Home > > TBT Newsletter July 2016 is available now
TBT Newsletter July 2016 is available now
2016-07-28 00:00:00
Editor's Note

Taiwan Brain Trust is indebted to you for the steady stream of feedback received from readers in a variety of fields. It is your input that serves as our driving force, motivating us to continue on in our efforts. We are exceedingly grateful for each and every suggestion and encouragement we receive from you. This month, specialists in various fields share their views on such current issues as Tsai Ing-wen’s first trip abroad as president, the South China Sea arbitration case, cross-Strait trade developments, Brexit, House of Councillors elections in Japan, and elections for the Mongolian State Great Khural.

In an article entitled “Commenting on President Tsai Ing-wen’s First Overseas Visit,” Senior Policy Adviser at TBT Liu Shih-chung points out that there are many strategic implications to President Tsai’s first trip to countries with diplomatic ties with Taiwan. The trip introduced the Tsai Administration’s new thinking, referred to as “Steadfast Diplomacy,” and is the best international platform for Taiwan democracy. What the Tsai Administration really needs to face is whether or not the cross-Strait diplomatic battle will reopen as a result of the current deadlock in cross-Strait relations.

According to TBT Vice President Lin Ting-hui in his piece “South China Sea Arbitration Case: Window of Opportunity for Cooperation,” nobody debates about the South China Sea being either an enclosed or semi-enclosed sea. China is considering promoting a cooperation mechanism with states bordering the South China Sea. Following the arbitration case, most claimants in the South China Sea have also expressed willingness to cooperate. Politically, there were no clear winners as a result of this case, but it does give countries the opportunity to think about the situation calmly as they pursue their own interests and strive to avoid war. This is also in China’s best choice.

In his article “A Trend toward Deadlock in the Development of Cross-Strait Trade,” Tsai Hong-ming, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Federation of Industries, points out that with the trend toward cross-Strait nongovernmental or local economic and trade exchanges and cooperation becoming the main means and path to future cross-Strait economic and trade cooperation, China will use its influence and market opportunities to take advantage of its “home-field advantage” in cross-Strait industrial cooperation. Whether this strategy will attract continued investment by Taiwan’s technology industry or increase the speed of Taiwan’s high-tech talent outflow, and thereby affect Taiwan’s economic momentum, also requires close attention.

In his piece titled “Attention Focuses on Britain’s Launch of Brexit,” Dr. Wang Che-jen with the Institute of Economics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, explains that the “Brexit” must be carried out in accordance with the process stipulated in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which came into effect in 2009, i.e., first notify the Council of the European Union, then initiate Brexit talks which would last two years. If England does not apply, then the EU cannot obligate it to do so. Even if, in the end, Britain votes for Brexit, it will be a very long process.

Wang Zun-yan, Assistant Professor with the Department of Applied Foreign Languages at Taiwan Shoufu University, wrote an article entitled “Analysis of Japan’s 24th House of Councillors Elections” in which he points out that Japan’s House of Councillors has a total of 242 seats. The coalition formed by the LDP and the Komeito Party came on top in the recent elections, winning 70 seats, representing voter approval of such major controversial policies as Abenomics, delaying increases in consumer taxes, and amending the constitution, giving the Abe government legitimacy as it advances related policies in the future.

In his piece “Influencing Mongolian Politics: China and the Mining Industry,” Hung Yao-nan, Secretary-General of the Taiwan Asian Network for Free Elections, states that the primary reason for Mongolia’s stagnant economy today is the slowdown of economic growth and overproduction in China has hit Mongolia’s mining exports hard. Faced with a slumping economy, the current administration has placed a great deal of hope on China, i.e., China’s high speed rail will traverse Mongolia to Russia and Russia’s oil and natural gas pipelines will go through Mongolia to China. Allowing the rail and pipelines through its territory will give a boost to Mongolia’s economy.

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