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Security Commentaries #007
March 9th, 2021


Asia Pacific

  • Pineapples and Politics - Continued: Over the past week, Taiwan media outlets and the public sphere has been overwhelmed by a flurry of pineapple-related news. 

Around the World

  • Virtual Meeting of ASEAN’s Top Diplomats Discussing Crisis Resolution on Myanmar: When it comes to the regional organization’s policy, the notion of a peaceful resolution cannot be manifested at this place in time. Thus, no assertive action will be imposed by ASEAN to end the crisis in Myanmar.
  • DEFENDER-Europe 21 and ZAPAD 2021: Russia and NATO will soon hold massive military exercises almost simultaneously in the vicinity of each other in Europe.

Pineapples and Politics, Continued

- Richard Chen, Taiwan Center for Security Studies

Since March 1st, China has banned the importation of Taiwanese pineapples citing the “detection of harmful organisms”, stated Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office in China’s State Council. As the week progressed, Taiwan’s government threw its full weight behind supporting the pineapple farmers and the local fruit exports, promising to help the farmers export to other countries.

However, what is in many ways questionable is the massively overblown scale of the “pineapple incident” as the media headlines at home and abroad, and in turn the public, becomes fixated on the ban... Read more

Virtual Meeting of ASEAN’s Top Diplomats Discussing Crisis Resolution on Myanmar

- Elpeni Fitrah, Taiwan Center for Security Studies

Last Tuesday, all ten ASEAN foreign ministers, including Myanmar's military-appointed Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, convened an informal online meeting in response to the escalating crisis in Myanmar, to figure out the best resolution to Myanmar's crisis. The meeting was touted as ASEAN's first official action institutionally after a series of events in Myanmar's military coup that lasted more than a month.

This move has been long-awaited since the military coup caused a step backward on Myanmar's democratic transition. Moreover, Myanmar's crisis seized global attention once more from the international community after the military junta launched their most violent and deadly crackdown on peaceful demonstrators last Saturday... Read more

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DEFENDER-Europe 21 and ZAPAD 2021

- Evgenii Iastrubinskii, Taiwan Center for Security Studies 

Exercise DEFENDER-Europe is a series of large scale military exercises in Europe since the end of the Cold War designed to highlight the swift response of the US Army to deploy a large force to Europe and move them across the continent in a crisis. Specifically it serves as reassurance to allies and a deterrent to Russia.

This year the exercises will be held in May-June with the main focus on the Black Sea, Balkan countries and Baltic States. Almost 31000 soldiers from 26 NATO states will participate in this military maneuver. The US and NATO will once again work out the defense of the eastern European borders from Russia.... Read more

This Past Week — What is Happening at TCSS

  • Last Thursday on March 4th, Taiwan Center for Security Studies held a webinar on "The Biden Administration's Indo-Pacific Strategy & Foreign Policy Dilemmas in Asia"
  • On Friday, March 5th, a roundtable seminar was held on the theme of "Defining National Security and Foreign Policy: Practicability and Achievability" at TCSS. 
Links and further details to follow later this week.
Thank you for subscribing to the TCSS Security Commentaries email newsletter, a weekly publication aimed at providing independent and transparent analysis on key events around the world regarding international security and developments in the Asia-Pacific region. 

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s edition, and will continue to update you on a timely basis with our events and regularly scheduled publications

Copyright 2021 - Taiwan Center for Security Studies 

All views and articles in this periodical do not necessarily represent the views of either TCSS or the editors.

Editors : Richard Chen & Jaime Ocon
Image Sources: Getty Images,
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