The DailyBrief

Wednesday June 7, 2017

China’s Forex mountain: Beijing’s foreign reserves rose at the fastest pace in four months to US$3.054 trillion as of May 31. Steve Wang and Poo Yee Kai report that the world’s largest stockpile of foreign reserves continues to grown as China again announces it will not be loosening its tight control on offshore capital flow.

Manila’s international war: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s security forces are struggling to contain an on-going Islamic State-linked attack on Mindanao that has dangerous new international dimensions, writes David Hutt. Reports from the front-lines indicate foreigners from countries as far-flung as Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, India, Malaysia and Indonesia are fighting alongside the local IS-linked Maute Group.

Washington and OBOR? US participation in China’s One Belt, One Road plan and reciprocity on bilateral trade issues has just been made more likely, writes Doug Tsuruoka. The emergence of Matthew Pottinger and Terry Branstad as key players in formulating Donald Trump’s policy toward Beijing will have a major impact on diplomatic and business relations.

Asian stocks performing: Emerging Asia has disappointed equity investors during the past seven years but there are now good reasons to expect Asian stocks to outperform the S&P in the next couple of years. David P. Goldman writes that emerging Asia now sits at the centre of a revival of world trade and this, combined with a changed, more positive, perception of Chinese economic management and the regional impact of Beijing’s $1 trillion infrastructure Silk Road spending plan, are all positives for Asian stocks.

Short film award: A creative four-minute movie about a woman escaping from the drudgery of her office to explore Hong Kong’s natural beauty, made by Francis So Ka-chun, has won a string of awards. Asia Times writes that the film, ESCAPE, had already won awards at the ARFF Amsterdam International Film Festival, the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival, and the European Cinematography AWARDS (ECA) and just added the 6th Finisterra Arrbida Film Art Tourism Festival in Portugal to the list.