The DailyBrief

Friday February 17, 2017

Vietnam and TPP: When US President Donald Trump last month pulled America from the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade pact, the potential losses to Hanoi were significant. However, writes Ha Nguyen, Vietnamese businesses are now looking towards the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, scheduled to come into effect in 2018, to expand their markets and the deal should serve as a model for Europe’s future economic engagement with other ASEAN nations.

ISIS in Libya: Today is the sixth anniversary of an uprising that was meant to usher in a new era of freedom for Libya yet the country has descended into uncontrollable chaos. Sami Moubayed reports that in the six years since Nato famously stepped in to protect civilians after a popular revolution toppled the regime of Gaddafi, shortages and hyperinflation are the norm and ISIS is thriving in the misery of a broken nation.

Samsung Group arrest: The vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Lee Jae-yong, has been arrested over his alleged role in a Samsung corruption scandal that led parliament to impeach South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Reuters reports that the 48-year-old was taken into custody at the Seoul Detention Centre late on Thursday evening, dealing a fresh blow to the world’s biggest maker of smartphones.

Taiwan and Trump: The American President’s decision to question the “one China” policy and then back down has led several international commentators to say he lost his first fight with China’s communist leader. Xuan Loc Doan writes that Trump is now being referred to as “a paper tiger” – a term once used by Mao Zedong to describe America – and says his Taiwan about-face is likely to undermine his administration’s efforts to push Beijing to adopt policies that are more beneficial to US interests.