On the Brink Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into nuclear war? The New York channel consists mostly of two genial middle-aged men. They go everywhere together. (The North Korean government has diplomats work in pairs, to prevent them from defecting, or being recruited as spies.) –The New Yorker

THE BIG SLEEP >> Asia-Pacific economic ministers admit there will be no RCEP agreement by year-end -The Japan Times


A ‘China First’ Strategy for North Korea If China launched a military invasion of North Korea, it could work – and China would gain greater strategic parity with the US in East Asia. -Project Syndicate

China’s Shift to City-Led Growth Though China has achieved some four decades of rapid economic development, one powerful source of growth has yet to be fully tapped: urbanization. Now, the potential of cities as an engine of dynamism and increased prosperity is finally getting the attention it deserves. -Project Syndicate


Hong Kong independence banners present a real test of Carrie Lam’s political wisdom The government doesn’t want to see the start of a new academic year turn into a return to political strife in the city -SCMP


Threat of North Korean EMP attack leaves Japan vulnerable Pyongyang claims ability to trigger high-altitude electromagnetic pulse -The Japan Times

The Third Annual Eastern Economic Forum and the Japan-Russia Summit Why Japan and Russia won’t reach an agreement on the Northern Territories dispute. -The Diplomat

Five years after nationalization of three Senkaku islets, Japan still wary of intrusions by Chinese vessels into area -The Japan Times


Conservatives to push harder for nukes in South Korea -The Straits Times

Give South Korea a Break The last thing we ought to do is sow conflict and distrust between the two allies. Yet this is what Trump has done. Not surprisingly, there’s been plenty of pushback. The South Koreans were clearly angered, and so were many Americans. -The Washington Post


NO PRIZE FOR SECOND PLACE >> Mongolian parliamentarians voted Thursday to throw out the country's prime minister and cabinet over allegations of corruption and abuse of power a little over a year after a landslide election victory by the ruling party. -AFP


Finally, Strategic Clarity in the South China Sea. Is the Taiwan Strait Next? Routine FONOPS in the South China Sea are long overdue — as are Taiwan Strait passages. -The Diplomat

Taiwan activist to be tried for subversion in China in 'open' hearing -Reuters

Taiwan Dishes Out the Carrots to Attract Foreign White-Collar Workers The main provisions would relax current restrictions on the hiring of foreign professionals, improve their living conditions, and offer them tax and other incentives. -TheNewsLens

Population to peak at 23.65 million in 2021, report says -Taipei Times  


ELECTION WATCH >> Guide to Presidential Election 2017 In a matter of weeks, Singaporeans will elect their eighth president in the first-ever reserved election. Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh brings you an A to Z guide on the presidency and the coming election -The Straits Times

Malaysian Leader, Under Corruption Cloud, Will Meet With Trump -NYT

ASEAN legislators 'alarmed by Cambodia crackdown' -The Jakarta Post

After insurgents' truce, Myanmar says 'we don't negotiate with terrorists' Myanmar on Sunday rebuffed a ceasefire declared by Muslim Rohingya insurgents to enable the delivery of aid to thousands of displaced people in the violence-racked state of Rakhine, declaring simply that it did not negotiate with terrorists. -Reuters

U.S. plans no real pressure on Myanmar as ethnic Rohingya flee military -The Japan Times



HAPPY PLANTS GROW TOGETHER >> China to Ban Sale of Fossil Fuel Cars in Electric Vehicle Push A ban on combustion-engine vehicles will help push both local and global automakers to shift toward electric vehicles, a carrot-and-stick approach that could boost sales of energy-efficient cars and trucks and reduce air pollution while serving the strategic goal of cutting oil imports. -Bloomberg

YOUR CHINA DREAMS NEVER ENDS >> Bridgewater to Launch Big Investment Fund in China, Three Decades in the Making Founder Ray Dalio’s fascination with China evolves into plans to raise billions of dollars, amass clout that has largely eluded outside hedge funds and banks -WSJ (subscription)

Trust issues? China targets a $3 trillion shadow banking industry As a flood of unregulated cash swirls through the Chinese economy, Beijing has been taking aim at the trust companies whose unrestrained lending practices are worrying regulators. -Reuters

Boeing Bets China Will Need $1.1 Trillion in Planes Over Next 20 Years -Bloomberg

Boeing Stock Rises on Report of Deal in China -NYT (1994)

Business and academics at risk of losing out as China tightens online censorship Latest restrictions on VPNs threaten access to websites that traders and scientists rely on to reach foreign customers and colleagues -SCMP

Chinese bank ban ‘threatens to tighten chokehold’ on trade with North Korea Ban applies across the board but cash and barter system offer ways around the sanctions, analysts say -SCMP

Japan Backs U.S. Proposal to Target North Korea's Oil Supplies -Bloomberg

Sorry, an Oil Embargo Won’t Lead to North Korea’s Capitulation Conventional wisdom on the effectiveness of oil embargoes is mistaken. -The Diplomat

JAL partners with Tata group airline to expand India access -Nikkei

Rising labor costs, manpower shortages drive Nidec to AI Japanese electric motor maker revs up automation to cut down staffing needs -Nikkei

Cruise ship tourism steams ahead in Taiwan According to U.S.-based Cruise Lines International Association's Asia Cruise Trends 2016 Report, Keelung was the fifth busiest port in the region for ship visits behind Fukuoka, Singapore, Shanghai and Jeju Island in that order. -Asia Rising


Asia's foreign reserves reach record high Amid robust foreign investment, central banks battle to stabilize currencies -Nikkei

China’s huge currency rally could have further to go, analysts say China’s yuan has appreciated nearly 2 pc against the dollar this week, against a favorable backdrop and growing bearishness towards the greenback -SCMP

Bitcoin tumbles on report China to shutter digital currency exchanges -Reuters

Brief: Japanese tech giant GMO will start mining bitcoin -Tech-in-Asia

Foreigners buy up Japanese bonds as geopolitical tensions take hold Weekly data from Japan’s finance ministry issued on Thursday showed foreign investors bought a net 1.3592 trillion yen ($12.46 billion) of medium- to long-dated Japanese bonds in the week through Sept. 2. -Reuters

SE Asian economies get a lift from China. Later, they may get the bill -NASDAQ

"The large rise in ASEAN's exports to China have increased potential vulnerabilities to geopolitical risks"

Portfolio tweaks to cope with high geopolitical risk -The Straits Times