Pulse: Asia

China: OBOR and the Pursuit of Superpower Status

The recent removal of term limits for the presidency from the Chinese Constitution represents a further tightening of President Xi JiPing’s grip on power.  While he was not up for reelection until 2019, term limits were an obstacle to his grandiose plans for establishing China as a major economic, military and political superpower over the next few years or even decades.   While the rise of China as a global power was inevitable, it has been facilitated by the vacuum left by the rapid decline of the U.S. global position under President Trump.

EconVue Spotlight | Is the Global Financial Crisis Finally Over?

What a week it was!  Equity markets and cryptocurrencies, both of which appeared to defy the laws of gravity, and the US dollar took a dive.  However, the story of synchronized global growth does not seem to have changed. Have we finally escaped the long dark shadow cast in 2008?  Renowned Japanese economy expert Takatoshi Ito thinks that things are changing at the Bank of Japan, the institution that invented and led the world in quantitative easing. This could be a signal of things to come in a new global monetary policy environment.

EconVue Spotlight

China on the Rebound

New Era of Mutual Learning for China and Singapore

This report originally appeared in the Straits Times.

China and Singapore share longstanding and broad-based bilateral relations. Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew visited China 33 times over 37 years, witnessing China's extraordinary progress.

Today, China is firmly entrenched in the era of the "Four Great New Inventions", namely the high-speed railway, e-commerce, mobile payment and the sharing economy. When Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited China again recently, he must have had some different and impressive experiences.

Trump Retreats on Korean Trade

Here is my essay on the Foreign Affairs website on how Trump was forced to back down on his plan to withdraw from KORUS—at least for now.

RMB Redux

Tsai Ing-Wen in Central America - Shoring up Defenses before the Collapse of the Truce

I am sharing an article on the topic of Taiwan-PRC diplomatic competition in Central America.

The article examines the recent visit by Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen to Central America, in the context of the possible breakdown of the informal "diplomatic truce" which has prevailed between Taiwan and mainland China since 2008.

This work is available from the ejourunal "Global Taiwan Brief," and the full text can be found below as well.

Emerging Markets: Investment of the Year in 2017?

Strong fundamentals in Asia’s emerging markets may tempt outside investors to stay the course when the year turns. But a combination of domestic politics in 2017 and global uncertainties could risk becoming the nemesis of the New Year.

Questions about political continuity at home and support for reforms in Asia’s emerging markets hover over these economies’ striking potential for growth, including the outlook for strongman leaders in the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand and Xi Jinping in China and Narendra Modi in India.

Nepal's urban water crisis

There is an ongoing water crisis in Nepal’s urban areas, and it is mainly man-made. From 2000 to 2012, Nepal’s urban population with access to improved water source suffered a continuous and outstanding drop from 94.2 percent to 90.3 percent.