APAC MONDAYS

GEOPOLITICAL RISK+GLOBAL MARKETS

APAC | GEOPOLITICAL RISK

China Taps the Brakes on Its Global Push for Influence -NYT

China has spent nearly five years steering an ever-growing stream of hundreds of billions of dollars to a bold plan to gain greater global influence by funding big projects across Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa.

Now, Beijing is starting to tap the brakes.

The US-China trade war: can Trump learn from history and resolve it? China’s inexorable rise has seen an inconsequential trade gap with the US balloon into a multitrillion-dollar chasm. But how and why did it happen, and can it be settled? -SCMP

China wants eyes and ears on every street Officials are beefing up neighbourhood-watch schemes to catch crooks and protesters -The Economist

Hong Kong protests fade as China integrates former UK colony Beijing's political pressure and infrastructure push erode 'one country, two systems' Hong Kong's legislature voted in June to let immigration officials from mainland China operate at West Kowloon station, the terminus of a new high-speed, cross-border train line. Mainland laws also will apply in a designated part of the station. -Nikkei

Thousands Protest in Hong Kong on Anniversary of Handover to China -NYT

Abe’s route to revising Article 9 crosses minefield of legalese Abe and LDP plot course to navigate contentious issue that could prove difficult for public to grasp -The Japan Times

William Brent Christensen Announced as Director of the Taipei Office of the American Institute in Taiwan -AIT

Trump had good reason to question the 'one-China' fallacy Since President Richard Nixon traveled to China and began Washington’s abandonment of official diplomatic and military relations with Taiwan, several shorthand policy phrases have defined the fraught U.S.-China-Taiwan relationship. The three main notions are: one-China, cross-Strait stability (status quo), and strategic ambiguity. -The Hill

U.S. intelligence agencies say North Korea has boosted nuclear fuel production at secret sites: report -The Japan Times

Thailand’s Dangerous Interregnum These are the days when an old system refuses to die and a new system isn’t ready to be born. -The Diplomat

APAC | MARKETS IMPACT + OPPORTUNITY

GLOBAL BUSINESS

Get ready for short-term trade pain, US tells American companies in China Time is running out for both countries to avert the first tariff shots but two key dates could lead to a deal, sources say -SCMP

ZTE revamps board with legal experts to avoid ban Leadership is trimmed, but most new directors retain links to Beijing -Nikkei

A crisis looms over China’s chip sector -Tech-in-Asia

Huawei’s Smart Cities and CCP Influence, At Home and Abroad What do international espionage concerns, a Chinese truckers’ strike, and the smart cities of the future all have in common? All are part of the story of how the commercial ambitions of Huawei—one of the PRC’s leading developers of high-tech electronics and telecommunications equipment—could be leveraged by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to protect its wealth and prerogatives at home, and extend its surveillance reach abroad. -The Jamestown Foundation

China’s Biggest Movie Stars Get a Pay Cut (From the Government) Movie stars in China can make as much as or more than their Hollywood counterparts. The Chinese government is not happy about that. So officials moved this week to cap how much A-listers can make, citing potential damage to a fast-growing movie industry. -NYT

Implementation of minpaku laws lambasted Nacio Cronin, the Imperial Hotel’s director of international public relations, says: “Aside from obvious safety concerns such as fires, injuries and property damages resulting from usage of unsupervised, unfamiliar facilities, the mere idea of unmonitored foreign guests on holiday evidently raises concerns among some less internationally oriented natives.”

As such, he says, minpaku may be “incompatible with the Japanese national character.” -The Japan Times

Japan’s open to foreign workers. Just don’t call them immigrants Facing an ageing, shrinking workforce, Tokyo flirts with breaking a taboo surrounding immigration by preparing to welcome half a million low-skilled foreign workers -SCMP

Towards Easing Restrictions on Organic Food Imports in Taiwan The lack of available organic products on the market in Taiwan can be explained in part by the range of rigorous regulations placed on imported food and agricultural products. -The News Lens

US Chamber of Commerce, Taipei 2018 White Paper The White Paper is the most important tool that AmCham members use to communicate with the Taiwan government, and is used all year long. -US Chamber of Commerce

Groups urge Canadian airlines to resist Chinese threats Canadian Trade Office Executive Director Mario Ste-Marie announced he is to step down after nearly three years and was awarded the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy -Taipei Times

Hyundai Motor Co. joined a chorus of rebuke from global automakers against possible import tariffs by the Trump administration, warning the duties would be “devastating” to the Korean automaker and its U.S. operations. -Bloomberg

OBike’s exit from Singapore signals problems for bike-sharing -Tech-in-Asia

Innovation Can’t Fix Urban Transportation’s Woes Ride-hailing and bike-sharing services or self-driving cars are more likely to create new problems than to solve old ones. -Bloomberg

GLOBAL MACRO

China Opens Up More of Its Economy to Foreign Investors -Bloomberg

Japan to U.S.: Auto tariff would damage U.S., world economy -The Asahi Shimbun

Cobalt, lithium and nickel are booming due to China’s insatiable appetite for electric vehicles -SCMP

Indonesia, Malaysia must fight EU over CPO ban: Mahathir -The Jakarta Post

Indonesia hikes rates again to reverse rupiah slump Indonesia's central bank on Friday raised interest rates for the third time in six weeks as it moves to shield the rupiah from a selloff in emerging market currencies. -The Jakarta Post

Thailand Leads in Crypto by Skipping the Big Debate Regulators just wrote an entirely new law. -Bloomberg