Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays

DRIVING GEOPOLITICAL RISK + GLOBAL MARKETS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

GLOBAL RISK

The Impulsive Approach to Managing Alliances Insulting the Australians is all the more regrettable given the importance of Australia as a partner in dealing with the Chinese challenge in the southeastern portion of the Pacific basin. -The National Interest

Too much noise (+ media nonsense) around this; alliances run much deeper than a tweet or telephone call …

CHINA RISK

China Needs a New Grand Strategy these new assumptions provide some indication of the way forward for China, as it develops a new grand strategy. And yet plenty of unknowns remain. -Project Syndicate

Did Xi Just Outmaneuver Trump? -China File

On the belt and road, the Chinese civilisation is on the march Beijing’s ambition to build a pan-Asian sphere of common prosperity will affect far more than the region’s economy, and it would be wise to watch out for the civilisational fault lines -SCMP

LISTEN >> Reporting From China Pulitzer Prize Winner David Barboza -Harvard University Fairbank Center (podcast)  

HONG KONG RISK

John Tsang’s empty words on political reform Chief executive hopeful is promising to restart the process for universal suffrage but there is little room for manoeuvre given Beijing’s stance -SCMP

JAPAN RISK

Abe and Trump hit bilateral sweet spot in 27 holes Japan's relief short lived as Pyongyang fires ballistic missile -Nikkei

OXBOW BIG READ >> Uncommon Alliance for the Common Good: The United States and Japan After the Cold War the allies should work to incorporate their full range of cooperation in more direct service of comprehensive national strategies, recognizing the unique ways that their alliance supports global stability and serves mutual interests. -Carnegie

Abe, Trump back stronger alliance, economic dialogue -Nikkei

"It is important that both Japan and the United States continue to invest very heavily in the alliance to build up our defense and our defensive capabilities," Trump said in a joint news conference.

WATCH >> President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joint press conference -YouTube

While Trump and Abe Bond, Their Deputies Talk Trade -Bloomberg

KOREAS RISK

North Korea ballistic missile test sparks condemnation South Korea and US officials said the missile, launched on Saturday night, flew east towards the Sea of Japan for about 500km (300 miles). -BBC

TAIWAN RISK

Trump accedes to ‘one China’ policy One expert said the US president’s reaffirmation of the decades-old position hinted at the moderating influence of his secretaries of state and defense -Taipei Times

Tillerson reaffirms US’ commitment to Taiwan The secretary of state said that Taiwanese are ‘friends of the United States’ and that the US is legally and morally committed to Taiwan -Taipei Times

BOSCO >> Trump and 'One China': Two Phone Calls, Many Interpretations After the phone call with Xi Jinping, the Trump administration needs to imbue its Taiwan policy with strategic clarity. -The Diplomat

SOUTHEAST ASIA RISK

Wishful thinking on a code of conduct for the South China Sea So far, there is little to see apart from wishful thinking from Manila as it pledges to conclude a code of conduct (CoC) for the South China Sea by the end of this year. -The China Post

SMART >> Singapore just released a massive report on its future economy. A 30-member committee co-chaired by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran worked for a year to produce a series of proposals on how Singapore can thrive in this uncertain future. Tech-in-Asia

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE >> Report of the Committee on the Future of Economy

Chekhov's Gun and the Tangled US-Philippines-China Triangle Trump’s second act in the South China Sea will have to be stronger than his first. Lord Palmerston, the 19th century British leader and empire builder, famously noted that countries do not have eternal allies or perpetual enemies, only indefinite national interests. -The Diplomat

Citing 'one China' policy, Cambodia bans ROC flags Cambodia's prime minister said Saturday his country welcomed investment from Taiwan — but warned that the flying of the Republic of China (R.O.C.) flag would not be tolerated. -The China Post

Can Cambodia have it both ways?

APAC || GLOBAL MARKETS IMPACT + OPPORTUNITY

GLOBAL BUSINESS

WANT TO READ >> The Art of a China Deal Reciprocity Dealing with President Trump will not be a novelty for Chinese leaders. The country is littered with eccentric and egotistical real estate billionaires. In fact, Trump has much in common with China’s leaders. -China File

One of the smartest observers out there on the intersection of business and policy/politics in China

DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA; YOU KNOW THIS … BUT IF YOU’RE ENTERING LISTEN >> Minxin Pei, author of China’s Crony Capitalism, discusses corruption -PS ON AIR (podcast)

“Ultimately, money is weaker than political power … for those who think otherwise, their assumptions have not been tested …”

BTW >> A founding premise @oxbowadvisory

China's Factories Don't Fear Trump -Bloomberg View

'If trade stops, war starts' Alibaba founder who visited Donald Trump warns Speaking in Melbourne at the launch of Alibaba's Australia and New Zealand headquarters, he said: "Everybody is concerned about trade wars. If trade stops, war starts." -Independent

Lotte China Theme-Park Project Halted Amid Geopolitical Tensions Lotte Group said the Chinese government ordered the halt of the conglomerate’s 3 trillion won ($2.6 billion) theme-park project in northeastern China -Bloomberg

Disney theme parks are booming in Asia, but Chinese geopolitical risks loom -CNBC

TAX RISK >> Governors’ association may ask government to introduce accommodation tax -The Japan Times

“The accommodation tax has a potential to become a nationwide duty,”

“Over the top” providers need to watch this space …

Don't say goodbye yet: Uber 'looks forward' to serving Taiwan again -The China Post  

As much as want to continue, the current regulatory environment makes it impossible to serve the island the way we know works best," Uber said in a statement.

Freeport says no deal with Indonesia, export ban remains Freeport-McMoRan Inc said on Friday that an export ban remains in place at its copper mine in Indonesia, the world's second-biggest, because it has not yet reached agreement with the government on a new mining permit. -Reuters

Rio Tinto offloads assets while the (coal) price is right Miner jumps at chance to shift focus to iron ore, other resources -Nikkei

GLOBAL MACRO

'Significant uncertainty' about fiscal policy under Trump: Fed's Fischer U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said there was significant uncertainty about U.S. fiscal policy under the Trump administration -Reuters

Why Trump Can’t Bully China The fate of China, and its role in the world, is now in the hands of the Chinese and their leaders. If the Trump administration thinks it can reset the clock by starting a trade war with China, it is as likely to accelerate China’s economic and military development as it is to slow it down. -Project Syndicate