Posted inAT FinanceBeijingChinaHong KongPhilippinesWorld

The Daily Brief for Monday, 6 February 2017

US Defense Secretary James Mattis’ visit to East Asia was, whisper it, encouraging for regional stability, writes Richard Javad Heydarian. In Tokyo and Seoul, Mattis reaffirmed America’s obligations, signaling at least from the outset of Donald Trump’s term that the US’ position has not changed with regard to upholding mutual defense treaties. However deep concerns remain among America’s Asian allies about the competence and intentions of Trump’s wider foreign policy team.

The world could be set for another debt crisis, writes Anthony Rowley for Asia Times. Looser fiscal policy in the United States under Donald Trump, and consequent tightening of monetary policy, could have unwitting consequences – particularly for emerging markets, given the huge debts built up in certain economies (many of them in Asia) over a decade of record low interest rates.

The Philippines is braced for continued strife after the collapse of a short-lived truce between the government and New People’s Army communist rebels. President Rodrigo Duterte, who scrapped a six-month-old truce on Friday after NPA fighters killed six government soldiers and kidnapped two others, warned the insurgent group that the civil war would last another 50 years if necessary.

The stink surrounding the disappearance of Xiao Jianhua, one of China’s richest men, ripens. Scores of social media posts about the well-connected billionaire – who has close ties with some of China’s leaders and their relatives, and who went missing from a Hong Kong hotel in January – have been deleted, pointing to what appears to be heightened sensitivity in Beijing over the case.

Kenny Hodgart

Kenny Hodgart is an editor for Asia Times.

Posted inChinaShanghai

China Digest for Monday, 6 February 2017

First policy statement in 2017 targets agricultural reforms

Promoting environmentally friendly production methods, expanding the value chain and encouraging innovation are among reforms set out for the agricultural industry in the first 2017 policy paper, the state news agency Xinhua reported on Sunday.

State Council to reduce urban-rural income disparities by 2030

Regional development differences and urban-rural income disparities will be reduced by 2020, and equal provision of public services in both cities and villages by 2030, Caixin reported, citing the territorial planning document published on Saturday. The maritime economy – including mining, shipping, fisheries and natural gas – will account for 9.5% of GDP by 2020, and 14% by 2030, China Finance Information reported, citing the same report.

Green certificates to be issued for solar, wind energy

China will issue green energy certificates to solar and wind power plants starting from July 1, Caixin reported on Friday, citing a document issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance and National Energy Administration. Certificates will be compulsory in 2018. Solar and wind energy accounted for 9% and 4.7% of China’s total power generation in 2016, respectively, and certification would encourage the use of clean energy.

Stricter supervision imposed on illegal arbitrages

Shanghai’s office of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission will impose stricter supervision on illegal and unregulated arbitrages in 2017, 21st Century Business Herald reported on Sunday quoting Director Han Yi in an interview. Unlawful earnings will be confiscated and heavy fines will be imposed, the report added.