North Korea foreign minister warns of ‘pre-emptive action’ as U.S. bombers fly off Korean Peninsula In a fiery speech before world leaders at the U.N. on Saturday, North Korea’s foreign minister vowed the country will take “merciless pre-emptive action” if it detects U.S. or allied military action against it. -The Japan Times

WATCH DPRK >> -H.E. Mr. Ri Yong Ho Minister for Foreign Affairs

GLOBAL ATTITUDES TOWARD CHINA AND THE US: Richard Wike, Director of Global Attitudes Research, presented Pew Research Center findings on America’s global image, as well as views about China and the global balance of power at a recent event organized by Global Policy Link. The presentation is based on data from the Center’s 2017 Global Attitudes Survey, and it highlights declining ratings for the United States around the world, as well as shifting views about the balance of economic power between the US and China. The survey is based on 41,953 respondents in 38 countries from February 16 to May 8, 2017. You can access and download the deck here: -Pew Research Center


WATCH CHINA >> -H.E. Mr. Wang Yi Minister for Foreign Affairs

China limits oil exports to N. Korea, bans textile imports -The Straits Times

BUT DOES IT PLAY FAIR? How China is battling ever more intensely in world markets At the heart of these tensions is one simple, overwhelming fact: firms around the world face ever more intense competition from their Chinese rivals. -The Economist

Why China's Soft Power Solution Lies in its Past Beijing can look to its own history to solve its glaring soft power deficit. -The Diplomat


Beijing attitude won’t change says Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam as Zhang Xiaoming takes new role in capital Lam said central government would maintain policies towards Hong Kong and continue to uphold ‘one country, two systems’ blueprint and Basic Law -SCMP

Hong Kong to examine tax concessions to attract global funds, Financial Secretary says Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said tax incentives would help Hong Kong compete with other fund management centres -SCMP


WATCH JAPAN >> -H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe Prime Minister

Two-thirds of Japan voters oppose PM Abe calling snap election -The Straits Times

Abe’s partisan quest for a snap election Still, Abe needs to make clear to voters for what he would be seeking a fresh mandate by holding yet another snap election now — a time when North Korea’s repeated provocations of ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests demand an uninterrupted government response. -The Japan Times

Nearly 30% plan to vote LDP but 42% undecided, poll shows Nearly 30 percent of the public plans to vote for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party in the proportional representation section of the Lower House election expected next month, versus 8.0 percent for the main opposition Democratic Party -The Japan Times

Modi–Abe love affair drives India and Japan closer As demonstrated by the September summit between Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi, the strengthening of Japan–India ties is continuing apace. -East Asia Forum


WATCH REPUBLIC OF KOREA >>-H.E. Mr. Moon Jae-in President

Moon convenes NSC meeting to curb additional provocations by N. Korea President Moon Jae-in convened a National Security Council (NSC) meeting on Sunday to monitor North Korea and review South Korea's countermeasures for potential provocations by the communist country -The Korean Herald

South Korea approves $8 million aid to North Korea, timing to be decided later South Korea approved a plan on Thursday to send $8 million worth of humanitarian aid to North Korea, the South’s Unification Ministry said, as part of an aid policy that the government says remains unaffected by geopolitical tensions with the North. -Reuters

France will skip 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang if safety isn’t assured -Asian Correspondent


Five more allies offer support at UN As of Friday, 12 out of the 16 allies that have taken the stage have voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion as a member or in some alternative capacity -Taipei Times

The White Wolf of Taiwan Zhang Anle and his solution for the cross-strait dilemma. Zhang has done exactly that. At age 70 and having long ago withdrawn from affairs of the underworld, Zhang utilizes a lifetime of knowledge and connections in leading the UP, the only force that openly promotes Taiwan’s integration into the People’s Republic of China (PRC). -The Diplomat

DIG DEEPER >> The Taiwan National Treasure initiative, which aims to create an online archive of official US documents about Taiwan, is up and running. www.nationaltreasure.tw

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (台北市美國商會 ) -Taipei White Paper


Japan, Singapore Sign New Cyber Pact The city-state inks yet another agreement with a key partner as it confronts cyber challenges. -The Diplomat

ASEAN foreign ministers express concern over Rohingya problem Foreign ministers of Southeast Asian nations expressed concern over the issue of Myanmar's Rohingya community in a statement issued Sunday in Manila. -Nikkei

Do Lee and Xi see eye-to-eye? Singaporean leader's meeting with Chinese counterpart aimed to normalize ties and align interests but its not clear the impromptu visit accomplished either -Asia Times

After Ahok: Indonesia Grapples with the Rise of Political Islam For decades, Indonesian society has experienced a slow process of Islamization. In 2017, the pace picked up. -The Diplomat

A purge too far in Vietnam? Communist Party head Nguyen Phu Trong's anti-graft drive has unsettled the country's usually sedate one-party politics and exposed deep rot in the opaque banking system -Asia Times



HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL; ESPECIALLY FOR FOREIGN REFORM ADVOCATES >> A private solution for China’s zombie company problem? Unlikely But the effort is likely to only involve a limited role for private money, even as Beijing has been promoting it as crucial for reforming state-owned enterprises (SOEs), according to people familiar with China’s plans. -Reuters

As Alibaba and Tencent swell, so does their political risk The two Mas have contrasting strategies for keeping Beijing happy -Nikkei

PLAN B STANDS FOR BRITAIN >> China-backed fund shunned by Trump set to buy UK chip-maker Canyon Bridge Capital Partners says it will buy Britain's Imagination -Asia Times

Cheap imports hurt US solar industry: trade panel Low-cost solar panels imported from China and other countries to the US have caused serious injury to local manufacturers, a US trade commission ruled on Friday, raising the possibility of US President Donald Trump’s administration imposing tariffs that could double the price of solar panels from abroad. -Taipei Times

After China ban, Hong Kong mulls ICO clampdown -Tech-in-Asia

State of the Blockchain: Bitcoin climbs on despite Chinese resistance -Tech-in-Asia

Japan's Murata to acquire US medical startup for $102m Electronic parts maker sees health care as path to stable earnings -Nikkei

Asean shines bright in foreign investor surveys East and West investors are broadly upbeat about the region's rising growth prospects, though corruption, trade barriers and regulatory uncertainly are still concerns -Asia Times

Ho Kwon Ping | Navigating the geopolitical divide Ho Kwon Ping, executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings and chairman of the 6th Singapore Summit on populism and unbalanced globalization wreaking political maelstroms across the developed world -Live Mint

He suggests the trend may now carry to Asia, too. Critical issues as disparate as the plight of Rohingya refugees in Myanmar, or the culprits causing the pollution haze in Indonesia, or legal boundaries in South China Sea, are just a few random examples he cites of increasingly polarizing views on which it is increasingly difficult for business leaders to be neutral.

Malaysian government body denies links to Uber bribery allegations -Asian Correspondent


Geopolitical Concerns Increase Stock Market Volatility Economic considerations may take a back seat to geopolitics in coming months when it comes to market returns -Morningstar

Asian Shares Fall on North Korea Sanctions, China Rate Cut Most Asian stock markets fell Friday as investors turned cautious following new U.S. sanctions targeting North Korea and a China credit rating downgrade. -NYT

Boom or bust? The big debate raging over China’s economic future S&P’s downgrade of the mainland’s credit rating casts a shadow over Beijing’s rosy growth picture -SCMP

China lowers yuan midpoint to weakest in nearly three weeks -Reuters