John F. Copper) Arguably the most important factor leading to these predictions is that the DPP is unified and the KMT is not; or at least the DPP is facing fewer centrifugal forces. This has historically been a good predictor of winners and losers. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

Taiwan's Usually Obscure Party Lists Swing its Legislative Election (2019-12-12)
(The Diplomat, By Lev Nachman and Brian Hioe) A week later, the KMT and DPP’s positions began to switch. The KMT fell in the polls and today continues to drop. The DPP’s odds of maintaining their legislative majority drastically increased because of a feature of Taiwanese politics that many are not familiar with: the party list. <Accessed 2019-12-12>

Taiwan Ranked at Bottom on Climate (2019-12-12)
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) Taiwan’s overall rating fell three places from last year in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) and it is grouped with Saudi Arabia and the US as the bottom three performers, an annual report released on Tuesday showed. <Accessed 2019-12-12>

Enact Refugee Law to Help Hong Kong, Taiwan Presidential Hopeful Says (2019-12-12)
(New York Times/Reuters, By Ben Blanchard) Taiwan should enact a refugee law to help the people of Hong Kong, the main opposition candidate to be Taiwan's next president said on Thursday, a move that could complicate his stated desire to improve strained relations with Beijing. <Accessed 2019-12-12> 

New Law Stiffens Jail Terms for Spying (2019-12-13)
(CNA, By Flor Wang and Fan Cheng-hsiang) The Legislative Yuan passed an amendment Friday that increases jail terms for Taiwanese caught spying and expands the scope of counterintelligence provisions to bolster Taiwan's security against espionage and infiltration activities. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

2020 Elections: Trailing in Polls, Han Confident About Winning (2019-12-13)
(Taipei Times, By Ann Maxon) The campaign office of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate, yesterday said that it is confident about winning next month’s presidential election, despite Han trailing by nearly 38 percentage points in the latest poll. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

Taiwan's 2020 Presidential Elections (2019-12-14)
(The Diplomat, By Yoshiyuki Ogasawara) A Tsai win would obviously be a setback to Beijing’s policy towards Taiwan, but it would not mean an easing of Taiwan Strait tensions. On the contrary, Beijing will react by ratcheting up the pressure on Taiwan in hopes of achieving something before the centenary celebration of the CCP’s foundation in 2021. Neighboring countries including Japan must be aware of this, and prepare for cross-Strait turbulence. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen Calls for Calm after Man Held over ‘Bomb’ Placed Outside Opposition Party Office Weeks before Election (2019-12-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen has called for calm after police shot and detained a man suspected of planting an explosive device outside a campaign office for the main opposition party. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

Taiwan's Foreign Relations

Taiwan Donates US$550,000 to APEC for Regional Economic Integration (2019-12-09)
(CNA, By Kuo Chao-ho and Joseph Yeh) Taiwan on Monday donated US$550,000 to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to support the forum's initiatives in advancing economic integration and sustainable growth across the region, according to the nation's representative office in Malaysia. <Accessed 2019-12-09>

German Official Rejects Petition (2019-12-11)
(Taipei Times/CNA) A German official on Monday rejected a petition asking the country to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan, citing Berlin’s “one China” policy, but said it plans to expand its ties with Taiwan. Petra Sigmund, the director-general for Asia and the Pacific at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Germany and China established diplomatic relations in 1972 and the country recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate representative of China. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

Prague Poised to Establish City-to-City Ties with Taipei
 (2019-12-12)
(CNA, By Flor Wang and Lin Yu-li) The city council of Prague in the Czech Republic passed a motion to establish "sisterhood ties" with Taipei Thursday. <Accessed 2019-12-12>

Tuvalu Voices Support for Taiwan at U.N. Climate Change Conference (2019-12-12)
(CNA, By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Evelyn Kao) Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano spoke up for Taiwan Wednesday at the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference, in support of the nation's participation in the annual meeting. <Accessed 2019-12-12> 

Taiwan, Nauru Sign Aviation Services Agreement in Taipei (2019-12-13)
(CNA, By Yeh Su-ping, Elaine Hou, and Ko Lin) An aviation services agreement was signed between Taiwan and the Pacific island nation of Nauru on Friday, marking the beginning of bilateral cooperation in air transportation between the two countries. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

Taiwan, Germany Sign Deal on Promoting Transitional Justice (2019-12-13)
(CNA, By Flor Wang and Lin Yu-li) Taiwan and Germany signed a letter of intent (LOI) to boost cooperation on transitional justice in Berlin on Thursday. Taiwan's representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) signed the LOI with Thomas Prinz, Germany's envoy to Taiwan, on behalf of the respective authorities in their countries. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

Taiwan Pushed to the Sidelines as COP25 Climate Summit Concludes (2019-12-14)
(The Diplomat, By Nick Aspinwall) This year, as it does annually, Taiwan sent a delegation of public and private sector representatives to participate in sideline events and exhibitions. But its delegation did not make it inside, where Natano told the conference it should recognize Taiwan’s contributions to addressing climate change. <Accessed 2019-12-14>
U.S.-China Relations
Chinese Officials Lash Out at US Over New Legislation (2019-12-11)
(Associated Press) Chinese officials lashed out at the U.S. on Wednesday over recent legislation passed by Congress criticizing Beijing for its policies in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang region in western China, as well as ongoing trade disputes. They marked the latest salvos in an ongoing campaign of vilification over what Beijing considers hostile acts aimed at restraining its development as a world power. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

China's Response to US Hong Kong Democracy Act Shows Deep Insecurities
 (2019-12-12)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) For now, there’s little clarity on how China’s sanctions against those organizations will be enforced. China has made clear that it is upset about the U.S. standing up for democracy in Hong Kong, but that much was apparent even before the events sparked by the signing of the act. <Accessed 2019-12-12>

Beijing’s Policies Uniting US Interest Groups – against China, Veteran Diplomat Christopher Hill Warns (2019-12-12)
(South China Morning Post, By Jun Mai) China’s US policies are uniting a broad range of American interests against the world’s second-largest economy, and a veteran US diplomat believes it is time for a new approach. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

China, U.S. Agree on Initial Trade Deal to Remove Some Tariffs (2019-12-13)
(Bloomberg) China and the U.S. agreed on the text of a phase one trade deal that includes the removal of tariffs on Chinese goods in stages, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said, as President Donald Trump confirmed that some levies will be reduced and said the next round of talks will start immediately. China will increase imports from the U.S. and other countries, Wang said at a briefing in Beijing Friday. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

The US-China Trade Deal is Finally Here (2019-12-14)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) The United States and China announced on December 13 that they have reached agreement on their “phase one” trade deal, a major development in the 20-month trade war. In exchange for tariff relief, China will increase its purchases of U.S. goods and address U.S. concerns relating to intellectual property (IP) protection, currency manipulation, and agriculture, among others. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

The Americans Are Coming? Washington's China Pushback and Its Uncertainties (2019-12-14)
(The Diplomat, By Jin Kai) For the United States, the “shadows” cast by China’s ambitious growth are spreading almost everywhere, and Washington is taking actions on a wide range of political, economic, cultural, social, and ideological issues. That seems to suggest that it’s the Americans that are coming this time, with a so-called “whole-of-government” pushback on China. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

China’s Hard-Liners Win a Round in Trump’s Trade Deal (2019-12-14)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) President Trump’s initial retreat from his trade-war threats has handed hard-liners in China a victory. A longer, pricklier trade war and stiff Chinese resistance to economic reforms could result. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

Pentagon Head Says China Has Become Top US Military Priority, Moving Past Russia (2019-12-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Lee Jeong-ho) Even as US and Chinese officials were reducing global economic tensions on Friday by confirming they had reached a “phase one” trade deal, the top US military official said that the Pentagon has put China on the top of its priorities – ahead of Russia – owing to Beijing’s “brazen efforts” to undermine the territorial claims of its neighbours. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

The Chill Ahead in the Second Cold War (2019-12-14)
(East Asia Forum, By Gary Clyde Hufbauer) The weapons, for the moment, are trade, investment and technology. In 2020 and beyond, the trajectory of the Second Cold War will challenge leaders in Asia and elsewhere. <Accessed 2019-12-14>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

China’s Companies Binged on Debt. Now They Can’t Pay the Bill. (2019-12-12)
(New York Times, By Alexandra Stevenson) Now the bills are coming due, and a growing number of Chinese companies can’t pay up, in a sign that the world’s No. 2 economy is feeling the stress from its worst slowdown in nearly three decades. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

A Manufacturing Exodus in China - Fact or Fiction? (2019-12-12)
(The Diplomat, By Dingding Chen and Yu Xia) The U.S.-China trade war has now dragged on for more than a year, and a preliminary trade deal between the two sides appears to be on the brink of being reached soon. An initial trade deal could involve a rollback of tariffs that has been slapped on roughly $360 billion worth of Chinese goods and $160 billion worth of Chinese imports. <Accessed 2019-12-12>

Smuggling Out the Truth: The Story of the Xinjiang Papers and China Cables (2019-12-14)
(The Diplomat, By Ben Lowsen) For them as much as for anybody else, these leaks come as a surprise. Indeed, they are a testament to the courage of some within the PRC, an indication of how bad Beijing’s human rights abuses must be, and possibly a crack in the façade of Xi Jinping’s power over China. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

Beijing and Hong Kong

Hong Kong's Protest: Look Beyond Tiananmen 2.0
 (2019-12-08)
(The Diplomat, By Victoria Tin-bor Hui) The process of radicalizing peaceful demonstrators has various steps, and the first move by Beijing has often been to refuse to make concessions, thereby forcing the opposition to either abandon their demands or to step up their actions. At Tiananmen Square, students escalated by going on a hunger strike. In Hong Kong, the government’s unresponsiveness to multiple peaceful marches gave rise to the protest slogan: “It is [you] who taught us that peaceful demonstrations are ineffective.” <Accessed 2019-12-08>

Hong Kong's Leader Again Rejects Concessions after Massive Weekend Protest (2019-12-12)
(The Diplomat, By Associated Press) Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday again ruled out further concessions to protesters who marched peacefully in their hundreds of thousands this past weekend, days before she is to travel to Beijing for regularly scheduled meetings with Communist Party leaders. <Accessed 2019-12-12>

China's Foreign Relations

China Reportedly Threatens Tiny Faeroe Islands Over Huawei (2019-12-11)
(Associated Press, By Jan M. Olsen) Danish media are reporting that the Chinese government threatened to cancel a trade deal with the tiny Faeroe Islands if the country does not agree to use internet networks supplied by Chinese tech company Huawei. Huawei is at the center of a global cybersecurity debate, with the U.S. pushing allies in Europe and elsewhere to avoid the company over fears it could allow the Chinese government to snoop on consumers. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

The Belt and Road: Calculating Winners and Losers (2019-12-12)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) But because the BRI is a relatively new concept and few of its projects have been completed, it’s difficult to actually put a numerical value on the benefits – for China or for any other country. Without a way to quantify the costs and benefits, it’s hard to definitively answer the question of which countries stand to come out ahead – and which might be better off bowing out. <Accessed 2019-12-12>

The Sustainability Challenge of China’s BRI (2019-12-13)
(East Asia Forum, By Yong Deng) Once the BRI was written into the party charter, a mini-debate over the danger of China’s over-extension with the program was silenced. While the BRI has become China’s ‘one hundred year grand plan’, it is being confronted with unforeseen and staggering challenges. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

China is Taking Patents Seriously. The World Should Take Notice. (2019-12-14)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) Probably few have considered, however, that the BRI would also offer an opportunity for China to inspect and absorb for its own benefit the patent and IP protection schemes in all of the BRI target countries to which it is extending its financial and political reach. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

China and India’s Maritime Rivalry Has a New Flashpoint: the Andaman Sea (2019-12-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Yogesh Joshi) The Andaman Sea is fast becoming the latest flashpoint of Sino-Indian maritime rivalry in the Indian Ocean. China’s increased interest in the region is evinced by the revelation earlier this month that the Indian Navy in September expelled a Chinese research vessel by the name of Shiyan 1 after it was found intruding into the exclusive economic zoneoff the coast of India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands. <Accessed 2019-12-14>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Japan's Options in the South China Sea (2019-12-12)
(The Diplomat, By Yoji Koda) The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) possesses overwhelming military capabilities in the South China Sea (SCS). And it is clear that no single nation in this region, Japan included, is able to match those capabilities. <Accessed 2019-12-12>

South China Sea: US Stages 85 Military Exercises with Regional Allies in 2019, Report Says (2019-12-14)
(South China Morning Post, By Teddy Ng) The United States has held at least 85 joint military exercises with its allies in the Indo-Pacific region this year as it seeks to counter Beijing’s rise, particularly in the South China Sea, according to a Chinese think tank. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

The Korean Peninsula

PacNet #67 – Kim Jong Un’s Faulty Assumptions (2019-12-09)
(Pacific Forum, By Ralph A. Cossa) Kim’s demands and threats of a “new path” and the impending sense of crisis this has generated appear based on two faulty North Korean assumptions. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

North Korea Links 2nd ‘Crucial’ Test to Nuclear Weapons Program
 (2019-12-14)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) North Korea said on Saturday that it had conducted “another crucial test” at a missile-engine and satellite-launching site, its second such test in a week as the country attempts to press the United States into further talks and new concessions. It declared that both tests would feed into its military’s nuclear program. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

Other Regional Issues

France’s Indo-Pacific Strategy: Inclusive and Principled (2019-12-12)
(East Asia Forum, By Françoise Nicolas) France’s priority is a stable, multipolar order based on the rule of law, the free movement of people and goods and fair and efficient multilateralism. The Indo-Pacific region is at the heart of this strategy. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

Pentagon’s Top Official on Asia Policy, Randall Schriver, Quits His Post
 (2019-12-13)
(South China Morning Post, By Owen Churchill and Robert Delaney) Randall Schriver, the Pentagon’s leading Asia policy expert and one of the administration’s most vocal critics of Beijing, has resigned, the US Department of Defence announced on Thursday. <Accessed 2019-12-14>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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