Posted inAfghanistan, AT Finance, Beijing, China, Indonesia, Japan, Middle East, Northeast Asia, South Asia, World

The Daily Brief for Thursday, 15 June 2017

Fighting patriarchal Japan: Few politicians in recent decades have made patriarchal Japan queasier than Yuriko Koike, Tokyo’s first female governor. William Pesek writes that Koike, a charismatic politician fluent in English and Arabic, is the country’s real female role model and she has told Japan’s male-dominated business culture that gender equality is an economic necessity.

Afghanistan-Pentagon in charge: US President Donald Trump’s reported decision to delegate the Afghan war to Defense Secretary James Mattis reflects smart thinking, argues M.K. Bhadrakumar. Trump’s decision to pass management of the war to the Pentagon generals is one that Obama should have taken eight years ago, when he was hustled by his inner circle into sanctioning the famous “surge”.

Indonesia’s corruption battle: A parliamentary move to weaken Indonesia’s state-run Anti-Corruption Commission coincides conspicuously with a US$173 million scandal implicating top ruling coalition politicians. John McBeth reports that members of Indonesia’s Parliament, widely considered the country’s most corrupt institution, are seeking to withdraw the Commission’s prosecutorial powers in a gambit that would render the agency impotent.

China America war? Graham Allison’s new book, Destined for War, addresses the question: “Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?” George Koo writes that the book is a tour de force in its identification of all the different ways powers can head to war and, given the state of tension between the two powers, its publication is timely.

Silk Road troubles: China’s cardinal foreign policy imperative is to refrain from interfering abroad while advancing the proverbial good relations with key political actors. Pepe Escobar writes that it will be gut-wrenching for Beijing to watch the current, unpredictable, Saudi-Qatari standoff as it cannot but translate into major trouble ahead for the New Silk Roads.

Posted inBeijing, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Northeast Asia, Shanghai

China Digest for Thursday, 15 June 2017

Green finance in five pilot zones to boost industrial reforms

Pilot zones will be set up in five areas offering green finance to support industrial upgrades and axe licensing requirements from 19 manufacturing sectors, Caixin reported. The State Council said pilot zones would be in Guangdong, Guizhou, Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces, and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Capital to clamp down on new car plants

Beijing city regulators will strictly limit the construction of new plants on fuel vehicles to prevent overproduction and excess inventory, Caixin reported, quoting the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Industry.

Deeper reforms in pipeline for electricity, oil and gas

A 2050 energy road map will set goals on controlling capacity of coal power, speed up output to meet northern winter heating demand and develop international links with Obor countries, Sina Finance reported, citing the National Energy Administration.

Rule eased on mainland funds investing in Hong Kong

Publicly offered mainland funds with more than 80% of non-cash assets invested in Hong Kong listed companies can be named as “Hong Kong stocks,” under new guidelines on the Stock Connect scheme with Shenzhen and Shanghai, the Paper reported. The previous threshold had been 95%.

Cities urged to fast-track plans to boost maritime economy

Coastal cities such as Shanghai, Guangdong, Hainan and Fujian are highlighted as target areas to fast-track plans on strategic emerging industries in the maritime economy, the Economic Information Daily reported on Wednesday evening. A 7% increase on gross ocean products is expected in 2017, the 13th Five Year Plan said.

Cau-Tech to resume trading today amid probe

Suspended Shenzhen firm Cau-Tech said it would resume trading today despite an ongoing China Securities Regulatory Commission investigation over violation of information disclosure rules, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported. A three-month restructuring of its assets had been halted.

Lean pork prices slide 20%

The price of lean pork dropped more than 20% year on year to 6.83 yuan (US$1) per 500 grams, Yicai reported, citing Souzhu data. Insiders said fewer pigs were being slaughtered in June and July to spur a price bounce back, with the downward trend expected to continue in the second half of 2017 and the consumer price index would be affected.

Sino-Japanese trade ties may improve in 2017: Blue Book

Sino-Japanese economic and trade relations may improve this year due to the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the annual Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Blue Book.