Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays




Navigating Great Power Rivalry in the 21st Century The post-Cold War international system is coming to an end ... After a period in which a dominant, U.S.-led Western coalition largely set and enforced the rules of the international order — and in which other major powers, such as Russia and China, largely acquiesced to U.S. leadership of that order — the global system is returning to a state of sharper and more explicit great-power competition. -War on the Rocks

Currents of disruption: Not just a new world order, but a new world As such, how does one respond to what is unfolding at the cusp of the 2020s and what exactly are the markers of change in the international system that should define responses, solutions and statecraft? -The Interpreter

YOUR BIG DATA FIX >> Data Show 50 Years of Changing Asia From 12% of global GDP in the early 1960s to almost one third today, Asia's enviable economic growth has been consistent and robust. -ADB

World Energy Outlook 2017 to include focus on China’s energy outlook and the natural gas revolution -IEA


China's Xi urges trade cooperation in first meeting with Trump Chinese President Xi Jinping urged cooperation with the United States on trade and investment on Thursday, inviting President Donald Trump to visit China in a cordial start to their first meeting likely to broach sensitive security and commercial issues. -Reuters

BUSINESS AS USUAL?? >> Donald Trump’s first meeting with Xi Jinping was all about business Climate change, human rights and North Korea’s nuclear programme were not priorities -The Economist

The Trump-Xi Strategic Face-Off In ancient times, Chinese emperors never traveled to another country to meet its new ruler. Rather, that ruler, or his envoy, would visit China’s imperial capital to request investiture from the Son of Heaven. -Project Syndicate

Xi Jinping's goal eludes him in the US Xi frustrated in attempt to revive 'new model of major power relations' -Nikkei

What Chinese News Reports Tell Us About Beijing’s View of Trump what is really going on behind the scenes, and what does Mr. Xi’s government really think of Mr. Trump? China’s state-controlled news media offered some hints. -NYT

Cf. WHITE HOUSE READ OUT >> Briefing by Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mnuchin, and Secretary Ross on President Trump's Meetings with President Xi of China -White House 

PODCAST FOR THE WEEK >> Nationalism in Russia and China Is nationalism really rising in China? How does it differ from patriotism? How much of China’s nationalism is rooted in the “century of humiliation” that the country suffered at the hands of Western countries and Japan between 1839 and 1949? -Sinica


Japan to stake claim to 148 inhabited isles, register 273 others as state-owned property -The Japan Times

“As a maritime country, we must take long-term, systematic measures to protect, maintain and expand peace, security and our maritime interests,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a meeting of the maritime policy task force that approved the plan.

“The situation surrounding our seas is increasing in severity”

Abe backs U.S. missile strike on Syria but might draw backlash from Putin -The Japan Times

BLACK SHIPS (FOREVER) ON THE HORIZON - PUBLIC OPINION WATCH >> 'No foreigners allowed': Survey shows heavy discrimination in Japan40% are refused housing because they are not Japanese -Nikkei


U.S. Navy strike group to move toward Korean peninsula: U.S. official -Reuters

Trump explained U.S. position on THAAD to Xi: South Korea U.S. President Donald Trump told South Korea on Saturday he had explained to China's President Xi Jinping America's position on the deployment of an anti-missile defense system to South Korea -Reuters

ASTUTE >> The real reason China won’t exert economic pressure on North Korea US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson thinks that if only he can enlist Beijing’s support, sanctions will compel Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear arsenal – here’s why he’s wrong -SCMP


Taiwan marks Freedom of Speech Day -Taiwan News

“As the president of Taiwan, I will continue to strive for the nation’s hard-fought democracy and social justice," Tsai said.

PUBLIC OPINION WATCH >> Tsai needs to focus on home now After comparing two recent polls — which have received little media attention — with other documentation, I found that although there were a few perplexing outliers, the polls revealed some meaningful findings worth analyzing. -Taipei Times

Taiwan not mentioned at Trump-Xi summit -Taiwan News


The New Trans-Pacific Partnership The Pacific Alliance and ASEAN are crafting a key partnership of their own. -The Diplomat  

Indonesia’s Unfolding Corruption Scandal The scandal could serve as a political turning point for President Joko Widodo. -The Diplomat

Asian Development Bank's Latest Report on the Indonesian Economy -Indonesia Investments

ADB's advises Indonesia to:

Improve infrastructure
Deepen structural reform
Address the skills gap

ADB sees the following risks for Indonesia:

Possible delay in the implementation of policy reforms
Shortfall in fiscal revenue
Uncertain trade policies in advanced economies
Weaker-than-expected economic recovery of main trading partners
Possible weaker-than-expected recovery in commodity prices

Duterte and generals split on China rapprochement High stakes internal battle under way over direction of Philippine foreign policy -Nikkei

Is foreign investment really stalling in Myanmar? Signs of a slowdown under new government may be only half the story -Nikkei



China takes down insurance regulator, capping a yearlong shakeout of industry -SCMP

This fintech startup is helping Chinese people move their money abroad The Beijing-based startup, founded early last year, has picked one hell of a time to start helping Chinese investors move their money abroad. Since China’s sharp yuan-devaluation in 2015, about US$1.2 trillion has left the country. In response, the Chinese government has tightened capital controls -Tech-in-Asia

Ford plans to launch Ranger pickup truck in China in 2018 Ford would import the Ranger to China and currently has no plans to manufacture it locally, a spokeswoman said. -Reuters

Fully unmanned drones are coming to China’s farmlands -Tech-in-Asia

Can Li & Fung recast itself to catch up with the Internet age? Li & Fung, now run by fourth-generation CEO Spencer Fung, has packed more ambition and change into its current transformation plan. Will it work? -SCMP

Argosy opens new composites facility in Taiwan The configuration of the new space will allow the company to provide composite aerospace manufacturers in the Asia-Pacific region with composite kitted solutions. -CW

Samsung boss Lee Jae-yong goes on trial in South Korea The acting head of Samsung Group has gone on trial in South Korea for his alleged role in a corruption scandal that led to the ousting of the president. -BBC

Are ports the next industry startups can shake up? PSA Unboxed thinks so -Tech-in-Asia

ExxonMobil May Acquire Petrochemical Complex in Singapore -Zacks Equity Research

Trump Trade Threats Force Export-Dependent Vietnam to Pivot From a possible border tax to higher tariffs, America’s push to reset trade relations is putting Vietnam’s small economy at risk. -Bloomberg


#ORIGINAL >> Chinese Consumers Will Change the Global Economy As China’s massive population begins to spend more, the world will take notice. -The Diplomat

China's A-shares have better shot at MSCI index But concern about mainland market brings significant controls -Nikkei

JPY: Geopolitical risk in East Asia –Deutsche Bank

“If a crisis materializes in East Asia involving Japan, we imagine this will provoke a disposal of Japanese assets by foreign investors and a selloff of the yen. However, we suspect that a plunge in Japanese stock markets would strengthen risk-off sentiment, recalling post-quake reactions for many market participants. Upward pressure on the yen could thus prevail, at least in the near term. To repeat, we do not consider such possibility lightly and hope fervently that no such crisis will come to reality.”

S. Korean stocks, won hit 3-wk closing lows as geopolitical tensions weigh South Korean shares and its currency won closed at three-week lows … as geopolitical risks weighed on investor sentiment -Reuters

Geopolitical Risk Premium Is Back In Oil WTI and Brent jumped to one month highs on the news of U.S. airstrikes in Syria, and while direct risks to oil supply are limited, oil traders are on edge.