Roberto Abraham Scaruffi

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

2016-06-15 | NO.20(24) epaper |
TSR Editorial Page
A Stable Squeeze: How Beijing Hopes to Exert Economic Pressure on Taiwan without Killing Trade Ties

Beijing may still believe that stable economic ties with Taiwan serve China’s grand objective of unification, but that does not mean that Taiwan’s new administration will experience smooth sailing on the economic front and will be able to implement its economic policies unimpeded by Beijing. To the contrary, there are at least two areas where the Chinese government is bound to squeeze Taiwan economically in order to win political concessions from Taipei and maintain China’s enormous economic leverage over Taiwan
-Kristian McGuire, TSR Associate Editor
South China Sea Disputes
Europeans Push Back Against Beijing in the South China Sea (2016-06-06)
(Foreign Policy, By Keith Johnson and Dan de Luce) France has thrown its hat into the acrimonious South China Sea debate, calling for more European naval patrols in a contested waterway that is at the center of a growing dispute between China and the United States and its Asian allies.
France Leads Europe's Changing Approach to Asian Security Issues (2016-06-11)
(The Diplomat, By Valérie Niquet) One of the major issues for the international community, including the European Union, is China’s strongly asserted refusal of any constraints resulting from the international agreements that Beijing has ratified. This is the case with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the upcoming decision on the Philippine-China arbitration case. Admiral Sun Jianguo’s claim that China will not bear with the arbitration rule is particularly worrying.
Responding to Coast Guard Expansion in the South China Sea (2016-06-09)
(Council on Foreign Relations, By Aaron Picozzi and Lincoln Davidson) Lots of ink has been spilled about how China’s reclamation activities “change facts on the ground,” but Chinese Coast Guard activities do at least as much to alter the reality in the South China Sea. When the Chinese Coast Guard threatens or actually uses force to enforce Chinese law within areas that Zhongnanhai claims are their waters, they are effecting functional control of the region.

Taipei Would Not Comply With ADIZ, Minister Says
(Taipei Times/CNA) Over reports that Beijing plans to establish an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea, Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan said Taiwan would not recognize or comply with the ADIZ, just as it does not recognize or comply with the ADIZ that China established over the East China Sea, two years prior.

Ammunition Supplies Bound For Taiping (2016-06-07)
(China Post, By Yuan-Ming Chiao) Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan confirmed that 40,000 rounds of ammunition are bound for the R.O.C. administered Taiping Island in the South China Sea. This re-supply will be facilitated by the Navy to the Coast Guard units stationed on the island.
Taiwan Assures US That Defense Chief's Ammo Claim Is Untrue (2016-06-09)
(China Post, By Joseph Yeh) Foreign Minister David Lee assures that the R.O.C. has contacted the U.S. to clear up concerns after National Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan stated that ammunitions would be sent to Taiwan-controlled Taiping Island in the South China Sea. Minister Feng clarified his comments, saying the ammunitions are actually bound for the Pratas Islands.
Gov't Dismisses Talk of Taiwan-Philippines Fishing Rights Accord (2016-06-12)
(China Post) The government has dismissed rumors that Taiwan and the Philippines have struck an agreement to allow Taiwanese fishing boats to operate in Philippine waters.
East China Sea Disputes and Japan Policy
Chinese Jets Intercept U.S. Spy Plane Over East China Sea (2016-06-08)
(Wall Street Journal, By Jeremy Page and Gordon Lubold) A Chinese jet fighter conducted an “unsafe” intercept of a U.S. spy plane in international airspace over the East China Sea, the U.S. Pacific Command said, in the second such midair encounter in a month.

Japan Summons Chinese Envoy After Naval Ship Nears Disputed Islands (2016-06-10)
(New York Times, By Jonathan Soble) China sent a warship for the first time on Thursday into disputed waters near a group of Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea, the Japanese government said.
U.S. “Pivot” to Asia and Sino-U.S. Engagement
U.S. Says China's Industrial Glut Disrupts Global Markets (2016-06-06)
(Wall Street Journal, By Lingling Wei and Felicia Schwartz) High-level talks meant to steady often fractious U.S.-China relations are instead showing the limits of cooperation in one of the Obama administration’s last major negotiations with Beijing.

China’s Xi Calls For More Trust As Talks With US Commence
(Taipei Times/ AFP) Chinese President Xi Jinping called for greater trust between Beijing and Washington, as the two countries kick off the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

Can the US–China Strategic and Economic Dialogue do anything about the South China Sea? (2016-06-09)
(The Strategist, By Feng Zhang) That the SED hasn’t been able to achieve anything over the South China Sea says less about the institution itself than about the seriousness of US–China differences over maritime security in the Western Pacific.
The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War? (2015-09-24)
(The Atlantic, By Graham Allison) The preeminent geostrategic challenge of this era is not violent Islamic extremists or a resurgent Russia. It is the impact that China’s ascendance will have on the U.S.-led international order. As Singapore’s late leader, Lee Kuan Yew, observed, “the size of China’s displacement of the world balance is such that the world must find a new balance. It is not possible to pretend that this is just another big player. This is the biggest player in the history of the world.”
Remarks at U.S. Naval Academy Commencement As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Annapolis, Maryland, May 27, 2016 (2016-05-27)
(DoD, By Ash Carter) A model like that is out of step with where the region wants to go, and it’s counterproductive – it’s far from a “win-win.” The result is that China’s actions could erect a Great Wall of self-isolation, as countries across the region – allies, partners, and the unaligned – are voicing concerns publicly and privately, at the highest levels, in regional meetings, and global fora. Such a model reflects the region’s distant past, rather than the principled future we all want for the Asia-Pacific.
China's Perspective on the US-Vietnam Rapprochement (2016-06-06)
(PacNet #48A, Pacific Forum, CSIS, By Yun Sun) Beijing is generally concerned about the deterioration of relations with Southeast Asian countries and identifies the US rebalance strategy as a fundamental factor undermining these relations. However, in the case of Vietnam, China’s assessment is more complicated. On the one hand, China sees real reasons for worry about the development of US-Vietnam relations. However, on the other hand, China sees a number of constraints to cooperation between Washington and Hanoi.
Survey on America's Role in the Asia-Pacific (2016-06-12)
The United States Studies Center at the University of Sydney and its partner institutions in the Asian Research Network have published their findings from a survey of public perceptions in Asia of the role of the U.S. in the region.
DPP Searches for New China Stance; Cross-Strait Issues
Bureau Suggests ‘Bridge of Mutual Trust’ with China (2016-06-06)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Taipei and Beijing, deadlocked over the so-called “1992 consensus,” are testing each other’s bottom lines with regard to the political foundation of their bilateral relations, the National Security Bureau (NSB) said, suggesting that Taiwan should keep communicating with its rival and try to build a bridge of mutual trust.

Actions Are What Count in Cross-strait Relations: ARATS (2016-06-11)
(China Post, By Yuan-Ming Chiao) The head of the mainland's semi-official Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) stated Friday in Beijing that observation of Taiwan's new government should focus on its actions rather merely on its words.

"NT$3.4 billion loss" if Mainland Bars Students (2016-06-09)
(China Post, By Christine Chou) Taiwan could lose nearly NT$3.4 billion every year if Beijing bars mainland students from studying in local schools, Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker John Wu said Wednesday.
Beijing to Cut Taiwan-bound Tourists in 3 Stages (2016-06-11)
(China Post) The Beijing authorities reportedly plan to reduce the number of Taiwan-bound Chinese tourists in three stages by the end of the year, and the total number of tourist arrivals from mainland China is estimated to fall to under 2 million in 2016, down sharply from the 3.85 million arrivals recorded in 2015, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported on Friday.
Caught Between China and Taiwan, and Leaning Toward China (2016-06-08)
(New York Times, By Michael Forsythe) These smaller islands are at a crossroads, borne out by the complicated interplay among the locals, the government in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, and the mainland.
KMT Vows to Keep Pushing for Peace in the Taiwan Strait (2016-06-11)
(Taipei Times, By Alison Hsiao) The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) will continue to be a “second-track” mechanism for cross-strait peace, KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin said yesterday as he attended the fifth Yunnan-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Exchange Seminar in China.
Ma’s Planned Trip A ‘Difficult Issue’ (2016-06-07)
(Taipei Times, By Stacy Hsu) Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Lin Cheng-yi explained that the approval process regarding President Ma’s application is a highly ‘difficult issue’ requiring political judgement. He also promised that the application is being deliberated in accordance with the National Security Information Protection Act.
Military Balance and Arms Sales
Increase Defense Budget to 3% of GDP: McCain (2016-06-06)
(China Post) President Tsai Ing-wen received U.S. Senator John McCain on Sunday, with the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee chairman suggesting that Taiwan increase its national defense spending to 3 percent of the GDP.
Boost to Defense Spending ‘Important’ (2016-06-11)
(Taipei Times, By William Lowther) It is “very important” for Taiwan to increase its defense spending, a key US Congressional staff member told a Heritage Foundation discussion on Thursday.
Taiwan's Domestic Issues and Foreign Relations
Party Identification in May 2016 (2016-06-09)
In a poll conducted by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research in May 2016, 19.8% of respondents indicated support for the Kuomintang (KMT), while 29.5% of respondents indicated support for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Survey Results on Assessments of Major Political Parties (2016-06-10)
Survey data from Taiwan Indicators Survey Research tracks respondents' views of the Kuomintang (KMT), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on a 0-100 scale. In the attached graph, blue represents the KMT, green represents the DPP, and red represents the CCP. An average score above 50 represents a positive assessment, while an average score below 50 represents a negative assessment.

Behind the US Pork Protest: What's Eating Taiwan's Swine Industry
(China Post, By Enru Lin) Even without a change to the ractopamine ban, Taiwan's pork industry is struggling.
Stock Exchange Says It Supports Tsai government's 'New Southward Policy' (2016-06-06)
(Taipei Times/CNA) The Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), which operates the local main board, has showed its support for the government's "new southward policy," urging local enterprises to cultivate their own talent to explore the booming Southeast Asian and Indian markets.

Government Considers Visa Privileges For Tourists From ASEAN Countries (2016-06-11)
(Taipei Times/CNA) Taiwan is considering visa entry privileges for tourists from eight ASEAN members, in line with the government’s “New Southbound Policy,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
US Says Little About Tsai's Planned Transits For Visit (2016-06-11)
(China Post/CNA) A U.S. Department of State spokesman on Thursday reiterated Washington's position on transits of Taiwan leaders in the United States as President Tsai Ing-wen prepared to embark on her first overseas trip since taking office on May 20.
China's Rise and Its Domestic Issues
European Firms Find ‘Increasingly Hostile’ Environment in China (2016-06-07)
(Wall Street Journal, By Mark Magnier) European companies say operating in China is growing increasingly difficult as they battle loosely defined laws, perceived protectionism and industrial overcapacity.

Lancôme Provokes Fury After Canceling a Concert in Hong Kong
(New York Times, By Amie Tsang and Alan Wong) The singer, Denise Ho, said the reason was clear: Lancôme, the French cosmetics company owned by L’Oréal, wanted to avoid upsetting the government of China, one of L’Oréal’s largest markets.

A Steel Mill Lives Again, in a Setback for China (2016-06-10)
(New York Times, By Michael Schuman) In the steel industry alone, Chinese leaders announced plans this year to reduce the country’s steelmaking capacity by as much as 150 million metric tons by 2020 – an amount larger than the entire industry in Japan.But as Songting shows, closing even the most troubled plants can prove problematic.
China Tries to Redistribute Education to the Poor, Igniting Class Conflict (2016-06-12)
(New York Times, By Javier C. Hernandez) Parents in at least two dozen Chinese cities have taken to the streets in recent weeks to denounce a government effort to expand access to higher education for students from less developed regions. The unusually fierce backlash is testing the Communist Party’s ability to manage class conflict, as well as the political acumen of its leader, Xi Jinping.

New Releases
Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising Sun: Sino-Japanese Relations, Past and Present by June Teufel Dreyer (Oxford University Press)

John Copper (Palgrave MacMillan):

China's Foreign Aid and Investment Diplomacy, Volume I: Nature, Scope, and Origins
China's Foreign Aid and Investment Diplomacy, Volume II: History and Practice in Asia, 1950 - Present
China's Foreign Aid and Investment Diplomacy, Volume III: Strategy Beyond Asia and Challenges to the United States and the International Order

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