::: TSR Weekly Report
2021-03-20 | NO.45(12) epaper |
US-China Alaska Meeting
U.S. Tells China It Does Not Seek Conflict; But Will Stand Up for Principles, Friends (2021-03-18)
(Reuters) The Biden administration began its first high-level in-person talks with rival China on Thursday, saying that Chinese actions threaten a global order based on rules and vowing that Washington would also stand up for its friends.

Bitter Alaska Meeting Complicates Already Shaky U.S.-China Ties
(Wall Street Journal, By William Mauldin) Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters afterward that the governments “are fundamentally at odds” on issues such as Hong Kong and cyberattacks, though interests intersect on Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan and climate change. 

Testy Exchange in Alaska Signals a More Confrontational China (2021-03-19)
(New York Times, By Steven Lee Myers) Just as American views on China have shifted after years of encouraging the country’s economic integration, so have Beijing’s perceptions of the United States and the privileged place in the world that it has long held. The Americans, in their view, no longer have an overwhelming reservoir of global influence, nor the power to wield it against China.

Beyond Colossus Or Collapse: Five Myths Driving American Debates about China (2021-03-19)
(War on the Rocks, By Evan S. Medeiros and Jude Blanchette) We are concerned about five myths that have become common in the United States, all of which deserve closer scrutiny as the Biden administration refines its China strategy: First, that China’s economy is on the precipice of collapse, or conversely, is a juggernaut. Second, that Beijing can effectively plan the country’s future out several decades. Third, that Xi Jinping is preparing an imminent invasion of Taiwan. Fourth, that Beijing will engage in military adventurism to distract from domestic crisis. And, finally, that the U.S. policy of engagement was a total failure.

'Tough' U.S.-China Talks Signal Rocky Start to Relations Under Biden (2021-03-19)
(Reuters, By Humeyra Pamuk, David Brunnstrom, and Michael Martina) U.S. and Chinese officials concluded on Friday what Washington called “tough and direct” talks in Alaska, which laid bare the depth of tensions between the world’s two largest economies at the outset of the Biden administration.

Alaska Summit: What the US and China Agree on, and What Still Divides Them (2021-03-20)
(SCMP, By Mimi Lau) The two sides are far apart on issues such as Hong Kong and Xinjiang, which Beijing insists is none of Washington’s business. But they have agreed to work together on issues such as climate change and regional stability.
Cross-Strait Relations
Pineapple War Shows Taiwan Won’t Be Bullied by Beijing (2021-03-18)
(Foreign Policy, By Lindsay Gorman) But if democracies are to stand up to Chinese coercion, they will have to join forces.

Agriculture Council Mulls Amendments to Protect Cultivars (2021-03-19)
(Taipei Times/CNA, By Jake Chung) The Council of Agriculture (COA) aims to submit a draft amendment that would seek to prevent the outflow of endemic fruits and cultivars, and agricultural technologies to China. The council announced the amendment in reaction to China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapple imports and the subsequent promotion of a domestically grown pineapple cultivar that was developed in Taiwan.
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
U.S. Calls on Paraguay to Learn from Taiwan in Combating COVID-19 (2021-03-15)
(CNA, By Stacy Hsu and Joseph Yeh) U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday called on Paraguay to work with Taiwan in its ongoing fight against COVID-19 amid widespread protests in the South American country over its government's handling of the pandemic.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics
Taiwan’s Referendum Mayhem (2021-03-14)
(The Diplomat, By Lev Nachman and Brian Hioe) Tracing the political stances and stakes of four upcoming referendums.

Taiwan's Foreign Relations 
Supply Chains Critical to Taiwan’s Security (2021-03-10)
(East Asia Forum, By James Lee) US dependence on Taiwan and its microelectronics supply chain enhances deterrence without introducing the risks associated with strategic clarity.

France Rebuffs China After Warnings to Lawmakers Over Taiwan Visit
(Reuters) French Senators are free to meet whomever they wish when they travel, the country’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday after the Chinese embassy in Paris warned against lawmakers meeting officials during an upcoming visit to self-ruled Taiwan.

Call with Paraguay Reaffirmed Ties, Ministry Says
(Taipei Times, By Lin Chia-nan) Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Tuesday night spoke on the telephone with Paraguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs Euclides Acevedo, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, amid speculation that China might poach Taiwan’s sole remaining ally in South America using COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy.
U.S.-China Relations
Chinese Hackers Blamed for Massive Microsoft Server Hack (2021-03-14)
(The Diplomat, By Frank Bajak, Eric Tucker, and Matt O’Brien) The hack – believed to have initially targeted U.S. think tanks – eventually compromised hundreds of thousands of businesses and organizations.

U.S. Tells China to Improve Ties with Australia: U.S. Official (2021-03-16)
(Reuters) The Biden administration has told China that normalising relations with Australia is a precondition to Washington taking any substantial step towards improving relations with Beijing, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.

Visiting Japan, Top U.S. Envoys Set Combative Tone for China Talks
(New York Times, By Lara Jakes, Motoko Rich and John Ismay) Accusing Beijing of violating the “international order” with maritime claims and activities, the statement defended Japan’s right to administer the uninhabited Senkaku Islands, which are also claimed by China. It also called for stability in the Taiwan Strait, as some U.S. military officials see a growing chance that China will move to assert sovereignty over self-governing Taiwan in the coming years. 

US and Japan Name China as Threat to International Order (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Thisanka Siripala) In the first 2+2 talks of their new administrations, both sides pledge to strengthen their alliance in response to shared concerns over China’s “aggressive actions.”

U.S. Seeks to Counter China’s Full-Court Press in Asia (2021-03-18)
(Foreign Policy, By Jack Detsch) Top U.S. officials on trip to Asia under pressure to push back on Taiwan and maritime disputes.

US Sanctions 24 China and Hong Kong Officials Ahead of Talks (2021-03-17)
(Associated Press, By Zen Soo) The U.S. sanctioned an additional 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing’s ongoing crackdown on political freedoms in the semi-autonomous city, just ahead of the Biden administration’s first face-to-face talks with China.

As Biden and Xi Begin a Careful Dance, a New American Policy Takes Shape (2021-03-17)
(New York Times, By David E. Sanger and Michael Crowley) But the emerging strategy more directly repudiates the prevailing view of the last quarter century that deep economic interdependence could be counted on to temper fundamental conflicts on issues like China’s military buildup, its territorial ambitions and human rights.

The Right Way to Boycott the Beijing Olympics (2021-03-15)
(New York Times, By Mitt Romney) The right answer is an economic and diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics. American spectators — other than families of our athletes and coaches — should stay at home, preventing us from contributing to the enormous revenues the Chinese Communist Party will raise from hotels, meals and tickets. American corporations that routinely send large groups of their customers and associates to the Games should send them to U.S. venues instead.

America Will Only Win When China’s Regime Fails (2021-03-14)
(Foreign Policy, By Zack Cooper, Hal Brands) There are two possible outcomes of U.S.-China competition—but Washington should prepare for the more turbulent one.
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China's Domestic Politics
China’s New Five-Year Plan Is a Disappointment (2021-03-14)
(Foreign Policy, By Alice Han, Eyck Freymann) As domestic problems mount, Beijing’s planners are lowering expectations.

Why the Chinese Communist Party Sees Tibetan Monks as ‘Troublemakers’ (2021-03-14)
(The Diplomat, By Apa Lhamo) The CCP’s strategy for consolidating control over Tibet centers on “sinicizing” Tibetan Buddhism.

What Hong Kong’s Legislative Reforms Mean for the City (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Brian Wong) Parsing the motivations, and implications, of Beijing’s plan to overhaul Hong Kong’s electoral and legislative structures.

China's Foreign Relations 
What Do Chinese People Think of Developed Countries? 2021 Edition (2021-03-14)
(The Diplomat, By Adam Y. Liu, Xiaojun Li, and Songying Fang) A new survey shows small but important changes after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

G7 Urge China to End HK ‘Oppression’
(Taipei Times) The G7 nations on Friday demanded that China honor commitments to Hong Kong and end “oppression” against democratic advocates after Beijing forced sweeping changes of the territory’s election system.

EU Envoys Agree First China Sanctions in Three Decades (2021-03-17)
(Reuters, By Robin Emmott) The European Union agreed on Wednesday to blacklist Chinese officials for human rights abuses, two diplomats said, the first sanctions against Beijing since an EU arms embargo in 1989 following the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

China Takes Aim at UK Ambassador Over Media Freedom Post (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Bonnie Girard) British Ambassador to China Caroline Wilson learns the hard way how prickly Beijing is, even to sympathetic criticisms.

China’s Dangerous Step Toward Cyber War (2021-03-14)
(The Diplomat, By Tobias Burgers and David J. Farber) China is changing the cyber game in East-Asia – and increasing the potential for conflict across the Indo-Pacific.

China, Russia Agree to Cooperate on Permanent Moon Base (2021-03-14)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) China has long planned to set up a manned lunar research station. Now it has its first international partner.

Attacks on Chinese-Run Factories in Myanmar Vex Beijing (2021-03-15)
(Associated Press, By Sam Mcneil and Fu Ting) Attacks on Chinese-run factories in Myanmar’s biggest city drew demands Monday from Beijing for protection for their property and employees, while many in Myanmar expressed outrage over China’s apparent lack of concern for those killed in protests against last month’s military coup.

Chinese State Media Hints at ‘More Drastic Action’ in Myanmar (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Sebastian Strangio) After Chinese factories were damaged during anti-coup protests, an editorial warned that “China won’t allow its interests to be exposed to further aggression.”

China’s Myanmar Mess (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Sarah M. Brooks and Debbie Stothard) Increasingly, China’s non-action on the Myanmar coup is going against Beijing’s own interests.
Military Balance
Taiwan Air Force Completes Upgrade of 42 F-16A/B Fighter Jets to F-16Vs (2021-03-17)
(CNA, By Wang Cheng-chung, Chung Yu-chen, and Emerson Lim) Taiwan has completed the upgrade of 42 of its 141 F-16A/Bs fighter jets to F-16Vs, which can "detect enemies earlier and have a longer striking range," Air Force Chief of Staff Huang Chih-wei (黃志偉) said Wednesday.

Taiwan Says China Bolstering Ability to Attack, Blockade Island
(Reuters, By Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard) China is bolstering its ability to attack and blockade Taiwan, deploying long-range missiles to prevent foreign forces helping in the event of war and using psychological warfare to undermine faith in Taiwan’s military, the island’s defence ministry said.

Sharp Jump in US Navy Transits to Counter China Under Trump (2021-03-15)
(Associated Press, By Lolita C. Baldor) Activity by the U.S. Navy in its campaign to challenge China’s efforts to restrict transit in the South China Sea and in the Taiwan Strait increased sharply over the past two years.

Chinese Anti-Submarine Aircraft Enters Taiwan’s ADIZ
(Taiwan News, By Matthew Strong) A Chinese warplane intruded into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) for the first time in three days Saturday (March 20), the Ministry of National Defense said.
Regional Issues
In ‘Historic’ Summit Quad Commits to Meeting Key Indo-Pacific Challenges (2021-03-14)
(The Diplomat, By Abhijnan Rej) The joint statement that followed the meeting is ambitious, concrete, and direct.

Can India Mold the Quad for Its Own Gains? (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Mohamed Zeeshan) India represents the only developing country that can challenge China in the long run. The Quad must help build India’s strengths.

US-India Relations: The Shift From Trump to Biden  (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Emily Ashbridge) As Washington and Delhi seek stronger ties, three policy shifts underway in the Biden administration may limit cooperation.

China’s Worrying New Coast Guard Law (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By KAWASHIMA Shin) Japan is watching the Senkaku Islands closely.

North Korea Warns US Not to ‘Cause a Stink’ Before Seoul Meeting (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Kim Tong-Hyung) Kim Yo Jong issued a warning statement ahead of a U.S.-South Korea 2+2, in Pyongyang’s first direct comment to the Biden administration.

North Korean Threat Forces Biden Into Balancing Act With China (2021-03-18)
(New York Times, By Lara Jakes and Choe Sang-Hun) As it ends its first high-level diplomatic tour of Asia on Thursday, the Biden administration is banking on international alliances in the region to help stem the growing threat posed by North Korea’s ballistic missiles and nuclear capabilities. But the country that is perhaps in the best position to influence Pyongyang is one that President Biden has increasingly viewed as an adversary: China.

What Went Wrong With Pacific Regionalism? (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Patrick Kaiku) The threat by Micronesian leaders to withdraw their countries from the PIF is a compelling reason to rethink the place of regionalism in the domestic affairs of member states and territories.

The Ups and Downs of Soft Power in the Asia-Pacific (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Daniele Carminati) The coronavirus pandemic has shifted the relative “soft power” standing of leading powers.

3 Indo-Pacific Takeaways From the UK ‘Integrated Review’ (2021-03-18)
(The Diplomat, By Abhijnan Rej) The document is rich in ideas – though comes across a little muddled at places.

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