Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays

GEOPOLITICAL RISK + GLOBAL MARKETS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

GLOBAL RISK

Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments for January 2017 -JDSupra

Good rundown on highly salient risk that too often is ignored …

Global Corporate Divestment Study 2017 Unprecedented geopolitical uncertainty and technological change are making portfolio and divestment strategy more vital than ever. -EY

CHINA RISK

XI’S GOT THE CHOP(S)>> Chinese National People's Congress to showcase Xi's supremacy Rubber-stamp parliament a prelude to Chinese president's next power play -Nikkei

A knowledgeable source on CCP leadership politics = @mcgregorrichard

China and Economic Reform: Xi Jinping’s Track Record Proponents took heart in late 2012 when President Xi Jinping took formal control of the Chinese Communist Party with pledges to crack down on corruption and cut red tape. -NYT

SPRING FESTIVAL >> The Guardian view on China: political spectacle and substance The springtime political gatherings in Beijing are a carefully choreographed show. They can only tell us so much -The Guardian

'Foreign interference' has China spending 1tn yuan on military Country's vice foreign minister bashes US for thinking in the past -Nikkei

Chinese envoy accuses Japan, U.S. of treating Beijing as an ‘enemy’ -Japan Times

China’s play for supremacy in Eurasia revives an old geopolitical vision China’s engagement with the rest of Asia and the wider world has come to light in the form of the initiative known as One Belt One Road (一带一路), a broad economic, diplomatic and infrastructural programme designed to transform the way China deals with its Asian neighbours – and with the world beyond. -The Conversation

Beijing at Sea: Is China Crafting an Atlantic Maritime Strategy? Yes, some Chinese strategists are promoting a Chinese Atlantic Maritime Strategy [中国大西洋海洋战略] but this is not yet an official (public) policy vector, the concept is not decidedly militarized at this point, and only the barest outlines can be discerned at this early and uncertain stage. -The National Interest

HONG KONG RISK

Xi Jinping likely to preside over military parade in Hong Kong handover anniversary -SCMP

Calls for Hong Kong independence will lead nowhere, warns China’s premier Hong Kong independence mentioned for the first time in the annual government report given by nation’s premier -SCMP

How China Holds Sway Over Who Leads Hong Kong While the race for Hong Kong’s chief executive looks a lot like any major mayoral election, the choice doesn’t rest with the city’s 3.8 million voters. It’s decided by an electoral college of 1,200 business and political elites, including nine billionaires worth more than $100 billion. China can veto any winner it doesn’t like. -Bloomberg

Britain flags concern about confidence in Hong Kong's system Developments in Hong Kong have affected confidence in a system of government intended to ensure the Chinese-ruled city's autonomy, though its rule of law remained robust "despite challenges", former colonial power Britain said on Friday. -Current News Asia

JAPAN RISK

Rule change could see Abe become nation’s longest-serving leader The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Sunday rubber-stamped an internal rule change to extend the maximum tenure of its president from the current six years to nine, paving the way for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to run for a third term that would last through 2021. -The Japan Times

Ozawa sees merger of opposition parties into one as best way to drive out Abe Veteran opposition politician Ichiro Ozawa called for launching a new party through the merger of three opposition parties to oust Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the next general election. -The Japan Times

TAIWAN RISK

On Taiwan, the Honeymoon Is Over Tsai Ing-wen’s popularity is falling amid pressure from Beijing and economic uncertainty. -The Diplomat

Taiwan's military shifting to 'multiple deterrence' strategy Taiwan's military will adopt a strategy of "multiple deterrence" to eliminate the enemy in the event of an attack by China, Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said Thursday. -Focus Taiwan

Affirming the 'One China' policy by forging stronger ties with Taiwan Trump’s affirmation of America’s “One China” policy avoids one U.S.-China pitfall, but that still leaves the issue of how to build on his landmark phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai. Washington has several tools to boost ties with Taiwan as a democratic and strategic partner. -The Hill

SOUTHEAST ASIA RISK

Lawmakers’ Letters Endorse McCain Plan To Reinforce Pacific, Assist Asian Allies A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives is urging Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to budget $1.5 billion a year to reinforce US forces in the Pacific to better support Asian allies, stiffening their spines against Chinese intimidation. -Breaking Defense

U.S.-China Tensions May Force Nations to Choose, Singapore Says -Bloomberg

"If America-China relations become very difficult our position becomes tougher because then we will be coerced to choose between being friends with America and friends with China,"

WATCH the full interview here >> BBC HARDtalk (video)

Singapore must resist global trend of turning inwards Singapore must stay open and connected even as developed countries across the world turn inwards, Minister of Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang said on Friday (March 3), as he outlined a number of strategies aimed at helping companies tap into overseas opportunities. -Today

Malaysia puts the screws on North Korea over murder -Nikkei

Unlikely Partners: Cambodia and the Eurasian Economic Union Even if the economic rewards aren’t astronomical, the partnership is beneficial for both sides. -The Diplomat

APAC || GLOBAL MARKETS IMPACT + OPPORTUNITY

GLOBAL BUSINESS

MAKE THE FOREIGN SERVE CHINA >> How Foreign Science and Technology Helped China Dominate Global Metallurgical Industries -CSIS Occasional Paper Series

Chinese protest against South Korea’s Lotte Group after land deal for THAAD missile-defense system -Japan Times

“CHINA” or CHINESE GOVERNMENT >> SoftBank's ARM sees China overtaking US as its top market The chip titan has huge hopes for connected devices -Nikkei

Tencent's Ma offers vision of 'Bay Area' of China Hong Kong's resistance seen as hurdle "I hope Hong Kong could adopt a more liberal attitude toward the development," said Ma, who felt that the city has become less welcoming to foreign professionals in the past few years, and that the existing border-control system was cumbersome to a lot of his staff traveling between Hong Kong and Shenzhen often. -Nikkei

THREE CHALLENGES TO TENCENT >> 1) HK’s “liberal attitude” on development isn’t the hurdle; it’s its competing system i.e., liberalized polity; 2) the great firewall; 3) there is only one “Bay Area”

NOT SO FREE INFORMATION FLOWS >> BBC reporters attacked in China, forced to ‘confess’ -Japan Times

People in Taiwan Are Furious With Pizza Hut for Posting 'Offensive' Advert on Massacre Anniversary It’s perhaps the single most significant date in Taiwan’s history, and it is one that is typically observed with anguish. So it should come as no surprise that an attempt by a fast-food chain to turn Feb. 28 into a pizza party was not well received. -Time

One word of advice = localization @oxbowadvisory

Taiwan's War Against Uber This should be a good time to be an American Internet company in Taiwan. The new president, Tsai Ing-wen, has pledged to build an Asian Silicon Valley on the island. And the new American president, Donald Trump has threatened a trade war with Taiwan's rival in mainland China. The stars would appear to be aligned. -Bloomberg

Freeport warns of arbitration as Indonesia mining dispute escalates U.S. mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX.N) warned on Monday it could take the Indonesian government to arbitration and seek damages over a contractual dispute that has halted operations at the world's second-biggest copper mine. -Reuters

THE RESPONSE >> Indonesia won't budge on divestment rule for Freeport: minister -Reuters

Freeport vs Indonesia: In defense of public welfare Over the course of the saga of US mining giant Freeport versus the Indonesian government, both sides have made tit-for-tat threats to take the protracted dispute to international arbitration. The critical question we have to ask is whether international arbitration constitutes the most appropriate mechanism available for reaching the best solutions for both parties. -The Jakarta Post

GLOBAL MACRO

China cuts growth goal, puts focus on reform and 'firewall' against risks -Reuters

China vows new steel, coal capacity cuts to make sky blue -Reuters

Taiwan sits out forex intervention to duck Trump blast Taiwan’s central bank, fearful of being labeled a currency manipulator by U.S. President Donald Trump, has pulled back on intervention to weaken the Taiwan dollar, making it Asia's second best-performing currency in 2017. -Reuters

S. Korea needs to cut reliance on U.S. economy: think tank -Yonhap News