The DailyBrief

Monday July 3, 2017

Taiwan’s TPP role: The US government’s approval of a US$1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan may have sent Beijing into a rage but it does not really change China’s military superiority, argues Emanuele Scimia. A more realistic threat to the cross-strait status quo, says Scimia, is Japan’s attempt to make Taipei a part of the reformed Trans-Pacific Partnership, something that would weaken Beijing’s strategy to diplomatically isolate Taiwan.

Koikenomics gains momentum: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s triumph in Sunday’s Tokyo Metropolitan assembly election will surely give Abe nightmares about Koike making a run for his job. William Pesek writes that Koike, who has been a consistent thorn in the prime minister’s side, possesses the policies and presence to propel her to national leadership.

HK in 2037? Hong Kong appears to have lost its unique position as a gateway to China, and its recent attempts to rebrand itself as a glitzy entertainment/shopping/tourism hub have fallen short, says Pepe Escobar. Despite the issues it faces, Beijing knows all too well how crucial an asset this city is for China and, with realignment and full involvement in the China’s new Silk Road initiative, Hong Kong can still play a key global role over the next 20 years.

Cambodia-Yuan vs Dollar: China remains Cambodia’s leading foreign donor and new Bank of China branches bank in the country will further strengthen Beijing’s financial support network for Chinese businesses and also help promote the yuan’s internationalization. Zi Yang writes that despite this growing Chinese economic presence, the dollar is still the favored currency in Cambodia and the yuan has a long way to go before it dislodges the dominance of the mighty greenback.

Silk Road North? Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila in Dalian in June during the annual World Economic Forum meeting known as the “Summer Davos”. Doug Tsuruoka reports that the talks saw China and Finland pledge more cooperation and included a potentially game-changing US$3.4 billion “Arctic Corridor” railway that, together with a “Northern Sea Route”, could transform trade transport between Europe and Asia.