HAPPY THANKSGIVING: PLEASE PASS ON THE POLITICS 1 in 3 adults to avoid talking politics over holiday season Nearly one-third of all adults will actively avoid political conversations when they see friends and family over the Thanksgiving and December holidays, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday. About half said they do not expect to discuss politics at all. -Reuters


Senate Finance Committee approves GOP tax reform plan -Politico

$1.5 Trillion Tax Cut Passed by House in Mostly Party-Line Vote Thirteen Republicans voted against the bill, and no Democrats voted for it -NYT

Yes, a Corporate Tax Cut Would Increase Investment Republicans have science on their side when it comes to this part of their tax plans. -Bloomberg

What Can Trump Learn From Kissinger on North Korea? Trump’s approach toward China and North Korea may be taking a page from Kissinger’s book. -The Diplomat

Drain the Swamp, Not the State Department Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is his own worst enemy. -Bloomberg View

Corker-Tillerson alliance frays The GOP Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman and longtime defender joins a chorus of criticism over the Secretary of State's plans to restructure his department. -Politico

McCain warns Trump over staffing Pentagon with industry insiders -Reuters

Red Scares, Then and Now Russia’s interference in American and European elections constitutes a serious offense. But by treating Russian President Vladimir Putin and his cronies as an existential threat, Western leaders are playing directly into the Kremlin’s hands, and validating its false narrative about Russia’s place in the world. -Project Syndicate


No NAFTA? No problem, says one Mexican city “Of course we’re concerned. It could impact us hard, especially if tariffs increase or they block access to the U.S. market,” Vidales said, sitting in a popular cafe here. But, he added, “we’ll get through this, and much more quickly than before, because we have much more know-how and much more experience.” -The Washington Post

Peru: President Kuczynski denies Odebrecht bribe allegations -BBC




THE PRIVACY ISSUE IS NEXT Wireless carriers on mute as Supreme Court hears big privacy case The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider a major cellphone privacy case later this month, but leading players in the wireless industry that is at the center of the closely watched dispute are keeping their distance. -Reuters

Election officials move closer to placing new rules on Facebook and Google The Federal Election Commission moved a step closer to placing tighter regulations on Internet ads published on major Web platforms, marking a significant shift for an agency beset by partisan dysfunction and another sign that regulators are seeking to thwart foreign meddling in U.S. elections. -The Washington Post

Vancouver Limits Airbnb, in an Effort to Combat Its Housing Crisis -NYT

Lyft to Begin Operations in Toronto, Its First Market Outside the U.S. The ride-hailing company Lyft, a major rival to Uber in the United States, is moving to gain ground internationally. -NYT


Keystone oil pipeline leaks in South Dakota, as Nebraska weighs XL -Reuters

Even Real Estate Developers Can’t Afford Toronto’s Housing Market Toronto-area land prices have gotten so high that developers are struggling to build new homes that people can afford. Buyers are no longer lining up, despite discounts and incentives. -Bloomberg

Debt Traders Dismiss Billionaire's Return as Chilean President -Bloomberg

Venezuelan Debt Now Has the Vultures Circling For years, investing in Venezuelan bonds has been a popular play for the world’s largest investors — seduced by mouthwatering interest rates, despite the obvious risks. -NYT

PDVSA Looks Like a ‘Zero’ to Man Who Ran Elliott’s Argentina Bet -Bloomberg

 “The oil belongs to the state. If PDVSA is reorganized under local law, external bonds could be a zero. Investors should be thinking about the possibility that they will never see much, if anything at all, on their PDVSA bonds.”





ENTENTE Mogherini hails ‘historic’ EU defense pact Move is part of Franco-German push to deepen integration after Brexit. -Politico.eu

World has racked up 7,000 protectionist measures since crisis The world’s top 60 economies have adopted more than 7,000 protectionist trade measures on a net basis since the financial crisis and tariffs are now worth more than $400 billion, a study of global data showed on Wednesday. -Reuters

Governments use 'keyboard armies' to manipulate social media, suppress dissent -France24


The Macron plan for Europe Emmanuel Macron revolutionised French politics. Now he wants to repeat the trick in Europe -The Economist

Brussels will have to deal with the Catalan problem as well as Brexit Would the European Union want to keep out Catalonia which has the 15th highest population in the EU and a larger GDP than Portugal? -The Independent

Bill to enshrine Brexit deal in law not enough for Tory rebels Further concessions from the UK government look necessary to prevent defeat. -Politico.eu

How Sicily Became Ungovernable Italy's poorest region, Sicily, is the country's problem child. Now it has elected a new government. To fix the island, it will have to overcome corruption and widespread Mafia control - and figure out how to convince its population not to leave. -Der Spiegel

The Czech Republic’s anti-Havel President Miloš Zeman ‘says what people want to hear, the way they want to hear it’ — just like Donald Trump. -Politico.eu

Europe rips up free-market rules to help farmers Farmers are finally making headway with complaints that they are the losers in the food supply chain. -Politico.eu

E.U. Ministers Approve Venezuela Arms Embargo -NYT


British Cybersecurity Chief Warns of Russian Hacking Russian hackers over the past 12 months have tried to attack the British energy, telecommunications and media industries, the government’s top cybersecurity official said Tuesday in a summary of a speech to be delivered on Wednesday. -NYT

Taking care of the billionaires A new party for Cyprus’s Russian exiles and expats -The Economist

Why Russian Oligarchs Will Be First to Leave Their Offshore Paradise (Op-ed) The Paradise Papers could help Putin’s efforts to return capital onshore -The Moscow Times

100 Years Since the October Revolution Russia's Unloved Anniversary It has been 100 years since the October Revolution that heralded the Bolshevik takeover of Russia and changed the world. Yet today, Russians have mixed feelings about the centenary and approach it with care. -Der Spiegel


The Upstart Saudi Prince Who’s Throwing Caution to the Winds -NYT

Shaking Down Saudi Princes Is Harder Than You Think Saudi Arabia's unprecedented corruption crackdown -- worth anywhere from $100 billion to $800 billion, depending on who you ask -- makes wringing money from rich princes look as lucrative as extracting oil from the desert. -Bloomberg

Yemen war: Saudi-led coalition 'to reopen some ports'-BBC

Qatar confident of achieving its national goals: Emir -Gulf News


Zimbabwe's Mugabe 'under house arrest' after army takeover Zimbabwe's military has placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest in the capital Harare, South African President Jacob Zuma says. -BBC



The Ongoing Battle against Tax Havens The Paradise Papers offer only the most recent look into the widespread practice of tax avoidance. Governments around the world have taken steps recently to block such strategies, but it is unclear whether they will ultimately be successful. -Der Spiegel

Apple has reportedly relocated its international cash to Jersey -Tech Crunch

Margrethe Vestager, technophobe The EU competition chief’s growing mistrust of Big Tech is reflected in her online habits. -Politioc.eu

Britain targets tech talent by doubling visa numbers Britain is to double the number of visas available to exceptional workers in areas like digital technology and science to 2,000 to help retain an edge after Brexit. -Reuters

U.S. government witness in FIFA trial says media companies paid bribes -Reuters

For Uber, if only Estonia were Europe Troubled American ride-sharing giant gets some rare good news in tech-friendly Baltics. -Politico.eu

Deliveroo claims victory in self-employment case The test case was brought against the delivery company by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB). -BBC

Facebook says Russia did try to meddle in Brexit vote -Tech Crunch

Political risk floors Russia’s Rosneft as rivals lift off -Gulf Times

Germany quintuples arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Egypt German Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration has been criticized for massively increasing arms sales to Middle East dictatorships Saudi Arabia and Egypt. One opposition lawmaker branded the trade "reprehensible." -DW

UAE to buy two Gowind navy corvettes from France -France24

Africa Roundup: Lori Systems wins BFX Africa, Andela raises $40M, Jumia lends to SMEs, Safaricom launches incubator -TechCrunch


Global stocks, oil prices decline; German growth lifts euro The euro was set for its strongest session in more than four months on Tuesday, boosted by strong economic growth in Germany -Reuters

German economy expands on investment drive German economic growth in the third quarter has beaten analysts' expectations as stronger investment propelled GDP expansion in Europe's powerhouse. Some pundits see a risk of the economy overheating. -DW

France's Nuclear Circus If power companies were rewarded for not pumping out planet-warming carbon dioxide, then Electricite de France SA would be a prince among paupers. Nuclear and renewables accounted for 88 percent of the French utility's output last year, whereas coal and fuel oil contributed just 4 percent. -Bloomberg Gadfly

Nordstream II gas pipeline in deep water As the EU executive deliberates on the controversial gas pipeline planned to link Russian gas supplies with German consumers, many believe Nordstream II could still fall victim to the EU's energy policy. -DW





WATCH President Donald Trump Speech in Vietnam at the APEC Summit -YouTube

READ Remarks by President Trump at APEC CEO Summit Da Nang, Vietnam -The White House

“Today, I am here to offer a renewed partnership with America to work together to strengthen the bonds of friendship and commerce between all of the nations of the Indo-Pacific, and together, to promote our prosperity and security.” -DJT

‘Indo-Pacific’ is new US name for Asia in slap at China Trump administration officials have started to refer to Asia as the “Indo-Pacific,” rather than the “Asia-Pacific” region -Asia Times


Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power -Robert D. Kaplan

The Voice of Asia -James A. Michener

Talking tough on trade, Trump pushes 'America first' in Asia -The Asahi Shimbun

APEC vows to address unfair trade practices -The Japan Times


Xi and Trump look friendly, but anti-US feeling stirs in China CHINA’S leader, Xi Jinping, welcomed Donald Trump on the American president’s first visit to Beijing like a Chinese emperor receiving a barbarian potentate, with a mixture of flattery and disdain. -The Economist

Trump praises 'productive' China talks, but tough action seen ahead -Reuters

“My concern is you may see a shift towards a much harder line coming from the U.S. administration. That will be a huge surprise to China and President Xi, especially given that Xi likely feels he has done a lot for Trump on this visit.”

China’s success is tied to its relationship with the US despite what you may read -SCMP

China’s New Ideology Czar Takes Center Stage on Journalists' Day Wang Huning tells Chinese journalists to follow the CCP’s lead “unswervingly.” -The Diplomat

China’s Technology Ambitions Could Upset the Global Trade Order Washington officials and major global companies increasingly worry about a new generation of deals that could give China a firmer grip on the technology of tomorrow. -NYT


Full democracy in Hong Kong would open Pandora’s box Those wanting such a system would be far from content once it was established and they would soon be calling for the city to separate from China -SCMP


Trump visit puts Tokyo at the center of geopolitics Abe capitalizes on election win and growing global standing -Nikkei

Akita, Yamaguchi to get Aegis Ashore / GSDF involvement expected to strengthen missile defense -The Japan News

Abe hails 'fresh start' to Japan-China ties after Xi meeting -Reuters

Abe supports Taiwan's bid to join regional economic integration Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday expressed his support for Taiwan's efforts to join regional economic integration and participate in international activities, said sources close to James Soong (宋楚瑜), head of Taiwan's delegation to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam. -Focus Taiwan


Can the United States, China, and South Korea Cooperate on North Korea? -CFR

Seoul-Beijing detente on THAAD is win-win for China Agreement jostles US-led security alliances China hit the jackpot in three major ways in its recent agreement to mend ties with South Korea over the latter’s deployment of a US THAAD antimissile system -Asia Times


With Trump in China, Taiwan worries about becoming a ‘bargaining chip’ TAIPEI, Taiwan — President Trump’s visit to Beijing has been watched closely around the world — but few countries have had more reason to scrutinize it than Taiwan. -The Washington Post

Taiwan urged to move fast to join regional trade deal -Focus Taiwan

APEC: Taiwan’s Most Important International Forum But for Taiwan, APEC is much more than a regional forum; it is the most important international organization in which Taiwan is allowed to participate. -AmCham Taipei


Trump lands in Philippines, offers to mediate on South China Sea -Reuters

‘Better left untouched’: Philippines and Vietnam wary of Trump offer to mediate South China Sea disputes Beijing suspects Washington could be planning to stir trouble in the contested waters -SCMP

China assures 'safe passage for all' in South China Sea, Xi tells Duterte on sidelines of Apec -The Straits Times

Piracy Increases in Straits of Malacca and Singapore The number of incidents of piracy against ships in Asia in October increased compared to the same period in 2016. Nine incidents were reported in October 2017 compared to seven incidents reported in October 2016. -Maritime Executive

Countries need to foster greater, freer trade to continue to prosper: PM Lee -SCMP

Anti-US protests in the Philippines continue for third day Police in riot gear used water cannon to prevent protesters from reaching US embassy in Manila. -The International Business Times



Trump and Xi Both "Lose-Lose" Neither the U.S. nor China is well-served by ignoring the issues between them. Trump didn’t do U.S. businesses any favors by failing to address the major issues they face in China. -Bloomberg View

A MISSED WINDOW; BUT THE DOOR REMAINS OPEN Trans-Pacific Trade Partners Are Moving On, Without the U.S. A group of 11 countries announced on Saturday that they had committed to resurrecting a sweeping multinational trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, without the United States. -NYT

China widens foreign access to its giant financial sector China will raise foreign ownership limits in financial firms in a step granting access to a tantalizing multi-trillion dollar financial services market, as the world’s second-biggest economy seeks to position itself as a major global finance hub. -Reuters

How China Cheats By itself, industrial policy is just China’s problem. And Beijing almost always targets areas where it anticipates high domestic and foreign demand. Unfortunately, (i) the forecasts are often wrong, and (ii) when China’s own demand proves to be low, the excess supply is then dumped into global markets. This harms American companies and workers. -AEI

THE COUNTRY WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED China Spreads Propaganda to U.S. on Facebook, a Platform It Bans at Home China does not allow its people to gain access to Facebook, a powerful tool for disseminating information and influencing opinion. -NYT

PODCAST OF THE WEEK The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Asia -Disrupting We talked about how to separate the AI hype from reality, where companies can and are finding competitive advantage in AI -Disrupting Japan

Tencent Spreads Money Around the Tech World Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. disclosed Wednesday that China's Tencent Holdings Ltd. bought roughly $2 billion in Snap stock recently. It's hard to imagine Facebook Inc. or Google doing the same with a public tech company in Asia. -Bloomberg Gadfly

 Hong Kong should rebrand itself as a low tax haven As an offshore domicile, Hong Kong is confronted with a genuine opportunity to dominate the compliant tax haven business -SCMP

Brief: Uber’s Khosrowshahi ‘not optimistic’ on Southeast Asia profitability -Tech in Asia


Moody's: Outlook for global sovereigns is stable; growth tempers high debt, geopolitical tensions Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") says that its outlook for sovereign creditworthiness in 2018 is stable overall, with the healthy growth and synchronized global economic expansion of 2017 likely to continue into 2018. -The Business Standard

National debt hits record ¥1.08 quad. Japan’s national debt hit a record ¥1,080,440.5 billion at the end of September, up ¥1,474.1 billion from three months before, the Finance Ministry said Friday. -The Japan News

READ Is China’s development finance a challenge to the international order? -Brookings

-         Chinese development finance to 131 developing countries shows no geographic pattern

-         Chinese lending is indifferent to risk, in particular it is uncorrelated with indices of political stability and rule of law

-         Some major borrowers have encountered debt sustainability problems while other borrowers are in good fiscal shape

-         Chinese banks have been reluctant to follow international norms for environmental safeguards but seem to be evolving towards those norms

US SHALE = ASIA’S RISK NOW Saudi Shocks Reawaken Global Oil Markets to Political Risk -Bloomberg

>> EMEA Wednesdays




German military study: EU collapse conceivable worst case The Western order could fall apart by 2040, according to an internal Bundeswehr report. -Politico.eu

Lithuania expects NATO to reach deal on Baltic air shield -Reuters


Silvio Berlusconi's surprise political comeback Italy's former prime minister made the claim after the candidate he backed won regional elections held in Sicily on Sunday. -BBC

Sicilian surge boosts Berlusconi’s national ambitions Former PM’s candidate scores clear win over populist 5Star Movement. -Politico.eu

Catalan strike severs road links as secessionist leaders regroup -Reuters

Finland woos US with more muscular defense role Amid worries about Russia, Helsinki suggests big military exercise. -Politico.eu

Ross backs post-Brexit UK-US trade deal One of Donald Trump's leading allies has said he is optimistic that the UK and US will sign a free trade deal after Brexit. -BBC


'With reckless daring, new Russia was being born': the October Revolution, 100 years on -France24

Russia’s Imperial Instinct Russian President Vladimir Putin may not have a firm or comprehensive plan for imperial restoration, but he undoubtedly has an abiding inclination to make imperial advances whenever the risk is bearable. And, historically, Russian imperialism has thrived when Europe and the West have been divided. -Project Syndicate

Putin's National Guard to protect Russian regional leaders -BBC


The meteoric rise of Prince Mohammed bin Salman June 2017 Prince Mohammed bin Salman was appointed as heir to the Saudi throne. At only 32, he has quickly ascended to power, and shown a desire to push ahead in reforming an oil-reliant economy and certain cultural traditions. -France24 

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi rules out third term President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has reaffirmed his support for a two-term limit for the office of the president. He did not, however, confirm if he intended to run for a second term in 2018. -DW


Hostilities in Nigeria's Niger Delta blamed on government neglect Militants in the Niger Delta are threatening to resume attacks against the central government and oil companies. They blame the administration for their decision and say nothing changed in the year the ceasefire held. -DW

Liberia's president says 'our democracy is under assault' -Reuters



Paradise Papers: Apple shifted billions offshore to avoid tax New relevations about Apple's tax avoidance strategy are making headlines as the Paradise Papers scandal unfolds further. EU finance ministers are due to discuss the issue during talks in Brussels on Tuesday. -DW

Emmanuel Macron makes bid for Silicon Valley on the Seine The French president is using state cash to foster tech startups. -Politico.eu

It’s Not Tesla That Scares Europe in Electric-Car Race Electric-car production in the European Union got a spur on Wednesday as EU regulators acted to close a technological gap with China by seeking stricter emission curbs on manufacturers such as Volkswagen AG and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. -Bloomberg

50 London banks in talks for post-Brexit move Dozens of banks are in advanced talks with the European Central Bank about moving operations to the European mainland. As Brexit nears, many London-based financial institutions are considering Frankfurt, Paris or Dublin. -DW

U.S. Justice Department unseals charges in Rolls-Royce Holdings foreign bribery case The U.S. Justice Department unsealed charges on Tuesday against five individuals for their alleged role in a scheme to pay bribes to foreign government officials to benefit Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc and help secure a contract to provide services for a major gas pipeline from Central Asia to China. -Reuters

Paradise Papers documents raise questions over African mining deal -BBC


The name’s bonds, Franco-German bonds A modest German proposal that will find favor at the Elysée palace, and discomfort inside the ruling center-right party in Berlin. -Politico.eu

Italy's Shrinking Safety Net One of Mario Draghi's hands is being tied behind his back just as bond markets may need his help the most. -Bloomberg Gadfly

France backpedals on pledge to cut reliance on nuclear power France's environment minister is backing down on promises to sharply reduce nuclear power production so that the government can concentrate on reducing fossil fuels instead. -France24

>> APAC Mondays




Will Trump's Visit to Asia Mark the Moment US Leadership in the Region Is Irrevocably Ceded to China? Trump must show that he can think strategically and not just transactionally to avoid the worst. -The Diplomat

What Trump is missing by skipping the DMZ A first-hand look at the 'surreal,' 'eerie' and tension-filled border zone between the Koreas would be a valuable experience for the president -Politico

Asia’s New Entente Just as Germany’s rapid ascent prior to WWI spurred a “triple entente” among France, Russia, and the UK, China’s increasingly aggressive behavior is creating strong impetus for the Asia-Pacific democracies to build a more powerful strategic coalition. This goal should become the centerpiece of these countries' regional policies. -Project Syndicate


Riding high, Xi looks to soothe Trump as U.S. pressures China When they met at U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in April, China’s President Xi Jinping found a way to charm the mercurial former real estate mogul. Trump hailed the “good chemistry” of the sunny summit in Florida and predicted “lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away.” -Reuters

7 Do's and Don’ts for Trump’s China Trip Here’s what the president should and should not say in Beijing. -Politico

Towards a world-class Chinese military by 2050 -The Straits Times

Xi’s new power won’t stop dissent Chinese leader's efforts to curb journalism and social media could be his largest mistake yet -Reuters

China Has Upper Hand, While U.S. Is Hobbled by Trump Xi Jinping, who may be the strongest Chinese leader since Mao, plays the high cards on Korea. -Bloomberg View


China extends national anthem 'disrespect' law to Hong Kong China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament formally extended a law banning disrespect of the national anthem on Saturday to cover Hong Kong, a move that critics have said undermined the Chinese-ruled city’s autonomy and freedoms. -Reuters


Trump, Abe to tout alliance amid North Korean tensions US and Japanese leaders aim to dial up pressure on rogue state The U.S. and Japanese leaders seek to showcase a solid bilateral alliance in a summit here Monday as they confront increasing threats from a North Korea eager to drive a wedge between the two countries. -Nikkei

Trump in Japan stresses unity on North Korea; talks trade, too U.S. President Donald Trump ramped up his tough rhetoric against North Korea when he arrived in Japan on Sunday, saying the United States and its allies are prepared to defend freedom and “no dictator” should underestimate U.S. resolve. -Reuters

Election shows Japan is more united than ever When I came to Tokyo last year, two real estate agents, both women in their 40s, took me to check apartments. It went well. I found one I really like. From them, I heard the name of Yuriko Koike for the first time. The two ladies were going to vote for her to be the governor of Tokyo. I still remember their enthusiasm for her. “She is going to win.” They were very certain. As we all know, she did. -The Japan Times


Pentagon says securing North Korean nukes would require U.S. ground invasion -The Japan Times

North Korea calls for a halt to 'brutal' sanctions North Korea called on Friday for a halt to what it called “brutal sanctions”, saying the measures - imposed after its latest nuclear test - constituted genocide. -Reuters


Ian Easton on Military Dynamics in Cross-Strait Relations Just how likely is a war over Taiwan? Though North Korea dominates the headlines today, tensions across the Taiwan Strait continue to play out amid lingering concerns about potential military conflict involving not just China and Taiwan, but the United States as well. -The Diplomat

Act lifting restrictions on foreign workers is passed The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed the new Act Governing Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals (外國專業人才延攬及雇用法), which allows foreigners interested in working in Taiwan to extend their work visa, lifts the restriction on the minimum duration of their stay and includes faster enrollment in the National Health Insurance system. -Taipei Times


China says hopes U.S. can 'help, not cause problems' in South China Sea -Reuters

Vietnam: A Tale of Two APECs As Asia comes back to Vietnam to talk economics, Hanoi navigates its own rough economic waters. -The Diplomat

Jakarta open to more cooperation with Singapore Speaking to reporters after talks with Ambassador Anil Kumar Nayar from Singapore, Mr Sandiaga said that while land reclamation was not raised at the meeting, it could be one of many areas the two sides may discuss in the future. -The Straits Times



Ex-VP of Alibaba Porter Erisman on clash of ecommerce models in Asia, costly mistakes -Tech-in-Asia

Tech giants primed the explosion of unicorns in China Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, JD.com fund nearly half of Chinese billion-dollar startups -Nikkei

Great Wall buys into lithium miner, eyes China's green target Automaker to secure stable supply from Australia for electric car batteries -Nikkei

Qualcomm dispute hurts development of 5G: minister -Taipei Times

Teva's Misplaced Chinese Passion Teva's spokespeople denied the companies have any current agreement on a China joint venture. The non-denial denial suggests this is far from a final deal. In any case, Teva should probably take a closer look before signing on the dotted line. -Bloomberg

Sprint, T-Mobile talks collapse as Masayoshi Son goes it alone –The Japan Times

Broadcom Explores Deal to Buy Chipmaker Qualcomm -Bloomberg

Indonesia’s digital economy will thrive as small businesses come online, says gov’t -Tech-in-Asia

Amazon allowed by law to undercut Australian businesses: regulator Competition laws will allow Amazon to undercut local businesses with loss-making prices when it opens for business in Australia, expected to be later in November, the Australian competition regulator said on Saturday. -Reuters


China's Central Bank Chief Renews Warnings About Financial Risk China’s financial system is getting significantly more vulnerable due to high leverage, according to central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who also flagged the need for deeper reforms in the world’s second-biggest economy. -Bloomberg View

China’s central bank is developing its own digital currency, even as it bans bitcoin and private cryptos China’s central bank is conducting research to issue the country’s own sovereign digital currency, a move in parallel with similar efforts ongoing in Russia, even as the government has doubled down on banning the use and exchange of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. -SCMP





Mattis, in Seoul, says US can't accept nuclear North Korea -Nikkei

U.S. sends nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber on mission in Pacific ahead of Trump visit to Asia -The Japan Times

North Korea Rouses Neighbors to Reconsider Nuclear Weapons For the first time in recent memory, there is a daily argument raging in both South Korea and Japan — sometimes in public, more often in private — about the nuclear option -NYT


The Xi Factor Xi Jinping is now China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, and he appears to be planning to rule just as long. As determined, ruthless, and clever as Xi is, can he maintain his grip should the economy stall, or his dream of returning China to a central place in world affairs fail? -Project Syndicate

The 7 Men Who Will Run China What you need to know about the members of the 19th Politburo Standing Committee. -The Diplomat

China's leadership changes: Who is Li Qiang, new party chief of Shanghai Mr Li Qiang, 58, has been named the party chief of Shanghai, replacing Mr Han Zheng, 63, who last week joined the apex Politburo Standing Committee (PSC). PSC is the top decision-making body in China. -The Straits Times

IF YOU’RE A CEO READ THIS >> Foreign firms watch out, Beijing may require you to leave China data in China The Cybersecurity Law will apply to any company dealing with China – and infringing it can get you fined, detained, or even imprisoned -SCMP


Can Asia handle parallel rise of strongmen in Japan and China? The Chinese and Japanese leaders both won major political victories this week – and their strengthened grips on power will only embolden their aggressive agendas -SCMP

Japan election results: latest news and analysis Japanese voters have given Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the fresh endorsement he wanted. The latest results from Sunday's lower house election show Abe's ruling coalition drubbed the Party of Hope, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike's new party that was once thought to pose a serious challenge to the status quo. -Nikkei


In a nuclear crisis over North Korea, why ignore the South? As Trump, Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe wring their hands over Kim Jong-un’s nuclear plans, South Korean leader Moon Jae-in gets the diplomatic cold shoulder known as ‘Korea passing’ – and it’s likely to get worse -SCMP


Taiwan president arrives in Hawaii despite Chinese objections Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen landed in Honolulu on Saturday en route to the island’s diplomatic allies among Pacific nations and set off for a visit to a Pearl Harbor memorial, despite strong objections to the visit from China. -Reuters

US bill aims to restore Taiwan’s WHA status On Sept. 28, the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously passed House Bill H.R.3320, which directs the US secretary of state to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Assembly (WHA). -Taipei Times


How South Korea and Australia Can Boost Naval Modernization in Southeast Asia South Korea and Australia could be attractive options for Southeast Asian states looking to boost naval capabilities. -The Diplomat

With Mattis in Manila, Duterte decides it’s time to boost ties with Russia and China -The Straits Times



THE LAST MILE MATTERS >> China's online shopping boom relies heavily on human labor Pay for delivery jobs is outstripping college grads' wages amid worker shortage -Nikkei

How Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent plan to dominate Chinese online insurance -Tech-in-Asia

Insurers face risks in China: analysis Shin Kong Life Insurance posted a loss-to-investment ratio of 100 percent after losing all of its investment in its Chinese venture -Taipei Times

Japan Inc.'s safety failures point to deeper malaise A series of safety scandals at Japanese companies have put the country’s lionized factory floor under scrutiny as manufacturers struggle with increased pressure on costs, stricter enforcement of standards and growing competition. -Reuters

Japan’s biggest bank plans to slash branches 20 percent and trim payroll -The Japan Times

Apple hit with trademark lawsuit over iPhone X 'animoji' feature A Japanese software company is suing Apple in a US court over the trademark for the term "animoji", alleging the US technology company stole the name to use on a feature of its iPhone X. -The Straits Times

Kobe Steel sent products with tampered data to second nuclear company -Reuters

Kinmen nixes casino development Kinmen County residents yesterday voted against legalizing gambling in the outlying county. -Taipei Times

Line loses users across Southeast Asia -Tech-in-Asia

A War of Words Puts Facebook at the Center of Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis So he has turned to an even more powerful and ubiquitous platform to get his message out — Facebook. -NYT


US finds China dumped aluminum foil on US market, imposes duties -The Straits Times

China hits back at ‘discriminatory’ US trade move ahead of Trump visit Beijing urges Americans to correct its ‘mistake’ after aluminium foil hit with anti-dumping duties -SCMP

New global financial architecture takes shape The declining influence of Western-dominated institutions such as the IMF and World Bank has led to the rise of regional alternatives like the AIIB. They will likely complement each other to provide global 'public goods'. -The Straits Times

Analysis: What President Xi Jinping’s new leadership team means for China’s economy Rather than bringing uncertainty, the Chinese president’s extraordinary rise and his unexpected but pragmatic political appointments pave the way for a shift in focus to market-oriented reform -SCMP

PODCAST OF THE WEEK >> Episode 212: Why China bans exchanges & ICOs with Neil Woodfine We discussed why the government of China has decided to ban cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs and where it will go from there. -Analyse Asia

Rising US energy exports could prompt seismic shift in Asian market Middle East, Russia on defensive as cheaper fuel floods in -Nikkei

HOT AIR? >> U.S. gas exporters rush to sell LNG to China But the talk may all be hot air if the U.S. suppliers can’t compete with bargain prices agreed on long-term deals with rivals Australia, Qatar and Malaysia -Reuters





While we obsess over Trump, China is making history While news and analysis in the United States continue to be obsessed with President Trump’s daily antics and insults, halfway around the world, something truly historic just happened. China signaled that it now sees itself as the world’s other superpower, positioning itself as the alternative, if not rival, to the United States. -The Washington Post


A WITHERING STATE>> Leaked document shows Tillerson power play A leaked document shows how the secretary of state is trying to centralize foreign policy decision making, alarming veteran diplomats. -Politico

How Rex Tillerson Is Remaking the State Department The former CEO is bent on a full private-sector-style redesign even as trouble brews abroad. -Bloomberg

Mattis visits Seoul for defense talks as tensions climb -Reuters

Corker: Trump administration moving ahead on delayed Russia sanctions Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle began clamoring for action after the Trump administration missed the Oct. 1 deadline. -Politico

House narrowly passes budget — setting up mammoth tax fight It was a dramatic vote, as Speaker Paul Ryan faced resistance from a number of Republicans concerned with the budget and tax plans. -Politico

Instead of Cutting Corporate Taxes, Solve Actual Problems Republicans in Washington are stuck in the 1980s. The economy has new challenges: a shortage of housing and workers. -Bloomberg View

SAVOIR FAIRE>> Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Russia probe, thinks Americans are too ‘savvy’ for Russian ads to work -The Washington Post


Behind Quebec’s Ban on Face Coverings, a Debate Over Identity -NYT

U.S. appoints new top official at Havana embassy as tensions flare The United States said on Thursday it had designated career diplomat Lawrence Gumbiner as the new chief of its Cuba embassy that has been at the center of a diplomatic crisis due to allegations of mysterious health attacks on its personnel. -Reuters

China, Cuba sign agreements to expand economic, trade ties -Xinhua

Brazil's President Temer avoids corruption trial Brazil's President Michel Temer has secured enough votes in the lower house of Congress to avoid facing trial on corruption charges. -BBC

Deep Cracks Appear in Venezuela’s Weakened Opposition One of Venezuela’s most prominent opposition leaders threatened to break from the broad alliance of opposition parties on Tuesday, pushing the coalition to the brink of fracture and further deepening the nation’s political crisis. -NYT




How Facebook, Google and Twitter 'embeds' helped Trump in 2016 A study reveals employees the companies placed in the Trump campaign played a surprisingly active role in shaping its message and targeting voters. -Politico

Twitter pulls RT, Sputnik ads Twitter said Thursday it's dropping all ads from Kremlin-funded English-language media outlets RT and Sputnik, as the company prepares to face lawmakers next week over Russian use of social media to interfere with the 2016 election. -Politico

Consumer groups join conservatives against AT&T deal for Time Warner Seven groups ranging from the Tea Party Patriots to liberal consumer groups warned against AT&T’s (T.N) plan to buy Time Warner (TWX.N) in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying the deal could give one company too much power over what Americans see on television. -Reuters

America Movil's network fees may cost rivals millions: AT&T -Reuters

KYC RISK>> SEC Reviews Guggenheim Ties With Argentine Businessman U.S. regulators are looking at a web of companies linked to an Argentine man who has done almost $1 billion of deals with Guggenheim Partners as part of a wider review of the massive investment firm, according to a person familiar with the matter. -


STAR LIGHT START BRIGHT>> Morningstar's Star System Was Always a Bright Shiny Object The ratings look backward and give a false sense of comfort. -Bloomberg View

Nasdaq sues operators of cyber security ETF, alleging theft -Reuters

Peabody's Late Recovery Peabody's U.S. operations, despite comprising some of the world's biggest and highest-quality thermal coal mines, remain under long-term threat from the growth of natural gas and renewables. -Bloomberg View

Venezuela's Cash Crunch Means Waiting Five Months to Get Paid -Bloomberg

“The sanctions are hurting Venezuela much worse than initially expected” “U.S. refiners pay in cash for the crude, and if Venezuela is losing access to that kind of money, it means PDVSA is in for big financial trouble down the road.”





The Sovereignty that Really Matters The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not. -Project Syndicate


NATO Grapples with Serious Organizational Shortcomings In a secret report, NATO warns that it may not be prepared to confront a hypothetical Russian attack. Senior military officers would like to see a return to the command structures used by the alliance during the Cold War. -Der Spiegel

Where Europe went wrong A timely warning for both sides of the Atlantic -Politico.eu

“Today, the dream of European unity has begun to wither away, and the future stability of the Continent is clouded in uncertainty”

Sorry, Czechs, Your Country Isn't a Business, Market populism hasn't worked in the U.S., Italy or elsewhere. You just can't run governments like companies. -Bloomberg View


US NATO ambassador to press Russia on Zapad troop numbers NATO ambassadors are set to meet their Russian counterpart to discuss a range of issues, including joint Russian-Belarusian war games. Western estimates say troop involvement was much higher than the Kremlin reported. -DW

Russia vetoes UN resolution to find out who carried out chemical weapons attacks in Syria Mandate for investigation by the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons due to expire in November -The Independent

Putin Spins a Tale of Russian Humiliation His message is directed at countries in the developing world. It's an offer to back them if they buck U.S. dominance. -Bloomberg 


Here's How to Pull Turkey Back From the Brink Erdogan gets more authoritarian, and closer to Russia and Iran, every day. But kicking him out of NATO would make things worse. -Bloomberg View

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pledges more 'moderate' kingdom He is set to be the next king of Saudi Arabia. But his reform efforts and vow to "eradicate" Islamic extremism may spark the wrath of the country's ultraconservative clerics. -DW


Kenya election: Last-minute court bid to block poll -BBC

Kenya: Uncertainty over election fuels fears of clashes The lead-up to Kenya's repeat presidential election has been fraught with tension. As the country's Supreme Court meets to decide whether the vote will go ahead, observers say they fear a new outbreak of violence. -DW



Facebook dealt setback by EU court adviser in privacy dispute Facebook was dealt a setback on Tuesday when an adviser to the top European Union court said any data protection authority in the bloc had the power to take action against it for breaching privacy laws. -Reuters

U.K. Parliament Asks: Did Russia Try to Sway Brexit Vote? Parliament is asking Facebook, Twitter and other internet companies for information about Russian efforts to use social media to influence the British vote to leave the European Union, expanding on several parallel American congressional investigations around the election of President Trump. -NYT

A Golden Handshake Worth 80 Million Euros In the Airbus corruption scandal, CEO Airbus has pointed the finger at a Paris-based sales division. But according to information obtained by DER SPIEGEL, he authorized an 80-million-euro severance package for the former head of that division, Jean-Paul Gut. -Der Spiegel 

Why Walmart's Grocery Business Won't Get Destroyed by Its New European Rivals Investors may be afraid of the German competitors' U.S. push, but Walmart has beaten their price-cutting prowess while focusing on e-commerce and delivery. -The Independent

France dials back on digital tax plans after US meetings Following a trip to Washington, Bruno Le Maire and other EU officials change their tune on going after Silicon Valley tech companies. -Politico.eu

Executives spooked as hopes for early Brexit transition deal fade -Reuters

Renzi’s risky cat fight with the Bank of Italy By questioning the reappointment of top central banker, former prime minister tries to shift blame for the country’s banking crisis -Politico.eu

Draft Senate Iran legislation sets tough new U.S. terms for deal -Reuters


ECB WATCH>> Euro-Zone Tapering Is a Delicate Task The European Central Bank has to scale back quantitative easing without spooking investors.

Sterling skids on uncertainty over BoE rate outlook The British pound skidded towards a two-week low against a stronger dollar on Tuesday, pressured by growing uncertainty over whether the Bank of England will raise interest rates next week for the first time in over a decade. -Reuters

Spain investment to drop on Catalan secession Catalonians want to become independent from the rest of Spain, and that has a lot to do with national pride. But it’s also because of the region's economic power. Many Catolonians complain that the north is subsidizing the south. -DW

Spanish Bonds Are Worryingly Calm on Catalonia -Bloomberg





Why the Renminbi Won’t Rule As the US retreats from the world stage and a multipolar global order emerges, the international monetary system may well be transformed – but probably not into a renminbi-led system. Indeed, not even China expects the age of renminbi diplomacy to arrive anytime soon. -Project Syndicate


Xi Jinping's Message to the World: China is Back The hallmark of China’s foreign policy under Xi has been the abandonment of the “lay low” doctrine. But while the primary audience of the 19th Party Congress is the Chinese people, Xi’s speeches also contains a message to the world—one that Washington, Tokyo and other capitals must take seriously. -The National Interest

3 Major Takeaways from Xi Jinping’s Speech at the 19th Party Congress Chinese president kicks off the national event with a 3-plus-hour speech. -The Diplomat

1.    China will create a world-class military

2.    Flexing muscles toward Taiwan

3.    Dangling a carrot to Hong Kong

What do you call Xi Jinping? China’s elite echo language of Mao to sing the praises of their ‘leader and helmsman’ Revival of the grandiose rhetoric once used to eulogise the founder of Communist China signals president’s enhanced power and status -SCMP

Top Chinese officials 'plotted to overthrow Xi Jinping' A top Chinese official has claimed several high-ranking members of the Communist Party had plotted to seize power from President Xi Jinping. -BBC World


New police division for Hong Kong mass protests sparks fears community relations will worsen Pro-Beijing lawmaker praises unit as helping make evidence collection more professional, but pan-democrats worry about political oppression -SCMP


ELECTION WATCH>> Abe wins convincing majority in Japan election, exit polls show Split opposition helps premier to fifth straight victory -Nikkei

Abe’s gamble pays off with ruling bloc headed for two-thirds majority in Lower House Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition was all but certain of a resounding victory in Sunday’s general election, as early projections showed that it was likely to secure a two-thirds majority in the Lower House, raising Abe’s chances of achieving a historic third term and his longtime ambition of revising the pacifist Constitution. –The Japan Times

Despite growing presence, foreign residents’ needs treated as accidental election issue Despite the growing influx of foreign workers and residents in Japan, their perspectives have been largely ignored ahead of Sunday’s Lower House election, according to the director of a nonprofit organization that supports immigrant children and youths in the country. -The Japan Times


‘One China’ won’t be accepted: MAC The Mainland Affairs Council said that ‘artificial obstructions’ are the source of deadlock, while the Presidential Office issued a measured statement -The Taipei Times

SHOCKER>> Tsai's Southbound Policy Faces 'One China' Opposition Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's New Southbound Policy has raised awareness of the South Asian and Southeast Asian countries that it targets, but is struggling to strike meaningful deals in the face of mounting Chinese diplomatic and economic opposition. -The News Lens

Taiwan to seek backing from US on arms sales The US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference would discuss the threats facing Taiwan and different ways to exploit China’s weaknesses in various domains -Taipei Times


Singapore's success depends on 'next next generation of leaders', says Chan Chun Sing -The Straits Times

Deep-rooted Problems with Democracy in Indonesia Indonesians who tend towards secular forms of democratic politics should be aware, now more so than ever, of the historical and contemporary weakness of politically liberal (or social democratic) streams within Indonesian politics. -NewsLens

What Went Wrong With Cambodia’s Opposition Party How has the CNRP fallen so far, so fast? The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) took years to form but weeks to fully unravel. -The Diplomat

FOWL WEATHER FRIEND>> In Rohingya crisis, Myanmar again finds a best friend in China Anti-Western sentiment spreads among citizens -Nikkei



THUS SPOKE THE CHINA REGULATOR>> China box office revenues to bounce back in 2017: regulator China’s movie box office revenue is expected to grow in 2017 at more than three times the pace of last year thanks to the success of blockbusters like “Wolf Warrior 2”, the media regulator said -Reuters

China regulator fines hospital owner $21 million for insider trading -The Straits Times

Tesla Reaches Deal for Shanghai Facility, WSJ Reports Tesla Inc. has reached an agreement with the Shanghai government to set up its own manufacturing facility in the city, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing people briefed on the plan. -Bloomberg

Japan's Mitsubishi, U.S. partner to invest $1.8 billion in data centers Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) plans to set up a joint venture with U.S. data center operator Digital Realty Trust (DLR.N) and build around 10 data centers in Japan by 2022 for 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) -Reuters

Production nerve centers retake stage in Japan Reshoring prompts push to reinforce 'mother' factories Japanese manufacturers are strengthening so-called mother factories here and refocusing on the benefits of domestic production, making a U-turn from the offshoring of recent years. -Nikkei

"We will strengthen Japanese manufacturing once again" -Honda Motor President

BRIEF-PM Abe says govt will work with business sector to restore lost trust in Japan manufacturing -Reuters 

Lack of automation let Kobe Steel manually manipulate inspection certificate process -The Japan Times

PODCAST OF THE WEEK>> The Hard Thing about Hardware Startups in Japan Today we sit down with Takuro Yoshida CEO and founder of Logbar, and we dive into the reasons and also go over Logbar’s strategy for avoiding the mistakes that have killed off so many other Japanese IoT startups. -Disrupting Japan

Uber launches in Cambodia and starts parcel delivery in Indonesia’s second largest city Uber today launched its ride-hailing service in Cambodia and started a new feature in Indonesia’s second-largest city Surabaya: UberDeliver, an on-demand courier service. -Tech-in-Asia


Japan’s Nikkei rises to match longest streak as foreign investors continue buying momentum Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average rose for the 14th straight day Friday, matching its longest-ever winning streak last seen in the early 1960s as a weak yen added to expectations for solid first-half earnings among listed Japanese companies. -The Japan Times

GOING OUT (AGAIN) >> China’s pension fund has US$317 billion up its sleeve ... and now it’s shopping for overseas investments Fund’s chairman Lou Jiwei tells Post he wants to diversify risk by looking abroad -SCMP

Opposites attract. China's billions are already flowing into the Philippines via online gaming and infrastructure spending. Hot portfolio flows could be next. -Bloomberg Gadfly 





Europe’s Attackers From Within Catalonia's illegal bid for independence, like the United Kingdom's ill-fated Brexit referendum, amounts to a historical absurdity. -Project Syndicate


Reversing Brexit would boost economy, says OECD -BBC

EU shrugs at UK’s Brexit diplomatic offensive The EU27 will not allow Brexit negotiations to progress until the UK makes more concessions. -Politico.eu

Opinion: EU should learn from the Catalan crisis Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has the upper hand so far in Catalonia's bid for independence. But Europe should learn a lesson from the crisis and try to avoid such local blazes in the future -DW

Austria’s Rightward Lurch Is Europe’s New Normal -NYT

Greek PM meets Donald Trump amid growing US tensions with Turkey Alexis Tsipras tipped to emphasise Greece’s geopolitical role during Washington visit that has caught many by surprise -The Guardian

In Czech Election, a New Threat to European Unity -NYT


Russia swaps out regional governors ahead of presidential election Many regional governors in Russia have recently been fired. Is the Kremlin trying to address urgent issues around the country? Or, is this merely a strategy for the next presidential election? -Reuters


Poland supports Turkey’s EU bid, says President Duda ‘If you want to accept us in the Union, just say that. If you don’t want us, say that too,’ Erdoğan tells the EU. -Politico.eu

Hundreds of Turkish officials seek asylum in Germany: report Some 600 senior-ranked Turkish officials have sought asylum in Germany since last year’s coup attempt in Turkey, according to a Berlin newspaper. The number highlights the growing uncertainty in the country. -DW

The Iran Nuclear Deal Is Bad – and Necessary -Project Syndicate


Can Nigeria and Cameroon learn any lessons from Catalonia? The crisis in Spain's Catalonia region is being closely watched in Nigeria and Cameroon, where secessionist movements have been stepping up campaigns for independence -BBC

Mogadishu atrocity may provoke deeper US involvement in Somalia President Trump had already approved use of US troops in Somalia before hundreds died in truck bomb blamed on al-Shabaab -The Guardian



In Europe’s digital race, the winner is the United States Silicon Valley beckons, but EU’s tech investors might want to look closer to home. -Politico.eu

UK spies using social media data for mass surveillance -TechCrunch

SEC charges Rio Tinto, former top executives with fraud -Reuters

Shell Executives Charged in Italy Over Nigeria's Malabu Oil Deal -allAfrica

UK aims to tighten takeover rules The British government has unveiled proposals that would allow it to have a greater say in future mergers and acquisitions which spark security concerns. But London pledged the UK would remain committed to free trade. -DW

Uber files appeal against London license loss -TechCrunch

“While we have today filed our appeal so that Londoners can continue using our app, we hope to continue having constructive discussions with Transport for London”

Airbus strikes deal with Canada's Bombardier amid US trade dispute -France24

Microsoft’s Windows 10 breaches privacy law, says Dutch DPA -TechCrunch

Doing business with Iran: no easy choice Many foreign firms have decided to strengthen business ties with Iran after the easing of sanctions on Tehran. But the US president's announcement to decertify the 2015 nuclear deal may get them into trouble. -DW


Authoritarian Cryptocurrencies Are Coming Russia and China see a new way to completely control their financial systems. -Bloomberg View

UK watchdog tells EU not to disrupt funds industry The long-established practice of funds in one country being run by managers based in another works well and no changes are needed, Britain’s top markets regulator said on Tuesday in a swipe at European Union plans that have also been criticized by the sector. -Reuters

Exclusive: China offers to buy 5 percent of Saudi Aramco directly China is offering to buy up to 5 percent of Saudi Aramco directly, sources said, a move that could give Saudi Arabia the flexibility to consider various options for its plan to float the world’s biggest oil producer on the stock market. -Reuters

This Map Shows Why Oil Can Weather Iraq's Kirkuk Campaign Oil production from northern Iraq has fallen victim to the deepening conflict between the Baghdad government and the Kurdish Regional Government in Erbil. Around 275,000 barrels a day of output has been halted and exports have slipped by 90,000 barrels a day. -Bloomberg