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  • 18 Vietnamese Busted for Trying to Enter Taiwan Illegally (2018-01-23)
    (CNA, By Kuo Chih-hsuan and Kuan-lin Liu) 18 undocumented Vietnamese workers were caught attempting to enter Taiwan illegally. Many of them had previously worked legally in Taiwan, but their visas had now expired and they were unable to re-enter Taiwan. 
  • Ex-Defense Chief Urges Spending Boost (2018-01-22)
    (Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) The former Minister of National Defense Michael Tsai urged the Taiwanese government to increase military spending from 2 to 3 percent of GDP in light of the threat posed by China. Tsai said China's annual military spending is growing by 8.5 percent annually and is 14 times higher than that of Taiwan, so the increase in spending is a necessary change. 
  • Taiwan Delays Approval of Chinese Flights over Safety Concerns: DPP (2018-01-21)
    (CNA, By Fan Cheng-hsiang, Tai Ya-chen and Shih Hsiu-chuan) The DPP has said that Taiwan did not offer permission to two China-based airlines to operate extra flights to Taiwan during the Lunar New Year period, citing safety concerns. The safety discussions have stemmed from the fact that China established several new airline routes that cut through the Taiwan Strait without consulting Taiwan. However, the decision was criticized by the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland. 
  • Minister Says Taiwan Seeks US Cooperation (2018-01-21)
    (Taipei Times/CNA) Minister Without Portfolio John Deng, who oversees the New Southbound Policy, said that Taiwan wishes to see greater cooperation with the United States in countries affected by the New Southbound Policy. The United States has also shown a new interest in the Indo-Pacific region under President Donald Trump. Deng cited Taiwanese soft power as leading to better multilateral efforts with ASEAN countries and other states in the region, and he said he hoped that the same could be done with the US. 
  • US Representatives Tweet Against M503 (2018-01-21)
    (Taipei Times, By Nadia Tsao and Sherry Hsiao) Several US representatives tweeted about China's unilateral decision to launch flights over the M503 route, which crosses the Taiwan Strait, yesterday. They both expressed their desire for cross-strait negotiations to solve the issues and said that the establishment of the route unilaterally disrupted the cross-strait status quo. 
  • PRC Airlines Selling Holiday Seats Without Green Light (2018-01-20)
    (Taipei Times, By Chen Yi-chia) Four airlines based in China -- two Mainland, two Hong Kong -- have been using the four new aviation routes through the Taiwan Strait detailed by the Chinese government earlier this month. They have also been selling tickets to customers for the Lunar New Year period for additional flights without receiving prior approval to do so. Taiwan and China have not yet discussed any issues that have arisen as a result of the establishment of said flight routes. 
  • Chinese Dissident Wang Dan to Start New US Think Tank (2018-01-20)
    (Taipei Times, By Nadia Tsao) The exiled Chinese dissident Wang Dan plans to start a new think tank in Washington, DC to serve as the opposing voice to the Chinese government. Wang recently moved to the United States after eight years of living in Taiwan, and claims that people need to do more than campaigns and movements to criticize the government. 
  • MAC Calls for Cross-Strait Negotiation to Resolve Air Dispute (2018-01-20)
    (CNA, By C.L. Chen and Lee Hsin-yin) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should begin negotiations on aviation issues related to Beijing's recent unilateral decision to launch a flight route in the Taiwan Strait. The MAC approved the decision of Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) to hold the approval of two China-based airlines' applications to operate extra flights over the Lunar New Year holiday as protest. 
  • Taiwan Hopes to Collaborate with U.S. on Regional Efforts: Official (2018-01-20)
    (CNA, By Elaine Hou, Rita Cheng, and Kuan-lin Liu) Taiwan is looking to strengthen its cooperation with the United States in the region covered by its New Southbound Policy as President Donald Trump also makes the Indo-Pacific region a priority. John Deng, Taiwan's top trade negotiator, drew parallels between the New Southbound Policy and the United States' "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy, calling on the U.S. to strengthen its collaboration with Taiwan. 
  • Taiwan-Philippine Ties Will Flourish: Taiwan Representative (2018-01-20)
    (CNA, Emerson Lim and Ko Lin) An increase in investment and people-to-people interaction between Taiwan and the Philippines is expected to continue this year. Taiwanese investment in the Philippines reached an estimated $19.71 million USD last year, and this figure is expected to increase due to the new bilateral investment agreement (BIA) signed between the two countries in December. 
  • Taiwan Denies Permission for Nearly 200 China Flights Amid Routes Row (2018-01-19)
    (Agence France-Presse) Taiwan has refused permission for nearly 200 flights by Chinese airlines over the strait that separates the two rivals due to the carriers’ use of controversial new travel routes introduced by China. Taipei has repeatedly called for four new flight paths to be cancelled since China launched them earlier in January, but their complaints have fallen on deaf ears on the mainland. 
  • Foreign Ministry to Host Workshops to Promote UN SDGs (2018-01-19)
    (Taipei Times, By Lu Yi-hsuan) The foreign ministry is planning to invite numerous government workers, small businesses and specialists from various countries to participate in workshops that would promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It would be a way for Taiwan to increase its interactions with the international community and leave its mark. 
  • TV Show "Cleared" of Independence Allegations in PRC (2018-01-19)
    (Taipei Times, By Ann Maxon) Following its removal from Guangdong broadcast networks, a Taiwanese TV show is once again being shown in Mainland China. The show was initially pulled due to suspicions that it would spread pro-independence sentiments. An official was quoted saying that the show contained no such messages. 
  • European Parliament Again Urges China to Release Taiwanese Activist (2018-01-19)
    (CNA, By Kuan-lin Liu, Tang Pei-chun and Elaine Hou) The European Parliament passed a resolution urging the Chinese government to drop any charges related to and free Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che. They also had called for his release last summer. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the European Parliament for passing the resolution on Friday. 
  • Taiwan, Singapore Seek to Promote Economic Cooperation (2018-01-19)
    (CNA, By Huang Tzu-chiang and Ko Lin) At a meeting in Singapore between the Taipei-based Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association (CIECA) and Singapore Business Federation (SBF), about 180 business leaders from Taiwan and Singapore met to promote economic cooperation between the two countries. This is the 14th meeting of its kind. Several topics discussed include smart city developments and financial services. 
  • President Calls for Beijing to Resolve Aviation Issue: Spokesman (2018-01-19)
    (CNA, By Yeh Su-ping and Ko Lin) The Presidential Office has said that Taiwan wants to have a discussion with Beijing to cover China's unilateral establishment of flights across the controversial M503 route. The President condemned the establishment of said route, claiming it would lead to a lack of safety and regional stability. 
  • Taiwan Should Not Consider Developing Nuclear Weapons: U.S. Scholars (2018-01-18)
    (CNA, By Leaf Jiang and Kuan-lin Liu) American scholars expressed on Wednesday at a seminar hosted by the Global Taiwan Institute in Washington DC that if Taiwan were to develop nuclear weapons for defense purposes, it would be counterproductive and hurt relations with the United States.  
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  • With an Eye on Great Power Conflict, US Defense Department Releases 2018 National Defense Strategy (2018-01-21)
    (The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) The US Department of Defense published President Donald Trump's administration's first National Defense Strategy, which now focuses much more on great power conflicts over terrorism as its primary focus. It predominantly concerns the Asia-Pacific region, very much in-line with the Obama administration's views as well. 
  • China to Add Xi Jinping Thought and National Supervision System to Constitution (2018-01-22)
    (The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) The Chinese Communist Party will officially add Xi Jinping Thought and the National Supervision System to the Constitution's text. There is not a full proposal published yet, but Xinhua posted a commentary on said amendment stating that it was evidently the CCP's decision. 
  • Chinese Hacking Against Taiwan: A Blessing for the United States? (2018-01-23)
    (The Diplomat, By Philip Hsu) The biggest threat to Taiwan in the cybersecurity field remains to stem from China, and Taiwan has taken a much more proactive focus on its cybersecurity over the last couple years. However, the constant threat has enabled Taiwan to effectively build up its defenses. This unique position for Taiwan might enable it to become a useful partner for the United States in cyber defense development. 
  • Xi Stresses the Party's Absolute Leadership Over Political and Legal Work (2018-01-23)
    (The Diplomat, By Charlotte Gao) At the Central Political and Legal Work Conference, Guo Shengkun read Xi Jinping's instructions to follow Party leadership and maintain national political stability. A large area of concern regarding this is the inclusion of the National Supervision Commission into the Party Constitution, however, as it draws concerns with legal issues. What the Party needs more than anything to achieve its goals right now is absolute loyalty. 
  • The Climate Change Promise of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (2018-01-18)
    (The Diplomat, By Zhang Chao) China has been at the center of controversy over its participation in various coal power plant projects, especially in light of the Belt and Road Initiative and its impact on climate change. However, when considering the BRI, one cannot neglect to look at China's clean energy investments as well. China may still have much more progress to achieve, but China's leaders are well aware that the BRI must adopt a strategy to remain "green" so as not to taint its legacy. 
  • 'Sky Row' Calls for Debates on China in Taiwan (2018-01-20)
    (The Diplomat, By Charles I-hsin Chen) China's decision to launch flight routes on four new paths through the Taiwan Strait is just yet another aggressive move towards Taiwan, and President Tsai Ing-wen's suspension of said flights will not be an effective countermeasure. However, there has been virtually no dialogue between the two sides due to President Tsai not acknowledging the 1992 Consensus, essentially a prerequisite set by President Xi Jinping. A grand debate within the DPP to develop Taiwan's mainland policy for the future may serve President Tsai well. 
  • Rediscovering an Old Relationship: Taiwan and Southeast Asia's Long, Shared History (2018-01-11)
    (National Bureau of Asian Research, By Ja Ian Chong) Outreach efforts between Taiwan and Southeast Asia, such as Taipei’s New Southbound Policy, are natural extensions of these long-standing relationships and can serve to further consolidate existing societal and other bonds that reach across the South China Sea. Even if official ties are subject to the usual political constraints, due to either direct pressure from Beijing or preemptive efforts to avoid provoking China, substantive possibilities for fostering Taiwan’s relations with Southeast Asia remain. 
  • Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy: One-Year Economic Performance Review (2018-01-18)
    (National Bureau of Asian Research, By Chen-Dong Tso and Gratiana Jung) With cross-strait relations becoming even more tense, and given the overwhelming influence of China in the region, Taiwan’s efforts to conclude free trade pacts with Southeast Asian countries will likely encounter a bumpy road ahead. Bearing these factors in mind, this essay evaluates the economic performance of the New Southbound Policy during its first year. 
  • Chinese Police Seize Publisher From Train in Front of Diplomats (2018-01-22)
    (New York Times, By Chris Buckley) Gui Minhai, a Swedish citizen who published critical books in Hong Kong, was seized in China while being escorted by Swedish envoys. 
  • Surveillance under the Sea: How China is Listening In Near Guam (2018-01-22)
    (South China Morning Post, By Stephen Chen) China has planted powerful listening devices in two strategic seabeds deep in the waters near Guam, America’s biggest military base in the Western Pacific. The cutting-edge acoustic sensors – some of which have a listening range of more than 1,000km – are being used for scientific research such as studying earthquakes, typhoons and whales, according to the Chinese government. But security experts say the sensors can also track the movement of submarines in the South China Sea and intercept underwater signals between the submarines and their command base. 
  • Crunch Time Nears as Trump Mulls Trade Sanctions against China (2018-01-22)
    (Bloomberg News) A year into his presidency, Trump has failed to stem growth in China’s trade surplus as an economic upswing in the US fuels imports from the world’s factory floor. Yet the kind of punitive actions threatened during his campaign have not materialised, with Trump ordering his administration to study the challenges instead of slapping on tariffs from the start. Now, a raft of China targeted trade decisions are piling up on Trump’s desk as the deadlines for those assessments loom. 
  • China Says US Forcing it to Strengthen Presence in South China Sea (2018-01-22)
    (Reuters) China’s Communist Party mouthpiece, decrying Washington as a troublemaker, said on Monday US moves in the South China Sea like last week’s freedom of navigation operation would only cause China to strengthen its deployments in the disputed waterway. China’s foreign ministry said the USS Hopper destroyer came within 12 nautical miles of Huangyan Island, which is better known as the Scarborough Shoal and is subject to a rival claim by the Philippines, a historic ally of the United States. 
  • Beijing Hits Back at US Defence Strategy and ‘Cold War Mindset’ (2018-01-20)
    (South China Morning Post, By Kinling Lo) Beijing and Moscow have criticised the US military’s move to put countering China and Russia at the centre of its latest national defence strategy, with China again hitting back at America’s “cold war and zero-sum game mindset”. Presenting the new strategy – which will set priorities for the Pentagon for years to come – Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday called China and Russia “revisionist powers” that “seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models”. 
  • China ‘Warns Off’ US Destroyer near South China Sea’s Strategic Scarborough Shoal (2018-01-20)
    (South China Morning Post, By Kinling Lo) China says it warned off a US Navy destroyer near a group of disputed islets in the South China Sea last week. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Saturday that the USS Hopper missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Scarborough Shoal, called Huangyan Island in China, on Wednesday night. 
  • China Invites Latin America to Take Part in One Belt, One Road (2018-01-22)
    (Reuters, By Fabian Cambero and Dave Sherwood) China invited Latin American and Caribbean countries to join its “One Belt, One Road” initiative on Monday, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters, as Beijing continues to diverge from the United States’ increasingly protectionist tack. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the region was a natural fit for the initiative, which China has leveraged to deepen economic and financial cooperation with developing nations worldwide. 
  • China and Global Economic Risks (2018-01-22)
    (East Asia Forum, By the Editorial Board) China has fiscal room to move. A poor growth performance, as Yu says, would undermine financial stability, and financial instability would jeopardise growth. Success with financial and structural reforms — even more than government-promoted innovation — will be the key to reinvigorating the entrepreneurial energies that are crucial to sustaining the long-term Chinese growth in which the world now has such a substantial stake. 
  • China’s Economy Enters a New Season of Stability (2018-01-21)
    (East Asia Forum, By Yu Yongding) China should balance growth and financial risk prevention. A poor growth performance will worsen financial stability and vice versa. In the longer-run, China can benefit from government-promoted innovation as well as recent structural reforms. 
  • Airliners Have Become China’s Newest Means of Pressuring Taiwan (2018-01-19)
    (New York Times, By Chris Horton) China has opened a new air route for civilian airliners through the tense Taiwan Strait, at a time when it is also sending bombers and warships near Taiwan. 
  • Arrested Former C.I.A. Officer Had Ties to Chinese Spies, Ex-Colleague Says (2018-01-18)
    (New York Times, By Scott Shane) Jerry Lee, the former officer, had repeated contacts with Chinese intelligence both at the agency and afterward, the former colleague said. 
  • Hunting a C.I.A. Mole, Agents Gambled and Let a Suspect Return to China (2018-01-17)
    (New York Times, By Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman) Officials hoped it would help solve the mystery of the deaths of C.I.A. informants. Five years later, an arrest has been made but the mystery remains. 
  • Olympic Détente Upends U.S. Strategy on North Korea (2018-01-17)
    (New York Times, By Choe Sang-hun and Mark Landler) For the White House, the budding détente scrambles its strategy of pressuring the North, with sanctions and threats of military action, to give up its nuclear arsenal. 
  • Joshua Wong Sentenced in Hong Kong for Role in Umbrella Movement (2018-01-16)
    (New York Times, By Alan Wong) Joshua Wong got three months in prison for his role in 2014 protests demanding freer elections for the leader of Hong Kong. 
  • China and Russia Are Bigger Threats to the US than Terrorism, Claims Department of Defense (2018-01-20)
    (Bloomberg News) China’s fast-growing technological and military capabilities make it a greater threat to America than terrorism, the US Department of Defense has claimed in a new strategy report. The document also says Russia is an equally prominent threat for the same reasons, and says that both countries seek “to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model”. 
  • How India Became China-Led Development Bank’s Main Borrower (2018-01-19)
    (South China Morning Post, By Kinling Lo) Territorial disputes between China and India have not stopped India becoming the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) top borrower. The AIIB, which celebrated it second anniversary this week, has approved funding for 24 infrastructure projects, five of them in India, bank data shows, with its loans to the Indian projects – totalling US$1.074 billion – accounting for almost 28 per cent of the money it has lent. 
  • How China’s Military is Girding for Battle, and What it Means for Neighbours (2018-01-18)
    (South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) The PLA has stepped up its training efforts since President Xi Jinping became Communist Party general secretary and chairman of its Central Military Commission (CMC) in late 2012, in line with his plan to turn it into a modern fighting force capable of conducting long-range power-projection operations. In 2013, the army and paramilitary police planned nearly 40 training exercises, China News Service reported. 
  • China Condemns Canada ‘Cold War’ North Korea Summit for Keeping Military Strike Option Alive (2018-01-17)
    (South China Morning Post, By Kristin Huang) China has denounced a 20-nation call for tougher sanctions against North Korea, saying the gathering in Canada was a product of “cold war thinking” and a sign that the United States was still considering a military strike on Pyongyang. The two-day meeting organised by Canada and the US wrapped up on Tuesday with the participants – all supporters of South Korea in the Korean war – agreeing to consider tougher sanctions to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. 
  • China’s Go-To Man on US Trade to Take On the Communist Party’s Top Job on Taiwan and Tibet (2018-01-17)
    (South China Morning Post, By Jun Mai) Just months after he was elevated to the seven-man party inner sanctum – the Politburo Standing Committee – Wang hosted a meeting of chiefs of the local branches of the United Front Work Department on Tuesday, state media reported. The party’s united front system is responsible for engaging China’s non-party elites at home and abroad and is under the leadership of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisory body.
  • Deciphering U.S. Foreign Policy in the Trump Era (2018-01-18)
    (The Diplomat, By Roncevert Ganan Almond) President Trump's view of foreign policy currently stands narrow and not fully thought out. He sees other powers as threats to Western civilization and promoters of political contests. China is considered the United States's biggest rival and challenger in President Trump's worldview. However, before any action can be taken, the US must expand the narrative it is using to base all its assertions and potential actions in its foreign policy. 
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  • Most Taiwanese Against China's Opening of New Aviation Routes: Poll (2018-01-22)
    (CNA, By Shih Hsiu-Chuan) A new poll shows that nearly 75 percent of Taiwan's public disapproves of Beijing's unilateral launch of new commercial flight routes in the Taiwan Strait. 64.3 percent said this move was aimed at upsetting the cross-strait status quo, while 30.6 percent said it was not. 
  • Candidates Blast "Factionalism" (2018-01-18)
    (Taipei Times, By Chen Wei-han) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Chen Ting-fei criticized the Chinese-language website Storm Media, which released a DPP opinion poll that put another DPP legislator Huang Wei-che ahead of his competitors. Chen claims the party did not conduct an opinion poll and this website falsely cited the DPP to influence the election. Click here for the original Storm Media article. 
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      • President Says She is Fully Committed to Realizing Ideas, Ideals (2018-01-22)
        (CNA, By Li Shu-hua, Ku Chuan and Ko Lin) President Tsai Ing-Wen said during an interview hosted by Taiwanese media outlet Sanlih E-Television that though she has not met the expectations of her supporters, she is committed to carrying out her ideas and ideals. She said though she was not satisfied with the outcome of the Labor Standards Act, she thought it striked a fair balance between employers and employees. Click for Part I and Part II of this interview. 
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