Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays




How America’s Asian Allies Can Survive Trump It is far too soon to say what, exactly, Trump’s presidency will mean for Asia. -Project Syndicate

In any case, it seems clear that after decades of broad continuity – since President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, made their surprise trip to China in 1972 – America’s policy toward China is open to question.


Nixon: Asia After Viet Nam -Foreign Affairs


China: New White Paper, Old Asia Conundrum Beijing is getting better at selling Asia a benign vision, but most of the region is still having trouble buying it. -The Diplomat

China warns US after Mattis says disputed East China Sea islands covered by treaty China warned the United States on Saturday (Feb 4) not to destabilise East Asia after Donald Trump's new Defence Secretary said an island chain claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing was covered by a US-Japan military accord. -The Straits Times

"The Diaoyu Island and its adjacent islets have been an inherent part of Chinese territory since ancient times, which is a unchangeable historical fact" -Foreign Ministry


Hong Kong could be slammed under this dire global trade scenario -SCMP

‘Any conflicts that disrupt regional trade will have immensely amplified impacts on our trade-dependent economy’


Abe says Japan to show 'unwavering alliance' with U.S. under Trump Abe said on Friday he was convinced that together with U.S. President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, they would be able to demonstrate an 'unwavering alliance' between the two countries. -Reuters

Abe, Mattis reaffirm ties on defense -The Japan Times

Abe tells Mattis Japan will increase defense spending Money could be poured into anti-missile system, drones, stealth jets -Nikkei

China and North Korea's Greatest Fear: Japan Armed with Lots of Nuclear Weapons What would a Japanese nuclear deterrent look like? Let’s examine the traditional nuclear triad of land-based ballistic missiles, strategic bombers and ballistic missile submarines and each leg of the triad’s suitability for Japan’s circumstance. -The National Interest


Patriot missiles deployed on east coast The MND was planning to replace outdated Hawk missiles with Tien Kung III systems, but deployed PAC-3 batteries due to a backlog in production -Taipei Times

Four-year economic plan approved National Development Council Deputy Minister Kao Shien-quey said that it sought to boost innovation, employment and wealth distribution -Taipei Times

Could US troops move from Okinawa to Taiwan? John Bolton … calling for a closer American military relationship with Taiwan to help counter a "belligerent" China. He also suggested removal of part of the American forces in Okinawa and redeploying them to Taiwan. -The China Post


Mattis says no need for dramatic U.S. military moves in South China Sea U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis played down any need for major U.S. military moves in the South China Sea to contend with China's assertive behavior, even as he sharply criticized Beijing for "shredding the trust of nations in the region." -Reuters

"At this time, we do not see any need for dramatic military moves at all," Mattis

ASEAN and the Rohingya Crisis The worsening plight of Muslim Rohingya communities in Myanmar’s Rakhine state could soon imperil the country’s government, as well as the reputation of its leader, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. -Project Syndicate

Singapore enjoys good relations with neighbours, US and China, says PM Lee Hsien Loong In brief remarks at a Chinese New Year community event, he touched on ties with Indonesia and Malaysia, and also the United States and China, saying that Singapore enjoys good relations with these countries and hopes to deepen cooperation. -The Straits Times

Indonesia: Resilient Economy Can Benefit from Stronger Reforms -IMF

-Indonesia’s growth at 5 percent highest in large emerging market economies in 2016

-External risks, like China’s rebalancing, pose challenges to favorable outlook

-Government to continue with reforms to boost investment, growth

Duterte Walks Away From Pledge to Forge Peace With Maoist Rebels Efforts to end one of Asia’s longest running insurgencies in the Philippines appear to have failed after President Rodrigo Duterte announced Saturday a withdrawal from peace talks. -Bloomberg



EXITING THE “OPEN” DOOR >> Why foreign companies are shutting shop in China Sony Electronics, Marks & Spencer, Metro, Home Depot, Best Buy, Revlon, and L’Oreal – some of the big names to have closed Chinese operations -SCMP

China’s Intelligent Weaponry Gets Smarter As consumer electronics manufacturing has moved to Asia, both Chinese companies and the nation’s government laboratories are making major investments in artificial intelligence. -NYT

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Japan to consider saying OK to ride sharing Apps like Uber could help address increasing transportation needs -Nikkei

Alibaba Group expands presence in Australia, New Zealand Chinese online retailer Alibaba Group opened its Australian and New Zealand headquarters in Melbourne on Saturday, its first expansion in the region as it seeks to tap growing global demand for products from the two countries. -Reuters

Apple to start making iPhone in India by June Move would help the tech giant crack the country's huge smartphone market -Nikkei

HYPERBOLE WATCH >> for all the media hype re Apple in China; you’ll see the same re India – #HUGE

Indonesia pins hopes for growth on direct investment -Jakarta Post

Fintech at core of Grab's $700m investment plans in Indonesia Southeast Asia's largest unbanked population is already wired Grab, the most widely used ride-hailing app in Southeast Asia, announced Thursday plans to invest $700 million in Indonesia over the next four years, most of it to develop mobile payment and financing services. -Nikkei

Heavy equipment manufacturer Kubota opens facility in Myanmar Heavy equipment manufacturer Kubota Corp. has opened an import and sales facility in Myanmar -The Japan Times


POLICY RISK >> China raises short-term interest rates in fresh tightening signal -The Straits Times

MARKET IMPACT >> China and Hong Kong stocks fall, policy tightening unnerves -Reuters

China stocked up on Swiss gold as turbulent year came to a close gold bullion exports to China rose to 158 tonnes in December from 30.6 tonnes in November -SCMP

USD/JPY Technical Analysis: Political Risk Aversion Keeps JPY Bid -DailyFX

Don't Play With Mongolian Fire Bond investors can sometimes be too sanguine, and Mongolia looks to be an example of that. -Bloomberg Gadfly