Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> APAC Mondays




The End of Asia’s Strategic Miracle? Asia has stood out for its lack of major conflicts within or across borders – This stability is all the more extraordinary because Asia is home to a large number of unresolved disputes. -Project Syndicate

U.S. formally launches probe of China's intellectual property practice -Reuters

The Guardian of the Liberal World Order It is often assumed that if and when the United States loses its place as the global hegemon in that system, China will be the country to lead the world. But what would a Chinese-led order look like? -Project Syndicate 


Xi loyalists grab the reins of pivotal projects Belt and Road, Beijing redevelopment spark dangerous turf wars -Nikkei

Why China Won’t Abandon North Korea Anytime Soon Beijing suspects that Washington wants to weaken China in the region by exploiting friction between China and its troublesome neighbor. -The Huff Post

Chinese investors warned of dangers that lie in wait along the new Silk Road Public and private institutions are mapping risks for participants in Belt and Road Initiative -SCMP

Sri Lanka's Debt and China’s Money Faced with difficult choices, Sri Lanka has to hope China’s Belt and Road can bring prosperity. By the end of 2016, Sri Lanka’s external debt stock soared to $25.3 billion, which amounts to 34 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Out of this massive debt stock, about 13 percent — which amounts to $3.3 billion — is owed to China; most of the debt to China was obtained over the last decade. -The Diplomat


As you read this, Hong Kong has locked one of us away This marks the height of the Hong Kong government’s persecution of young dissidents who bravely stood up against authoritarianism and is a direct hit on this generation’s ideal of a fair, democratic and just society. -The Washington Post


Japan Still Seeks U.S. Protection but Quietly Stakes Its Own Path Japan is beginning to confront whether it wants to assert itself as a regional leader and carry on the values that have long been the foundation of American policy. -NYT

“In the long term, Japan has to think about how to preserve liberal order and free trade,” said Takako Hikotani, Columbia University.

Tokyo and Washington face critical alliance challenge Trade disagreements must not be allowed to obstruct vital relationship -Nikkei  

Koike versus Abe in the populist politics stakes The Tokyo governor may be bold, but she's no Emmanuel Macron -The Japan Times


President Khaltmaa Battulga, Mongolia’s pragmatist As a candidate, the ex-businessman and star wrestler promised fairer distribution of Mongolia’s mineral wealth and less economic dependence on China -Asia Times 


Amid Korea tensions, U.S. says fewer troops will take part in war games with South The U.S. will kick off its annual joint military exercises with South Korea on Monday, but this year’s drills will involve far fewer American troops than last year’s amid heated tensions with nuclear-armed North Korea. -The Japan Times

With Color and Fury, Anti-American Posters Appear in North Korea -NYT

OLD HABITS DIE HARD >> What Kissinger Gets Wrong About Korea The physically and intellectually bionic Henry Kissinger is at it again. The former secretary of state recently published an article in the Wall Street Journal casually titled “How to Solve the North Korea Crisis,” perhaps his 12th such piece offering essentially the same advice over the past two decades. -Real Clear Politics


PLA flies two more planes by Taiwan Chinese President Xi Jinping might have ordered the displays to appease hawkish factions of the CCP ahead of its upcoming national congress -Taipei Times

Taiwan raises 2017 GDP growth, sees faster pace next year Solid demand for the components Taiwan pumps out for tech gadgets has led the island to slightly raise its growth forecast for this year and predict further gains in 2018. -Nikkei

Taiwan lays out NT$16 billion development plan for AI Taiwan's technology minister on Thursday laid out an ambitious plan to spend NT$16 billion to beef up the domestic artificial intelligence (AI) industry. -The China Post


Get Ready, China: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers are Headed to Vietnam In a move that is sure to upset China, a U.S. aircraft carrier will be visiting Vietnam in 2018, the first time an American carrier will be in the country since the end of the Vietnam War. -The National Interest

READ THE READOUT HERE >> Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Meeting with Vietnamese Minister of National Defense Lich -U.S. Department of Defense

When agents of influence seek to shape public opinion Seen in the context of these cases, it may come as a shock - but certainly no surprise - that the Singapore authorities have uncovered "an agent of influence" of a foreign country operating here. -The Straits Times

TV Network Pays the Price in Thailand for Calling Leader 'Dictator' -The News Lens

Militant Buddhist monks are stoking sectarian tensions in Myanmar They claim the Muslim minority poses a mortal threat to their religion -The Economist



Apple has to face question of its 'red line' in China Doing business requires consideration of which official demands to accept -Nikkei

A FINE KETTLE OF FISH >> China says its bullet train technology was stolen, days after US trade probe move Officials urged to do more to protect intellectual property in commentary published two days after US announcement -SCMP

China Unicom's $12 billion ownership-reforms plan mired in confusion -Reuters

UK publisher pulls scholarly articles from China website at Beijing's request -Reuters

Many foreign universities have nonetheless rushed to establish partnerships with China to try to tap its growing demand for Western-style education. Critics fear the universities may be compromising academic freedoms to gain access to the China market.

Learning from overseas M&A cases that went wrong The number of Japanese companies’ mergers and acquisitions of overseas firms continues to rise as companies seek to explore more business opportunities abroad at a time when the rapidly aging and shrinking population clouds the prospects of the domestic market. -The Japan Times

Toshiba sees LNG business as big risk The LNG business is posing a “big risk” to struggling Japanese industrial conglomerate Toshiba, the company’s top official has acknowledged publicly, renewing concerns about a possible massive loss from the business. -Oil&Gas News

RISK >> Taiwan, at the heart of the world’s tech supply chain, has a serious electricity problem -Quartz

OPPORTUNITY >> Tesla Powerpacks considered by Taiwan following massive blackout -Electrek

Following Foxconn announcement, TSMC says it still prefers Taiwan for investment In the wake of Foxconn's announcement of a US$10 billion plant in the U.S., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) said Taiwan would continue to be its first choice for new projects. -The China Post

IBM Reveals Blockchain Supply Chain Trial with Singapore Port Operator The three firms will "work together to explore [proofs-of-concept] using technologies like blockchain," The goal of the trial is to automate the flow of documents between trading partners, providing transparency along the way. -Coindesk

Alibaba leads $1.1B investment in Indonesia-based e-commerce firm Tokopedia -TechCrunch

Uber suspends its service in the Philippines following ban over unregistered drivers -TechCrunch

Geopolitical Risk and the Australian Commercial Real Estate Market In light of the escalating situation in North Korea, Cushman & Wakefield have analysed how Australian commercial real estate (CRE) markets might be impacted in the event of a geopolitical crisis. -The Urban Developer


Foreign investors have started selling stocks across Asia -Business Insider

Foreign money flows into Asian bonds slow in July Data from central banks and local bond market associations in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea showed foreigners bought $5.5 billion in these bond markets in July, which is the lowest in four months. -Reuters

With Some Countries, China is in the Red Supply chains and commodity needs mean China doesn't run massive trade surpluses with everyone -Bloomberg

China calls for reining in risks in surging bitcoin market China currently has more than one million bitcoin investors with total investments of several billions of yuan, says Xinhua -SCMP

Japan logs July trade surplus of ¥418.8 billion Japan’s goods trade surplus came to ¥418.77 billion ($3.8 billion) in July thanks to solid growth in exports, but narrowed from a year ago on a in energy imports, government data showed Thursday. -The Japan Times

S&P maintains S. Korea's credit rating at AA -The Korean Herald