Making China Great Again As Donald Trump surrenders America’s global commitments, Xi Jinping is learning to pick up the pieces. -The New Yorker

The British Are Coming (to Asia) The United Kingdom is showing a renewed military and trade interest in the Asia-Pacific. -The Diplomat 

“Our Celestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and lacks no product within its borders. There is therefore no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians in exchange for our own produce.” —Qianlong Emperor

China pledges more investment in Cambodia, but is Phnom Penh selling itself short? Observers consider what price the Southeast Asian nation might one day pay for Beijing’s support -SCMP

Opposition to Abe’s amendment quest hits 55%; support for Article 9 rewrite falls: survey -The Japan Times

Two Japanese parties to form alliance, become Diet’s largest opposition force -The Japan Times

North and South Korea agree to hold working-level talks on Jan 15 -The Straits Times

South Korea’s Real Fight Is With China, Not Japan Seoul is picking the wrong battle, with real implications for itself, Washington, and the region. -The Diplomat  

Duterte Rejects Term Extension, Pushes for Federal Philippines -Bloomberg




China to step up banking oversight in 'arduous' fight on financial risks -Reuters

China urges hotels to review websites as 'country' crackdown grows China’s tourism authority has urged accommodation companies to review their websites and apps to fix what Beijing deems to be inaccurate labeling of Taiwan or other Chinese-claimed territories as countries. -Reuters

Corporate Japan embraces UN sustainable development goals Meeting 2030 targets sets up new business opportunities -Nikkei

Toyota’s unions to demand ¥3,000 pay-scale hike in spring wage talks -The Japan Times

Inside the Eccentric, Relentless Deal-Making of Masayoshi Son The Japanese billionaire has changed the startup game with his aggressive investing and enormous checkbook. Does he know what he’s doing? -Bloomberg Businessweek

Airbus fined US$126 million over sale of missiles to Taiwan Europe’s largest aerospace company says subsidiary behind the contract, Matra Defense, is ‘reviewing’ the penalty -SCMP

Why a ComfortDelGro-Uber alliance is undesirable in the long run -The Straits Times

Last-mile logistics startup Lalamove bags $100m series C, rolls into 100 Asian cities Most of those cities are in China – where Lalamove has “saturated almost 80 percent of the market,” said founder and CEO Shing Chow. The rest are in Southeast and East Asia: Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Manila, Taipei, and of course, Hong Kong. -Tech-in-Asia

Lippo Group moves to cash in on Indonesia's cashless society Conglomerate aims to unite 60 million customers through digital wallet -Nikkei


Non-financial factors influencing investment Investments based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are long-term investments taking sustainability and growth — in addition to financial information — into account. ESG investment sees investors demanding corporations address ESG factors to achieve stable capital. -The Japan Times

Trump’s policies make a fully convertible yuan by 2020 impossible, say financial experts Industry watchers say a stronger dollar and Beijing’s strict capital controls will slow the pace of internationalising the Chinese currency -SCMP

Why Is South Korea Spooking the Global Bitcoin Market? The world of Bitcoin — rarely free of wild ups and downs of late — has been rattled this week by word that South Korea is preparing a ban on trading in virtual currencies. -NYT

Bitcoin Crackdown Has China Stocks Playing Down Crypto Links -Bloomberg