The DailyBrief

Monday May 22, 2017

Myanmar’s fragile peace: Aung San Suu Kyi has made peacemaking a top policy priority, some say to the detriment of other pressing matters such as bureaucratic, economic and legal reforms. Yet, reports Bertil Lintner, her failure to establish anything resembling peace in the country’s north and northeast, and ongoing communal violence in Rakhine state, is severely tainting the image of this Nobel Peace Prize.

Asia’s frontier boom: Investors in Asia are increasingly looking beyond the region’s heavyweights and placing their bets on lesser-known markets, writes Nick Westra. Investors who looking beyond the potential economic slowdowns in China and South Korea are now hoping to ride the rising tides of economic growth and maturing demographics in frontier markets such as Vietnam, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Iran returns reformists: In the latest chapter of a perennial two sided electoral battle, Iran’s conservatives lost and the reformists have, once again, won handsomely. Pepe Escobar reports that Iran’s President Hasan Rouhani was reelected in a high-turnout landslide on Saturday, ensuring the country remains open to the world.

Pyongyang’s ‘beautiful’ ballistics: North Korea says it has successfully tested the guidance system on an intermediate-range ballistic missile and that images from an onboard camera showed the world to be “beautiful.” Asia Times reports that, more significantly, this Pukguksong-2 missile test suggests Pyongyang is making progress in building missiles that can hit US targets.

China-petroleum, going private: As part of ongoing reforms, private firms will be able gain access to China’s petroleum and gas industry to invest, exploit potential sites and run their own supply pipelines. Asia Times’ China Digest reports that such ownership would be independent from the three giants PetroChina, CNOOC and Sinopec and are part of wholesale industry changes just unveiled by Beijing’s State Council.