Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays




Goodbye globalism, hello mercantilism? Market fundamentalism is based on neoclassical economics. But its roots go further back to 1776, when Adam Smith published “The Wealth of Nations,” which was critical of mercantilism pursued by absolute monarchs of Western Europe from the mid-16th to 18th centuries to enrich national wealth by exporting more and importing less. -The Japan Times


Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Crippled U.S. Spying Operations The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward. -NYT

China's big push for its global trade narrative Mr Xi is gathering all the presidents and prime ministers he can muster in Beijing, hoping to inspire them with a vision about China as a force for good in the world. -BBC

A New Model for Chinese Overseas Investment Chinese enterprises are already taking these investment cues seriously. By 2020, China’s overseas assets are forecast to triple, to $20 trillion, from $6.4 trillion today. But moving quickly to invest in overseas projects, while appealing to many, carries great risks-Project Syndicate

Who Is Actually Attending China's Belt and Road Forum? Which countries are sending officials to China’s big international summit? -The Diplomat

US and China sign trade agreement -BBC


Japan scrambles jets over China drone flight near disputed islets Japan scrambled fighter jets on Thursday after four Chinese coastguard vessels entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near disputed East China Sea islets and a drone-like object flew near one ship -Reuters

56% of voters back Abe bid to legitimize SDF in war-renouncing Article 9: survey -The Japan Time 

Japan's abdication bill stirs debate on Imperial future As a bill to let Japan's Emperor Akihito relinquish the throne heads to the Diet -Nikkei

Okinawa reversion, 45 years on -The Japan Times

'TPP 11' ministers pledge to revive stalled agreement After US withdrawal, other signatories to press ahead with trade deal -Nikkei


N. Korea fires another ballistic missile, flies about 500km -Nikkei

Can J-nomics Save South Korea’s Economy? South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in, a former human-rights lawyer representing the center-left Democratic Party, has his work cut out for him. -Project Syndicate

READ>> A Murderous History of Korea He happened to remark that he sometimes wondered whether the Korean Demilitarised Zone might be ground zero for the end of the world. This April, Kim In-ryong, a North Korean diplomat at the UN, warned of ‘a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment’. A few days later, President Trump told Reuters that ‘we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea.’ -London Review of Books

The Korean War: A History – Bruce Cumings


A turbulent first year for Taiwan’s president Efforts to reduce the island’s economic reliance on the mainland have struggled in the face of Beijing’s pressure, and face further headwinds from the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ -SCMP

Most Taiwanese support ‘status quo’ peace Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) … adding that 83.9 percent of respondents believed that maintaining positive bilateral exchanges was a shared responsibility between Taiwan and China, and that both should refrain from non-peaceful or intimidating words or deeds. -Taipei Times


ELECTION WATCH>> General Election Commission certifies last of three Presidential nominees; MPRP Ganbaatar joins MPP Enkhbold and DP Battulga on the June 26 ballot; may go to first-ever run-off [h/t NAMBC]


Asean powers continue to arm-wrestle over China’s nine-dash line and its potential abundance of resources, including the seaweed Resources greater than those held in US shale deposits will be accessible a decade from now in the South China Seabed, according to some estimates. -SCMP

3 myths about Singapore-China ties -The Straits Times

Myth 1: Singapore has changed its stance on China and now aligns itself more overtly with the United States

Myth 2: Singapore is a Chinese society and should be more sympathetic to China

Myth 3: China is out to punish Singapore, and Singaporeans should feel worried about this and pressure the Singapore Government to be more accommodating of China

Vietnam: The Curious Fall of a Communist Leader Questions have arisen about the anti-corruption campaign that saw the first firing of a Politburo member in 21 years. -The Diplomat

Malaysia's balancing act between Asean and Beijing The Philippines, and sometimes Vietnam, are often the focus in debates over China's designs on and claims over the South China Sea. But a pattern is emerging that points to Malaysia as the budding linchpin in Beijing's strategy to dominate the South China Sea and trade among Asean. -The Straits Times

Duterte: China’s Xi threatened war if Philippines drills for oil -SCMP



Ex-IBM employee from China pleads guilty to code theft charges A former software engineer for IBM in China pleaded guilty on Friday to stealing proprietary source code from the company, federal prosecutors announced on Friday. -Reuters

27 startups in Asia that caught our eye -Tech-in-Asia


Episode 183: The Apple Supply Chain in Asia with Tim Culpan

Episode 181: Ant Financial with Zennon Kapron

SoftBank kicks off $93bn investment fund Global flow of money to young companies may have new starting point -Nikkei

Cheap Lesson for Cathay Pacific -Bloomberg Gadfly

Korea Inc's China problems go beyond anti-missile system spat FTCR survey data show Korean names losing ground long before diplomatic row -Nikkei

Temasek trims stake in ICBC, says remains confident in Chinese banks -Reuters


Why the US has changed its tune on the yuan -BBC

China's Bond Connect Could Be Win-Win The People's Bank of China and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority this week unveiled plans to establish a mutual access program between the mainland and Hong Kong bond markets. Details on timing have yet to be announced but there's speculation it could start on July 1, the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover. -Bloomberg Gadfly  

China seeks alternative benchmark for iron ore Others see Singapore Exchange as fair pricing platform -Nikkei