The DailyBrief

Wednesday May 24, 2017

Beijing guiding Pyongyang? As North Korea fires more missiles in its drive to build and test rockets to reach the US mainland, one issue largely overlooked is that satellites are among methods used to guide such weapons to their targets. Peter J. Brown writes that Pyongyang doesn’t have a satellite navigation network, raising speculation that if it is using such a guidance system then is it tapping into China’s?

Moody’s downgrades China: Moody’s Investors Services downgraded China’s long-term local and foreign currency issuer ratings on Wednesday, citing expectations that the financial strength of the world’s second-biggest economy would erode in the coming years. Asia Times reports that Beijing rejected the downgrade, saying the agency had used an “inappropriate” method to assess the risks facing the world’s number-two economy.

China-Philippines, war threat? Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte claims Chinese leader Xi Jinping made a threat of war during recent private discussions in Beijing on the South China Sea, reports Richard Javad Heydarian. The claim, not confirmed or denied by Beijing, has predictably provoked a new flurry of criticism and raised hard new questions about Manila’s diplomatic realignment away from the US towards China.

Cannes eyes China: At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, it’s difficult to find a producer who isn’t interested in a slice of the Chinese box office, set to be the globe’s most valuable by 2019. Katy Lee writes that the world’s film studios are lining up to sign tie-ups with Chinese industry players, despite government screening quotas and spending clampdowns.

Taiwan’s same-sex ruling: Taiwan’s top court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, a landmark decision that paves the way for the island to become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex unions. Liu Hsiu Wen reports that the ruling is likely to reverberate around the region, with calls for marriage equality rising in a number of countries, including South Korea and Japan.