::: TSR Weekly Report
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2020-03-28 | NO.44(10) 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
Chinese Exercises Not Provocative: KMT Lawmaker (2020-03-22)
(Taipei Times, By Chung Li-hua and Wu Su-wei) There is a “huge” difference between Chinese warplanes flying around Taiwan and intruding into its airspace, and the former should not be deemed provocative, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) said, calling on the Ministry of National Defense not to mislead the public. <Accessed 2020-03-25> 

Taiwan Doubles Down on Virus Criticism as China Denounces 'Disgusting' Behavior (2020-03-25)
(Reuters, By Ben Blanchard) Taiwan doubled down on its criticism of China’s handling of the coronavirus crisis on Wednesday, saying the Communist Party cared more about power than its own people, while Beijing described Taipei’s allegations of a cover-up as slander. <Accessed 2020-03-29>

Cross-Strait Exchanges Questioned (2020-03-25)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) Taiwan and China are two separate nations, and cross-strait exchanges can be beneficial and should not be completely cut off, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday amid questions about the role of the Mainland Affairs Council and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. <Accessed 2020-03-29>

Taiwan Coast Guard Reports Chinese Speed Boat Harassment Near Kinmen (2020-03-26)
(The Diplomat, By Ankit Panda) One Taiwanese coast guard cutter suffered damage in the incident. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

In the Coronavirus Fog, Tussling over Taiwan Goes Under the Radar (2020-03-27)
(South China Morning Post, By Lawrence Chung) With the world focused on the battle against the coronavirus pandemic and the US and China hurling accusations over the disease’s spread, combat manoeuvres in and around Taiwan have flown under the radar. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

Most Taiwanese Feel that China Is Unfriendly: Poll (2020-03-28)
(Taipei Times, By Chung Li-hua and Jake Chung) A record-high 76.6 percent of the Taiwanese public sees China as unfriendly to the Taiwanese government, as well as Taiwanese (61.5 percent), the highest levels in 15 years, a Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) survey released on Thursday showed. <Accessed 2020-03-31>
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
US Human Rights Exhibition Honors Nobel winner Lee (2020-03-21)
(Taipei Times, with CNA) Taiwanese chemist Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) is one of 10 Nobel Prize-winning scientists being honored in a photographic exhibition organized by the US’ National Academy of Sciences for their contributions to the field of human rights, Academia Sinica said on Tuesday. <Accessed 2020-03-31>

US Warships in Taiwan Strait Anger China (2020-03-26)
(Taipei Times/Reuters, By Ben Blanchard) China yesterday accused the US of playing a dangerous game with its support for Taiwan, after a US warship passed through Taiwan Strait. <Accessed 2020-03-26> 

Trump Signs TAIPEI Act Into Law (Update)
 (2020-03-27)
(CNA, By Stacy Hsu, Frances Huang, Christie Chen, and Ko Lin) U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed into law the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019, which is aimed at supporting Taiwan's international presence. <Accessed 2020-03-29>

China Describes Signing of Taipei Act by Donald Trump as an Act of Hegemony
 (2020-03-27)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan and Kristin Huang) Beijing has condemned US President Donald Trump’s decision to sign into law an act designed to bolster Taiwan’s diplomatic standing in the world, describing it as an act of hegemony. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

Taipei to Follow Science on US Imports: Premier (2020-03-28)
(Taipei Times, By Sean Lin) The government would let science be its guide when determining whether to allow imports of US pork and bovine intestines containing ractopamine to ensure that public health is safeguarded, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday. <Accessed 2020-03-31>
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics

Government Unveils Further COVID-19 Response Measures (2020-03-24)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan, Ye Su-ping and Evelyn Kao) The government has been rolling out a slew of measures to counter the economic impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, including providing compensation, subsidies and tax breaks for businesses, individuals and organizations affected by the disease. <Accessed 2020-03-25>

Virus Outbreak: Government Planning to Help Importing 5G Devices (2020-03-24)
(Taipei Times, By Shelley Shan) The government plans to facilitate the import of 5G-capable terminal devices as the nation’s three major telecoms prepare to launch 5G service in the third quarter of this year, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. <Accessed 2020-03-31>

Taiwan Holds Joint Air Drill Featuring Simulated Air Scramble
 (2020-03-24)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Ko Lin) Taiwan's Armed Forces held large-scale military exercises throughout the country on Tuesday, with eight F-16 fighter jets from Hualien Air Base conducting simulated long-range intercept missions above Taiwan. The drill was primarily held to test the military's combat readiness against an all-out Chinese aerial invasion, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. <Accessed 2020-03-25>

Looking beyond Tsai’s Big Election Win (2020-03-28)
(East Asia Forum, By Gerrit van der Wees) If Beijing continues or intensifies its current approach of pushing Taiwan into a corner, it will increasingly find the United States and other democratic countries in the way. The democratic world has now clearly seen that President Tsai has a broad popular mandate and will be much more supportive of Taiwan and its democracy. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

Discipline in KMT Is Critical: Chiang (2020-03-28)
(Taipei Times, By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jake Chung) Party discipline is a make-or-break factor to rehabilitating the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) public image, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday. <Accessed 2020-03-31>


Taiwan's Foreign Relations

August Ministerial Meeting May Address CPTPP Expansion: Official (2020-03-22)
(CNA, By Liu Pei-cheng and Emerson Lim) A ministerial meeting of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) member economies in August could help Taiwan's bid to join the Japan-led trade initiative, a Taiwanese official told CNA on Sunday. <Accessed 2020-03-25> >

New Southbound Policy Boosted Tourism: Office (2020-03-23)
(Taipei Times, By Lee Hsin-fang and Jake Chung) The government’s New Southbound Policy last year boosted tourism and trade links with the countries covered by the policy, while education programs stagnated, statistics published by the Executive Yuan’s Office of Trade Negotiations showed. <Accessed 2020-03-31>

Taiwan's VP Reiterates Need to Participate in WHO, Despite Criticism
 (2020-03-24)
(CNA, By Ku Chuan, Wen Kuei-hsiang, Yeh Su-ping and Emerson Lim) Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) reiterated Tuesday the need for Taiwan to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO), despite criticism that the agency has been ineffective in containing the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19. <Accessed 2020-03-25> 

Virus Outbreak: Taiwan Not Yet Able to Export Masks: Ministry (2020-03-24)
(Taipei Times, with CNA) Taiwan has not yet reached a point where it can export masks to diplomatic allies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, dismissing as misinformation online reports that it gave away masks to curry favor with a diplomatic ally. <Accessed 2020-03-31>

Taiwan-Japan Fisheries Committee Suspended Over COVID-19 Concerns
 (2020-03-24)
(CNA, By Chen Yun-yu and Matthew Mazzetta) The Taiwan-Japan Fisheries Committee, which serves as the two countries' main platform for resolving issues related to fishing rights, will not meet this year due to the health risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday. <Accessed 2020-03-25> 

Taiwan Laments WHO's Inaction on Its Alert on Coronavirus (2020-03-25)
(CNA, By Chen Yun-yu and Emerson Lim) Taiwan's government has confirmed a media report saying the World Health Organization (WHO) failed to pass on its warning at the end of December about possible human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus to other countries. <Accessed 2020-03-29>

Taiwan, Czech Republic Discuss Anti-Coronavirus Efforts
 (2020-03-26)
(CNA, By Flor Wang and Wu Hsin-yun) Following its cooperation with the United States and European Union, Taiwan recently reached out to the Czech Republic as part of its fight against the coronovirus disease COVID-19 that has swept across the globe, according to Academia Sinica. <Accessed 2020-03-26> 

Virus Outbreak: Britons’ Pan of Quarantine to BBC ‘Not True’ (2020-03-27)
(Taipei Times, By Sherry Hsiao and Lin Chia-nan) A BBC report that quotes Britons’ complaints about quarantine conditions they experienced in Taiwan is not true, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, expressing regret over damage done to the nation’s reputation for competent disease-prevention measures. <Accessed 2020-03-31>
U.S.-China Relations
The US and China Need to Relearn How to Coordinate in Crises (2020-03-19)
(Brookings, By Ryan Hass) Now, leaders in both countries are consumed by arguments over where the virus emerged and who is to blame for its spread, rather than on what must be done, collectively, to stop it. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

The U.S. Needs China’s Masks, as Acrimony Grows
 (2020-03-23)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher and Ana Swanson) Beijing has signaled a willingness to supply the U.S. as its outbreak spreads. Increasingly harsh language and logistical issues could make it difficult to reach deals. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

US Navy Launches Live-fire Missiles in ‘Warning to China’ (2020-03-24)
(South China Morning Post, By Minnie Chan) The US Navy was targeting China with live-fire missile tests in the Philippine Sea last week, sending a message that it was up to the challenge of the PLA’s new advanced systems, military analysts said. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

Virus Outbreak: US Eliminated Key CDC Adviser Post in Beijing Last Year
 (2020-03-24)
(Taipei Times/Reuters) Several months before the coronavirus pandemic began, US President Donald Trump’s administration eliminated a key US public health position in Beijing intended to help detect disease outbreaks in China, Reuters has learned. <Accessed 2020-03-25> 

Virus Outbreak: PRC Envoy to US Breaks Ranks With His Ministry (2020-03-24)
(Taipei Times/Bloomberg) China’s ambassador to the US reaffirmed his opposition to promoting theories that the virus that causes COVID-19 originated in a US military lab, in an unusual break with the country’s foreign ministry. <Accessed 2020-03-25> 

U.S. Officials Push for Expelling Suspected Chinese Spies at Media Outlets (2020-03-26)
(New York Times, By Edward Wong and Julian E. Barnes) Trump administration officials are discussing taking action after China said it would expel almost all American journalists for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

US Congressman Introduces 'No CHINA Act' (2020-03-26)
(Taiwan News, By Chris Chang) Congressman Matt Gaetz introduced the “No Chinese Handouts In National Assistance(CHINA) Act” to Congress on Tuesday (March 24) to ensure that no coronavirus relief aid will go to China's state-owned businesses. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

Clarity & Ambiguity in the U.S.-China Phase-1 Deal (2020-03-26)
(Center for Strategic and International Studies, By Shining Tan) Any current implementation challenges from the coronavirus outbreak represent an unforeseen shock that may complicate the enforcement of the deal but should not be retroactively read into negotiations. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

Mystery Math: The U.S.-China Phase-1 Purchase Figures Do Not Add Up (2020-03-26)
(Center for Strategic and International Studies, By Scott Kennedy) Unfortunately, as far as the purchase commitments go, we are in no position to do so. Those details are not only confidential; they also do not make sense. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

Coronavirus outbreak fans the flames of US-China decoupling debate in Washington (2020-03-26)
(South China Morning Post, By Cissy Zhou) From congressional hearings to various think tank events, many in Washington are now convinced that it is impossible for China and the US to move in the same direction. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

US Marine Corps Unveils Transformation Plan Focused on China (2020-03-26)
(The Diplomat, By Steven Stashwick) The plan will cut tanks and other traditional weapons to make room for new anti-ship missions. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

A War of Words With China Helps Nobody (2020-03-26)
(Foreign Policy, By Doug Bandow) That’s why moves such as calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus,” while geographically accurate, achieve nothing. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

Exclusive: U.S. Prepares Crackdown on Huawei's Global Chip Supply - Sources (2020-03-26)
(Reuters, By Karen Freifeld, David Shepardson, and Alexandra Alper) Senior officials in the Trump administration agreed to new measures to restrict the global supply of chips to China’s Huawei Technologies, sources familiar with the matter said, as the White House ramps up criticism of China over coronavirus. <Accessed 2020-03-29>

China Gives Chilly Response to Request for U.S. Journalists to Remain in Country (2020-03-27)
(Reuters, By Dominique Patton) China hit out at what it called “biased” reporting on Friday in a frosty response to a request by three major U.S. newspapers to reverse the expulsion of several of their China-based journalists. <Accessed 2020-03-29>

Don’t Kick China’s Propagandists Off Twitter (2020-03-28)
(Foreign Policy, By Fergus Ryan) As a principle, the social media accounts of public officials are important forums for the public to discuss public policy, and—just like Trump—Chinese officials shouldn’t be allowed to curate the social media environment to suit their purposes. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

Trump’s COVID-19 Blame Game (2020-03-28)
(The Diplomat, By Chi Wang) Trump’s “Chinese virus” rhetoric is politically motivated, but diplomatically damaging.<Accessed 2020-03-28>
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Domestic Politics in Mainland China

Coronavirus crisis will ultimately strengthen Xi Jinping and Chinese Communist Party despite economic turmoil, US analysts say (2020-03-26)
(South China Morning Post, By Cissy Zhou) The likely outcome of the coronavirus epidemic is not only that Chinese President Xi Jinping remains in power, but also that the Communist Party emerges bigger and stronger despite the current economic challenges, long-time China watchers said on Thursday. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

China Is Trying to Rewrite The Present (2020-03-26)
(Foreign Policy, By Louisa Lim) These measures—combined with hard-line moves such as enforced lockdowns—undoubtedly slowed the spread of infection, allowing Beijing to reframe itself as having made great sacrifices to buy time for the rest of the world. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

China Exonerates Doctor Reprimanded for Warning About Virus (2020-03-26)
(The Diplomat, By Associated Press) Li Wenliang was posthumously exonerated, and the police who reprimanded him have been punished. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

Fang Fang: The ‘Conscience of Wuhan’ Amid Coronavirus Quarantine (2020-03-26)
(The Diplomat, By Hemant Adlakha) The party’s ill-governance of the deadly virus has given birth to a new critical voice: Fang Fang’s Wuhan Diary. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

PacNet #16 – Covid-19: As China Recovers, Will Its Economy Follow? (2020-03-27)
(Pacific Forum, By Stephen Nagy) With the health crisis potentially under control, what lies ahead will further challenge the authoritarian regime as the 2nd- and 3rd-order problems associated with the mismanagement of the initial outbreak ensue and serious downstream consequences for China and the global economy emerge. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

Can China’s COVID-19 Statistics Be Trusted? (2020-03-28)
(The Diplomat, By Scott N. Romaniuk and Tobias Burgers) From GDP figures to coronavirus counts, China’s government has a long history of manipulating data for political gain. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

China’s Economy Was Hit Hard by the Pandemic. Its 5G Ambitions Could Be Crucial to Its Recovery (2020-03-28)
(South China Morning Post, By Che Pan) In this bleak economic landscape, President Xi Jinping has put 5G networks and data centres at the top of the country’s plans to spend on “new infrastructure”, hoping to cushion the impact of the outbreak. <Accessed 2020-03-28>


Beijing and Hong Kong

Autonomy Without Democracy Is Proving Unsustainable in Hong Kong (2020-03-26)
(The Diplomat, By Brian C.H. Fong) It’s time to bring back universal suffrage into the agenda. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

Exclusive: Support for Hong Kong Protesters' Demands Rises Even as Coronavirus Halts Rallies: Poll (2020-03-27)
(Reuters, By Felix Tam and Clare Jim) Support for the demands of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong has grown even as rallies have paused due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey conducted for Reuters that also showed a widespread lack of confidence in the government’s ability to manage the COVID-19 crisis. <Accessed 2020-03-29>


China's Foreign Relations

EU Fires Warning Shot at China in Coronavirus Battle of the Narratives
 (2020-03-24)
(South China Morning Post, By Stuart Lau) The European Union’s top diplomat has fired a warning shot at China’s “politics of generosity”, amid a growing sense of unease over Beijing’s targeted strategy to help certain European countries with medical supplies to fight Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

To Slow Virus, China Bars Entry by Almost All Foreigners
 (2020-03-26)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) Worried that international travelers might trigger a second wave of coronavirus infections, China announced late Thursday night that it was suspending practically all entry to the country by foreigners and was halting almost all international passenger flights as well. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

China’s Coronavirus Information Warfare
 (2020-03-26)
(The Diplomat, By Valérie Niquet) Beijing has embarked on a desperate information war in an attempt to revive its global image amid the pandemic. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

China’s Mask Diplomacy (2020-03-26)
(The Diplomat, By Brian Wong) By shipping medical supplies to European countries, China is seeking to boost its image as a responsible global leader. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

China’s Debt Diplomacy Will Get a Coronavirus Boost (2020-03-26)
(Foreign Policy, By Azeem Ibrahim) Right now, China, with its relief flights and medical outreach, is winning the soft power battle against a United States that has only just begun to tackle the problem at home. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

Virus Competition Is Wrecking China-U.S. Cooperation Hopes (2020-03-26)
(Foreign Policy, By Richard Fontaine) Where the need to fight the coronavirus might once have brought the United States and China closer together, today it is driving them further apart. COVID-19 is becoming one more feature of great-power competition, rather than an exception to it. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

As Virus Spreads, China and Russia See Openings for Disinformation (2020-03-28)
(New York Times, By Julian E. Barnes, Matthew Rosenberg and Edward Wong) The two powers amplify discredited conspiracy theories and sow division as they look to undermine the United States. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

How China is Exploiting the Coronavirus to Weaken Democracies (2020-03-28)
(Foreign Policy, By Peter Rough) Beijing is also taking every opportunity during this crisis to drive wedges between members of the European Union, which it sees as a potential rival protecting European interests and values against Chinese attempts to project its interests and power on the continent. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

Suspicions Grow in South Korea Over China’s Online Influence Operations (2020-03-28)
(The Diplomat, By Tae-jun Kang) Claims about Chinese attempts to divide South Korean society are gaining increasing attention. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

How a Pandemic Drew China and Serbia Closer  (2020-03-28)
(The Diplomat, By Eleanor Albert) China’s medical assistance to Serbia inspired profuse gratitude from President Vucic. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

Coronavirus: Why China’s ‘Mask Diplomacy’ Is Raising Concern in the West (2020-03-28)
(South China Morning Post, By Laura Zhou) But Beijing’s efforts – which state media has called “China’s solution to fight the pandemic” – have had a mixed response, and analysts say its “mask diplomacy” will do little to convince critics in the West. <Accessed 2020-03-28>
Territorial Disputes, the Korean Peninsula, and Other Regional Issues
Coronavirus, Geopolitics, and Nepal Between Great Powers (2020-03-26)
(The Diplomat, By Arun Budhathoki) The United States risks falling behind China as Nepal weighs its options in dealing with the pandemic. <Accessed 2020-03-26>

China Extracts 861,400 Cubic Metres of Natural Gas from ‘Flammable Ice’ in South China Sea
 (2020-03-27)
(South China Morning Post, By Echo Xie) China said on Thursday it extracted 861,400 cubic metres of natural gas from gas hydrates found in the South China Sea during a month-long trial that ended last week. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

North Korea Launches Two Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (2020-03-28)
(New York Times, By Choe Sang-Hun) The country has carried out a handful of similar tests this month. The missiles fell into waters between the North and Japan. <Accessed 2020-03-28>

Contact: James Lee, Senior Editor 

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New Publication Elizabeth Freund Larus, Politics and Society in Contemporary China, 2nd edition (Lynne Rienner Publishers)
New Publication John F. Copper, ""Cross-Strait Relations in the Wake of Taiwan’s January 2016 Election: Taiwan’s Narratives" in Chineseness and Modernity in a Changing China: Essays in Honour of Professor Wang Gungwu, edited by Yongnian Zheng and Litao Zhao (World Scientific)
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