ROYALTY ROUTINIZED China sets stage for Xi to stay in office indefinitely -Reuters

China Moves to Let Xi Stay in Power by Abolishing Term Limit China’s Communist Party has cleared the way for President Xi Jinping to stay in power, perhaps indefinitely, by announcing on Sunday that it wants to abolish the two-term limit on the presidency — a dramatic move that would mark the country’s biggest political change in decades. -NYT

Dimensions, Detours, Fissures, and Fault Lines Will Beijing’s massive infrastructure initiative boost its fortunes in Asia? -The American Interest

Japan’s ODA white paper links aid to support for Indo-Pacific strategy Japan will make good use of the aid it gives developing countries to promote its “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy,” the government said in its 2017 white paper on official development assistance. -The Japan Times

ONE LEADER’S TARIFF IS ANOTHER LEADER’S TRADE How Trump’s aggression could make Japan great again Shinzo Abe could be excused for feeling some buyer’s remorse concerning Donald Trump. But the latter's trade threats present an opportunity for Tokyo -Asia Times

Taiwan seeks 'new phase' of China ties in reshuffle Analysts said the move, part of a major reshuffle, signalled a push by President Tsai Ing-wen to take a more assertive stance as ties with the Chinese government grow increasingly frosty. -Channel NewsAsia

The Untold Tales of Centenarians In a fresh take on 100 years of Singapore’s history, Melody Zaccheus speaks to 10 centenarians who lived through it all. -The Straits Times

Keeping the U.S.-Indonesia Relationship Moving Forward -CFR

“Instead of seeking unlikely goals,” Kurlantzick argues, “the two nations should embrace a more transactional approach,” focusing on “three discrete security goals—increasing deterrence in the South China Sea, combating militants linked to the Islamic State, and fighting piracy and other transnational crime in Southeast Asia.”



Uber turns over a new leaf in Asia New CEO wants to move past scandals and friction with foreign governments to grow 'in harmony' -Nikkei

Anbang takeover puts China's companies on notice -Reuters

“I think any private players in the financial sector who are big enough to potentially be a headache for the government and who have had regulatory problems must be worried”

Not to mention China Tech - BAT (Baidu Alibaba Tencent)

Anbang Clampdown Deepens Chill for China-to-U.S. Deals Between the Chinese government on one side and U.S. regulators on the other, takeovers will be tough. -BloombergView

Apple moves to store iCloud keys in China, raising human rights fears -Reuters

READ Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA)

Japan’s budget for AI to be less than a fifth of that planned by U.S. and China -The Japan Times

Foxconn plots $4bn automation push as labor costs bite Major iPhone assembler to fund upgrades with proceeds from IPO of core unit -Nikkei

US urges Aussies not to use Huawei for 5G network ‘When you control telco, you control everything,’ US intel warns PM Turnbull -Asia Times


CURRENCY SHIFT? Why Asia ought to shift gear and welcome rising currencies Mercantilism helped propel Asian economies to today’s heights, but it’s no longer clear that their weak-currency doctrine is still viable -Asia Times

THINK TANK WATCH The North Korean Economy Under Sanctions Recent data on North Korean exports suggests that the sanctions have begun to have a real impact with exports to China falling to just $54 million in December. As the new sanctions increasingly take hold, how will the North Korean economy manage? -KEI

North Korea resumes cyberattacks in desperate search for foreign currency As sanctions bite, the rogue regime seeks funds for nuclear and missile programs -Nikkei

Philippines Uses Dollar Pile Against Speculators, Governor Says -Bloomberg

WHITHER THE STATE? Why blockchain will be a better medium of trust than the state These days, disruptive technology is playing a crucial role in creating new gauges of trustworthiness as well as disrupting the existing trust protocols such as banking systems, financial institutions and legal instruments that make transactions between parties possible. The new trust economy is mainly built on person-to-person technology whereby transactions are fully supported by blockchain technology. -Asia Times