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China Reform Monitor - No. 1278

Xi eyes his legacy;
Taiwan increasingly threatened by Chinese missiles

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
April 18, 2017


March 20:

Despite China's urging India for decades to recognize the Dalai Lama as a "separatist," New Delhi remains adamant about including the Tibetan spiritual leader in its annual international Buddhist conference. Beijing sees the invitation as part of an Indian effort to extract concessions from China in the two countries' territorial dispute. India seeks to use the Dalai Lama as a "legal excuse" to claim the region, "its rhetoric on the Tibet question is intensifying when many Western countries are playing it down," 
the official Global Times reports

March 21:

Taiwan's Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan said there is a growing military threat from China, which has deployed Dong Feng-16 (DF-16) medium-range ballistic missiles in Guangdong capable of hitting Taiwan. With a range of 800-1,000kms, the DF-16 is difficult to intercept with anti-ballistic missiles systems such as the MIM-104 and Patriot PAC-3. Coupled with already- deployed conventional land-attack and anti-ship variants of the CSS-5 (DF-21C/D) medium-range ballistic missile, the DF-16's deployment substantially improves China's ability to strike Taiwan and other regional targets, The China Post reports. 

March 24:

A bipartisan group of U.S. Congressman has introduced a resolution condemning China's retaliation against South Korea for its decision to host the U.S. THAAD missile defense system and urging Beijing to increase pressure on North Korea. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) initiated the resolution together with Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Ami Bera (D-CA), and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. The resolution urged Beijing to "immediately cease its diplomatic intimidation and economic coercion" against Seoul and called on China to "exercise its considerable influence to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs." After the private Lotte Group allowed a golf course it owns to be used for the THAAD site, 50 Lotte supermarkets across China were shut down and Korean businesses became the target of various "inspections" by the authorities. "China's retaliatory measures against South Korea potentially constitutes a violation of its WTO obligations," the resolution said. Seoul welcomed the resolution, which it said sends a "strong" message to Beijing, Yonhap reports

March 27:

Comrade Xi Jinping is likely to see his name enshrined in the party's theoretical pantheon at the 19th national party congress this autumn, 
the South China Morning Post reports. To have an eponymous ideological "banner term" written into the party's constitution would place Xi above his two immediate predecessors, whose contributions do not bear their names, and on a par with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Chen Daoyin, at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said Xi saw himself as "shoulder to shoulder" with Mao and Deng and is ready to start his own era. "Since the founding of the PRC in 1949, we've had 30 years under Mao and 30 years under Deng, and now Xi is having his 30 years. This is how he sees himself – his role and his position – in the party's history: to lead the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."

[Editor's Note: Hu Jintao's "Scientific Outlook on Development" was written into the party constitution during the 17th national party congress at the end of his first term in 2007. Jiang Zemin's "Three Represents" was enshrined at the 16th party congress in 2002, when he retired as general secretary. "Deng Xiaoping Theory" was written into the party constitution at the 15th national congress in 1997, after his death earlier that year. "Mao Zedong Thought" became the party's guiding ideology in 1945, four years before the PRC was founded.]

March 30:

China's Taiwan Affairs Office has confirmed the arrest of Lee Ming-che, a member of Taiwan's ruling pro-independence Democratic People's Party, on charges of "threatening national security." Lee went missing in early March after entering Zhuhai, Guangdong via Macau. He had been sharing information about democratic developments in Taiwan with activists in China through WeChat. 
Taiwan's Apple Daily accused Chinese authorities of "making an example" of Lee to dissuade links between the Taiwan's democrats and grassroots mainland activists. The official Global Times rejected this accusation, and denied that Beijing is "retaliating" over Taiwan's recent arrests of Chinese spies. Earlier this month, Taiwan authorities detained a Chinese student, 29-year-old Zhou Hongxu from Liaoning, on suspicion of breaching national security laws, 
Reuters reports.