The DailyBrief

Tuesday April 4, 2017

America still strong: Despite a widespread belief that Obama slashed military spending, the United States still maintains 10 aircraft carriers, 68 nuclear-powered submarines, 2,800 tanks, 3,600 tactical aircraft and bombers and more than 600 UAVs and drones. Richard A Bitzinger argues that as the US still spends as much on its military as the next eight largest defense-spenders combined, and it outspends China by a factor of greater than three to one, no one should underestimate Washington’s power, especially not Beijing.

China rebuilding US? Robert Lawrence Kuhn, an official advisor to the Chinese government, says Xi Jinping’s overriding goal will be to stabilize US-China relations during his two-day summit with President Trump. Doug Tsuruoka speaks with Kuhn about how, aside of bilateral trade issues and North Korea’s nuclear missile conundrum, Xi may also be offering investment and construction support for Trump’s US$1 trillion plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure.

HK’s death bubble: Hong Kong has been ranked the world’s most unaffordable housing market and the city’s chief executive-elect, Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor, has painfully admitted that efforts by the government to suppress the city’s property prices have failed. Today in Hong Kong, writes Johan Nylander, is the Tomb Sweeping festival and its crematoriums have run out of space, which means the city’s population cannot escape booming property prices, even in death.

Kong still King: While ‘Kong: Skull Island’ continues to dominate in China, with the Hollywood blockbuster scaling to a height of US$134.7 million and showing no sign of falling off the chart’s top spot, there is also a noticeable shift away from international fare to a number of new releases from China and Hong Kong. Russell Edwards reports that both ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ from China director Alec Su and ‘Extraordinary Mission’ from Hong Kong duo Alan Mak and Felix Chong opened very strongly over the weekend.