A global China must ask itself awkward questions. Is it ready? China seeks to lead the modern world. Yet its reaction to scholar Xu Zhangrun’s veiled criticism of Xi Jinping suggests its attitude to intellectuals is stuck in the past -SCMP

China's student activists cast rare light on brewing labor unrest -Reuters

Abe throws hat into LDP leadership race, setting up showdown with Shigeru Ishiba -The Japan Times

“For three more years, I am determined to lead the nation as LDP president and prime minister,” Abe told reporters in Tarumizu, Kagoshima Prefecture. “I will take the initiative in creating the nation in the period beyond the Heisei Era.”

India's Regional Renaissance A popular narrative in the Trump era is that longstanding geopolitical arrangements are being upended. But New Delhi-based author, professor, and strategist Brahma Chellaney argues that India – with a booming economy and newly muscular foreign policy – is challenging the status quo at precisely the right time. -Project Syndicate (audio)

The Great Game for the Future of Tibetan Buddhism India, China, and the case of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. -The Diplomat

China aiming to influence local politics, elections with ‘unabated’ bullying: Tsai -Taipei Times

The cross-strait relationship is a part of geopolitics and China’s persecution of Taiwan is driven by its quest for regional influence, not internal political differences in Taiwanese political parties about China, she [Tsai] said.

EU supports Taiwan's role on world stage: representative The European Union continues to support Taiwan's participation in international fora in which the country can contribute and hopes that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will refrain from taking action that will intensify regional tension, EU Representative to Taiwan Madeleine Majorenko said. -CNA

Ship-to-ship transfers a ‘big loophole’ in North Korea sanctions: Kono -The Japan Times

China and Malaysia avoid clash but Mahathir wants 'fair trade' 93-year old prime minister rides high-speed train in first visit after comeback -Nikkei

Charmed by China, Duterte's Foreign Policy Sails in Troubled Seas Large segments of Philippines society, not least the defense establishment, have issues with Duterte's pro-China stance. -The News Lens

Scott Morrison becomes prime minister He is Australia’s fifth leader in as many years -The Economist

China says agrees with Britain to discuss 'top notch' free trade deal China and Britain have agreed to look at the possibility of reaching a “top notch” free trade agreement after Britain leaves the European Union, China’s Commerce Ministry said on Saturday after talks with British trade minister Liam Fox. -Reuters



China's Huawei slams Australia 5G mobile network ban as 'politically motivated' -Reuters

Google’s Waymo establishes China unit Google’s self-drive unit Waymo unveils Shanghai subsidiary. Called Huimo, the new firm will design and test vehicle parts and products as well as provide supply chain and logistics consulting. The launch comes as Google plots its re-entry into China’s web search market after an eight-year absence. -Tech-in-Asia

HNA overseas asset sales set pace for record China disposals Wanda, Anbang and CEFC also seek buyers for billions of dollars of properties -Nikkei

Japanese firms face tough choices as U.S.-China trade war drags on Many Japanese businesses caught in the crossfire of the U.S.-China trade war are facing an unsavory dilemma: Either make massive changes to how their products are assembled or bide their time until a compromise between the world’s two largest economies is reached. -The Japan Times

Taxi industry needs less rules Legislators across party lines on Wednesday joined taxi drivers calling on the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to impose stricter regulations on ride-sharing services, such as Uber. -Taipei Times

Thailand rolls out red carpet for 500 Chinese companies Trade war makes Southeast Asian nation an attractive shelter from US tariff -Nikkei

Facebook: Strengthening Timor-Leste’s Democracy The recent elections are the first real opportunity to look at the public-facing use of social media by political parties. -The Diplomat


Emerging Vulnerabilities in Emerging Economies For many emerging economies, it is imperative to pursue a rebalancing of growth patterns, with a more active approach to managing debt and capital flows and their effects on asset prices, exchange rates, and growth. Otherwise, the dangers of unsustainable growth patterns will bring expansion to an abrupt halt. -Project Syndicate

China’s creditor imperialism This month, Sri Lanka, unable to pay the onerous debt to China it has accumulated, formally handed over its strategically located Hambantota port to the Asian giant. It was a major acquisition for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — which President Xi Jinping calls the “project of the century” — and proof of just how effective China’s debt-trap diplomacy can be. -The Japan Times

China aims to build houses, roads in Sri Lanka north to extend sway -Reuters

People’s Bank of China signals renewed action to support the yuan’s value amid trade war -SCMP

Political cost of rising prices? Some Singaporeans have been lamenting their money does not go as far as it used to. Insight checks out the issue of cost in the areas of healthcare, education, housing and food. -The Straits Times

China's Unipec to resume U.S. oil purchases after tariff policy change –Reuters

U.S. coal shipment to China shifts to South Korea amid trade spat A vessel hauling a shipment of coal from the United States switched its destination on Friday to South Korea from China, according to ship tracking data, a day after China imposed 25 percent tariffs on the U.S. fuel. -Reuters

Flare-up of resource nationalism burns miners across Asia Governments risk repelling companies with new levies and other pressure Governments of resource-rich Asian countries are slapping new levies and tightening screws on mining companies, hoping to extract more revenue from natural assets to cover ballooning infrastructure and public works costs. -Nikkei