Tokyo arms call: North Korea fired another test missile this week that was, reportedly, a simulated test attack on a US military base in Japan. Daniel Hurst writes that influential members of Japan’s government, in response to what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe refers to as a “new level of threat”, says new military options are needed, including cruise missiles.
Trump’s Asia blank: When the US President meets his Chinese counterpart in Florida today he will do so without the benefit of a team of Asian specialists, writes Richard Javad Heydarian & Shawn W. Crispin. Asia policy to date has been steered chiefly by the White House with Trump’s son-in-law and foreign policy neophyte Jared Kushner playing an outsized role, and critics say this has caused a vacuum that has brought wild policy lurches and confusion with allies and adversaries alike.
Tesla loves HK: Impressive January sales data on new Tesla electric car sales in Hong Kong, on the back on generous tax breaks, shows why Elon Musk has the hots for what he once called a “beacon city for electric vehicles”. Ben Kwok reports that Greater China is strategically important to Tesla but a Hong Kong government cap on tax waivers will raise the price of new model by more than 75% and this could prove very damaging.
Cambodia dumps US: Without explanation, the Cambodian government has asked the US to end a decade-old military aid program in the country. Asia Times reports that the move is yet another downgrade for US-Cambodian military ties, coming after Phnom Penh postponed an annual Cambodia-US military exercise in January after it held its first ever military exercise with China.