China air force lands bombers on South China Sea island -Reuters

China, US agree to abandon trade war, will stop increasing tariffs on each other China and the United States agreed to abandon any trade war and back off from threatened tariffs, China's vice-premier Liu He said on Sunday (May 20). -The Straits Times

China agrees to import more from U.S., no sign of $200 billion figure Beijing and Washington agreed they would keep talking about measures under which China would import more energy and agricultural commodities from the United States to close the$335 billion annual U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China. -Reuters

Japan’s courts are being asked to define the role of the SDF -The Japan Times

Now Even Japan Is Pushing Back Against Trump’s Tariffs After months of taking hits from the United States over North Korea policy and trade, Japan has decided that it will only be pushed so far, and is threatening to punch back. -NYT

Taiwan: Asia's 'uncountry' For one of Asia's most vibrant democracies, it is always 1984 -Nikkei

Trump’s offer could be just what Pyongyang was seeking -The Hill

Enter Malaysia’s New Political Order Days after the political earthquake of a general election on 9 May, Anwar Ibrahim declared Malaysia “on the verge of a new golden era”. Will it be a mere change of government or a political transition to a new order? -RSIS Commentary

PODCAST OF THE WEEK Lessons from the Democratic Transition in Mongolia: 25 Years After Revolution, -Harvard University AshCast



The U.S.-China Rivalry Is Just Getting Started Economic cooperation has become competition, and companies are caught in the middle. -Bloomberg

Trump Tariffs Primarily Hit Multinational Supply Chains, Harm US Technology Competitiveness he Trump administration’s Section 301 tariffs are an ineffective response to US concerns about China’s high-technology aspirations. They are a prime example of 20th century tools aimed at the knowledge-embodying trade flows of the 21st century. Instead, these tariffs disadvantage American producers and harm US allies operating in East Asia while missing the mark on penalizing Chinese domestic firms that may have misappropriated US and other advanced economies’ technologies. -PIIE

ZTE mess shows need to change the ‘Chinese way of doing business’ Amid all the high-pitch propaganda surrounding a possible deal between Washington and Beijing, less attention has been devoted to the holes the telecom giant dug for itself and neglected to fix -SCMP

COINCIDENCE? Beijing official says Qualcomm-NXP deal looking more optimistic: WSJ

Korea Inc. mostly freed from China's missile shield wrath Recovery for tourism and cars but not electric vehicle battery makers -Nikkei

Alibaba out to dominate mobile pay in Southeast Asia In Thailand, market leader Line faces serious challenge from the Chinese group -Nikkei

Working with Vietnam, Russia's Rosneft Draws China’s Ire Rosneft is a crucial arm of Russian foreign policy, yet functions at times without direct Kremlin involvement. -The Diplomat


Why China's First Steps Into MSCI Are Such a Big Deal Some 234 of China’s large-cap domestic stocks are about to get a significant new inflow of investment. They are among the companies that MSCI Inc., the New York-based provider of financial tools, is adding to its major emerging-market indexes, as of June 1. -Bloomberg

Is India Creating Jobs or Not? That’s the wrong question to ask. The question both critics and supporters of the government should be asking is how to speed up this process. Some state governments have attempted to relax labor laws and the central government has recently sought to liberalize contract labor. Progress is being made on increasing occupational safety and maternity benefits. -Bloomberg