Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays




Riding in Cabs with Joseph Nye Joseph S. Nye discusses great power politics with PS’s Mark Leonard, the director of the European Council on Foreign Relations -Project Syndicate (video)

U.S. could conduct another THAAD test next weekend -The Japan Times


Former Chongqing party boss Sun Zhengcai - from political star to 'sacrificial object' Within five days of publicly vowing absolute loyalty to Mr Xi and extolling his "superlative political wisdom", Mr Sun was dismissed and put under investigation and has since disappeared, his career terminated by the man he had praised. -The Straits Times

China in Baltic navy drill with Russia -BBC


Hong Kong people don’t need any history lessons from mainland China, thanks Shen Jian says the story of Hong Kong is not a story of humiliation, and it doesn’t start with the Treaty of Nanking – even if that’s what Beijing and its supporters want us to believe -SCMP

Another nail in Hong Kong’s coffin A Hong Kong court ruled last week that four pro-democracy lawmakers in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) were disqualified from serving in the Legislative Council by failing to take their oath of office seriously. The decision is a blow to both judicial and political autonomy in Hong Kong — a violation of the “one country, two systems” model that Beijing agreed to support for the city when it reverted to Chinese control in 1997 — and shifts the balance of power in the legislature in China’s favor. -The Japan Times


Japan-China rapprochement so near, yet so far Talk of summit and warmer ties belies the frost beneath Some analysts have also detected a potential shift in another important and often overlooked geopolitical relationship, that between Japan and China, with numerous eminent commentators in Asia and the U.S. cautiously canvassing a possible rapprochement. -Nikkei

Dokdo-Takeshima Islands: South Korea And Japan’s Intractable Maritime Dispute –Eurasia Review 

Championing TPP 2.0 could give Abe his global moment It may already be too late for Shinzo Abe, as his Cabinet support rates fall even lower than U.S. President Donald Trump’s. Between scandals, legislative overreach and tepid wage growth, the prime minister’s domestic political capital is evaporating. -The Japan Times


China upset about 'negative' Taiwan content in U.S. defense bill -Reuters

American Institute in Taiwan reaffirms commitment to Relations Act The United States continues its strong commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act and seeks to resolve "trade irritants" affecting U.S. companies and investments in Taiwan, the head of the American Institute in Taiwan said. -UPI

The Chinese Cult of Cairo and the Status of Taiwan After World War II, Taiwan was never formally returned to China — whether the ROC or the PRC. -The Diplomat


Mongolia First Khaltmaa Battulga’s journey from yurt to the presidency is a modern adventure. -Politico

IFC Helps Mongolia Strengthen Investment-Climate Reform and Restore Investor Confidence -The Financial

Russo-Sino-Mongolian Transit and Infrastructure Cooperation and Mongolia’s New President -Jamestown

Villas v yurts in Mongolia Tent-dwellers apparently ruin the view from Ulaanbaatar’s grander neighbourhoods. These neighbourhoods, called ger districts after the Mongolian word for yurt, house 60% of the city’s population. Instead, the southern edge of the city, and especially an area called Zaisan, is home to the wealthiest of Mongolia’s emerging upper class, as well as many expatriates. -The Economist


Why China and the US cannot afford to ignore Asean Tom Plate says neither great power can afford geopolitical myopia, if China seeks stability in the neighbourhood and America wants to ensure that ignorance does not lead to greater distance with the region -SCMP

Sea Power: US Maritime Leadership in Asia Insights from Admiral James Stavridis. -The Diplomat

Geopolitical Rivalry, Security and Inequality Are Asean's Key Challenges: FM -Jakarta Post 

Philippines Plans New Law to Ensure Responsible Mining Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday (21/07) the government will draft a new law for the country's mining industry, which he said pays too little in tax and not enough in compensation for any environmental damage. -Jakarta Post

Taiwan says seven nationals detained in Cambodia for telecom fraud Cambodia has detained seven Taiwan nationals suspected of running a telecoms scam, the self-ruled island said on Thursday, adding that it is trying to bring them home and avoid their deportation to China, which gave information for the crackdown. -Reuters



The U.S. Firms at Risk From China Trade War: QuickTake Scorecard -Bloomberg

1. Hollywood

2. Boeing

3. Westinghouse

4. Starbucks

5. Tesla

6. Apple

7. McDonald’s

8. Ford


10. Justin Bieber + Winnie the Pooh  

‘Annoying’ Bieber barred from China over 2014 Yasukuni visit -The Japan Times

China drags its feet on opening market to electronic payments like Visa and MasterCard Instead, new guidelines recently issued by the People’s Bank of China suggest it could be another two or more years before U.S. firms can provide those services on equal footing with the domestic champion, UnionPay, industry officials said. -Politico

MARKET ACCESS>> To win blockbuster spots on China's coverage list, Big Pharma offers big discounts The Chinese government will add three dozen new drugs to its national insurance program, including some blockbuster foreign medicines like Roche’s Herceptin, Johnson & Johnson’s Velcade, Celgene’s Revlimid and AstraZeneca’s Brilinta.

The surprise? Another round of insurance coverage changes in less than half a year. The not-so-surprising? Big price cuts. -FiercePharma

In China, Silicon Valley Giants Confront New Walls -NYT

Geely: The astonishing rise of a small Chinese car company Ten years ago, Geely Automotive was a car pipsqueak, a maker of problem-prone machines with names like King Kong and Beauty Leopard, and with sticker prices under $10,000. When Chinese consumers couldn’t afford a better car, they turned to Geely. -SupChina

Toyota may mass produce electric cars in China in 2019 Carmaker fears being left out as Beijing readies 'new energy' quota -Nikkei

Mongolians love their Prius hybrids A secondhand model carries price tag of $2,000 to $6000 -Nikkei 

Honda opens automobile, motorcycle proving ground in Thailand -The Japan Times

Airbnb extends market leadership through experience-based tourism Industry tries to adapt to room sharing pioneer's disruption -Nikkei

U.S. makes final finding rebar exports from Taiwan dumped -Reuters

Taiwan to Conditionally Lift 16-year-old Import Ban on Japanese Beef -Bloomberg


Chinese outbound investment boom falters The total value of deals in first half of 2017 down 43% on the year he boom in Chinese outbound investments since 2014 has apparently hit a speed bump amid tighter capital control and President Xi Jinping's call for deleveraging. -Nikkei

HNA Finds Wall St.’s Enthusiasm for Chinese Conglomerates Is Cooling -NYT

Kansai Electric to import 1.2m tons a year of US shale gas Japanese utility aims to cut dependency on Australian, Middle Eastern sources -Nikkei

Malaysia's Petronas Delivers First LNG Cargo to Thailand's PTT -Jakarta Post

Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings (Fitch) has affirmed Indonesia Sovereign Credit Rating at BBB- with a Positive Outlook. -TEMP.CO

Time to go for gold? The yellow metal has held up well this year as one of the best performers across various commodities, with spot prices up 8 per cent to around US$1,248 per ounce on Friday. -The Straits Times

Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> EMEA Wednesdays




EU ambassador to US: UK doesn’t understand Brexit ‘As Paul Simon said, there are 50 ways to leave your lover. I don’t know if there are 50 ways to Brexit.’

Is Productivity Growth Becoming Irrelevant? As the Nobel laureate economist Robert Solow noted in 1987, computers are “everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” Since then, the so-called productivity paradox has become ever more striking. -Project Syndicate


NATO’s Blind Spot: Getting to “Honest Defense” -War on the Rocks

The Politics of Germany’s External Surplus The debate about global macroeconomic imbalances is increasingly focusing on Germany’s current-account surplus and economic policy. Despite the vitality of the German economic engine, and the role it plays in fueling growth and maintaining stability in the eurozone, criticism of the country’s massive external surplus is mounting. -Project Syndicate

The Macron effect: France now world's top 'soft power' thanks to president, cuisine and culture France has overtaken the US and Britain to be ranked the country with the most non-military global influence. The annual Soft Power 30 index links polling and data to measure a country's global impact. -DW

Italy’s fading 5Stars lash out on migration Party leader says Matteo Renzi struck deal with Brussels to take in migrants in exchange for budget leniency. -Politico 

Leaked UK memo accuses Paris of wanting to sink City of London -France24

UK and EU broach thorny issue of post-Brexit trade rules Officially, trade relations are not on the agenda of U.K.-EU discussions this week.

The Case for an EU-Ukraine Customs Union -Project Syndicate


Trump, Putin held a second, undisclosed meeting at G20 summit -Reuters

The Real Colluder With Russia Isn't Trump -- It's Germany But Germany, the self-declared paragon of European values, finds itself fighting an isolated battle to give Putin’s rogue state its political objectives for the benefit of Germany, Inc. -Forbes



Trump’s Gift to Putin in the Mideast Over the past two months, even as American-trained forces were driving Islamic State insurgents out of the major Iraqi city of Mosul, the war next door in Syria was taking a dangerous but little-remarked turn — one far more favorable for Russia’s ambitions to regain a position of broad influence in the Middle East. -NYT

With U.S. scholar’s conviction, power struggle escalates between Iran’s president and hard-liners -The Washington Post

US imposes new sanctions against Iran despite it meeting terms of nuclear deal The Trump administration has sanctioned 18 individuals and entities alleged to have supported Iran's ballistic missile program. A day earlier, the US affirmed that Iran was complying with its nuclear agreement. -DW

UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials -The Washington Post


Deadly shooting erupts at military bases in Ivory Coast -France24

China has opened a military base in Djibouti. The geopolitics of the Middle East will never be the same again Last week, China sent an unmistakable message that its role in the world is changing -The National



G20 riots to cost insurers €12 million About a third of the money will be spent to compensate car owners. Activists set cars alight and clashed with police, leaving nearly 200 officers injured, as world leaders met in the northern German city.

Facebook Removes Only A Fraction Of Hate Groups Flagged By Activists -Forbes

Report confirms Brexit’s boomerang logic on data protection A U.K. parliamentary committee report backs the view that Brexit cannot constitute a “clean break” in data protection law terms with the European Union. Au contraire. The U.K. will likely have to continue mirroring EU data protection rules encore et encore, i.e. after it’s left the room where those rules are made and debated. -Tech Crunch

READ THE REPORT HERE >> European Union Committee Brexit: the EU data protection package -UK Parliament

British Land's Brexit Bet Britain's commercial property market is at the epicenter of the Brexit tremor. -Bloomberg Gadfly

STATION F>> On Thursday evening, the world’s biggest startup campus officially opened. Around 3,000 people are going to work in this huge building. TechCrunch walked around the building with the President of France Emmanuel Macron and other officials. -Tech Crunch

Kaspersky Lab Has Been Working With Russian Intelligence -Bloomberg

Court to decide the future of diesel cars in Germany This week a German court will hear arguments about how much air pollution cities have to accept from diesel cars. Will they need to be retrofitted or simply banned? No matter what happens change won't be fast. -DW

Saudi Arabian police arrest woman for miniskirt Snapchat video Saudi social media was thrown into a dizzying spin after a woman donned a miniskirt in a Snapchat video. Police arrested the woman and said she confessed to visiting an historic site with her male guardian. -DW

Ivanhoe's Congo Success Follows Deals With Kabila's Brother -Bloomberg


Geopolitics May Yet Ruin $4 Billion Bond Deal for Russia in 2017 Konstantin Vyshkovsky has shown he can dodge sanctions imposed against Russia by pulling off three Eurobond sales in just over a year. But the Finance Ministry’s debt chief may yet meet his match as the country looks to swap $4 billion of old foreign bonds for new ones. -Bloomberg

Sterling drops after low inflation figures Sterling fell by around half a cent against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday after British inflation unexpectedly slowed for the first time since October last year, dampening expectations of a rate increase this year. -Reuters

Will OPEC Deal Work? Major oil producers — members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC — are meeting in Russia on July 24 to monitor their compliance to a deal aimed at curtailing production and rebalancing the oil market. -Eurasia Review

West, Russia battle for Balkans gas corridors -AFP

Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays




Asia’s dangerous new geopolitics It is hard to recall a time at which Asia’s geopolitical circumstances have been this fraught – at least since the 1970s. The region, which had enjoyed one of the most settled strategic circumstances, is now in a period in which its great powers not only don’t trust each other but are beginning to contest one another’s interests militarily. -The Conversation

Asia’s hierarchies of humiliation With nationalism on the rise across Asia, leaders have strong incentives to craft a version of history that advances their cause -The Japan Times


PODCAST OF THE WEEK>> China’s Asian power play: Tom Miller on the future of Belt and Road -Sinica Podcast

The Political Geography of the India-China Crisis at Doklam Explaining the political geography at the center of a serious India-China standoff in the Himalayas. -The Diplomat

This standoff is China telling India to accept changing realities As technology kills the distance between the two Asian giants, the current Himalayan standoff is Beijing’s way of warning New Delhi not to trample too egregiously on China’s interests, or else -SCMP

‘GET USED TO IT’ >> Chinese Air force Conducts ‘several’ long-range drills near Japan China’s air force said Saturday that its warplanes had conducted long-range drills over the Bashi Channel and the Miyako Strait “several times” over the past week. -The Japan Times

China’s Quest to End Its Century of Shame -NYT

“China’s oceanic and overseas interests are developing rapidly. Our land is vast, but we will not yield a single inch to foreigners.”

CPC issues revised regulation on inspection to strengthen Party supervision -Xinhua


Hong Kong Court Ousts Four Lawmakers, in Victory for China A Hong Kong court removed four opposition lawmakers elected last year, handing the China-backed government a victory in its efforts to quiet dissent in the former British colony. -Bloomberg


Abe’s Cabinet polling at just 35.8% The public approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has taken a 9.1-point plunge since June and now stands at 35.8 percent — the lowest since he took office in December 2012, a poll conducted by Kyodo News showed Sunday. -The Japan Times

Japan should abandon nuclear umbrella -The Japan Times

TPP, the Trade Deal Trump Killed, Is Back in Talks Without U.S. Japan’s effort to salvage the deal reflects a growing recognition that countries that have previously counted on American leadership will have to forge ahead on their own. -NYT


End of Martial Law: Citizens drove democratic development: president

While praising the nation’s democratic achievements, President Tsai Ing-wen also called on all citizens to work hard to improve the nation and its politics -Taipei Times

Taiwan lawmakers brawl over budget Fighting broke out in Taiwan's parliament Friday over as lawmakers contested controversial infrastructure spending plans. -Reuters (video)  

U.S. House passes act backing closer military ties with Taiwan -Focus Taiwan


The “Third Neighbor Policy” of Mongolia: Romantic or Realistic? Essentially, the third neighbor policy, though dynamic, is an effort on the part of Mongolia to balance the influence from China and Russia. To that end, the foreign policy-makers in Ulan Bator have stretched out to look for key players globally that have greater geopolitical impact on Mongolia, Russia and China. -Modern Diplomacy


Indonesia’s South China Sea turn, Abe and Modi diverge So, Indonesia will henceforth refer to the northern reaches of its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea as the North Natuna Sea. -The Straits Times 

Proposed Cyber Security Bill: Experts hail proposals but some concerned about cost The Bill confers power on the Cyber Security Agency's (CSA) chief as Commissioner of Cyber Security to investigate threats and incidents to ensure that essential services in 11 critical sectors here are not disrupted in the event of a cyber attack. -The Straits Times

These sectors include telecoms, transport, healthcare, banking and energy.

Duterte in strategic sweet spot after year in power At home and abroad, firebrand president continues to shape the agenda -Nikkei



Some of Asia's most powerful companies may be teaming up against Uber -CNBC

GM teams up with Uber to expand Maven program to Australia -Reuters

WeChat Pay expanding global reach China's Tencent partners with duty-free shops, resorts Tencent Holdings is stepping up efforts to make its WeChat Pay mobile payment service widely available overseas as more Chinese consumers travel abroad. -Nikkei

Q&A: Stripe boss on Asian expansion and the value of building a product before a company Online payment service provider Stripe has been making waves in Asia for the past year. It launched in Singapore and Japan in the second half of 2016 and announced its arrival in Hong Kong this week. -Tech in Asia

Its latest deals with Chinese services Alipay and WeChat Pay give Stripe’s businesses access to a huge base of potential customers.

Apple Opening Data Center in China to Comply With Cybersecurity Law Apple said Wednesday that it would open its first data center in China, joining a parade of technology companies responding to growing global demands to build facilities that store online data closer to customers. -NYT

Global automakers call on China to ease "impossible" electric car rules -Reuters

Cosco leading China's 'Belt and Road' drive Chinese shipping giant aggressively investing in ports, logistics hubs -Nikkei

China Cut Agricultural Subsidies and American Farmers Have a Lot to Gain Growers in Brazil and Thailand will also benefit as Beijing rolls back farm supports -WSJ (subscription)

China's Ping An seeks fintech, healthcare assets in U.S., Israel, Singapore -Reuters

Taiwan shrugs off politics for record results Global demand for new smartphone models is driving Taiwan’s trade surplus and corporate revenues to record highs, underlining the strength of Asian trade even in the face of geopolitical jitters and rumours of protectionism. -The Star Online

Message service Telegram to shut some public channels after Indonesia ban -The Straits Times


Asia-Pacific sovereign rating likely to remain stable Sovereign credit trends should remain stable in most Asia-Pacific economies over the next one to two years, according to S&P Global Ratings. -The Star Online

China central bank told by Xi to play bigger role in managing financial risk -Reuters

Beyond the Headlines: Five Things to Watch in China's GDP Report -Bloomberg

1.Borrowing Curbs

2.Who’s Investing

3.Growth Drivers

4.Consumer Pulse

5.Labor Market

Reasons You Shouldn’t Worry About Money Flowing Out of China There is reason for optimism in the face of those concerns. China, the world’s second largest economy, is different. -Bloomberg

Shell companies are bad for Hong Kong’s market reputation, SFC chairman says SFC Chairman Carlson Tong says Hong Kong is well served by a network of friendships underpinning the regulatory institutions. -SCMP

Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> Americas Fridays




Faster than a Speeding Congressman The emergence of such leaders is a relatively new phenomenon, one that is reshaping politics across the West. Today, two largely dissimilar presidents, Emmanuel Macron in France and Donald Trump in the United States, are its leading avatars. -Project Syndicate

National Wealth Still Depends on Making Some Stuff Apps, patents and social media aren't enough to power an economy that provides a good living for all. -Bloomberg  

PODCAST OF THE WEEK>> The Next Silicon Valley Is...? Today, no region can match Silicon Valley’s collective wisdom for scaling a business. But — from Buenos Aires to Boston, Tel Aviv to Shenzen — there are fledgling startup scenes that could ultimately give Silicon Valley a run for its money. -Masters of Scale


The Trump Vision for America Abroad President Trump just concluded a second overseas trip to further advance America’s interests and values, and to strengthen our alliances around the world. Both this and his first trip demonstrated the resurgence of American leadership to bolster common interests, affirm shared values, confront mutual threats and achieve renewed prosperity. -NYT

Trump and Macron go from mano a mano to tête-à-tête The US and French presidents show affection — possibly too much affection — as Trump receives military honors in Paris. -Politico

Senate confirms businessman picked by Trump as Japan envoy The Senate has confirmed Tennessee businessman William F. Hagerty as President Donald Trump's ambassador to Japan. Senators voted 86-12 on Thursday to approve Hagerty's nomination. -AP

Trump administration plans to certify Iranian compliance with nuclear agreement The decision followed heated internal debate that cast the secretaries of state and defense against some White House officials. -NYT

Alaska Looks at a Nuclear Threat, and Shrugs It Off In Washington, the news that North Korea may have developed an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting Alaska set off a wave of anxiety. But here in Alaska — already home to survivalists, end-of-the-world preppers and all-around tough cookies — the latest geopolitical hubbub is being taken in stride. -NYT

U.S. asks nations to provide more traveler data or face sanctions -Reuters

Trump: I may slap both quotas and tariffs on steel President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday night that he may slap quotas and tariffs on steel, according to a newly released transcript of a previously off-the-record conversation on his way to Paris for meetings. -Politico


Trump's Plan for His Border Wall Gets Shorter and See-Through -Bloomberg

U.S. energy secretary in Mexico eyes cooperation U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry promised on Thursday to promote cross-border electricity trade and investment with Mexico and said he expected talks aimed at updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to proceed quickly. -Reuters

Brazil congressional panel votes against putting Temer on trial -Reuters

Lula, Brazil’s most fiery politician, goes out with a whimper, not a bang -The Washington Post

Death or Democracy in Venezuela Venezuela’s democratic institutions are in ruins, its coffers are empty, and its citizens are searching for food in garbage dumps. Its people are dying from starvation, from preventable and curable diseases (at much higher rates than the Latin American average), and from violence – including, in some cases, gunshot wounds inflicted by their own government. -Project Syndicate




America’s CEOs Need to Do More to Reverse U.S.-China Trend If negative views of a company increased by 26 percentage points over a decade, the chief executive officer of said company would have a major problem. In fact, that CEO would probably be asked to leave. -Inside Sources

U.S. prepares new sanctions on Chinese firms over North Korea ties – officials -Reuters

Tech firms protest proposed changes to net neutrality -Reuters (video)

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins explains why his merger with FanDuel fell apart Battling the FTC is expensive and time-consuming. -Recode

Qatar Air Should Give Up on Its American Dream Qatar Airways Ltd.'s bid to buy a stake in American Airlines Group Inc. is making less and less sense. -Bloomberg


Yellen Treads Carefully on Regulatory Issues in Senate Panel Appearance The American economy is doing well enough that senators largely ignored the subject as they questioned Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, for two hours on Thursday morning. -NYT

Massive copper mine tests Trump's push to slash regulation -Reuters

Exclusive: Premature to talk of Mexico rate cuts before mid 2018 – Carstens -Reuters

Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> EMEA Wednesdays




Globalism and Nationalism Why Interconnectedness Does Not Threaten Sovereignty This growing international interconnectedness, however, did not signify a blanket rejection of all national political units and communities. What it meant was that polities of all scales—nations, empires, federal unions, non-state communities, and international organizations—were adjusted to fit the reality of new interdependencies. -Foreign Affairs

Germany’s G20 blame game Merkel’s conservatives take the high road, blaming not the opposition center left that runs Hamburg, but rioters themselves.

The G20’s Harmony Without Trump -Project Syndicate

One man’s protest is another’s harmony …


Is the world ready for a strong German leader? -The Conversation

Macron’s ambitions run into economic reality The new French president will need all the authority he can get He has said France needs a “Jupiter-like” president: remote and dignified, like the Roman king of the gods. (This sounds less conceited in French than it does in English, but has still raised eyebrows.) Mr Macron’s supporters say he needs to invest his office with more authority to pass ambitious reforms. -The Economist

Brexit can still be stopped The UK’s act of self-harm can still be reversed, but only if the British public plays its part.

Balkan states sit in endless EU waiting room as Trieste summit approaches All talk, no action? Cooperative economic projects have been the hot topic ahead of a conference between leaders from the EU and Western Balkan countries. But EU expansion in the region remains as elusive as ever. -DW

EU rights court upholds Belgian ban on full-face niqab veil -France24


Senior U.S., Russian diplomats to meet in Washington next week -Reuters

Opposition May Benefit From ‘Crisis’ Hitting Russian Political Parties -Moscow Times

PODCAST OF THE WEEK>> What Russians really think of America (Lisa Dickey, author, 'Bears in the Streets') -Recode/Decode (audio)


Thousands mass to mark anti-Erdogan rally in Istanbul -France24

U.S., Qatar sign agreement on combating terrorism financing -Reuters

Qatar being punished for embracing American ideals On June 21, the U.S. Department of State announced it was "mystified" by the bullying of the State of Qatar by, among others, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who had broken diplomatic relations, closed all borders, airspace and sea lanes in an attempt to shut down their neighbor's economy. -The Hill


Elections 'not possible' yet in DR Congo -France24

U.S. threatens more sanctions for hindering democracy in Congo The United States on Tuesday threatened to impose further targeted unilateral sanctions on anyone who hinders Democratic Republic of Congo's already delayed preparations for an election to replace President Joseph Kabila. -Reuters

Zambia extends state of emergency by three months - presidency office -Reuters



Google taps top law firms to fight EU regulatory battles: sources -Reuters

Britain Has a Few Ideas About Uber It's easy to poke fun at Britain's government dysfunction. But there's at least one policy area where it's having a sophisticated debate with global implications: how to regulate "gig economy" companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Deliveroo so they don't exploit workers or skimp on taxes. -Bloomberg Gadfly

National Insurance tax hit for gig economy firms -BBC

Siemens sees itself as a victim in the Crimean affair The controversy over the delivery of Siemens gas turbines to Crimea is spreading. The group is now taking legal action in Moscow. But to what extent has the German company violated EU sanctions? -DW

Israel arrests Netanyahu allies over German submarine deal Israeli police have arrested seven people on suspicion of corruption following a deal to buy submarines from German company ThyssenKrupp. German authorities have launched their own investigation. -DW

British Court Allows Arms Sales to Saudis, Rejecting Criticism Over Yemen A British court ruled on Monday that Britain’s extensive sales of arms to Saudi Arabia are legal, rejecting claims by rights groups that the Saudis have violated international law by using those weapons to kill civilians in Yemen’s civil war. -NYT

Electronics ban on EgyptAir flights to U.S. to be lifted Wednesday: chairman -Reuters


Why Germany’s current-account surplus is bad for the world economy The country saves too much and spends too little -The Economist

U.S. LNG In Central And Eastern Europe - Taking Diversification Seriously Much of Duda’s statement is political rhetoric given that LTAs are not signed between governments. Instead these contracts are commercial decisions made by individual companies. But the strong rhetoric coming from both governments in support for U.S. LNG exports to CEE is an indicator that beyond economic aspect, this trade has strong geopolitical dimension. -Forbes

Gold Buyers Flee a Month After Their Most Bullish Bet of '17 -Bloomberg

Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays




Digital readiness can sustain growth of emerging Asia New fundamentals can transform boom-bust narrative But the underlying story in many emerging markets today, particularly in Asia, will be based on new fundamentals that will help transform the narrative from one of caution to expectations of sustained success. This story will be about digital readiness: internet technology expertise, use and investment. -Nikkei

Why Build Financially Inclusive Economies? The theme of this week’s G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, is “shaping an interconnected world,” and when leaders get down to business, many of the highest-profile topics – climate change, counter-terrorism, trade – will take center stage. But the attention received by a less well-known agenda item will be no less critical to ensuring global prosperity: digital financial inclusion. -Project Syndicate


Xi Jinping and China’s Traditionalist Restoration Fast forward to today’s China and the head of China’s Communist Party is actively promoting a wave of neotraditionalism. Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized the need to “advance and enrich outstanding traditional Chinese culture (中华优秀传统文化)” -Jamestown China Brief

China's all-seeing surveillance state is reading its citizens' faces Ms Gan Liping pumped her bike across a busy street, racing to beat a crossing light before it turned red. She didn't make it. Immediately, her face popped up on two video screens above the street. "Jaywalkers will be captured using facial-recognition technology," the screens said. -The Straits Times

China’s Newest Censorship Methods on Display A month riddled with perilous anniversaries offers a showcase for the Communist Party’s upgraded internet controls. -The Diplomat

Rural Chinese in no hurry to settle in cities after all Relative value of urban residency declines to the surprise of 'hukou' reformers -Nikkei


China Says Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong Is Void On the Hong Kong handover 20th anniversary, China’s Foreign Ministry says the document is no longer legally binding. -The Diplomat

Carrie Lam is in office, but she has no power -Taipei Times

Liaoning visits Hong Kong to boost patriotism The pride of China's navy has sailed into Hong Kong as part of celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the city's return to China, a maiden visit aimed at boosting patriotism among Hong Kongers. -The Straits Times


Japan PM to reshuffle Cabinet in early August but retain key members -Nikkei

South Korea, Japan unlikely to let ‘comfort women’ row undermine security ties With the leaders of Japan and South Korea at odds over a 2015 agreement to resolve the “comfort women” issue but agreeing to build “future-oriented” relations, they are likely to use a dual-track approach to ensure the rift does not undermine cooperation in dealing with North Korea. -The Japan Times

Yuriko Koike: 10 things about the Tokyo governor who just trumped Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Forces supporting Koike captured a total of 79 seats out of the 127 seats up for grabs in the election, with Koike's Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites First party) winning 49 seats, and its major ally in the metropolitan assembly the Komeito party securing 23 seats. Abe's ruling LDP, meanwhile, won only 23 seats, its lowest-ever level in a Tokyo metropolitan assembly election, according to local media. -The Straits Times

With EU Deal, Japan Sends Powerful Message on Free Trade The Japan-EU deal is a political win for Abe and a repudiation of Trump-style protectionism. -The Diplomat

Trump prods Abe to shrink U.S.-Japan trade imbalance -The Japan Times


Presidential Office urges protesters to be more ‘rational’ The Presidential Office yesterday urged protesters to express their opinions rationally in the wake of increasingly violent demonstrations against President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), after the legislature passed bills to cut the retirement benefits of civil servants and public-school teachers. -Taipei Times

US port calls might unsettle China -Taipei Times


Former Martial Arts Star Battulga Wins Mongolian Presidential Election The poll was seen as a referendum on the government's economic recovery plans and the role of southern neighbor China in the landlocked but resource-rich country known as the birthplace of Mongol emperor Genghis Khan. -NYT

Mongolia Just Chose a New President. What Now? Mongolia is set for 3 years of cohabitation between President Battulga and an MPP parliament. -The Diplomat


In post-Lee Kuan Yew era, can Singapore still walk tall on global stage? Former envoy sparks anger comparing Lion City to Qatar in what some see as a thinly veiled attack on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong -SCMP

Duterte's popularity on the line in southern Philippine conflict Drawn-out conflict and slow rehabilitation would hurt implementation of policy agenda -Nikkei



Sanctions are fine, but what about the Chinese who depend on trade with North Korea? With Beijing under growing international pressure to impose tougher sanctions on Pyongyang, Chinese traders on the border fear for their future -SCMP

China's COSCO Shipping offers $6.3 billion for Orient Overseas Ltd -Reuters

PODCAST OF THE WEEK>> Asian Airlines in Crisis & Rise of China Aviation with Paul Papadimitriou a conversation to discuss the crisis of Asian airlines and the rise of China aviation. We discussed why the top Asian airlines such as Cathay Pacific & Singapore Airlines are facing challenges with their models disrupted by new upstart airlines, and the major business opportunities arising from China in the aviation space. -Analyse Asia

Samsung, Seeking to Move Past Scandals, Forecasts Record Profit One of the conglomerate’s companies, Samsung Electronics, said on Friday that it expected to post record earnings in the second quarter, driven by a booming semiconductor business and positive reviews of its latest mobile phone. The earnings are expected to hit $12 billion, which would surpass analysts’ estimates for Apple’s profit for the same period. -NYT

Foxconn seeks to raise its own profile after working for others The Taiwanese company embarks on an acquisition strategy to boost profits -Nikkei

A complete teardown of Amazon’s business model, and how it’ll enter Southeast Asia -Tech-in-Asia


China has no intention of devaluing its currency, regulator says Despite weakening significantly against the US dollar last year, the yuan has rebounded strongly in 2017 -SCMP

Japan ploughs its own furrow as end of cheap money fast approaches The Bank of Japan was the odd man out at last week’s gathering of central bankers in Portugal, and with good reason -SCMP

Nickel prices in free fall following issuance of additional export permit Global nickel prices have been in free fall over the past few days following the issuance of another export permit by the Indonesian government for local company PT Ceria Nugraha Indotama (CNI). -Jakarta Post

Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> Americas Fridays




Trump, in Poland, Asks if West Has the ‘Will to Survive’ President Trump said on Thursday that Western civilization was at risk of decline, bringing a message about “radical Islamic terrorism” and “the creep of government bureaucracy” to the one European capital he views as most hospitable to his nationalist message. -NYT

The Fight over Nationalism Is About to Get Messy The storm is gathering. The next great battle in the world war of ideas will be over the meaning of nationalism. It’s a fight the United States cannot afford to lose—and one that the Trump administration will have to go “over there” to win. -The National Interest


Trump and Putin meet tomorrow (or today). -The Washington Post

Here are 6 things to watch …

1. Ukraine

2. Syria

3. North Korea

4. Russian domestic politics

5. U.S. domestic politics

6. Trump and Putin, face to face

Russia sanctions bill hits new hurdle in House As President Donald Trump prepares to meet Vladimir Putin on Friday, a bipartisan congressional attempt to constrain Trump's ability to warm up to Russia is running into new trouble — opening a new partisan schism -Politico

Tough Choices for American Diplomacy Carnegie President William J. Burns makes the case for why diplomacy should be America’s tool of first resort in today’s world. -Carnegie (video)

Time for Trump to Get Tough on China Beijing has failed to rein in North Korea. A little hardball might get Chinese leaders’ attention. -Politico

US bomber planes fly over East and South China Seas -BBC

Hawaii, Alaska contemplate coming into North Korean missile range -Reuters

Russians Are Suspects in Nuclear Site Hackings, Sources Say Hackers working for a foreign government recently breached at least a dozen U.S. power plants, including the Wolf Creek nuclear facility in Kansas, according to current and former U.S. officials, sparking concerns the attackers were searching for vulnerabilities in the electrical grid. -Bloomberg


Mob Attacks Maduro Opponents as It Storms Venezuela’s National Assembly -NYT

Venezuela in Crisis The sharp decline in oil prices in recent years has crippled Venezuela’s economy and left the Maduro government teetering on the brink. -CFR

Peru Steps Up Rainforest Protection as Police Raid Illegal Mines -Bloomberg




U.S. judge allows Twitter lawsuit over surveillance to move forward -Reuters

Interior aims to speed oil and gas permitting on public lands with 30-day reviews The Interior Department, intent on boosting oil and gas production on federal lands, issued an order on Thursday designed to speed up the permitting process for drilling.  -The Washington Post


Tesla Is Starting to Face Serious Competition Volvo's two biggest markets have excellent incentives for electric vehicle production and bad ones for imports. -Bloomberg View 

U.S. charges ex-Audi manager in emissions cheating case The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday it charged a former Audi manager with directing employees at the company, a division of Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), to design software to cheat U.S. emissions tests in thousands of Audi diesel cars. -Reuters

Vancouver Extends Airbnb Rules as Home Prices Keep Rising -Bloomberg


Oil Exports, Illegal for Decades, Now Fuel a Texas Port Boom Crude from West Texas shale fields is increasingly making its way abroad as a pipeline system is expanded to take it to market through Corpus Christi. -NYT

Elon Musk Won't Save Big Mining The world's biggest mining companies have more or less recovered from the commodity boom and bust of the past decade. At the same time, they've been left with an existential crisis: What minerals are going to drive their growth in the decades to come? -Bloomberg Gadfly

Saving Emerging Markets From Trump It is easy to sympathize with Mexico now that US President Donald Trump has turned that country into a political piñata. If Trump gets his way, Mexico’s northern border will feature a “big, beautiful wall,” and the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is crucial to Mexico’s economy, will be renegotiated to satisfy an “America first” agenda. And if that were not enough, Mexican capital and currency markets will bear the brunt of the pain from unstable US monetary and fiscal policy. -Project Syndicate

Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> EMEA Wednesdays




Hamburg braces for G20 summit, but leaves room for protest Police in Hamburg have clashed with G20 protesters as they tried to dismantle a camp in a city park. Protesters from around Europe are flocking to the city in what is expected to be a tense week of clashes. -DW

Europe’s fixer, Merkel faces test in preparing the continent to confront Trump -The Washington Post


EU's Juncker calls empty European Parliament 'ridiculous' -BBC

Macron pledges to transform politics in address before parliament at Versailles -France24

The Macron Doctrine? French President Emmanuel Macron invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Paris as his first foreign guest, while US President Donald Trump will attend this year’s Bastille Day celebrations. By reaching out to two world leaders who made no secret of their hope that he would never make it to the Élysée Palace, Macron has set the stage for a new and ambitious French foreign policy. -Project Syndicate

How to Clear the First Brexit Hurdle Britain and the EU don’t need to fall out over treatment of each other’s citizens. -Bloomberg

Italy-Austria tension over border troops at Brenner Pass -BBC

Catalan independence: Plan for quick split from Spain after vote Catalonia's ruling coalition has vowed to declare independence "immediately" if a majority of voters back it in an October referendum. -BBC


Russia and China tell North Korea, U.S. and South Korea to embrace de-escalation plan The plan would see North Korea suspend its ballistic missile program and the United States and South Korea simultaneously call a moratorium on large-scale missile exercises, both moves aimed at paving the way for multilateral talks. -Reuters

Pressure builds on Trump at home over pledge for closer Moscow ties -Reuters


Turkey's high-stakes game supporting Qatar As the Saudi-led countries that blockade Qatar get together in Cairo on Wednesday, Turkey's involvement in the standoff is likely to impact on the region as a whole. -DW

March for ‘justice’ by Erdogan opponents in Turkey gains momentum and alarms government -The Washington Post

Raqqa: IS 'capital' wall breached by US-backed Syrian forces -BBC


France Pledges to Bolster African Antiterrorism Force -NYT

Burundi crisis deepens as government militias spread terror -France24

Ignoring International Warrants, Sudan’s Leader Says He’ll Visit Moscow Genocide and war-crimes charges have long shadowed Sudan’s president, sometimes forcing him to scrap or alter travel abroad to avoid the risk of arrest and extradition to the International Criminal Court. Still, Sudan said Monday, he had accepted an invitation to visit Russia next month. -NYT


EU hits Google with record €2.4bn euro antitrust fine -France24

U.S. government seeks to intervene in Apple's EU tax appeal The U.S. government has sought to intervene in Apple's (AAPL.O) appeal against an EU order to pay back up to 13 billion euros ($14.8 billion) in Irish taxes, a source familiar with the matter -Reuters

EU court blow for Uber in France -Reuters (video)

On London’s Streets, Black Cabs and Uber Fight for a Future London’s cabby wars are less about the disruptive power of an app, or a new business model, than about the disruption of Britain. -NYT

Post-Brexit EU drug regulation deal urged by ministers -BBC

German business group fears trade war with U.S. U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist approach to trade has the potential to ignite a trade war, the German DIHK Chambers of Commerce warned on Tuesday, adding that German companies were among the biggest job creators in America. -BBC

Mid-East laptop ban slowly being lifted Airlines have said the US-led laptop ban is slowly being lifted because of assurances of heightened airport security. The bans were put in place after 'Islamic State' started secreting bombs inside such devices. -DW

French bank BNP Paribas accused of complicity in Rwandan genocide -France24

Nigeria Taps Microsoft to Oracle to Recover From Recession -Bloomberg


EU clears Italy's $6 billion state bailout for Monte dei Paschi -Reuters  

Crude Tumbles After Russia Said to Oppose Deeper Production Cuts -Bloomberg

Defiant Qatar hikes gas output by 30 percent Despite a deepening diplomatic crisis with its neighbors, Qatar says it will increase natural gas production by a third. The announcement is seen as an act of defiance against sanctions by Saudi Arabia and others. -DW

Geopolitical Risk Tracker




Should China Deleverage? China’s mounting debt problem recently moved into the spotlight when Moody’s downgraded the country’s sovereign rating. But was the downgrade really warranted? -Project Syndicate


Trump to speak with Xi, Abe as North Korea, steel issues loom -Reuters

Chinese Ways of Empire, Then and Now In 30 more years, Hong Kong will fully revert to the mainland. Much could happen between now and 2047, and the tea leaves are already out there waiting to be read: There are many old — even ancient — historical precedents showing how the Chinese central authorities first manage rebellious peoples on the periphery before eventually subjugating them. -NYT

India-China: Border stand-off may hit India-China efforts to put behind 1962 memories -Economic Times

Did Beijing just gain Panama and lose Taipei? The Republic of China is now officially recognised by only 19 nations, but it’s “unofficial” ties with major global players that really matter -SCMP

Turn Off, Drop Out: Why Young Chinese Are Abandoning Ambition -News Lens


President Xi Jinping marks ‘red line’ in warning to Hong Kong on national sovereignty In a tough speech that also calls for consensus, the president warns that any challenge to Beijing is ‘absolutely impermissible’ -SCMP

Mass protests hit Hong Kong hours after Xi Jinping's departure Chinese president issues stern warning on challenge to Beijing's authority -Nikkei

Hong Kong Activists Urge Mass Protest amid ‘Whole New Level of Intimidation, Violence’ -NewsLens

“What we’ve experienced this weekend was a whole new level of intimidation and direct violence,” activist

PODCAST OF THE WEEK>> PS Voice: Chris Patten on a Life in Global Politics -Project Syndicate (audio)

OR READ>> China’s Hong Kong at 20 -Project Syndicate


ELECTION WATCH>> Koike camp dethrones Abe’s LDP in historic Tokyo assembly election Gov. Yuriko Koike’s upstart Tomin First party was headed for a resounding victory Sunday in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Election and looked likely to dethrone the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, delivering a blow to Shinzo Abe’s future prospects as prime minister. -The Japan Times

Japan-EU trade pact continues to elude over auto, dairy tariffs -The Japan Times


China's aircraft carrier battle group enters Taiwan's ADIZ -Focus Taiwan

Taiwan arms sale, North Korea sanctions outrage Beijing in test of U.S.-China ties under Trump -The Washington Post

US arms to boost capabilities A proposed US arms package to Taiwan worth US$1.42 billion would greatly improve the survivability and airborne time of the nation’s jets in the event of armed conflict, while offering enhanced area denial capabilities for submarines -Taipei Times

China aims to cut Taiwan-HK ties -Taipei Times


ELECTION WATCH>> JULY 7, 2017 Mongolia's presidential election forced into a second round No candidate has won an outright victory in Mongolia's presidential election meaning the first ever run-off between two leading candidates will be held next month, the General Election Committee -Reuters

Mongolia’s rumbling resource nationalism Mongolian stocks tanked in the aftermath of the first-round presidential contest, cast as a referendum on the ruling People’s Party (MPP) IMF program-related economic policies, before stabilizing for a 2% gain through end-June on the Bloomberg 20 leading companies index. -Asia Times



U.S. announces sanctions on Chinese bank, arms-sales package for Taiwan -The Washington Post

China Is About to Bury Elon Musk in Batteries Chinese companies have plans for additional factories with the capacity to pump out more than 120 gigawatt-hours a year by 2021 By comparison, when completed in 2018, Tesla Inc.’s Gigafactory will crank out up to 35 gigawatt-hours of battery cells annually. -Bloomberg

Opinion: The new Chinese sharing economy does not exist -Tech-in-Asia

Cheer Up, Japan Inc. Shareholders are gripped by a sense of dread that the great corporate leaders that helped build the world's third-largest economy are losing their grip. The fear is spreading to even the best-run companies. While those emotions are understandable, investors would be wise not to wallow in them. -Bloomberg

New home-sharing law may give HomeAway the edge over rival Airbnb Japan’s home-sharing market is poised for a shift away from couch surfing toward professional services after the passage of a law regulating short-term rentals. -The Japan Times

Jugnoo becomes India’s first on-demand transportation app to turn cash positive -Tech-in-Asia

Indonesia sets tariff ranges for online car-hailing services Indonesia has set minimum and maximum tariffs for online car-hailing services, aiming to ensure comparable pricing with conventional transport providers whose drivers have complained about being undercut by their newer competitors. -Reuters

7-Eleven shuts all convenience stores in Indonesia Local operator failed to compete with minimarkets -Taiwan News


As Beijing Joins Climate Fight, Chinese Companies Build Coal Plants -NYT

Hong Kong markets feel the crush of mainland money Mainland offshore financing needs tint local IPOs and property market -Nikkei

Debt-saddled Vietnam turns to private-sector funding The borrowing limit puts infrastructure payments in arrears -Nikkei

Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> EMEA Wednesdays




The Global Age of Complexity Every century, it seems, has its “age.” The Renaissance, from a philosophical perspective, has been called the Age of Adventure. The seventeenth-century Age of Reason was followed by the Age of Enlightenment. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries were ages of ideology and analysis, respectively. As for the twenty-first century, I would argue that it is the Age of Complexity. -Project Syndicate

These Five Charts Show the Seismic Shifts Happening in Global Energy -Bloomberg 


RIGHT HAND >> Brexit: EU 'open' to change of heart, say France and Germany French President Emmanuel Macron says the possibility of the UK remaining in the European Union is an option until Brexit negotiations have concluded. -BBC

LEFT HAND >> Germany looks to reap Brexit dividend as EU agencies leave London Germany is seeking to make the most of Brexit by mopping up the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority. The two London-based agencies are set for relocation after the split.  -DW

How Macron Keeps Winning Emmanuel Macron’s one-man revolution in French and European politics continued this weekend, as he will soon be able to add a huge parliamentary majority to his cause, if the results from the first round of the French parliamentary election hold. Such an outcome appears to be very likely. -Project Syndicate


Facing competing Brexit demands, PM May nears deal with Northern Irish 'kingmakers' British Prime Minister Theresa May neared a deal with a Northern Irish Protestant party to save her premiership on Tuesday and confirmed Brexit talks would begin next week, amid growing calls for her to soften her approach to leaving the European Union. -Reuters

Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star suffer local election beating -Reuters



In Russia, state TV and the Internet tell a tale of two protests Some of the biggest anti-Kremlin protests in years swept across Russia on Monday with over 1,000 people detained by the police ahead of a presidential election next year. But anyone relying on state TV would have concluded they were a non-event. -Reuters

On a Tiny Norwegian Island, America Keeps an Eye on Russia -NYT


Turkey's Erdogan calls Qatar embargo 'un-Islamic' Turkey's president has likened several Arab states' efforts to isolate Qatar to imposing the death penalty. Qatar is one of Ankara's main regional allies and is seeking a diplomatic route out of the Gulf crisis. -DW

Qatar’s Wait-And-See Strategy -Project Syndicate

Economists' View of Qatar Cutoff Is a Little Scary Economic models have not taken over the study of international relations, but periodically it is worth checking in to see what they say. And right now there is a big red light flashing: the trade and border shutdowns that Saudi Arabia and six other countries have directed at Qatar, a highly vulnerable nation that imports most of its food. -Bloomberg

Raising Tensions, Iranians Again Link Saudis to Terror Attacks in Tehran -NYT

Donald Trump administration under fire over Afghanistan strategy as Taliban surge Pentagon chief Jim Mattis has asked for more troops as the conflict in Afghanistan enters a new phase. Senators fired back that they have yet to receive a coherent strategy from the Trump administration. -DW


France seeks UN backing to fight jihadists in West Africa -France24

Opinion: Profit over aid - Merkel’s plan for Africa With new reform partnerships, Germany wants to help Africa move forward. But the German G20 initiative is loaded with excessive expectations, says Claus Stäcker. -DW 

A Better Investment Framework for Africa -Project Syndicate



Europe’s DP chiefs fire warning shots ahead of first EU-US Privacy Shield review -TechCrunch

New EU car emissions tests slammed as 'paper tiger' EU industry ministers have moved to crack down on VW-style emissions cheating, giving Brussels more powers to monitor car approvals. But critics say the draft reform has been watered down on pressure from the car lobby. -DW

UK and France to jointly pressure tech firms over extremist content -TechCrunch

WhatsApp: the go-to messaging tool for parliamentary plotting Boris Johnson’s ‘leaked’ show of support for the prime minister highlights how the app has become the medium of choice in Westminster -The Guardian

Chill out — Russia’s Skolkovo project attempts a re-boot with a new venture fund -TechCrunch


UK inflation rate at near four-year high -BBC

London could lose EU euro clearing role The European Union has revealed a draft law to give it the power to move the lucrative euro clearing business out of London and keep it in the EU after Britain leaves the Union in 2019 -BBC

The Market Math Behind the Saudi-Russia Romance If it feels like Russia is just cropping up all over the place these days, you are no doubt focused on oil. No? Well, anyway, Russia's role in the global oil market has become even more important than usual. And BP's latest annual review of energy statistics, released on Tuesday, helps show why. -Bloomberg Gadfly