THE UNITED FRONT It’s the mysterious department behind China’s growing influence across the globe. And it’s getting bigger ‘Magic wand’ used to extend China’s reach abroad gets enhanced role at time of growing international concern over state’s covert influence -SCMP

Key moments from China's 2018 legislative sessions The National People's Congress changed the constitution and the cabinet -Nikkei

1. Presidential term limits removed

2. Wang Qishan returned as vice president

3. State administration overhauled

4. New central bank chief took over

5. The eyes that rolled

China’s Economic Czar Warns U.S. Treasury Secretary on Tariffs -NYT

Is Trump Playing Into Xi's Hands? Tough U.S. measures allow the Chinese leader to be the economic nationalist he wants to be. -Bloomberg View

Japan's new sea policy to include issues of North Korean missiles, Arctic shipping lanes -The Straits Times

Abe to visit Russia on May 26, Russia’s deputy prime minister says Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to visit Russia on May 26 for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a visiting deputy prime minister from Russia told trade minister Hiroshige Seko. -The Japan Times

How an increasingly assertive China is pushing Taiwan closer to the US Michal Thim says Beijing’s tough rhetoric on Taiwan is not helping its unification goal and, in fact, provides justification for the sale of American arms for Taiwan’s defence -SCMP

US president signs Taiwan Travel Act High-level meetings between Taiwan and the US are ‘extremely valuable,’ as China continues its reclamation in the South China Sea, US Senator Jim Inhofe said -Taipei Times

Learning From the Battle of the Spratly Islands Vietnam fought China in the South China Sea before and it should be ready to do so again. -The Diplomat

Indonesia pins hope on ASEAN-EU FTA to support SMEs, palm oil -Jakarta Post




Trump's China tariffs risk backfiring on US business Profits of tech majors rest on cheap Chinese production -Nikkei

Apple, Google, IBM CEOs head to China this weekend with trade war brewing -The Straits Times

PRESSURE POINTS China's Saving Its Own Bacon in Trade War The import retaliation will barely be noticed. -Bloomberg Gadfly

Most Chinese imports from the U.S. are in business-to-business categories:

Integrated circuits

Optical equipment



Auto parts


Chipmaking machinery

Valves and taps


Turbojets and turbines

China's battery king poised to overtake Panasonic-Tesla alliance CATL strengthens foothold in global supply chain backed by government policies -Nikkei

Washington snubs Japan on metals exemptions as $60 billion in new tariffs on China roil markets As U.S. President Donald Trump dealt a fresh blow to China, with plans to slap tariffs on $60 billion in trade, he also quietly delivered a slap in the face to close ally Japan, which got no exemption from earlier announced duties on steel and aluminum. -The Japan Times

Japanese firms begin filing paperwork for U.S. tariff exemptions as trade, business chiefs play down impact -The Japan Times

Uber agrees to sell Southeast Asia business to Grab after costly battle Ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Sunday, in what would be the U.S. company’s second retreat from Asia. -Reuters

PODCAST OF THE WEEK Episode 242: Cisco and Software & Network Transformation in Asia Pacific -Analyse Asia

Indonesians loyal despite Facebook data harvesting -The Jakarta Post


Wall St nosedives on trade war fears Friday Wall Street tumbled Friday as investors grew nervous about a possible trade war with China. -Reuters Video

China's new finance minister says some tax changes coming China’s new finance minister on Sunday vowed to push ahead fiscal reforms, including changes in tax on manufacturing and transportation, to support the government’s goal of “high-quality” growth. -Reuters

Gold soars as US-China tension ignites haven demand Gold futures posted the biggest weekly advance in almost two years, extending gains on Friday and pushing up producer stocks, as mounting economic and geopolitical tensions fueled demand for the metal as a haven. -Taipei Times