::: TSR Weekly Report
2021-09-25 | NO.45(39) epaper |
Note to Readers
TSR announces newly published books about Taiwan and East Asia on its website and in its weekly newsletter. If you're a scholar or your book will be published by an academic press, please send the title of your book and a link to the publisher's web site to TSR's Executive Editor, Dalton Lin (dalton.lin@inta.gatech.edu).  
Cross-Strait Relations
Mainland China Bans Taiwan Wax and Sugar Apple Imports as Cross-Strait Relations Continue to Worsen (2021-09-19)
(SCMP, By Amanda Lee) Mainland China has banned imports of sugar apples and wax apples from Taiwan from Monday, citing biosafety fears over plant pests. It follows a similar measure earlier this year to ban imports of pineapples from Taiwan amid ongoing cross-strait tensions.
U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Afghanistan, Taiwan, and America’s ‘Fighting Spirit’ (2021-09-18)
(The Diplomat, By Andrei Lungu) Saying that Taiwan is more important is irrelevant to a party leadership that is interested only on identifying the limit of that importance and going just a bit beyond it.

Taiwan's Former VP Speaks at U.S.-Hosted Global COVID-19 Summit
(CNA, By Matt Yu, Stacy Hsu, and Evelyn Kao) The summit brought together representatives from 180 countries, international groups and non-governmental organizations, and included Taiwan's former Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement issued on Thursday (Taipei Time).

Diplomacy Under Different Rules: How an NGO Dictates American Diplomacy in Taiwan
(The Diplomat, By Rachel Bernstein and Scott Singer) A primer on the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and how it influences the delicate China-Taiwan-U.S. triangle.
Taiwan's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
Taiwan's Domestic Politics
KMT Chair Debate Focuses on Name, ‘1992 Consensus’ (2021-09-19)
(Taipei Times, By Shih Hsiao-kuang, Chien Hui-ju, and Jake Chung) Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairperson candidates yesterday focused on the so-called “1992 consensus” during a televised policy debate ahead of next week’s election.

Pay Attention to the KMT’s Chair Election (2021-09-15)
(The Diplomat, By David G. Brown) The coming election may set the future course for the KMT, currently Taiwan’s main opposition party.

Former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu Elected KMT Chairman (2021-09-25)
(CNA, By Elizabeth Hsu and Teng Pei-ju) Former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) won the chairmanship election of Taiwan's main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Saturday, defeating three other contenders including the incumbent Johnny Chiang (江啟臣).

Taiwanese Presidents Will Not and Can Not Unilaterally Change Taiwan’s Status (2021-09-21)
(The Diplomat, By Brian Hioe and Lev Nachman) A single leader cannot make Taiwan independent or unify it with the People Republic of China. Even trying either course would be political suicide.

Taiwan's Foreign Relations 
Taiwan Applies for CPTPP Membership (2021-09-23)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) Taiwan is a natural fit for the CPTPP in economic terms, but its bid will likely face intense opposition from China.

Japan Welcomes Taiwan Bid to Join Trade Pact, Citing Shared Values (2021-09-24)
(Reuters, By Kantaro Komiya) Japan on Friday welcomed Taiwan's application to join a trans-Pacific trade pact, citing shared democratic values with the island, which China claims as its own. Japanese officials' appreciation of Taiwan's values with regard to democracy and rule of law contrasted with Japan's cautious reaction to China's bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Lithuania Announces Second Vaccine Donation to Taiwan (2021-09-23)
(CNA, By Flor Wang, Chen Yun-yu, and Chung Yu-chen) Lithuania announced on Wednesday that it will donate a second batch of 235,900 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan in a gesture that reflects warming ties between the two countries.

Taiwan Welcomes Planned Visit by French Senators in October (2021-09-21)
(SCMP, By Lawrence Chung) Taiwan has welcomed a planned visit by French senators next month that is set to go ahead despite opposition from Beijing. Senator Alain Richard, a former defence minister, is expected to lead a delegation to Taiwan from October 4 to 11.

Three Allies Urge Taiwan's Inclusion in U.N. System (2021-09-25)
(CNA, By Ozzy Yin and Frances Huang) Paraguay, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, three of the 15 countries which have official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, voiced their support at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday for Taiwan's inclusion in the United Nations (U.N.) system.

Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy Needs to Focus More on India (2021-09-24)
(The Diplomat, By Sana Hashmi) Five years into the NSP, it’s time to elevate India on Taiwan’s diplomatic agenda.
U.S.-China Relations
China’s Leaders Are Having Fun With Us. Who Can Blame Them? (2021-09-21)
(New York Times, By Thomas L. Friedman) While China’s admittance is not likely anytime soon (it requires unanimous consent of the members), just by applying Beijing is exposing how unserious the American far left and far right are when it comes to China. They rail against Beijing’s human rights policy and then they block one of America’s most effective tools to nudge — and that is the most we can ever do — China toward more transparency and the rule of law, i.e., TPP.

Time for Collective Pushback against China’s Economic Coercion (2021-01-13)
(CSIS, By Bonnie S. Glaser) The Biden administration should work to forge a counter-coercion coalition composed of countries that have been subjected to Chinese trade coercion or are vulnerable to such coercion in the future. When instances of Chinese economic coercion take place, coalition members can decide whether and how to respond. Such a grouping could help countries resist Chinese coercion and reduce their vulnerabilities to Chinese trade pressure. Even more important, the coalition could seek to impose costs on China with the aim of changing Beijing’s risk-reward calculus and thus deter it from undertaking future economic coercion campaigns.

Business Groups Are Divided As China Seeks Self-Reliance (2021-09-23)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher) China’s push for self-sufficiency in a wide range of industries is dividing foreign companies, with some welcoming it as another chance to invest there while others worry that it will cause risks to the country’s trading partners and its own economy.

At U.N., Biden Calls for Diplomacy, Not Conflict, but Some Are Skeptical (2021-09-21)
(New York Times, By David E. Sanger) The president said he wants global cooperation to meet challenges, but some allies and adversaries say his actions point to confrontation with China and unilateral action, belying his words.

Has the ‘China Initiative’ Run Its Course? (2021-09-17)
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) After a resounding legal defeat, will the Justice Department change stance on the controversial program?
China's Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations
China's Domestic Politics
Beyond Evergrande’s Troubles, a Slowing Chinese Economy (2021-09-22)
(New York Times, By Keith Bradsher and Alexandra Stevenson) Investors are watching whether the property developer defaults. But in the background, the world’s No. 2 economy is flashing numerous warning signs.

China’s ‘Standards 2035’ Project Could Result in a Technological Cold War (2021-09-18)
(The Diplomat, By Arjun Gargeyas) The repercussions of the Chinese plan will create blocs of influence, each following separate technical standards governing emerging and critical technologies.

China’s ‘Common Prosperity’ Campaign is Going to Be Tough Going (2021-09-18)
(The Diplomat, By Andrew Collier) Fixing inequality would require fundamental change in China’s tax structure and state system – reforms highly unlikely under the current political system.

Voters Choose New Hong Kong Electors Under Pro-Beijing Laws (2021-09-19)
(Associated Press, By Alice Fung and Zen Soo) Select Hong Kong residents voted for members of the Election Committee that will choose the city’s leader in the first polls Sunday following reforms meant to ensure candidates with Beijing loyalty.

Hong Kong Is Holding Elections. It Wants Them to Look Real (2021-09-24)
(New York Times, By Vivian Wang and Joy Dong) China has already determined the outcome, but the government is pressuring opposition parties to participate to lend the vote legitimacy.

Hong Kong’s Largest Opposition Trade Union Confirms Disbandment, Expects to Fold by Early October (2021-09-19)
(SCMP, By Chan Ho-him) Formed 31 years ago, the Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU) is one of several opposition and activist groups targeted by authorities since the Beijing-imposed national security law came into effect in June last year.

Hong Kong Group Supporting Mainland China Lawyers to Disband After Police Demand Information Citing National Security Law (2021-09-21)
(SCMP, By Jeffie Lam) A Hong Kong group founded to support human rights lawyers in mainland China has announced it will disband, a decision coinciding with a deadline for the organisation to provide police with information requested on national security grounds. The China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group will be the latest in a run of Hong Kong civic bodies to dissolve following Beijing’s imposition of a national security law on the city last year.

Hong Kong June 4 Vigil Organizers to Disband Amid Crackdown (2021-09-25)
(Associated Press) The Hong Kong group that had organized annual vigils in remembrance of victims of the Chinese military’s crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests voted to disband Saturday amid an ongoing crackdown on independent political activism in the semi-autonomous city.

Beijing Expands Footprint in Hong Kong with New Departments (2021-09-23)
(Bloomberg, By Kari Soo Lindberg) China’s cabinet-level office overseeing Hong Kong has expanded by creating two departments to oversee propaganda and security affairs, local media reported, signaling Beijing’s growing footprint in the financial hub.

China's Foreign Relations 
Canadians, Chinese Executive Return Home in Prisoner Swap (2021-09-25)
(Associated Press, By Rob Gillies) China, the U.S. and Canada completed a high-stakes prisoner swap Saturday with joyous homecomings for two Canadians held by China and for an executive of Chinese global communications giant Huawei Technologies charged with fraud, potentially bringing closure to a 3-year feud that embroiled the three countries.

To Get Back Arrested Executive, China Uses a Hardball Tactic: Seizing Foreigners
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley and Katie Benner) In a rapid-fire climax to a 1,030-day standoff, China welcomed home a company executive whose arrest in Canada and possible extradition to the United States made her a focus of superpower friction. In getting her back, Beijing brandished a formidable political tool: using detained foreign citizens as bargaining chips in disputes with other countries.

China’s ‘Hostage Diplomacy’ Standoff with Canada is over. But How Much Damage Was Done?
(Washington Post, By Amanda Coletta) “Going forward, I don’t think Canada-China relations will be the same as they were 1,000 days ago,” Lynette Ong, an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto, said. “It’s fundamentally at a different point. … I think China has underestimated the cost of playing this game of hostage diplomacy. Its reputation has been tarnished tremendously.”

Will China Actually Join the CPTPP?
(The Diplomat, By Shannon Tiezzi) China’s membership bid has symbolic value, but it’s highly unlikely that Beijing will meet the CPTPP’s standards.

Don’t Count China Out of the CPTPP (2021-09-22)
(The Diplomat, By Joseph Cash) The now-frozen trade deal with the EU shows China can be willing to push the boundaries of reform into areas that might surprise observers.

China’s Xi, Like Biden Hours Earlier, Turns to Calm Language in UN Remarks (2021-09-23)
(The Diplomat, By Ted Anthony) In a pre-recorded speech, Xi reiterated China’s commitment to “dialogue and cooperation” and refrained from criticizing the U.S. by name.

Lithuania Says Throw Away Chinese Phones Due to Censorship Concerns (2021-09-21)
(Reuters, By Andrius Sytas) Lithuania's Defense Ministry recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Link to full report by Lithuania's National Cyber Security Centre.
Military Balance
Chinese Military Spotter Plane Enters Taiwan’s ADIZ (2021-09-21)
(Taiwan News, By Eric Chang) A Chinese military plane flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday afternoon (Sept. 20), marking 18th intrusion this month.

Taiwan's First F-16V Combat Wing Soon to Be Commissioned: Source (2021-09-21)
(CNA, By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh) Taiwan's first F-16V combat wing is expected to be commissioned into the Air Force in November, a military source told CNA on Tuesday.

China Sends 24 Fighter Jets Toward Taiwan in Show of Force
(Associated Press) China sent 24 fighter jets toward Taiwan in a large display of force Thursday, after the self-governing island announced its intention to join an 11-nation Pacific trade group that China has also applied to join.

Two Chinese Naval Vessels Reportedly Spotted off Taiwan's East Coast (2021-09-24)
(CNA, By Tyson Lu and Ko Lin) Two military vessels from China were seen off the east of Taiwan, in the Pacific Ocean, over the past two days, a military source said Friday.

US House Wants Taiwan at RIMPAC
(Taipei Times/CNA) The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed its annual defense policy bill, which includes provisions recommending that Taiwan be included in next year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and enhanced cooperation between Taiwan and the US National Guard.
Regional Issues
Australia’s Submarines Make Waves in Asia Long Before They Go to Sea (2021-09-21)
(New York Times, By Chris Buckley) China is swelling into a military superpower. India, Vietnam and Singapore are spending more on defense. Japan is leaning to do the same. Now Australia, backed by the United States and Britain, has catapulted the military contest with Beijing in Asia into a tense new phase.

No Wonder the French Are Angry (2021-09-22)
(New York Times, By Sylvie Kauffmann) At work here is a realignment of alliances in the region, rammed through by the United States with as much consideration for its allies as it showed in the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. The world order is mutating, alliances multiplying. The Anglosphere, tightened around the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, comprising America, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, is regrouping in the South Pacific. That leaves no space for continental Europeans, even though they have common interests.

Australia Is Making a Risky Bet on the U.S.
(New York Times, By Sam Roggeveen) The United States is in Asia by choice; Australia has no such luxury. Washington’s gesture, this commitment of American military and technological prowess, is hugely significant. But it is no guarantee the United States is prepared to enter into a new Cold War-style contest with China.

AUKUS, the Quad, and India’s Strategic Pivot (2021-09-23)
(Foreign Policy, By C. Raja Mohan) The transatlantic fissure has also pointed to something inconceivable—that India could emerge as a potential bridge between different parts of the West. At a moment when the Anglosphere commentariat was bashing what it saw as an over-the-top reaction from Paris, Modi was on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirming India’s strong commitment to the Indo-Pacific partnership with France.

AUKUS: The View from ASEAN (2021-09-23)
(The Diplomat, By Laura Southgate) The new trilateral security partnership has highlighted the bloc’s inability to speak with one voice.

Malaysia to Seek Chinese ‘Views’ on New AUKUS Security Pact (2021-09-24)
(The Diplomat, By Sebastian Strangio) The announcement came after the Malaysian PM said the new security pact could be a “catalyst for a nuclear arms race in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Does AUKUS Augment or Diminish the Quad? (2021-09-23)
(The Diplomat, By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan) AUKUS fits into a growing network of minilaterials crisscrossing the Indo-Pacific and rooted in shared strategic interests.

For India’s Military, a Juggling Act on Two Hostile Fronts (2021-09-24)
(New York Times, By Mujib Mashal and Hari Kumar) The clashes last year were a blow to Mr. Modi, who has focused on developing a formula of mutual prosperity with China. A cooperative relationship would not only help Mr. Modi’s goal of economic development at home, but it would also avoid resources being swallowed by the threat of conflict.

Anti-China Sentiment and South Korea’s Presidential Race
(The Diplomat, By Thomas Chan and Seong Hyeon Choi) How will souring perceptions of China affect South Korea’s next election and its future foreign policy?

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Recent Publication Gunter Schubert and Chun-yi Lee (eds.), Taiwan During the First Administration of Tsai Ing-wen: Navigating in Stormy Waters (Routledge)
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