Japan Ready to Help, Japan PM Shinzo Abe Says (2016-02-07) (CNA) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan is ready to assist Taiwan after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit southern Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
China Picks Up Hotline Call (2016-02-06) (Taipei Times) It was the first time that cross-strait officials used the hotline since Jan. 16, following rumors that China has refused to answer calls since the elections.
Taiwan Has Full Grasp of Mainland-Vatican Dialogue: MOFA (2016-02-06) (China Post) The R.O.C. government has a full grasp on the dialogue between Mainland China and the Holy See, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said, amid foreign media reports that the two sides have made a major breakthrough on the bishop appointment issue.
AIT Director Congratulates New Legislative Speaker (2016-02-05) (Taipei Times) AIT Director Kin Moy visited Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei to congratulate him on his recent election, as both parties expressed their desire for stronger US-Taiwan ties.
Minister Downplays Concern Over Foreign White-Collar Workers (2016-02-05) (Taipei Times) Minister of Labor sought to allay concerns that opening the market to more foreign white-collar workers might squeeze out their local peers, saying that wages would not be what attract these foreign workers, let alone the so-called “22K” jobs.
Taipei Concerned about Downgrading of Taiping (2016-02-04) (CNA) The government is "highly concerned" about a case Philippines has brought against China in an international court in which it argues that the land features comprising the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea are not islands, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Japan Forms New Air Wing to Fend Off China's Advances in East China Sea (2016-02-01) (The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady) For the first time in about 50 years, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force has stood up a new air wing consisting of Mitsubishi F-15J all-weather air superiority fighters at Naha Air Base, located in the capital city of Okinawa, Japan’s most southern prefecture, according to local media reports.
It's Official: China's Military Has 5 New Theater Commands (2016-02-02) (The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) China inaugurated five new theater commands of the People’s Liberation Army on Monday, with Chinese President Xi Jinping presenting flags to the new commanders during a ceremony in Beijing.
LY Elects First-ever Pan-green Leaders (2016-02-02) (China Post) Su Jia-chyuan and Tsai Chi-chang of the Democratic Progressive Partywere elected as legislative speaker and deputy speaker respectively on Monday, Feb. 1 in the first day of the newly sworn-in Legislature.
Dialogue with US Works for Ma's Taiping Visit: Minister (2016-02-02) (China Post) - The United States is now issuing milder rhetoric over Taiwan's stance on the South China Sea issue, proving effective bilateral communication between the R.O.C. and the U.S. over President Ma Ying-jeou's visit to a Taiwan-controlled island in the disputed seas last, Foreign Minister David Lin said.
China Struggles for Balance in Response to North Korea's Boldness (2016-02-08) (New York Times, By Jane Perlez) “The general relationship between the United States and China is far from good, and I don’t think the U.S. has any real bargaining chips with China over North Korea,” Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University, said. “The vital interest of the United States is to reduce the nuclear weapons, and the vital interest of China is to keep a minimum degree of stability and to keep North Korea a friend.”
Why China Hacks the World (2016-01-31) (Christian Science Monitor, By Adam Segal) The US Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive places China in a category all its own: “Chinese actors are the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage.”
DPP-Dominated Taiwan Legislature Begins Session (2016-02-04) (China Brief 16(3), Jamestown Foundation, By Jessica Drun and Fa-Shen Vincent Wang) While the relationship between the new legislators and between the new Legislature and president-elect Tsai is yet to be seen, their interaction will ultimately shape Chinese perceptions of the new government.
The Strategic Support Force: China's Information Warfare Service (2016-02-04) (China Brief 16(3), Jamestown Foundation, By John Costello) Consolidating and restructuring China’s information forces is a key measure to enable a number of other state goals of reform, including reducing the power of the army, implementing joint operations, and increasing emphasis on high-tech forces.
Xi Jinping Assuming New Status As China's ‘Core’ Leader (2016-02-05) (New York Times, By Chris Buckley) As Xi Jinping confronts economic challenges and prepares to pick a fresh cohort of subordinates, he has demanded that Communist Party officials close ranks around him more tightly than ever, and references to Mr. Xi as the “core” leader have become a daily occurrence in China’s state-run news media.
Concern Grows in U.S. Over China's Drive to Make Chips (2016-02-05) (New York Times, By Paul Mozur and Jane Perlez) Worries over China’s chip ambitions were the main reason that United States officials blocked the proposed purchase for as much as $2.9 billion of a controlling stake in a unit of the Dutch electronics company Philips by Chinese investors, according to one expert and a second person involved with the deal discussions.
Securing Taiwan Starts with Overhauling Its Navy (2016-02-05) (The National Interest, By James Holmes) Tsai Ing-wen must make maritime-strategic affairs a priority and impose her vision on the naval establishment. Otherwise the ROCN will do what big, largely successful institutions do. It will revert to time-honored habits and methods—methods that are increasingly, and dangerously, out of step with the times.
Why Islands Still Matter in Asia (2016-02-05) (The National Interest, By Andrew S. Erickson and Joel Wuthnow) In theory, Taiwan is not placed to expand China’s power projection capability significantly, but (by virtue of geography) could offer a potent “springboard” for a foreign military to attack mainland China. But this is certainly much less the case today given the PLA’s ability to crater runways; attack command and control with precision strike weapons; and use long-range SAMs to attack aircraft as soon as they are airborne. In short, given today’s Chinese weapons, Taiwan is too close to mainland China to have maximum “strategic value.”
America Reveals 'Great Power' Plans Against Russia and China (2016-02-03) (The National Interest, By Dave Majumdar) Ultimately, the message from the Pentagon is that while it will still keep an eye on lesser threats like ISIS and Al Qaeda, the United States understands that other great powers are a real threat to American security. Moving past the last fifteen years, the United States military is once again focusing on great power conflict.
Chinese Defector Reveals Beijing's Secrets (2016-02-03) (Washington Free Beacon, By Bill Gertz) A defector from China has revealed some of the innermost secrets of the Chinese government and military, including details of its nuclear command and control system, according to American intelligence officials.
Memory and History: Forging China's Identity (2016-01-27) (The Diplomat, By Mercy A. Kuo and Angelica O. Tang) China needs to think about what the post-war experience meant in Asia. In large part, it was a period of consolidation of nation-states. By supporting the development of a region of strong, cooperative neighbors, China would be better able to create a regional order that would serve its interests in peace and stability.