Agriculture Minister Softens Stance On US pork (2016-05-30) (China Post, By Enru Lin) Agriculture Minister Tsao Chi-hung on Monday walked back his past claim that Taiwan would inevitably need to lift its ban on U.S. pork containing ractopamine, a controversial feed additive. "The U.S. is in an election and neither of the two (major) candidates regard the TPP as an urgent priority. Why do we need to rush?" he said.
Taiwan Shipbuilding Calls For Unity On Goal (2016-05-30) (Taipei Times, By Lo Tien-pin and Jake Chung) Taiwan’s largest shipbuilding company called on the nation’s three major shipbuilders to set aside their differences and band together to achieve the goal set by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen of building submarines.
Cross-Strait Relations' Possible Impact on the Farming Sector (2016-05-29) (China Post, By John Liu) Cross-strait fishing and agricultural cooperation has grown substantially over the past couple years, making the mainland one of Taipei’s greatest consumers. However, this partnership is in choppy waters after Beijing introduced tougher import standards in concurrence with the election of President Tsai and her new government.
President Tsai Praises WHA Mission As A Success (2016-05-28) (China Post, by Stephanie Chao) President Tsai Ing-wen described the nation's World Health Assembly delegation to Geneva as a "successful mission," stating on Friday that Taiwan's standing at the WHA had not been "downgraded," despite attending under the moniker "Chinese Taipei."
Ex-NSC Secretary-General To Lead Relations With Japan (2016-05-28) (Taipei Times/CNA) Former National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Chiou I-jen yesterday took over as chairman of the Association of East Asian Relations, which handles relations with Japan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties.
Next AEAR Head Pledges to Promote Taiwan-Japan Ties Amid Fishing Disputes (2016-05-27) (China Post, by Joseph Yeh) The next chairman of the Association of East Asian Relations (AREAR) Chiou I-jen, said he would do his best to improve bilateral relations, overcoming the complications presented by the recent fishery disputes. *AREAR is the semi-official body responsible for Taiwan-Japan relations.
No Change to Cross-Strait Trade Under Tsai: TAITRA (2016-05-27) (China Post, Enru Li) The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) President Peter Huang said Thursday he expected usual cross-strait economic and trade activities to continue under President Tsai Ing-wen's administration. He explained the administration’s commitment to the new ‘go south’ policy would not reduce trade with mainland China, but instead, just expand Taiwanese economic transactions into new markets.
Beijing Heightens Its Rhetoric Toward New Tsai Administration (2016-05-27) (China Post, By Yuan-Mind Chiao) Beijing has increased the volume of rhetoric directed at Tapei, but neither confirms nor denies plans to conduct massive military exercises as a warning to the Democratic Progressive Party administration not to pursue Taiwanese independence. Chinese defense ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun did say that China will ‘add strength in order forestall’ any attempt to establish Taiwanese independence.
No 'Taiwan' in WHA Address a 'Cross-Ministry Decision' (2016-05-27) (China Post, By Joseph Yeh) The decision to not mention Taiwan during Health Minister Lin Tzou-yien's speech at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva was a cross-ministry decision, and was not taken by the Health and Welfare Ministry alone. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang explains that while the Health and Welfare ministry is responsible for the nation’s meaningful participation at the convention, the Foreign Ministry is tasked with ensuring that this participation is carried out smoothly.
Taiwan Boats Can Operate Near Okinotori: Minister (2016-05-26) (China Post, by Joseph Yeh) Foreign Minister David Lee on Wednesday reassured Taiwanese fishermen that they can now operate in the high seas near a Japan-claimed atoll in the Pacific Ocean without being detained by the Japanese coast guard.
Health Minister Lin Tzou-yien Addresses WHA (2016-05-26) (China Post) Lin's much-anticipated five minute speech in front of the assembly was delivered fully in English. He repeatedly referred to the country as "Chinese Taipei," rather than Taiwan. By the end, the health minister had made no mention of "Taiwan" in his speech, although at one point he referred to "the Taiwanese population."
Need For Message on South, East China Seas: G7 (2016-05-27) (Reuters) G7 leaders yesterday agreed on the need to send a strong message on maritime claims in the western Pacific, where an increasingly assertive China is locked in territorial disputes with Japan and several Southeast Asian nations.
Taiwan To Go Ahead With Cyberarmy Plan: Ministry (2016-05-27) (Taipei Times, By Jason Pan) In terms of military strategic planning, Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan said the cyberarmy would engage in asymmetric digital warfare and would be a deterrent against enemy forces.
Tsai Sworn In For Another Term as DPP Chairwoman (2016-05-25) (China Post, By Stephanie Chao) Tsai Ing-wen has been sworn in for another term as DPP chairwoman. In her opening remarks, she reiterated a commitment to pragmatic over passionate policy making, while still promising to deliver on her party’s reformist platform- especially in terms of incorporating youth into party affairs.
Handshake at WHA at Geneva (2016-05-25) (Taipei Times, By Jake Chung) Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien, head of the Taiwanese delegation shook hands with his Chinese counterpart Li Bin of China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.
Minister Confident Ahead of Fisheries Talks (2016-05-25) (Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee is confident that during the July-round of bilateral talks with Tokyo regarding the Okinotori atoll disputes, the DPP government will be able secure the interests of Taiwanese fishermen.
Tsai Looks to Top Gov't Sectors to Beef Up Cybersecurity (2016-05-25) (China Post, By Stephanie Chao) Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Analysis, Marcus Jadotte and his delegation, made up of 14 U.S. cybersecurity companies, met with Tsai to discuss cybersecurity issues and collaboration in the digital economy.
Talks Best to Protect Fishermen: Cabinet (2016-05-25) (Taipei Times) The new government hopes to use dialogue with Japan to address the rights of Taiwanese fishermen in disputed waters. Cabinet spokesman Tung Chen-yuan says that the government believes peaceful negotiation rather than clashes and disputes are more likely to resolve the issue in the interest of all parties.
Taiwan's 'New Era' and the Legislative Yuan (2016-05-28) (The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Rather than debating with the KMT, the DPP is now primarily negotiating within itself to create draft bills, a DPP legislative assistant told The Diplomat. Different interests within the party have always existed, but with more than ever at stake – the ability to pass legislation with relative ease, compared to the party’s opposition days – these internal debates are now more important and apparent.
China Wary as Obama Permits US Arms Sales to Vietnam (2016-05-26) (The Diplomat, By Peter Bittner) “Denying any linkage, they believe, simply delays an inevitable day of reckoning,” said Mark Thompson, who went as far as to liken Obama’s removal of the embargo to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution—an act which ultimately precipitated the Vietnam War.
In Obama's Visit to Hiroshima, a Complex Calculus of Asian Politics (2016-05-26) (New York Times, By Gardiner Harris) The visit to Hiroshima “is a gesture of respect for the Japanese people,” Benjamin Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said, adding: “It’s always been evident that it would be meaningful for the Japanese people to pay this kind of visit, and insofar as it helps us to advance this alliance, that’s important.”
Southeast Asia's Dance with China (2016-05-26) (New York Times, By Chris Horton) As Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia face their own developmental challenges, they must also contend with maritime friction with China.
China's Taiwan Squeeze (2016-05-22) (Wall Street Journal) Now would be a good time for the U.S., including the presumptive presidential candidates, to reaffirm Washington’s commitment to its democratic Chinese partners in Taipei.
Taiwan, U.S. Might Hold Security Talks (2016-05-25) (Taipei Times, By William Lowther) University of Richmond Associate Dean and professor of Political Science Vincent Wei-cheng and other Washington sources confirm that negotiations are underway to arrange a security meeting between Taiwan and the United States, though the topic and location have yet to be decided.
Inquiry Highlights Terry McAuliffe’s Ties to Chinese Company (2016-05-25) (New York Times, By Nicholas Confessore and Stephanie Saul) “If you really want to influence, let’s say, U.S.-China policy,” Dandong’s general counsel said, “it’s almost worth it to have emphasis and influence on the state level.”
Despite Obama's Moves, Asian Nations Skeptical of U.S. Commitment (2016-05-24) (New York Times, By David E. Sanger) As Mr. Obama’s time in office comes to an end, Asian nations are deeply skeptical about how much they can rely on Washington’s commitment and staying power in the region. They sense that for the first time in memory, Americans are questioning whether their economic and defense interests in Asia are really that vital.
Half of Taiwanese Say No to 1992 Consensus in Tsai's Speech, TISR Survey (2016-05-13) (TISR) Asked if president-elect Tsai Ing-wen should comply with Beijing's demand that she explicitly acknowledge the 1992 Consensus and recognize that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China in her May 20th inaugural speech, half (51.7 percent) of respondents to the latest TISR survey (in Chinese) said that Tsai should not do so.
Geoeconomics and Statecraft in the Asia-Pacific (2016-05-21) (The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The following interview addresses the relationship of geoeconomic statecraft to traditional hard power; China’s geoeconomic clout (including the One Belt, One Road initiative); the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its effect on U.S. geoeconomic clout in Asia; and the importance of expanded U.S. geoeconomic interaction with India.
Q. and A.: Carl Minzner on the Shift to Personalized Rule in China (2016-05-25) (Sinosphere, By Michael Forsythe) One of China’s distinctive features has been its long tradition of effective, centralized bureaucracy. It is not simply a tinpot dictatorship. The question is: Could internal political tensions lead it to slide in that direction?