Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays

GEOPOLITICAL RISK + GLOBAL MARKETS

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GLOBAL RISK

Trump’s First 100 Days in Asia Continuities and discontinuities in Trump’s Asia policy. When the acting assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Susan Thornton stated on March 17 that “the pivot to Asia” was dead. But its early moves in the Asia-Pacific suggest that Washington’s strategic emphasis on Asia will, itself, continue. -The Diplomat

Asia’s American Menace With so many political flashpoints threatening to trigger violent conflict, the last thing Asia’s leaders need is another strategic wild card. -The National Interest

The Global Growth Hotspots of the Future Are Here Emerging market cities are turning into the drivers of the global economy -Bloomberg

CHINA RISK

Why China May Play Tough in the Lead-Up to Its 19th Party Conference At the heart of the coming drama are succession and elite politics within the CCP and their interplay with a series of unprecedented structural challenges facing China on both the domestic and global fronts. -The National Interest

Learning from China’s Industrial Strategy Start with industrial policy. According to China’s strategy, by 2025, the country should have a set of internationally competitive multinational firms that have made progress in upgrading their positions in global value chains. -Project Syndicate

China deports U.S. citizen convicted of espionage China has deported a U.S. citizen who was convicted of espionage this week after being held without trial for two years, removing a source of friction between Washington and Beijing. -Reuters

HONG KONG

Beijing could intervene in Hong Kong affairs if serious political problems emerge, Chinese expert warns Basic Law Committee member tells seminar in the city that intervention becomes possible if problems endanger national sovereignty and security -SCMP

JAPAN RISK

Japan issues 1st order to protect U.S. ships amid N. Korea tension Japan has issued its first order for forces to protect U.S. military vessels since new security legislation was enacted last year, Japanese government sources said Sunday, amid heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula. -Nikkei

Japanese sharply divided over revising Article 9 amid regional security threats, poll finds -Japan Times

49 percent of respondents said Article 9 must be revised

47 percent oppose such a change

Abe’s Trumpian opportunity Central to Abe’s long-term political vision is for Japan to play a security role commensurate with its economic and demographic scale. He sees the postwar settlement, in which Japan was a civilian great power, renouncing the use of force and depending on the U.S. alliance for all but the most acute security challenges, as both anachronistic and dangerous. -The Japan Times

KOREAS RISK

North Korea fires another ballistic missile, the 75th of Kim Jong Un’s tenure -The Washington Post

Top Admiral Says Not Looking at Regime Change in North Korea The head of the U.S. Pacific Command warned on Wednesday that North Korea directly threatens American interests and allies in the Pacific region, but tempered his dour assessment of the secretive country’s motivations by saying regime change is not the policy of the United States. -FP

South Korea says U.S. reaffirms it will pay THAAD costs; joint drills wrap up -Reuters

South Korea already working on reducing trade surplus with U.S.: finance minister South Korea's finance minister said on Sunday the government was already working on downsizing its trade surplus with the United States -Reuters

TAIWAN RISK

Taiwan's Pursuit of F-35 Tests Trump's Early Rapport With Xi -Bloomberg

“We hope we can get F-35s,” Wang told Bloomberg News. “We have been waiting for updated F-16s for too long. Their time has gone. If we buy them now, in 10 years time they’ll be no use.”

Taiwan could counter Chinese carrier: analysts -Taipei Times

Say hello to the new Taiwanese Nearly 70 percent of foreigners who became naturalized R.O.C. citizens in 2016 were from Vietnam -China Post

SOUTHEAST ASIA RISK

ASEAN gives Beijing a pass on South China Sea dispute, cites 'improving cooperation' -Reuters

Duterte, Trump talk North Korea US president invites Philippine counterpart to Washington -Nikkei

Exclusive: Widodo’s peace formula for South China Sea Joint projects in maritime research and the fishing industry could be a building block for a code of conduct in the disputed waters, says Indonesian president -SCMP

'Bottom up' campaigning failed Ahok, and it might fail Jokowi The Jakarta election is widely seen as a testing ground for the presidential election campaign two years later. Two major changes occurred in this election which will shape the presidential elections in 2019. -Jakarta Post

Indonesia's Q1 FDI growth slows to weakest in five years Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Indonesia grew at its weakest pace in at least five years in the first quarter, as the government's deregulation efforts slowed, risking investment growth. -Nasdaq

Vietnam protests violations of its sovereignty over Hoang Sa -VietNamNews

CENTRAL ASIA RISK

Steppe change — Mongolia Mongolia’s transition is all the more remarkable when you consider its location: democracy is not exactly a hallmark of the region. To the north lies Russia, to the south China. Further west are five other former Soviet central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – that are ruled by repressive regimes. -Monocle

APAC || GLOBAL MARKETS IMPACT + OPPORTUNITY

GLOBAL BUSINESS

Chinese ride-hailer Didi raises $5.5bn from SoftBank, others Japanese company adds to stake, with sights on internet of things -Nikkei

Dear Uber, That Record Funding Means Didi Is Coming for You The world’s two most-valuable startups are ride-hailing companies with a sleek vision of a driverless future they would own. -Bloomberg

PODCAST OF THE WEEK>> Episode 181: Ant Financial with Zennon Kapron from China Fintech & Kapron Asia joined us in a conversation to discuss the Ant Financial, one of China’s largest finance companies. -Analyse Asia

Private equity firms bullish on China’s internet-related companies -SCMP

Netflix is dipping its toe in China—and the battle for streaming supremacy in Asia begins -Quartz

Hong Kong shouldn’t sink another HK$5.45 billion into the Disneyland black hole Commerce minister Greg So’s claim that we will lose HK$31.6 billion if we don’t invest in revamping the theme park is just smoke and mirrors -SCMP

TSMC looks to feed AI boom Making Apple chips puts Taiwanese company on equal footing with Intel -Nikkei

Singapore Creates S$1 Billion Innovation Fund to Drive Growth Singapore is creating a S$1 billion ($718 million) fund to help innovative companies develop their businesses and expand overseas, part of the city state’s drive to boost economic growth. -Bloomberg

Top lawmakers agree on Korea-VN tech transfer National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyn Th Kim Ngân urged her Korean counterpart yesterday to work for additional investments by the Republic of Korea (RoK) in Vit Nam’s transporation infrastructure and boost technology transfer. -VietNamNews

GLOBAL MACRO

Asia Shares Retreat From Recent Highs Amid Geopolitical Concerns -Bloomberg

Building Asia's capital markets New frontiers, new opportunities the Nikkei Asian Review and The Banker, a Financial Times Group publication, have teamed up to produce a special report looking at the state of South and Southeast Asia's capital markets and the biggest issues they face. -Nikkei

Is The Geopolitical Risk Premium In Oil Overrated? -Huffington Post

China April manufacturing growth slows faster than expected -Reuters

Bank of Japan cuts inflation forecast, maintains stimulus The Bank of Japan kept its stimulus policies unchanged while lowering its inflation forecast, underscoring that any exit from its unprecedented monetary easing remains far away. -Bloomberg