BY EDWARD J. BARSS | IN-DEPTH PIECE
As Xi Jinping made clear in his recent discussion with Vladimir Putin at the Eastern Economic Forum, China aims to “oppose unilateralism and trade protectionism, to create a new type of international relations.” Or as China State Councilor Wang Yi put it: “China supports necessary reforms and the perfection of the current system, including the WTO, to make it fairer, more effective and more rational.” These statements reflect a broader Chinese vision of ‘international accommodation,’ which would lead to a reformed multipolar international system, anchored in economic reality. A post-Western system where the world is ‘fairer’, ‘non-hegemonic’, and countries can pursue sovereignty without interference.
ADAM NI, BATES GILL | OUTSIDE PUBLICATION
This is the second in a series of two articles that examine the establishment of the PLA Rocket Force (PLARF) and its implications for PLA warfighting and deterrence capabilities. While part 1 reviewed the drivers and motivations behind the creation of the PLARF and compares it with its predecessor, the Second Artillery Force, this second article evaluates the challenges faced by the PLARF. The authors gratefully acknowledge the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency and its Program on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction for their support of this research.
ADAM NI, BATES GILL | OUTSIDE PUBLICATION
The article examines the creation of China's new missile force, the PLA Rocket Force (PLARF), which was part of a major reform aiming to improve the PLA's joint operations, command and control, as well as combat effectiveness. It specifically analyzes the rationale for the PLARF's creation, its mission, and the challenges faced by it such as acquiring more advanced missile technologies. Indeed, China's expanding missile capabilities give the military more options in planning for regional scenarios involving Taiwan, the East and South China Seas, and the Korean Peninsula.
PHILIP HSU | OUTSIDE PUBLICATION
China might increasingly resort to cyber attacks against Taiwan to compel the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to say publicly the phrase "1992 Consensus", which would signal its commitment to reunification / unification under the Chinese interpretation of "one China" namely the "One China Principle". This article examines the recent efforts taken by the Taiwanese ruling authorities to promote cyber security as a national security issue. The aims is to bolster "indigenous cybersecurity innovation", to link the cybersecurity industry with its military, and to strengthen "the capabilities of Taiwan’s military cyber forces" in order to prevent or mitigate future cyber attacks by China.
BY RUSSELL HSIAO | OUTSIDE PUBLICATION
China has significantly ramped up pressure on Taiwan since Tsai Ing-wen was democratically-elected as the country’s president in January 2016. As Beijing’s external pressure on Taiwan grows, pressure for action is building on the Tsai administration, both from the opposition as well as from within her own party. The confluence of these factors will make it harder for the Tsai administration to sustain her administration’s pragmatic efforts to maintain the “status quo” in cross-Strait relations without greater international support.
BY JUDITH NORTON | IN-DEPTH PIECE
The Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the U.S. House of Representatives on Foreign Affairs held a hearing titled “Reinforcing the U.S.-Taiwan Relationship”. U.S. Representatives and several expert witnesses discussed the current geopolitical situation facing Taiwan. The expert witnesses included Mark Stokes, the Executive Director of the Project 2049 Institute, Julian Ku, a Professor of Constitutional Law at the Maurice A. Dean School of Law, and Tiffany Ma, Senior Director of Bower Group Asia. The expert witnesses’ statements were incisive but contained a few misrepresentations of important concepts that, without clarification, could negatively affect U.S. policy going forward. This article points out and clarifies a few of the errors made in the statements. Part I addresses a few puzzling statements in the testimony of Mark Stokes.
BY EDWARD J. BARSS | PRESS ITEM
Following the failure of China and the US to resolve trade and other issues earlier last year, the Trump administration launched a Section 301 investigation into Chinese Intellectual Property practices, which is the genesis for the proposed $50 Billion in US trade sanctions on Chinese goods. The Chinese government, in response to US limits on Chinese steel and aluminum, has levied $3 Billion in tariffs aimed at agricultural products. The underlying issue for both countries, outside of undermining the WTO or the economic damage a trade war will cause, is the inability to reach a negotiated settlement. Lost in the storm and stress of a trade war between the US and China, there are significant implications for countries in Asia. Furthermore, Taiwan could be affected the most.
BY THE INITIATIVE | INTERVIEW
Arthur Ding is a Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Institute of East Asian Studies, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan. His research focuses on China’s security policy, national defense policy, arms control and non-proliferation policy, and the international relations of East Asia.
Professor Ding spoke to The Initiative in April 2018. In his interview, he discussed the reforms taking place in China and their implications for China, Taiwan, and the U.S.
BY JUDITH NORTON | PRESS ITEM
Recently, the newly inaugurated Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) encouraged the Taiwanese public to focus less on the “so-called” “1992 Consensus” that served as the framework for cross-strait relations during the Ma Ying-jeou administration and to focus more on certain laws as the framework for cross-strait ties. His statement is not a major shift in the Tsai administration’s position on the 1992 Consensus. But it highlights the direction of the administration’s cross-strait policies, which aim to continue to move away from the established concepts that represent China’s “One China Principle” and toward concepts that, at the very least, present Taiwan as not a part of the ‘one China’ political formula but as a separate entity. His statement indicates the 1992 Consensus remains a major battleground in the cross-strait relationship.
BY CHONG-PIN LIN PHD | OUTSIDE PUBLICATION
As the United States hedges against a potential military confrontation with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Beijing has opted to circumvent Washington’s preparations by adopting a grand strategy that utilizes “extra-military instruments” to gradually diminish the preponderant influence of the United States. These instruments—economic aid, cultural contributions, legal compulsion and diplomatic coercion—transcend, but certainly do not exclude the use of military force. Even though Chong-pin Lin wrote the article in 2007, it remains salient today.
BY JUDITH NORTON AND EDWARD J. BARSS | TRANSLATION (UPDATE: MAY 24, 2018)
The EAPASI provides a translation of the official Chinese document titled "Some Measures for Promoting Cross-Strait Economic and Cultural Exchange Cooperation". The PRC passed the measures in order to attract Taiwanese businesses, professionals, and students to invest in, to relocate to, and to study on the mainland. The incentives bypass the Tsai administration, which, in response to the 31 Measures, implemented a counter-measure called the "Four Directions and Eight Strategies". It appears however that the PRC originally introduced the 31 Preferential Policies during the Fifth Straits Forum in southeast China's Xiamen in 2013 and, now, in 2018, aims to actively implement them.
BY LAWRENCE J. LAU, PHD | OUTSIDE PUBLICATION
Lawrence J. Lau says the removal of the term limits on the office of China’s president would seem to signal Xi Jinping’s resolve to continue his anti-corruption campaign and economic reform agenda, while pre-empting any challenge to his power.
BY EDWARD J. BARSS AND MONTE R. BULLARD | BOOK REVIEW
In War by Other Means, Robert Blackwill and Jennifer Harris argue that geoeconomic warfare requires a new vision of U.S. statecraft.
BY CHELSEA CHIA-CHEN CHOU, PHD | IN-DEPTH PIECE
This in-depth piece analyzes the political controversy of recognition affecting the cross-strait relationship. Specifically, the PRC refuses to recognize Taiwan's national title, namely the Republic of China, as well as the legitimate jurisdiction of the Republic of China, which the majority of Taiwanese people consistently support. Accordingly, if the PRC refuses to recognize the ROC and its jurisdiction, there could be little room for Taiwan’s government – represented by either the KMT or the DPP – to start any serious dialogue on political issues with the PRC.
BY JUDITH NORTON | OUTSIDE PUBLICATION
President Donald Trump’s administration and the US Congress have released major documents and passed key pieces of legislation over the course of time that signal the potential for a shift in the U.S.’s “One China Policy” which has framed US-China-Taiwan relations for decades.
BY JUDITH NORTON | OUTSIDE PUBLICATION
Dennis P. Halpin’s recent article contending that China is altering the status quo in the cross-strait relationship misses the mark. My research shows there are three definitions of the status quo concept: the 1992 “consensus” status quo; the “dynamic” status quo; and the “parallel movement” status quo and, consequently, there are four status quo policies. Based upon these different definitions and policies, China is not changing the cross-strait status quo; rather it is actively enforcing its interpretation.
BY JUDITH NORTON | PRESS ITEM
The U.S. government continues to remove the Republic of China (ROC Taiwan) flag from government websites. This time, both the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Department of State asserted that there are no changes to U.S.-Taiwan relations while both sides reaffirmed ties. But the removal of the flag is puzzling because there are different flags representing the ROC and Taiwan. The U.S. government's removal of the flag tends to send different signals to Taiwan's KMT, Taiwan's DPP, and the PRC, all of which could interpret the removal differently; however trivial the removal may appear, it could prove detrimental to the evolving U.S.-China-Taiwan dynamic in subtle ways.
BY EDWARD J. BARSS, MONTE R. BULLARD AND JUDITH NORTON | IN-DEPTH PIECE
We are China specialists. We support the America First National Security Strategy (AFNSS), but in this case, we offer a constructive critique of the document. Our review of the strategy was to identify America’s view of China so we could adjust our examination of China policy and, most importantly, the potential for conflict with China. Unfortunately, the AFNSS didn’t offer us much help.
BY JUDITH NORTON AND MONTE R. BULLARD | OUTSIDE PUBLICATION
A look at the geopolitical drivers of policy in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. This article was published on The Diplomat (see here)
BY MONTE R. BULLARD AND JUDITH NORTON | IN-DEPTH PIECE
Both Presidents Trump and Xi aim to make their countries great again. Their approaches have some areas of similarities and differences. In the 21st Century the U.S. needs to avoid underestimating China while ensuring that it sends the right message to China. We are neither friend nor foe. Rather we are competitors.