::: TSR Weekly Report
2019-12-28 | NO.43(52) 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
Gathering Storm over the Taiwan Strait (2019-12-08)
(UDN, By Su Chi) Due to her dismal domestic performance over the past three years, President Tsai Ing-wen has chosen to build her election campaign upon total hostility toward Mainland China and seizing advantage of the turmoil in Hong Kong. The question is, after a year-long fire and fury, what is next? 

2020 Elections: Hong Kong on the Minds of First-Time Voters (2019-12-22)
(CNA, By Chang Rong-hsiang, Yang Sz-ruei, Hsu Chih-wei, Chen Chih-chung and Joseph Yeh) The months-long democracy movement in Hong Kong will likely encourage more young Taiwanese first-time voters to cast ballots in January's presidential and legislative elections, scholars and students told CNA recently. <Accessed 2019-12-27> 

Strong Defense, Not Compromise, Key to Defending R.O.C.: Tsai (2019-12-24)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh) Strong and unwavering national defense, not making compromises, is the key to defending the country, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday as she promoted 20 senior military personnel in Taipei. <Accessed 2019-12-28>

Taiwan Slams China Over Criticism of Anti-Infiltration Bill (2019-12-25)
(CNA, By Flor Wang and Miao Chung-hen) Taipei berated Beijing Wednesday for its criticism of a proposed anti-infiltration bill that Taiwan's ruling party has vowed to push through the Legislature before the end of the year. In a statement, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Beijing is fabricating stories about alarm and panic among Taiwanese businessmen and students in China due to the bill. <Accessed 2019-12-29>

China's First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Transits Taiwan Strait (2019-12-26)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Emerson Lim) China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier "Shandong" is sailing through the Taiwan Strait as of Thursday evening, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said in a statement. <Accessed 2019-12-27>

Ex-Commander Allegedly Enlisted ‘Moles’ for China (2019-12-26)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) New Taipei City prosecutors have charged a retired air force commander with helping China infiltrate Taiwan’s military and recruit officers in breach of the National Security Act (國家安全法). <Accessed 2019-12-27> 

Ministry Monitoring Chinese Aircraft Carrier’s Transit (2019-12-27)
(Taipei Times/CNA, By Jake Chung) The Ministry of National Defense yesterday assured the public that it was monitoring the passage of the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong through the Taiwan Strait. The Shandong is China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier and the second in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). <Accessed 2019-12-29>

China Offers New Pre-Election Inducement to Taiwan with Revised Law (2019-12-27)
(Reuters, By Ben Blanchard) China’s largely rubber stamp parliament revised a law on Saturday to simplify investment procedures for Taiwan companies, in another attempt by Beijing to show goodwill to the Chinese-claimed island ahead of elections there on Jan. 11. <Accessed 2019-12-29>

Star Wars: How Taiwan’s Celebrities Became Pawns in the Cross-Strait Struggle (2019-12-28)
(The Diplomat, By Jo Kim) However, as Beijing has become more impatient with Taiwan’s autonomy and hopes to push for “one country, two systems” in Taiwan, the government has correspondingly grown more supportive of the mainland public’s witch-hunt. Just recently, the China Film Administration boycotted Taiwan’s Golden Horse awards. The result is that many Taiwanese celebrities now “declare loyalty” to Beijing to preserve their access to the mainland market but at the price of greater discontent from the Taiwanese population. <Accessed 2019-12-28>

Executives Detained in Taiwan amid Spying Claims Seek Help from Hong Kong (2019-12-28)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) Two executives of a Hong Kong-listed company who have been detained for a month in Taiwan amid spying allegations are seeking help from the Hong Kong government. <Accessed 2019-12-30>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Ryan Hass On Taiwan: Don’t Let Partisanship Poison US-Taiwan Relationship (2019-12-16)
(Taipei Times, By Ryan Hass) Washington and Taipei consistently have maintained strong bipartisan support for close US-Taiwan ties. This feature of the relationship must not be taken for granted. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

Ministry Thanks Trump for Taiwan-Friendly Act
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked US President Donald Trump for signing legislation friendly toward Taiwan, while saying it is watching US-China interactions closely, after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) reportedly told Trump he was concerned about the US’ friendliness toward Taipei. <Accessed 2019-12-27> 

U.S. House Bill Seeks to Recognize AIT Director as Ambassador (Update) (2019-12-24)
(CNA, By Stacy Hsu, Matthew Mazzetta and Emerson Lim) A bill being proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives would require directors of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) to receive confirmation in the Senate and be given the rank and status of an ambassador-at-large. <Accessed 2019-12-28>

US Warns China against Trying to ‘Coerce’ Taiwan after Shandong Aircraft Carrier Passes Near Island (2019-12-27)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) The US warned Beijing on Friday against trying to coerce Taiwan after China’s new aircraft carrier sailed through the Taiwan Strait in a show of strength that came two weeks before the island’s elections. <Accessed 2019-12-30>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics

Protesters Urge Mayor Han’s Removal (2019-12-22)
(Taipei Times, By Wang Jung-hsiang, Tsai Ching-hua and William Hetherington) Hundreds of thousands of people yesterday took to the streets to call for Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) removal from office. <Accessed 2019-12-27> 

Petition to Recall Han Passes First Signature Threshold: Initiators (2019-12-23)
(CNA, By Wang Shwu-fen and Evelyn Kao) A petition to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who is the Kuomintang's 2020 presidential candidate, has passed the threshold for the number of signatures in the first phase and will soon proceed to the second stage, one of the leaders of the recall movement said Monday. <Accessed 2019-12-29>

Presidential Candidates Focus on Economy in 2nd Policy Presentation (2019-12-25)
(CNA, By Emerson Lim) Economic issues dominated the second televised policy presentation by Taiwan's three presidential candidates on Wednesday, less than three weeks ahead of the Jan. 11 elections. <Accessed 2019-12-28>

Bar ‘Infiltration’ Bill Review: KMT (2019-12-25)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday urged Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators to halt a review of an anti-infiltration bill, saying that the bill would subject Taiwanese working or studying in China to “thought censorship,” essentially reinstating martial law. <Accessed 2019-12-29>

Academics Urge Caution Over Anti-Infiltration Bill (2019-12-27)
(Taipei Times, By Wu Shu-wei and Jake Chung) President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration should exercise caution in its handling of a proposed anti-infiltration bill, academics said yesterday, adding that such legislation should not be hastily implemented, considering the maturity of Taiwan’s democracy. <Accessed 2019-12-29>

Taiwan’s ‘born independent’ millennials are becoming Xi Jinping’s lost generation (2019-12-28)
(The Washington Post, By Anna Fifield) “We are different [from mainlanders] in terms of our mind-sets,” said Hsu, a 26-year-old attorney who asked to withhold her full name because her family members travel to China. “For me, I have never thought that ‘one country, two systems’ was anything I would ever want.” <Accessed 2019-12-28>

2020 Elections: Tsai, Han and Soong Tout Their Abilities (2019-12-28)
(Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) The three presidential candidates last night faced off in the third and final televised policy presentation hosted by the Central Election Commission (CEC). <Accessed 2019-12-29> 

Taiwan's Foreign Relations

Taipei City Council Approves Use of 'Taiwan' in Accord with Prague (2019-12-24)
(CNA, By Liu Jiang-pang and Evelyn Kao) The Taipei City Council passed a motion Tuesday to forge sisterhood ties with Prague, capital of the Czech Republic using the term "the City of Taipei, Taiwan" in the agreement, city government spokesman Tom Chou (周台竹) said that day. <Accessed 2019-12-28>

Taiwan’s New Place in the World (2019-12-25)
(East Asia Forum, By Roy Chun Lee) It has been another challenging year for Taiwan filled with both excitement and concern. Two key factors shaped the development of 2019 were the US–China trade war and the upcoming Taiwan presidential election. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

Vice President Departs for Palau to Reinforce Ties (2019-12-28)
(CNA, By Chiu Chun-chin and Frances Huang) Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) departed for Palau on Saturday afternoon to attend celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Taiwan and the Pacific nation. <Accessed 2019-12-29> 
U.S.-China Relations
Congress Wants to Force Trump’s Hand on Human Rights in China and Beyond (2019-12-27)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong and Catie Edmondson) In a rare show of bipartisan unity, Republicans and Democrats are planning to try to force President Trump to take a more active stand on human rights in China, preparing veto-proof legislation that would punish top Chinese officials for detaining more than one million Muslims in internment camps. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

On Both Sides of the Pacific, Skepticism Over China Farm Purchases (2019-12-28)
(The Diplomat, By Josh Funk, Paul Wiseman, and Joe McDonald) From Beijing to America’s farm belt, skeptics are questioning just how much China has actually committed to buy — and whether U.S. farmers would be able anytime soon to export goods there in the outsize quantity that Trump has promised. <Accessed 2019-12-28>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

Politics in the Boardroom: The Role of Chinese Communist Party Committees (2019-12-28)
(The Diplomat, By Federica Russo) In particular, Party Committees represent an important mechanism through which Beijing’s government expands its authority and supervision over organizations, creating different nuances of corporate governance with Chinese characteristics. <Accessed 2019-12-28>

Beijing and Hong Kong

South China Sea Live-Fire Drill for PLA’s Hong Kong Garrison (2019-12-25)
(South China Morning Post, By Keegan Elmer) China’s state broadcaster released a video on Christmas Eve of Hong Kong’s PLA garrison conducting live-fire sea drills in the South China Sea. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

Everything Remains Up for Stakes in Hong Kong (2019-12-29)
(East Asia Forum, By Kerry Brown) In that sense, 2019 resolved nothing. It has just postponed things until 2020. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

Hong Kong’s Crisis Drags On (2019-12-30)
(East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) It’s been over six months since peaceful protests started in Hong Kong in response to a proposed extradition treaty with China. The situation continues to deteriorate as episodes of violence spiral out of control. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

China's Foreign Relations

China, South Korea Look to Improve Ties with Beijing Summit (2019-12-23)
(Associated Press) The leaders of South Korea and China said Monday that they look forward to improved ties following a protracted disagreement over the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system that Beijing considers a threat. South Korean President Moon Jae-in told Chinese leader Xi Jinping that while the sides may have felt “disappointed toward each other for a while,” their shared culture and history prevented them from becoming completely estranged. <Accessed 2019-12-29>

Blocked in U.S., Huawei Touts ‘Shared Values’ to Compete in Europe (2019-12-27)
(New York Times, By Matina Stevis-Gridneff) Yet in Brussels, the European Union’s de facto capital, the company is waging a multifaceted charm offensive, partly by exploiting European distrust toward the Trump administration — and, for now, it is working. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

Hand-in-Hand 2019: Indian and Chinese Armies Come Together for Joint Military Exercise (2019-12-28)
(The Diplomat, By Rajeev Bhattacharyya) Held at the Joint Training Node at Umroi Military Station, the exercise between the two neighbors was aimed at engaging infantry units in joint drills for counter-terrorism operations in semi-urban terrain and Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations under a United Nations mandate. <Accessed 2019-12-28>

China-Pakistan to Deepen Military Ties With Arabian Sea Exercises (2019-12-28)
(The Diplomat, By Eleanor Albert) “The exercise is conducive to deepening security cooperation between the two militaries, consolidating and developing the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, and promoting the building of a maritime community with a shared future,” said Ren Guoqiang, the ministry’s spokesman. <Accessed 2019-12-28>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Malaysia’s New Game in the South China Sea (2019-12-24)
(The Diplomat, By Nguyen Hong Thao) Malaysia’s move surprised regional watchers. The key question is why Malaysia undertook this measure at this time. <Accessed 2019-12-24>

Asean Members Up the Ante on South China Sea amid Code of Conduct Talks (2019-12-29)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) Southeast Asian nations with claims to the resource-rich South China Sea are upping the ante and may be trying to coordinate their efforts as the deadline approaches for a code of conduct, according to observers. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

The Korean Peninsula

North Korea Leader Urges ‘Offensive Measures’ at Top Party Meeting (2019-12-28)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, called for “offensive measures” to strengthen security at a meeting of senior officials, the state-run media reported on Monday, a day before a North Korean-imposed deadline for Washington to make concessions in stalled nuclear talks. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

Other Regional Issues

PacNet #68 – Resetting Ties between Japan and South Korea after the GSOMIA Extension (2019-12-17)
(Pacific Forum, By Daichi Uchimura and Saeme Kim) The Japan-ROK relationship needs to be mended – and quickly. The conditional suspension of GSOMIA termination does not mean this process will be smoother or easier. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

PacNet #69 – What China’s Involvement in Myanmar Says about Asia’s Changing Regional Order (2019-12-19)
(Pacific Forum, By Leif-Eric Easley and Sea Young Kim) China’s peace-building efforts in Myanmar show how a major power can recenter regional order by promoting peace in unstable areas where the United States and United Nations have less of a presence. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

Japan, South Korea Tone Down Feud At Summit Yet Disputes Remain
(Bloomberg, By Isabel Reynolds and Sharon Chen) In a landmark summit, the leaders of Japan and South Korea signaled they wouldn’t let relations spin out of control even as they made little progress in resolving disputes that have plunged relations to new depths. <Accessed 2019-12-29>

What’s in the Growing Russia-China-Iran Trilateral Convergence? (2019-12-24)
(The Diplomat, By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan) The coming together of China, Iran, and Russia itself is a major strategic development, and the addition of countries like Pakistan into the mix increases the stakes. Irrespective of how things play out, one can expect continued attention to trilateral and quadrilateral configurations such as these that go beyond the ones usually talked about involving U.S. allies and partners. <Accessed 2019-12-24>

Can India Survive in a China-Centered Asia-Pacific? (2019-12-24)
(The Diplomat, By Lakhvinder Singh) Given China’s newly acquired economic and military might, India may not be able to successfully resist Chinese pressure on its governing system and maintain its way of life. China might see India as an open challenge to the supremacy of its one-party system and thus a possible political rival in the region in future that needs to be restrained as soon as possible. <Accessed 2019-12-24>

Russia, China, Iran Start Joint Naval Drills in Indian Ocean (2019-12-27)
(Reuters, By Andrew Osborn) Iran, China and Russia began joint naval drills on Friday in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman, in what Moscow said was an unprecedented exercise in naval cooperation and training. Waters around Iran have become a focus for international tensions, with the United States exerting pressure for Iranian crude oil sales and other trade ties to be cut off. <Accessed 2019-12-29>

Weaponising Trade in the Japan–South Korea Dispute (2019-12-28)
(East Asia Forum, By Kazuto Suzuki) Japan has not weaponised trade. The decision by the Moon government and subsequent dialogue on export controls proved that the problems raised by Japan could be solved through discussion. <Accessed 2019-12-30>

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
Recent Publication Elizabeth Freund Larus, Politics and Society in Contemporary China, 2nd edition (Lynne Rienner Publishers)
Recent Publication John F. Copper, ""Cross-Strait Relations in the Wake of Taiwan’s January 2016 Election: Taiwan’s Narratives" in Chineseness and Modernity in a Changing China: Essays in Honour of Professor Wang Gungwu, edited by Yongnian Zheng and Litao Zhao (World Scientific)
Recent Publication James Lee, American Diplomacy and Export-Oriented Industrialization on Taiwan (Journal of East Asian Studies)
Recent Publication J. Michael Cole, Cross-Strait Relations Since 2016: The End of the Illusion (1st Edition) (Routledge)
Recent Publication Kingsley Edney, Stanley Rosen, and Ying Zhu, Soft Power With Chinese Characteristics: China’s Campaign for Hearts and Minds (1st Edition) (Routledge)
Recent Publication John Franklin Copper, Taiwan: Nation-State or Province? (7th Edition) (Routledge)
Recent Publication Peter Mattis and Matthew Brazil, Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer (U.S. Naval Institute Press)
Recent Publication Takashi Inoguchi and Lien Thi Quynh Le, The Development of Global Legislative Politics: Rousseau and Locke Writ Global (Springer Singapore) (includes analysis of East Asian cases)
Recent Publication Hans Stockton and Yao-Yuan Yeh (eds.), Taiwan: The Development of an Asian Tiger (Lynne Rienner Publishers)
Recent Publication Dafydd Fell and Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao (eds.), Taiwan Studies Revisited, 1st Edition (Routledge)
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