::: TSR Weekly Report
2020-01-11 | NO.43(54) 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
 HK Bookseller to Open Store After Lunar New Year (2020-01-05)
(Taipei Times/CNA) A Hong Kong bookstore that sold books critical of Chinese leaders, resulting in staff and shareholders being persecuted by Beijing, is expected to reopen in Taipei after the Lunar New Year holiday, its founder, Lam Wing-kee (林榮基), said on Friday. <Accessed 2020-01-05>

Anti-infiltration Act Won't Impede Cross-Strait Interactions: MAC (2020-01-08)
(CNA, By Emerson Lim) The controversial Anti-infiltration Act, which criminalizes activities in Taiwan backed by hostile forces such as China, will not impede normal interactions across the Taiwan Strait, the head of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Wednesday. <Accessed 2020-01-08> 

KMT Official Struggles to Clarify Communication with Chinese Defector (2020-01-09)
(CNA, By Christie Chen, Liu Shih-yi, and Wen Kuei-hsiang) An opposition Kuomintang (KMT) official accused of involvement in an alleged plot to have a self-professed Chinese defector retract his claims about spying for China on Thursday held a press conference to try to clarify his role in events, just two days before Taiwan's presidential and legislative elections. <Accessed 2020-01-10>

China-Taiwan Relations (2020-01-09)
(Council on Foreign Relations, By Eleanor Albert) Differences over Taiwan’s status fuel tensions between the island and mainland, yet cross-strait economic ties continue to deepen. <Accessed 2020-01-13>

Hong Kong Repression Pushes Taiwan Away from China (2020-01-10)
(East Asia Forum, By Fang-Yu Chen, Austin Wang, Charles K S Wu, and Yao-Yuan Yeh) The repercussions of protest and unrest can stretch across borders. Events during 2019 have reshaped Taiwanese perceptions towards China and the so-called ‘one-country, two systems’ in Hong Kong. <Accessed 2020-01-11>

West Studies Beijing’s Disinformation Campaign in Taiwan Looking for Clues into Its Cyber Playbook (2020-01-11)
(South China Morning Post, By Mark Magnier) US cyberespionage experts say they are monitoring China’s online disinformation tactics in advance of Taiwanese elections on Saturday as a window into Beijing’s capabilities and the tools it could eventually deploy against Western democracies. <Accessed 2020-01-11>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics

KMT Says DPP Silencing Online Critics (2020-01-05)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of silencing critics by having law enforcement agencies monitor people’s online activity and summon them for questioning. <Accessed 2020-01-05>

Taiwan Black Hawk Crash Investigation May Take a Year, Air Force Says (2020-01-06)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) Taiwan’s public may have to wait a year to learn the details of what happened in the Black Hawk helicopter crash which killed eight senior military officials, including chief of staff Shen Yi-ming, according to the island’s air force. <Accessed 2020-01-11>

Han Says He and His Family Do Not Have Dual Nationality (2020-01-08)
(CNA, By Fang Cheng-hsiang and Joseph Yeh) Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) affirmed Wednesday that he and his whole family have only Republic of China (Taiwan) citizenship and do not hold dual nationality, while pledging to resign if he wins Saturday's presidential election and is found to have lied. <Accessed 2020-01-08> 

2020 Elections Interview: Lai Focused on Need for a Legislative Majority (2020-01-09)
(Taipei Times, By Yang Chun-hui, Chen Yu-fu, and Su Yung-yao) The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) vice presidential candidate, former premier William Lai, in an interview with the Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times), discussed the importance of the party maintaining its legislative majority in addition to striving for President Tsai Ing-wen’s re-election. <Accessed 2020-01-10>

Taiwan’s High Stakes 2020 Elections (2020-01-11)
(East Asia Forum, By Graeme Read) As narratives of candidates battling over the China factor re-emerge, the significance of these elections extends beyond just the presidency. The stakes for Taiwan’s 2020 elections are high and the consequences are potentially deep and far reaching. <Accessed 2020-01-11>

What Does Taiwan’s Public Think About Election Interference From China? (2020-01-11)
(The Diplomat, By Timothy S. Rich, Madelynn Einhorn, Isabel Eliassen, Carolyn Brueggemann, and Alexandrea Pike-Goff) Election security has emerged as a global challenge to democracies, which are now frequently subjected to foreign-based cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns seeking to influence the outcome of elections. With Taiwan’s national elections just days away, increased attention now falls on the role of China. <Accessed 2020-01-11>

Taiwan’s Growth Up Despite Trade War Hit (2020-01-11)
(East Asia Forum, By Min-Hua Chiang) Like most Asian countries, Taiwan’s exports have suffered from the US–China trade war. But overall the economy has held up relatively well thanks to Taiwanese firms’ substantial investment at home. <Accessed 2020-01-11>

In Blow to Beijing, Taiwan Re-elects Tsai Ing-wen as President (2020-01-11)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers and Chris Horton) Taiwan’s voters delivered a stinging rebuke of China’s rising authoritarianism on Saturday by re-electing President Tsai Ing-wen, who vowed to preserve the island’s sovereignty in the face of Beijing’s intensifying efforts to bring it under its control. <Accessed 2020-01-11>

2020 ELECTIONS / DPP Retains Legislative Majority, KMT Gains Seats (2020-01-11)
(CNA, By Joseph Yeh) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Saturday maintained its majority in the Legislature, giving it a clear path to maintaining complete control of the government for the next four years. The DPP won 61 seats, compared with the 68 it won in 2016, giving it a cushion of four seats about the 57 seats needed to claim a majority in the 113-seat Legislature, according to estimates. <Accessed 2020-01-12>

2020 ELECTIONS / KMT Chairman Announces Resignation After Election Defeat (2020-01-11)
(CNA, By Wang Cheng-chung and Elizabeth Hsu) Main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) announced Saturday that he will resign en masse with other top-ranking executive party members next week because of the crushing defeat the party suffered in both the presidential and legislative elections. <Accessed 2020-01-12>

Taiwan's Foreign Relations

Taiwan Congratulates New Marshall Islands President on Election Win (2020-01-06)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan and Joseph Yeh) Taiwan on Monday congratulated Marshall Islands President-elect David Kabua on his victory in a parliamentary vote earlier in the day and said the new leader was supportive of his country's diplomatic ties with Taiwan. <Accessed 2020-01-06> 

MOFA Urges Taiwanese in Iraq, Parts of Iran to Leave Immediately (2020-01-09)
(CNA, By Elaine Hou and Emerson Lim) Taiwan's government has advised its nationals to avoid traveling to Iraq and some parts of Iran and urged Taiwanese who are already in those areas to leave immediately, as tension between Iran and the United States escalate. <Accessed 2020-01-10>

Entangled US-China-Taiwan Relations Likely Just Got More Complicated after President Tsai Ing-wen’s Big Re-election Victory (2020-01-12)
(South China Morning Post, By Sarah Zheng) Taiwan may face retaliation and increased pressure from Beijing after President Tsai Ing-wen’s landslide re-election victory, adding uncertainty to the already tense relationship between China and the United States, analysts said. <Accessed 2020-01-11>
U.S.-China Relations
 U.S. Congressional Study Urges Sanctions on China over 'Crimes Against Humanity' (2020-01-08)
(Reuters, By Patricia Zengerle) A U.S. congressional report called for sanctions against China over human rights abuses, and for U.S. officials to keep rights concerns in mind during dealings with Beijing, including trade negotiations. <Accessed 2020-01-10>

Trump Administration’s Actions in Middle East Complicate Its Criticisms of China (2020-01-09)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong) Mr. Trump’s military strike on the Iranian general and other aggressive actions against Tehran gave China ammunition to undermine the administration’s main line of critique on Beijing’s human rights record. <Accessed 2020-01-11>

An Endgame for Beijing in the US-China Trade Negotiations (2020-01-11)
(The Diplomat, By Chen Gong) The U.S.-China trade dispute, which has lasted nearly two years, appears to have abated for the time being. But at the same time, Trump also said that he will later travel to Beijing to begin negotiations on the second phase of the trade deal. In this context, the U.S.-China trade negotiations are clearly far from over, and the major pattern of future world trade has yet to be set. <Accessed 2020-01-11>

US Army Aiming to Counter Chinese ‘Threat’ with Indo-Pacific Security Expansion, Top Official Says (2020-01-11)
(South China Morning Post, By Owen Churchill) The United States Army will set up task forces focused on cyber warfare and other non-conventional domains in the Indo-Pacific over the next two years, as part of the Pentagon’s effort to counter China’s military activities in the region and bolster alliances with regional partners, Washington’s top army official said on Friday. <Accessed 2020-01-11>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

So Much for a Rough Year: China Is Set to Achieve Its First Centennial Goal in 2020 (2020-01-07)
(The Diplomat, By Jo Kim) While the Chinese leadership will face going into 2020, the situation is far from constituting a legitimacy crisis for the CCP, and nor will it do much to undermine Xi’s leadership. The Chinese will ultimately judge their government’s performance by their own standards, not by humanitarian crisis, increased censorship, or China’s deteriorating global reputation as laid out by analysts. <Accessed 2020-01-07>

How Will the Chinese Navy Use Its 2 Aircraft Carriers? (2020-01-11)
(The Diplomat, By Ying Yu Lin) The recent commissioning of China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, the Shandong, means that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has formally moved into an epoch of “two aircraft carrier formations.” It marks the PLA Navy’s growing strength and progressive transition to a “blue ocean” navy, which goes hand-in-hand with its expansion in recent years. <Accessed 2020-01-11>

Beijing and Hong Kong

Dozens Arrested After Hong Kong Protest Taking Aim at Chinese Traders (2020-01-05)
(Reuters, By Clare Jim and Mari Saito) Scuffles erupted between police and protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday, with dozens of arrests made, after thousands marched near the border, shouting pro-democracy slogans and venting their anger at mainland Chinese traders. The demonstrators in Sheung Shui took aim at so-called “parallel traders” from China who buy vast amounts of duty free goods in Hong Kong and take them back to the mainland to sell at a profit. <Accessed 2020-01-05>

Hong Kong Denies Entry to Human Rights Watch Director (2020-01-11)
(Associated Press) Hong Kong authorities barred the head of Human Rights Watch from entering the Chinese territory Sunday, the advocacy group said. Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch’s executive director, had planned to launch the organization’s annual world report in Hong Kong this week. <Accessed 2020-01-12>

China's Foreign Relations

China’s Xi Meets Kiribati Leader After Switch From Taiwan
(Washington Post, By Yanan Wang) Chinese President Xi Jinping lauded Kiribati on Monday for “standing on the right side of history” during his first meeting with the Pacific island nation’s leader since it severed ties with Taiwan. <Accessed 2020-01-06> 

2019: Reviewing a Passable Year in China-India Relations (2020-01-07)
(The Diplomat, By Ivan Lidarev) 2019 was neither a good year nor a bad year for China-India relations. It was just passable. China and India managed to safeguard the recent improvement in their relations in the face of various challenges that threatened to disrupt ties. <Accessed 2020-01-07>

Kiribati President Makes First Trip to China After Switch From Taiwan (2020-01-07)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Chinese President Xi Jinping lauded Kiribati on Monday for “standing on the right side of history” during his first meeting with the Pacific island nation’s leader since it severed ties with Taiwan. <Accessed 2020-01-07>

China’s Iran Dilemma (2020-01-11)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) The current escalation in tensions between the United States and Iran presents a dilemma for China. While some analysts, such as on CNN, may portray the situation as an opportunity for China, in fact a closer look suggests that the situation is much more of a threat to China’s ambitions in the Middle East than not. <Accessed 2020-01-11>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Territorial Disputes

Indonesian Military Says Chinese Vessels Left Disputed Waters (2020-01-09)
(Reuters, By Agustinus Beo Da Costa and Stanley Widianto) Indonesia’s military said on Thursday that Chinese coast guard vessels and fishing boats had left disputed waters in the western reaches of the South China Sea following a visit by President Joko Widodo to assert his nation’s sovereignty. <Accessed 2020-01-10>

The Korean Peninsula

What’s Behind Malaysia’s North Korea Embassy Reopening Announcement? (2020-01-07)
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) Beyond this, it also shows the PH government’s emphasis on Malaysia playing a role in promoting regional engagement. <Accessed 2020-01-07>

Other Regional Issues

What Do Rising US-Iran Tensions Mean for Trump’s Asia Policy?
(The Diplomat, By Prashanth Parameswaran) Seen from that perspective, while the impact of Suleimani’s death is likely to be fully felt only with time once we get a better sense of the fallout, Iran’s potential response, and the impact on the wider Middle East, it will nonetheless intensify the doubts and uncertainties in the Trump administration’s foreign policy, its commitment to an Asia-first approach to the world, as well as its alignments with key Asian states. <Accessed 2020-01-07>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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