Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays




Tillerson’s quiet trip to Asia Hillary Clinton got a rock star welcome in 2009, but Trump’s envoy is flying below the radar. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives in Asia on Wednesday for his first foreign trip with almost no fanfare. -Politico

G20 financial leaders acquiesce to U.S., drop free trade pledge Breaking a decade-long tradition of endorsing open trade, G20 finance ministers and central bankers made only a token reference to trade in their communique on Saturday -Reuters


Snapshot: China’s Eastern Theater Command China’s ability to “deal” with Taiwan involves political and economic pressure. However, as China’s military becomes more effective, military coercion is increasingly a viable option. An overview of China’s Eastern Theater Command (ETC) provides some insight into the Chinese military’s current capabilities against Taiwan. -Jamestown

Tillerson ends China trip with warm words from President Xi -Nikkei

It’s Time for China to Start Paying Off Its Debt to the U.S. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with President Donald J. Trump next month provides an opportunity for the Chinese leader to begin paying off the debt he owes to the U.S. president as well as some of the larger debt owed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the United States. -Taiwan Sentinel 

China's Urbancide in Tibet China’s urbanization policies have a particularly telling impact on Tibet. -The Diplomat 


Front runners in Hong Kong leadership race dodge June 4 issue in bruising debate Carrie Lam and John Tsang mix sarcasm, humour and outright attack as they trade blows one week ahead of vote -SCMP

Activists plan blockade to disrupt Hong Kong's Chief Executive election on March 26 -The Straits Times

"Many people see this as an unjust election system as the 'small-circle' election committee does not represent Hong Kongers. Therefore, we need to stop them,"


Amid North Korea threat, Tillerson hints that ‘circumstances could evolve’ for a Japanese nuclear arsenal -The Japan Times

Japan Maritime Self Defense Force to Send Largest Carrier to the South China Sea Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship to the disputed waters. -The Diplomat

Abe to visit France, Germany, Italy, EU headquarters from Sunday -Nikkei

Why is Japan’s public diplomacy so utterly inept? So what’s with Japan’s public diplomacy? Why does it keep drawing attention to wartime Japan when the world is far more interested in 21st century Japan? -The Japan Times


Out of Time in North Korea There is a growing consensus that the first genuine crisis of Donald Trump’s presidency could involve North Korea and, more specifically, its ability to place a nuclear warhead on one or more ballistic missiles possessing sufficient range and accuracy to reach the continental United States. -Project Syndicate

China Pushes Back on U.S. Talk of ‘All Options’ Over North Korea -Bloomberg

U.S., China soften tone, say to work together on North Korea -Reuters

South Korea's Economic Challenges After the Park Geun-hye Era But just as the North Korean nuclear problem has become more difficult to resolve for the next South Korean president, so has it become more difficult to reshape the country’s economy for the long term. -CSIS


If Taipei not involved, S China Sea code futile: MOFA The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that no code of conduct in the South China Sea would be binding on Taiwan if Taipei is not included in negotiations and dialogues aimed at creating a set of rules to avoid conflict among rival claimants in the region. -Taipei Times

Taiwan Plans Military Spending Surge to Counter Rising China Taiwan plans to raise military spending by about 50 percent next year as President Tsai Ing-wen attempts to offset China’s growing might and support the local defense industry. -Bloomberg

5,000 Chinese spies in Taiwan Government offices are primary targets for Chinese spies, who aim to access industrial secrets and information about policies, an official said -Taipei Times

Taiwan: Where Japanese go to feel at home on vacation This is probably why 1.89 million Japanese people chose to visit Taiwan in 2016, according to travel agency JTB -The Japan Times


Euromoney Country Risk: Singapore least risky country in the world for investments Euromoney Country Risk (ECR) survey has concluded Singapore as the least risky country in the world for investments, overtaken Switzerland and Norway to become the global leader in Euromoney Country Risk’s rankings -TOC

Indonesia and the Islamic State Threat How big a danger do returning fighters pose to Indonesia? -The Diplomat

Ethnic Chinese still grapple with discrimination despite generations in Indonesia -The Washington Post

Philippines' Duterte welcomes prospect of ICC case, says 'brutal' war on drugs to go on -Reuters

Thousands in Myanmar protest plans to name bridge after Aung San Suu Kyi's father Thousands of people protested in eastern Myanmar on Sunday (March 19) against plans to name a bridge after Aung San Suu Kyi's father, the latest flashpoint between her administration and the country's restless ethnic minorities. -The Straits Times



Multinationals Are Rethinking How They Lobby Xi's China Multinational companies have spent decades mastering the art of government relations in China. Now, as President Xi Jinping extends the Communist Party’s reach over policy making, they are starting to shift course. -Bloomberg

China's Worst Trade Abuses Are Hidden China is nothing if not creative in protecting its local industries. Although it has liberalized its economy in recent years, it has also erected a sophisticated set of barriers to safeguard companies it views as national champions. -Bloomberg View

Ballpoint pens and the dangers of China's 'one dragon' dogma In manufacturing, doing it all domestically isn't always the answer -Nikkei

BIG READ >> Made in China 2025: Global Ambitions Built on Local Protections -US Chamber

Apple CEO Tim Cook calls for more global trade with China -Reuters  

"I think it's important that China continues to open itself and widens the door if you will," said Cook, speaking at the government-sponsored China Development Forum.

China’s Quest for Cybersecurity Causes Headache for Foreign Companies China’s cybersecurity push is putting the squeeze on foreign IT firms. -The Diplomat

Apple resuming iPhone sales in Indonesia after $44M investment meeting local requirements Apple is set to resume iPhone sales in Indonesia in just two weeks, according to a report from KompasTekno. Apple previously sold iPhones in the highly-populated country, but sales halted a couple of years ago due to new local requirements. -9To5Mac

Japan looks to mobilize public money for Toshiba turnaround State-backed lender eyes stake in chip unit to protect tech -Nikkei

Taiwan’s e-commerce sites losing ground to overseas competitors 84.3% of Taiwanese online shoppers said they would consider buying from overseas vendors -Taiwan News

Too Many People Are Going to New Zealand. And That’s a Problem -Bloomberg


Chinese capital controls hit Japanese corporations Campaign against outflow undermines push for yuan globzlization As China bolsters efforts to slow massive capital flight that topped $300 billion last year, Japanese companies operating in the country face disruptions, with even routine transactions blocked. -Nikkei

Asia's emerging markets holding firm against hawkish Fed New resilience could be strained by Yellen comments, rising Treasury yields -Nikkei