Su, Hsieh Drop out of DPP Chair Race (2014-04-15) (Taipei Times) Both said they made the moves to prevent divisions in the party being exacerbated by fierce competition for the position at a critical time.
US Cabinet-Level Official to Meet Ma (2014-04-14) (CNA) Gina McCarthy, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is scheduled to meet President Ma Ying-jeou today, making her the first Cabinet-level U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 14 years.
USTR Welcomes Interest in TPP Membership (2014-04-13) (CNA) The office of the United States Trade Representative welcomed Taiwan's interest in joining a trans-Pacific free trade bloc but said the bloc's prospective members are currently focused on the latest round of negotiations.
After Taiwan Protests, Chinese Leaders Stress Continued Cross-Strait Ties (2014-04-12) (The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Li Keqing said that China was willing to offer Taiwan increased access to China’s markets, and even to “open up” economically for Taiwan before opening further to foreign countries. Li also said that closer economic ties between China and Taiwan “will create better conditions” for Taiwan to join other regional trade pacts.
Taipei-Manila Fishery Talks Advance: MOFA (2014-04-12) (China Post) Taiwan and the Philippines concluded the latest round of fishery talks earlier this week during which both sides agreed to cooperate on marine patrol in overlapping EEZs, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
Glaser Urges Ma to be Proactive in South China Sea (2014-04-17) (Taipei Times, By William Lowther) A US academic is urging President Ma Ying-jeou to defuse tensions in the South China Sea by clarifying the “nine-dash line” and bringing Taiwan’s maritime claims into conformity with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Winners and Losers of the Trade Pact Siege (2014-04-15) (Taipei Times, By Julian Kuo) Regardless of whether the agreement is withdrawn and renegotiated or if state-to-state relations are written into the oversight act, the DPP will step on both the US’ and China’s toes.
China's National Security Commission Holds First Meeting (2014-04-16) (The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) China’s national security policies (both external and domestic) are unlikely to change due to the new commission. Instead, the biggest change might be the further consolidation of power directly in the hands of Xi Jinping and other Politburo Standing Committee members, most notably Li Keqiang and Zhang Dejiang.
DPP Heavyweights Ponder Future After Exiting Race (2014-04-15) (Taipei Times, By Chris Wang) While the impact of the Sunflower movement, during which the DPP was almost completely ignored by young protesters, was believed to have prompted Su and Hsieh to drop out, Tsai’s strong lead might also have necessitated their withdrawal.
With Tsai a Shoo-In, Su Might be Gambling on 2016 Race (2014-04-15) (China Post, By Katherine Wei) After the reaping and the attention-grabbing, Su and Hsieh backed out of the game to save face and the party's image — which could suffer no more blows with the mayoral elections looming. It is crucial for the DPP to put aside its intraparty differences and stay united at this stage.
New High-Level Groups Threaten Line between Party and Government (2014-04-09) (China Brief 14(7), Jamestown Foundation, By Willy Lam) Apart from challenging Deng’s principle of collective leadership, President Xi’s ruling philosophy has also run counter to two other precepts laid down by the Great Architect of Reform: the separation of party and government and the “five lakes and four seas”
PLA Joint Operations Developments and Military Reform (2014-04-10) (China Brief 14(7), Jamestown Foundation, By Kevin McCauley) Now the log-jam impeding some of the more far reaching PLA reforms appears to be breaking, as indicated in the recent push in the Third Plenary Session for significant military reform and the creation of a leading group to push forward some of the more bureaucratically painful command, force structure and organizational changes required to create a modern military force.
Sunflower Cause Shakes Up DPP's China Policy (2014-04-12) (CNA) The recent student-led protests have elicited different views within Taiwan's main opposition DPP on what the movement means for the party's policy toward China, with some questioning the growing opinion that the party should adopt a softer line.
Party Identification Tracking Analysis in Taiwan, March 2014 (2014-04-12) (TISR) Taiwan Indicators Survey Research released its March survey results (in Chinese) on the public's party identities. Of those surveyed, 27.2% self-identified as supporters of the KMT or other Pan-Blue parties, down 2 percentage points from last February's number.
Interview with Elizabeth C. Economy (2014-04-10) (The Diplomat, By Justin McDonnell) The Diplomat speaks with Elizabeth C. Economy on her co-authored book By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest is Changing the World and about the international impact of Chinese demand for resources.
Taiwan Should Focus on U.S. Trade Matters Before TPP, Envoy Says (2014-04-11) (Bloomberg, By Debra Mao and Yu-Huay Sun) Taiwan should use trade talks with the U.S. to prove its commitment to economic reforms needed for entry to the broader Trans-Pacific Partnership before seeking to join that pact, said the U.S.’s unofficial envoy to the island.