Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays

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GLOBAL RISK

China’s Fear of U.S. Missile Defense Is Disingenuous A key responsibility of mine during my time in the Pentagon was to devise and implement U.S. defense policies and strategies related to North Korea. One unfortunate aspect of this responsibility was the repeated need to quickly develop options, in collaboration with my colleagues, to respond to North Korean ballistic missile tests. -Foreign Policy

The Sino-Korean Trade War Must End As the United States and South Korea rush to deploy THAAD before the South’s snap presidential election on May 9, China is ramping up economic sanctions, in the hope of compelling the next president to reconsider. Already, South Korea’s tourism, consumer goods, and entertainment industries have been hit hard. -Project Syndicate

CHINA RISK

Xi Jinping stronger after March meetings This year, at the annual parliamentary session that ended last week, any lingering doubt about Mr Xi's power consolidation ahead of a crucial leadership transition later this year was dispelled. -The Straits Times

AMB. CARLA A. HILLS >>> The Future of US-China Trade Relations Insights from Ambassador Carla A. Hills. -The Diplomat

Beijing has stern words for Hong Kong and Taiwan Pushback against notions of independence could be taken as message to Trump -Nikkei

HONG KONG RISK

Carrie Lam Wins Vote to Become Hong Kong’s Next Leader Mrs. Lam, a former No. 2 official in the city, received 777 out of 1,163 votes cast to become the next chief executive, as Hong Kong’s leader is called. She defeated John Tsang, a former finance secretary who polls indicated was more popular with the public. -NYT

How Hong Kong picks its chief executives Carefully weighted committees do the work of choosing leaders for the people –The Economist

Hundreds protest ahead of Hong Kong election - Reuters (video)

JAPAN RISK

Tokyo to push for stronger missile defenses in ‘two-plus-two’ talks with U.S. Japan plans to propose putting priority on bolstering missile defense systems during its security dialogue with the United States late next month, a government source said Saturday. -The Japan Times

Japan sends highest ranking official to Taipei since end of official ties in 1972 Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Jiro Akama became the highest ranking Japanese official to visit Taiwan on Saturday since Japan switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing from Taipei in 1972. -SCMP

Japan moves gingerly toward accepting immigrants While local integration efforts flourish, national policies get low marks -Nikkei

KOREAS RISK

China’s North Korea Debate There are three broad camps on how to deal with an increasingly unruly Pyongyang. -The Diplomat

Tillerson's Asia trip shows US is ready to lead again on North Korea Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a significant announcement during his recent tour of the Far East, declaring that the U.S. policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea is over. -The Hill

Widening income gap tops list of voter gripes in South Korea Presidential candidates vowing to tackle inequality face an uphill battle -Nikkei

TAIWAN RISK

A Taiwan Perspective It is dangerous to suggest, as some American experts do, that Taiwan could be used as a bargaining chip to get China to act tougher on North Korea. United States’ interests in Taiwan range from its democracy to economics and security, and are underpinned by the United States commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act. -NYT

Taiwan unveils $29 billion stimulus amid uncertainty over U.S., China Taiwan's trade-reliant economy is showing signs of recovery, but it is highly vulnerable to protectionist policies from U.S. President Donald Trump and increasing competition from Chinese manufacturers, as well as political tensions with Beijing. -Reuters

Taiwan arrests Chinese fishermen in protected waters -UPI

SOUTHEAST RISK

Why are Chinese moving to Malaysia by the thousands? With an election looming, the country’s often fraught race relations are as complicated as ever, but that hasn’t dented its appeal to a ‘third wave’ of immigrants from China -SCMP

Duterte threatens to impose martial law to ‘finish all the problems’ -The Japan Times

Myanmar: UN to probe 'killings and rapes' of Rohingya Some 70,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar into Bangladesh in the last six months, and the UN has gathered accounts of gang rapes and mass killings. -BBC

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GLOBAL BUSINESS

Chinese court rules in favor of Apple in local design patent disputes A Chinese court has ruled in favor of Apple in design patent disputes between the Cupertino, California company and a domestic phone-maker, overturning a ban on selling iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones in China -Reuters

AT THE RIVER>> China Vice Premier Sees `Unstoppable Momentum' of Globalization -Bloomberg

“The river of globalization and free trade will always move forward with unstoppable momentum to the vast ocean of the global economy,”

Why Airbnb Won't Conquer China But capturing a major piece of that market will require Airbnb to navigate a far more tangled thicket of cultural issues than what confronted Uber and other tech companies in China. And judging by its efforts so far, it probably won't be up to the task. -Bloomberg View

Exclusive: China-backed fund relaunches bid for U.S. chip deal approval Canyon Bridge Capital Partners LLC, the China-backed buyout fund that agreed to acquire Lattice Semiconductor Corp (LSCC.O) in November for $1.3 billion, has resubmitted the deal for U.S. government review, three people familiar with the matter said. -Reuters

American Air in Negotiations to Buy Stake in China Southern -Bloomberg

Brazil meat scandal: China and others lift ban -BBC

Hong Kong Property Agents Won't Accept China UnionPay Cards Banks are asking Hong Kong property agents to stop accepting China-issued UnionPay cards, as mainland authorities escalate their crackdown on capital flows out of the country. -Bloomberg

Toshiba finalizing Chapter 11 plan for troubled Westinghouse The embattled Japanese conglomerate is looking to use the bankruptcy filing to finalize losses related to the unit in the fiscal year ending March 31 because its major creditors are urging the company to do so. -The Japan Times

Uber Rival Grab Raising $1.5 Billion in New Funding Round –Bloomberg

GLOBAL MACRO

Taiwan likely to remain on U.S. currency watch list: Central Bank -Focus Taiwan

Everyone's a Loser in Australia's LNG Boom Why is it that one of the world's top five energy exporters can barely keep the lights on? That's not as much of a contradiction as it sounds. -Bloomberg Gadfly