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Trump says North Korea's Kim sent 'very beautiful letter'; new meeting possible -Reuters

Kim fires more missives, more missiles North Korea’s leader is wielding both carrot and stick, but neither measure is moving him toward his goal -Asia Times

Trump Is Making Xi’s Superpower 2050 Plan Tougher by the Day His grand vision is now looking more aspirational by the day. As mounting pressure from Donald Trump adds to a slew of structural challenges facing China’s $14 trillion economy -- including record debt levels, rampant pollution, and an aging population -- the risk is that the country gets stuck in a “middle-income trap,’’ stagnating before it reaches rich-world levels of development. -Bloomberg

New phase as protesters and police clash across Hong Kong in guerilla-style battles

  • Officers use tear gas to disperse crowds that once more gathered for illegal rallies, but scale and intensity of skirmishes appears to have lessened

  • Two sides engage in running battles from Kwun Tong to Tai Po and Cross-Harbour Tunnel, while peaceful sit-in at the airport continues

A trade war over history? Sort of. Why Japan and South Korea are feuding. The trade spat kicked off with Tokyo imposing restrictions on chemicals key to South Korea’s high-tech industry, citing unspecified security concerns. Most observers, however, see the trade war as historical frictions spilling over into economic and national security arenas – underscoring how large the past looms in East Asia today. -Christian Science Monitor

Pakistan downgrades ties with India Pakistan has suspended bilateral trade with India and will downgrade diplomatic ties in a bid to build pressure against its neighbour for changing the status of Kashmir. -The Straits Times

APAC MARKETS IMPACT + OPPORTUNITY

GLOBAL BUSINESS

China to push to attract more high-tech manufacturers China on Tuesday said it would implement a special tax policy in the newly expanded Shanghai Free Trade Zone, granting crude oil import licenses to qualified companies and providing preferential tax policies for firms operating in artificial intelligence, civil aviation, semiconductor and biopharmaceutical sectors. -Reuters

Huawei unveils Harmony operating system, won't ditch Android for smartphones -Reuters

Toyota to build battery plant in China, eyeing hybrid policy shift Panasonic-backed supplier to quadruple production in world's top auto market -Nikkei Asian Review

South Korea boycott hitting sales of Japan's Uniqlo, company says -Reuters

Samsung secures key chip supply in Belgium as Tokyo curbs exports Korean tech groups accelerate diversification while keeping Japanese suppliers -Nikkei Asian Review

Casino resort frontrunner MGM says winning and building Osaka facility by 2025 is tough but doable For Osaka, considered the front runner of the three locations that will be allowed to host the resorts, the hope is that once the Diet formally approves all necessary policies, the bureaucratic process for granting interested localities IR licenses, and subsequent construction, will go smoothly and quickly. By March 2025, just a couple of months before the Osaka World Expo opens, the city wants a casino resort to be up and running. -The Japan Times

India eases angel tax rules for startups Registered companies will now be exempt from verification The angel tax is imposed when any startup raises equity funding in excess of its “fair valuation.” The premium is treated as income, attracting a tax of more than 30%. The new tax was introduced in 2012 to curb money-laundering. It is known as the angel tax as it largely affects angel investments in startups. -Asia Times

#SMART Singapore slings a trade war antidote New Singapore Convention on Mediation promises neutral settlement of commercial and trade disputes. China, US are among its backers The Singapore Convention on Mediation, the first treaty concluded under UN auspices to be named after the city-state, aims to give businesses greater confidence to settle international disputes through mediation, which involves a neutral party working with different sides to come to an agreement rather than resort to costly court proceedings. -Asia Times

Jokowi signs electric vehicle regulation -Jakarta Post

GLOBAL MACRO

Booming Travel Is Transforming Asian Airports Into Mini-Cities New facilities aim to become destinations in themselves, with apartments, exhibition spaces, and medical centers. -Bloomberg

Modi’s Kashmir detour spells trouble for India’s economy The J&K move is as much a cry for economic help as an announcement of any new authority the Indian PM has amassed -Asia Times

Global funds set sights on Japan property market Aberdeen Standard and KKR see opportunity in low-rate environment The influx of deep-pocketed foreign players, enticed by the Bank of Japan's ultralow interest rates that allow for fundraising on the cheap, indicates that the property boom here is unlikely to lose steam anytime soon. -Nikkei Asian Review

Volatility in China's yuan due to escalating U.S. trade friction: PBOC official -Reuters

India Seeks Used Cooking Oil to Help Modi Cut Energy Imports India is the third biggest crude oil consumer on the globe and meets about 85% of its needs through imports, exposing the economy to the risks of price and supply disruptions often caused by geopolitical tensions and trade wars. The prime minister has set a target to reduce such overseas energy purchases by 10 percentage points by 2022, through increased domestic output and greater use of alternative fuels. -Bloomberg

Canada LNG project to ship gas to Asia as early as 2024 Government subsidies for project aim to reduce reliance on US market -Nikkei Asian Review