How tourism changed China: Lonely Planet’s first guide to country reveals extent of its evolution -SCMP

  • Published 35 years ago, the book documents a nation barely recognizable today

  • Despite being littered with flaws and short on practical information, the travel bible gave backpackers in the newly opened country something to talk, debate and bitch about

The Right Way to Rebalance Trade The Trump administration’s introduction of sweeping protectionist measures was one of the defining economic-policy developments of 2018. By embracing a bilateral perspective on national current accounts, the US government has made it clear that it will risk the long-term costs of tariffs for the sake of short-term political goals. -Project Syndicate

The AI Threat to Open Societies In an age of populist nationalism, open societies have increasingly come under strain. But the threat of atavistic ideological movements pales in comparison to that posed by powerful new technologies in the hands of authoritarians. -Project Syndicate


Why China is under pressure to make a trade deal -BBC

America Pushes Allies to Fight Huawei in New Arms Race With China Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign minister, arrived in Washington last week for a whirlwind of meetings dominated by a critical question: Should Britain risk its relationship with Beijing and agree to the Trump administration’s request to ban Huawei, China’s leading telecommunications producer, from building its next-generation computer and phone networks? -NYT

Blanket ban on Chinese software The Executive Yuan on Thursday said that new rules would ban public officials from using Chinese software on government-issued phones and computers. The move is aimed at preventing data breaches and coincides with heightened restrictions on government procurements from Chinese tech companies. -Taipei Times

Microsoft's Bing search engine restored in China Microsoft has confirmed that access to its Bing search engine in China has been restored after an outage. -BBC

PODCAST OF THE WEEK Is There (Finally) a Practical Way for Foreigners to Live in Japan? Today I’d like you to meet Nao Sugihara founder of MTIC, who is going to explain these trends in detail. Nao runs a recruiting platform called GaijinBank that deals exclusively with blue-collar, foreign labor, and he’ll show you not only that Japan’s has opened up far more than most people acknowledge, but that this trend will likely accelerate over the next 20 years. -Disrupting Japan

Indonesia to further relax export procedures -The Jakarta Post

Vietnam vexes foreign automakers with import rules Government steadfast in efforts to nurture domestic industry A year on from Vietnam's abrupt launch of regulations on car imports, foreign companies are still struggling to cope while hoping for a lucrative market that should eventually emerge. -Nikkei


Global shipping rates slump in latest sign of economic slowdown -The Straits Times

Foreign buyers slam brakes on Japanese real estate deals China slowdown seen contributing to 34% drop in transactions -Nikkei

Malaysia scraps multibillion dollar China-backed rail project A multibillion dollar China-backed rail project in Malaysia has been scrapped, government officials said Saturday, adding that the cost of building it was too high. -The Japan Times

As questions are raised about ‘belt and road’, projects slow in Southeast Asia -SCMP

·       China’s investments in the region plunged by nearly half in 2018, to lowest level in four years

·       Asean member nations scrutinise Beijing’s strategy, though they still seek investment