::: TSR Weekly Report
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2019-12-21 | NO.43(51) 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
Authorities Raid Travel Operators Amid Visa Scams Involving Chinese (2019-12-17)
(CNA, By Hsiao Po-wen and Ko Lin) Taipei prosecutors raided six travel agencies Tuesday for suspected involvement in document forgery that allowed Chinese government officials to enter Taiwan on the pretext of attending short-term exchange programs. <Accessed 2019-12-17>

Presidential Candidates Clash Over Cross-Strait Ties in TV Presentation (2019-12-18)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and her two challengers in the 2020 presidential race, Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and James Soong (宋楚瑜), put forth widely differing views on cross-Taiwan Strait policy, in their first televised presentation of their campaign platforms Wednesday. <Accessed 2019-12-18> 

U.S. Bill Mandates Report on Chinese Interference in Taiwan Election (2019-12-18)
(CNA, By Chiang Chin-yeh and Matthew Mazzetta) The U.S. Senate on Tuesday gave final passage to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a provision of which mandates a report on any Chinese interference in Taiwan's elections. <Accessed 2019-12-18> 

China Fears Taiwan's Democracy the Most, Island's President Says in Election Pitch (2019-12-18)
(Reuters, By Ben Blanchard) What Communist Party rulers in China fear the most is Taiwan’s democracy, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday, describing Beijing as a threat seeking every day to undermine Taiwan and criticizing her main opponent for being too close to China. <Accessed 2019-12-18>

China’s Aircraft Carriers Tipped to Team Up to Target Foreign Forces Aiding Taiwan (2019-12-19)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) China’s new aircraft carrier is likely to team up with its sister ship to form a dual-carrier battle group to cut off foreign military access to Taiwan during a war, according to a military magazine and defence specialists. <Accessed 2019-12-21>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Taiwan to Team Up with US to Build Fighter Jet Centre, Sending Another Defiant Message to Beijing (2019-12-17)
(South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) Taiwan has further bolstered its defence links with the United States with plans to build an F-16 fighter jet maintenance centre, as Taipei continues to resist Beijing’s goal of unification. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

Taiwan-U.S. Center Opens to Boost Bilateral Trade
 (2019-12-18)
(CNA, By Tsai Peng-min and Joseph Yeh) A Taiwan-U.S. trade networking center conceived to serve the business sectors of the two countries and boost bilateral trade opened in Taipei on Wednesday. <Accessed 2019-12-18> 

US Senate Passes US$700 Billion Defence Act to Support Taiwan and Counter China and Russia (2019-12-18)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) The US Senate has passed a US$738 billion defence bill that includes further support for Taiwan and assessments of Beijing’s military capabilities. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

U.S., Taiwan Seal Arms Deals (2019-12-21)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou, Matt Yu, and Emerson Lim) Taiwan has signed letters of offer and acceptance (LOAs) with the United States for the procurement of F-16V fighter jets and other advanced military equipment, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) confirmed Saturday. <Accessed 2019-12-21>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics

2020 Elections: Tsai Unveils ‘Great South’ Plan on Development Gap (2019-12-15)
(Taipei Times, By Ko Yu-hao) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday unveiled the Great South, Great Development policy aimed at closing the development gap between southern Taiwan and other parts of the nation. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

Tens of Thousands Take to Streets in Taiwan to Protest for and against Presidential Candidate Han Kuo-yu (2019-12-21)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) Tens of thousands took to the streets of the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung on Saturday to demand the recall of the city’s mayor and opposition presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu, who organised his supporters in a large counter rally. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

2020 Elections: KMT, DPP Rising Stars Battle in Taipei Legislative Race (2019-12-21)
(CNA, By Liu Kuan-ting and Matthew Mazzetta) Of the 113 legislative seats up for grabs in Taiwan's Jan. 11 elections, perhaps none are being watched more closely than the battle in Taipei's third district, in which opposition Kuomintang (KMT) incumbent Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) will try to hold his seat against Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) challenger Enoch Wu (吳怡農). <Accessed 2019-12-21>

Taiwan's Foreign Relations

Swedish COP25 Delegation Head Meets EPA Minister in Spain (2019-12-15)
(CNA, By Lin Yu-li and Joseph Yeh) The head of Sweden's delegation to the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) met with Taiwan's minister of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) on Thursday on the sideline of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Spain. The meeting was characterized by Taiwan's representative office in Sweden as the northern European country showing support for Taiwan's bid to join the UNFCCC. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

Nauruan President Reaffirms Ties Amid China Expansionism (2019-12-15)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Nauruan President Lionel Aingimea, who is in Taiwan for his first foreign visit since assuming office in August, yesterday reaffirmed Nauru-Taiwan relations amid ongoing Chinese expansion in the South Pacific. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

Netherlands Signs MOU for Working Holiday Visas (2019-12-17)
(Taipei Times, By Lu Yi-hsuan and William Hetherington) Taiwan and the Netherlands yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a working holiday scheme. Speaking at a press event in Taipei yesterday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary-General James Lee (李光章) and Dutch Representative to Taiwan Guy Wittich said they hoped that young people from the two nations would be able to form close bonds. <Accessed 2019-12-17>

World Bank Clarifies Rules After Passport Policy Report (2019-12-17)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The World Bank on Sunday said that its employees from countries that are not members of the bank would still be eligible to work for it. A World Bank spokesperson said that it has changed its employment guidelines, which previously said that current or prospective employees from Taiwan must submit a Chinese passport. <Accessed 2019-12-17>

VP Chen to Visit Palau for Celebration of Bilateral Ties with Taiwan (2019-12-19)
(CNA, By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Ko Lin) Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) is scheduled to visit Palau next week to attend a series of activities to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Pacific island country and Taiwan, Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) said Thursday. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

Taiwan, Vietnam Sign New Version of Investment Agreement (2019-12-19)
(CNA, By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang) Taiwan and Vietnam have signed a new version of a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) in a bid to provide better protection for Taiwanese investors in the Southeast Asian country, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). <Accessed 2019-12-21>

Taiwan Encourages Investment in Honduras, Tsai Tells New Ambassador (2019-12-19)
(CNA, By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Ko Lin) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday told the new Honduran Ambassador that her government will continue to encourage Taiwanese businesses to invest in the Central American nation so as to create mutually beneficial developments for both countries. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

What's Behind the Prague-Taipei Sister City Ties? (2019-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Gregory Coutaz) Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib announced on December 2, 2019, that the Czech capital would sign a sister city agreement with Taipei in January 2020, during a planned visit by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je. The announcement came just two months after Hrib canceled a similar sister city agreement with Beijing. <Accessed 2019-12-21>
U.S.-China Relations
 U.S.-China Trade Deal 'Totally Done,' Will Expand U.S. Exports: Lighthizer (2019-12-15)
(Reuters, By David Lawder) The “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal will nearly double U.S. exports to China over the next two years and is “totally done” despite the need for translation and revisions to its text, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Sunday. <Accessed 2019-12-15>

U.S. Secretly Expelled Chinese Officials Suspected of Spying After Breach of Military Base (2019-12-15)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong and Julian E. Barnes) The American government secretly expelled two Chinese Embassy officials this fall after they drove on to a sensitive military base in Virginia, according to people with knowledge of the episode. The expulsions appear to be the first of Chinese diplomats suspected of espionage in more than 30 years. <Accessed 2019-12-16>

Trump Officials Praise Gains From China Deal, but They Come at a Cost (2019-12-15)
(New York Times, By Ana Swanson and Keith Bradsher) Trump administration officials predicted big gains for the economy from a newly announced trade deal with China, but the economic losses sustained during a bruising 19-month trade war will not be easy to make up. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

America’s Strategic China Blunder (2019-12-15)
(East Asia Forum, By Stephen Roach) There is a far better way for the United States to frame its China strategy. The goal should be aimed at engagement — not decoupling or containment — in order to provide incentives for cooperative behaviour and penalties for uncooperative behaviour. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

China Protests U.S. Expulsion of 2 Diplomats Accused of Spying (2019-12-16)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong and John Ismay) The Chinese government denounced on Monday the United States’ secret expulsion this fall of two Chinese diplomats suspected of espionage, and asked for a reversal of the action. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

China Commissions 2nd Aircraft Carrier, Challenging U.S. Dominance (2019-12-17)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers) China commissioned its first domestically built aircraft carrier on Tuesday, reaching a new milestone in its ambitions to build a modern navy capable of challenging American dominance of the seas, especially in the Pacific. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

White House Touts 'Very Significant' Phase One China Trade Deal (2019-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) Asked to spell out the progress made on what many would consider to be one of the most important and yet thorniest issues in dispute between the United States and China, intellectual property (IP) protections, the administration official said that there are “very specific, substantive, important commitments that China is making in all of the key areas of intellectual property.” <Accessed 2019-12-21>

US Pacific Commander Says China Seeks to Intimidate Region (2019-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Busaba Sivasomboon) He said it was clear that such installations “absolutely have military purpose in order to present an optic to partners and nations in the region that show military strength and ultimately coerce and bully the nations in the region.” <Accessed 2019-12-21>

China Criticizes U.S. Defense Bill as Interference (2019-12-21)
(Reuters, By Josh Horwitz) China’s top lawmaking body on Saturday criticized the defense bill that Washington passed this week as “interference”, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported. You Wenze, a spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. Senate this week. <Accessed 2019-12-21>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

First Made-In-China Aircraft Carrier, the Shandong, Officially Enters Service (2019-12-17)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) China’s first home-built aircraft carrier was officially commissioned by President Xi Jinping on Tuesday as Beijing flexed its military muscles. The new warship will be called the Shandong and its formal entry into service is a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to build up its naval power. <Accessed 2019-12-17>

A Surveillance Net Blankets China’s Cities, Giving Police Vast Powers (2019-12-17)
(New York Times, By Paul Mozur and Aaron Krolik) Chinese authorities are knitting together old and state-of-the-art technologies — phone scanners, facial-recognition cameras, face and fingerprint databases and many others — into sweeping tools for authoritarian control, according to police and private databases examined by The New York Times. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

Chinese Students Denounce Limits on Free Speech, in a Rare Protest (2019-12-18)
(New York Times, By Javier C. Hernández and Albee Zhang) Students at a prominent Chinese university on Wednesday staged protests against efforts by the ruling Communist Party to further extend its control over university campuses, a rare and risky rebuke that highlighted broader concerns about the erosion of free speech under President Xi Jinping. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

China’s People Liberation Army Navy Commissions 42nd and 43rd Type 056/056A Corvettes (2019-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) The corvettes are built in two variants, a multi-purpose Type 056 and a specialized anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant Type 056A, which is equipped with variable depth sonars used for detecting and tracking submarines. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

PLA Watching: A Beginner's Guide to Analyzing China's Military Tech (2019-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Rick Joe) However, the nature of tracking new Chinese weapons developments – or “PLA watching” as it is sometimes called – is not a straightforward task for new military enthusiasts, and more than a handful of journalists and professional academics publish information on the PLA that may be out of date, or even outright false in some instances. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

Beijing and Hong Kong

Beijing Backs Hong Kong Leader Despite Election Setback (2019-12-16)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher and Austin Ramzy) China’s top leader backed Chief Executive Carrie Lam of Hong Kong on Monday despite the monthslong protests that have rocked the city and the recent landslide defeat in local elections of political parties aligned with her. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

Xi Jinping Visits Macao to Celebrate 20 Years of China Rule (2019-12-19)
(Associated Press) Chinese leader Xi Jinping met Thursday with Macao’s new chief executive amid celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the former Portuguese colony’s handover to Chinese rule. City leaders put the tiny gambling enclave of just 632,000 people on a security lock down, including barring political activists and journalists from nearby Hong Kong, which has been wracked by months of often-violent anti-government protests. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

China’s Leader Warns Against ‘External Forces’ in Macau and Hong Kong
 (2019-12-20)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers) China’s leader, Xi Jinping, praised the Chinese gambling hub of Macau on Friday for its patriotism and delivered a veiled rebuke to nearby Hong Kong that Beijing would not allow challenges to its sovereignty or the interference of “external forces.” <Accessed 2019-12-21>

A Tale of 2 SARS: Macau Handover Anniversary is a Signal to Hong Kong (2019-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Xi’s remarks, and comments from other top Chinese officials, were not only aimed at Macau, however – labeling Macau the golden child of “one country, two systems” is also a way of obliquely criticizing Hong Kong’s integration with the Chinese “motherland” (or lack thereof). <Accessed 2019-12-21>

Hong Kong Activists Barred From Travel to Macau on Day of Xi Visit (2019-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Johnson Lai) Like Hong Kong, Macau has a separate legal system from mainland China. In recent weeks, ahead of this week’s 20th anniversary of Macau’s return to Chinese control, state media have touted the former Portuguese colony as a shining example of how “one country, two systems” can work. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

China's Foreign Relations

Chinese Ambassador Accused of Threatening German Car Industry if Huawei Is Frozen Out (2019-12-15)
(South China Morning Post, By Shi Jiangtao) The Chinese ambassador in Berlin has stirred up a fresh controversy over the tech giant Huawei after he threatened “consequences” if it was excluded from Germany. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

China Quick to Call Europe a Partner – but Talks on Investment Agreement ‘Moving at Snail’s Pace’
 (2019-12-18)
(South China Morning Post, By Stuart Lau) Talks between China and the European Union on a potential investment agreement are reportedly not making progress, despite Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi again stressing that Beijing wanted to be Europe’s partner, not its rival. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

China Issues Legal Guidance on Observing Prenotification Requirements for Marine Research in EEZs (2019-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that Chinese research vessels must attempt to secure permission before conducting research activities in the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of other countries. The announcement follows the expulsion of a Chinese research vessel by the Indian Navy recently from India’s EEZ. The new guidance applies only to marine scientific research. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

China Looks to Central Asia as an Economic Alternative (2019-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By James Grant) As seen from Beijing, this involvement makes good strategic sense. China is actively looking for partners to show that the BRI is a truly international project, rather than simply a geopolitical expansion plan. <Accessed 2019-12-21>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Beijing Urges UN Commission Not to Consider Malaysian Claim in South China Sea (2019-12-17)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) Beijing has accused Malaysia of infringing on its sovereignty after its Southeast Asian neighbour filed an extended shelf claim in the disputed South China Sea. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

A South China Sea Cauldron in 2020? (2019-12-17)
(East Asia Forum, By Swee Lean Collin Koh) As China and ASEAN continue to engage in the CoC negotiations in 2020, the SCS situation will remain tenuous. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

The Korean Peninsula

U.S.-Led Pressure Fractures as China, Russia Push for North Korea Sanctions Relief (2019-12-17)
(Reuters, By Josh Smith) A proposal by China and Russia to ease U.N. sanctions on North Korea increases pressure on the United States and signals what is the likely end of unified efforts to persuade Pyongyang to give up its growing nuclear and missile arsenal. <Accessed 2019-12-17>

China Seeks to Spur N Korea Talks During US Envoy’s Visit (2019-12-19)
(Associated Press) China is urging dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea during a visit to Beijing by Washington’s special representative for Pyongyang affairs. Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui told reporters that despite tensions, the situation on the Korean Peninsula “had not left the track of dialogue and negotiation” and that “opportunities and challenges” remained. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

U.S. Braces for Major North Korean Weapons Test as Trump’s Diplomacy Fizzles (2019-12-21)
(New York Times, By David E. Sanger, Edward Wong and Michael Crowley) American military and intelligence officials tracking North Korea’s actions by the hour say they are bracing for an imminent test of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching American shores, but appear resigned to the fact that President Trump has no good options to stop it. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

Report: China, Russia have Draft UN Security Council Resolution Proposing Sanctions Relief for North Korea (2019-12-21)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) China and Russia are preparing a draft United Nations Security Council resolution that will propose a wide-ranging package of sanctions relief for North Korea, according to a Reuters report on Monday. <Accessed 2019-12-21>

Other Regional Issues

Exclusive: U.S. Initial Crackdown on Advanced Tech Exports Appears More Restrained Than Feared (2019-12-17)
(Reuters, By Alexandra Alper) The Trump administration is finalizing a set of narrow rules to limit exports of sophisticated technology to adversaries like China, a document seen by Reuters shows, in a boon to U.S. industry that feared a much tougher crackdown on sales abroad. <Accessed 2019-12-17>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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Recent Publication James Lee, US grand strategy and the origins of the developmental state, Journal of Strategic Studies
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