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GEOPOLITICAL RISK + GLOBAL MARKETS

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GLOBAL RISK

Trump says he will visit Japan, South Korea, China in November U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he will visit Japan, China and South Korea in November in a tour that may also include Vietnam and the Philippines for regional summits. -Nikkei

The Changing Role of Democracy in Asian Geopolitics This trend can be seen on three levels. -Carnegie

First, civic movements in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan are applying greater pressure to deepen democratic practices as a defense against Chinese influence.

Second, many Asian democracies are beginning to forge greater security cooperation among themselves, sometimes in an apparent attempt to offset China’s military power.

And third, several Asian democracies are exploring ways to strengthen democracy support across borders.

CHINA RISK

China's Washington envoy says U.S. should stop threats over North Korea China’s ambassador to Washington on Friday called on the United States to refrain from making threats over North Korea, which a day earlier launched another missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean. -Reuters

China has a message for India and Japan: Form partnership, not alliance China is closely tracking Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s high-profile visit to India, and the Chinese state media has referred to efforts by the two countries to forge closer ties. -Hindustan Times

XI-ISM >> ‘Unity and victory’: 19th congress to see Xi-ism consolidated Xi Jinping's grasp on power is complete. Now comes a celebration of his leadership as China wonders where his ideology will take it in the next five years -Asia Times

The China Puzzle -NYT

NO CONTRADICTION HERE; NOTHING TO SEE >> China’s Communist Youth League opens Twitter account amid crackdown on internet access Social media platform will help Beijing expand its ‘ideological battlefield’ beyond national borders –SCMP

“If you believe Twitter is a good thing, please tell me why [the Chinese government] doesn’t allow its people to use [it]?” another asked.

HONG KONG RISK

More clashes at Chinese University over independence posters Chinese University has become the main battleground of a renewed independence movement in Hong Kong -SCMP

JAPAN RISK

SNAP IT-SAN >> Abe poised to dissolve Lower House for snap general election The Japanese political world was rocked Sunday after media reports emerged that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to dissolve the Lower House as early as Sept. 28 and call a snap election to take advantage of a disorganized opposition. -The Japan Times 

KOREAS RISK

A Naval Blockade Is the Best Option to Cut Off North Korea The new UN sanctions are too weak, but they could be a first step in ending illegal trade by sea. -Bloomberg 

How North Korea evades UN sanctions Smuggling and front companies are just two of the methods Pyongyang uses to get around embargoes to pursue its nuclear weapons programme, according to UN and US reports -SCMP

TAIWAN RISK

Taiwan to participate in US Navy drill Taiwanese observers will participate in parts of the anti-submarine exercise, such as boarding US helicopters engaged in drills -Taipei Times

Taiwan president calls for closer cooperation with Asia on digital economy -Edge Financial Daily

President wants more foreign nationals to study in Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) stated on Friday her administration's commitment to allowing more foreign nationals to study in Taiwan, during a reception for a delegation of Malaysian alumni of local universities. -Focus Taiwan

SOUTHEAST ASIA RISK

Death by dam for the Mekong Laos' Pak Beng dam, developed by China and supported by Thailand, has divided riparian nations over how best to manage the river's resources -Asia Times

Philippines must give foreign investors far more room: planning minister -Reuters

Myanmar state media says China backs crackdown on Rohingya The United Nations says Myanmar's campaign against Rohingya Muslim insurgents represents 'ethnic cleansing' -Asia Times  

Cambodia’s Crumbling Democracy As democracy is dismantled, will Cambodians return to the streets? When tens of thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets of Phnom Penh shouting “Hun Sen, step down!” in wake of the disputed 2013 general election -The Diplomat

APAC || GLOBAL MARKETS IMPACT + OPPORTUNITY

GLOBAL BUSINESS

Asia's multinationals are hoarding cash like never before Tencent, Alphabet, others quickly eclipsing Japan Inc. as stashers -Nikkei

Trump move to block chipmaker deal bad for America – Xinhua

State of the Blockchain: China hits the cryptocurrency market hard However, amidst the current uncertain investment climate, it appears that the Chinese government has not made an official statement. Other major Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges such as Huobi have not received clear notice to cease operations, according to cnLedger. -Tech-in-Asia

The missing trade war against China’s digital protectionism Tech companies don't have a chance of competing right now. -Endgadget

China's Zhongwang, Aleris extend merger deadline amid U.S. probe Zhongwang USA, an investment firm backed by a Chinese aluminum tycoon, and its acquisition target Aleris Corp (ALSD.PK) have decided to extend a deadline to complete their merger by two weeks, according to representatives of the two companies. -Reuters

Lotte Retreats From China as Beijing-Seoul Dispute Dents Business -Dow Jones Newswires

Beyond Airbnb: Minpaku market poised for growth Firms look to cash in as law outlines rules for short-term lodgings -The Japan Times

Taiwan is to lift a 14-year ban on beef imports from Japan, Sweden and the Netherlands, Ministry of Health and Welfare officials said on Friday. -Taipei Times

Samsung to back self-driving cars with $300m fund South Korean giant speeds up investments in rising industry -Nikkei

China’s Southeast Asia obsession continues as JD expands to Thailand -Tech-in-Asia

GLOBAL MACRO

BOJ replaces foreign traders as biggest buyer of Japanese shares Cumulative purchases higher for first time since start of Abenomics -Nikkei

When the world turns Japanese Tokyo is still treating the symptoms of weak wage growth, shying away from the causes It’s become a global tendency, Reinhart argues. The International Monetary Fund’s recent upgrade of growth projections for developed economics, including Japan, masks the problem. -The Japan Times

S&P Sees No Major Short-Term Issue That Would Affect South Korea’s Rating -Fortune

GEOPOLITICAL DRAWDOWN >> Foreigners sell $3.25b of Korean stocks and bonds in Aug. Foreign investors offloaded South Korean stocks and bonds worth $3.25 billion in August due to security jitters and profit-taking, the central bank said Wednesday. -The Korean Herald

The Rapidly Expanding Global Liquefied Natural Gas Market And don't forget that current low prices today are locking in the infrastructure that will only command more natural gas use as we move forward. For example, just a few year ago, Asian LNG prices were 5-6 times higher than gas prices in the U.S. They are now less than double. Moreover, developing countries (especially historically coal-based China and India) want to use gas not just because it's a clean fuel but because gas plants are cheaper and faster to bring online to support renewables. -Forbes