Is China the target of Japan’s record-busting defence budget? (South China Morning Post)

  • Tokyo faces myriad threats, from China, North Korea and Russia to cyberattacks on the Summer Olympics
  • And Abe’s golf buddy Trump may not always be around to bail Japan out

Rupakjyoti Borah

China broke its promises to Hong Kong. That’s why the protest movement is back with a vengeance (South China Morning Post)

  • Beijing has not really let Hong Kong people rule Hong Kong, contrary to the principle underpinning the Basic Law. When dissent is suppressed without resolving the underlying issue, protest just emerges in another form

Markus Shaw

How much economic pain can China tolerate in the trade war? Donald Trump is about to find out (South China Morning Post)

  • A buying frenzy over pork in Shanghai might be a sign of economic trouble or an after-effect of the swine flu epidemic. Either way, it raises questions about the Chinese people’s capacity for withstanding the fallout from the US trade war

Chiu-Ti Jansen

As Indonesia mulls a move away from direct presidential elections, is dynastic politics here to stay? (South China Morning Post)

  • President Joko Widodo is part of a new crop of Indonesian politicians elected without a famous family name or political links
  • But the country’s political elite, including former president Megawati, are proposing changes to the way the president is elected

Johannes Nugroho

If Carrie Lam declares an emergency in Hong Kong, she will be defying the rule of law (South China Morning Post)

  • The Basic Law does not give Hong Kong’s chief executive the power to ‘officially proclaim’ a state of emergency
  • The city’s leader therefore has no lawful power to make emergency regulations that would comply with Hong Kong’s international treaty obligations and own bill of rights

Erik Shum , Wing Kay Po

Has China forgotten how order was restored to Hong Kong after the 2003 Article 23 national security protests? (South China Morning Post)

  • Instead of hardline tactics and threats of military intervention, Hu Jintao’s administration defused the crisis by collecting public opinion from Hong Kong directly, holding local leaders accountable and increasing economic reassurances

David A. Rezvani

Is Donald Trump being brave or crazy in China trade war? US president should pick a stance and stick to it (South China Morning Post)

  • Donald Trump berates American companies doing business with China, and in the next breath showers ‘great leader’ Xi Jinping with praise
  • Instead of a Jekyll and Hyde act on China trade, the US president should just go all out, in any one direction

Robert Delaney

A strong US dollar worries Trump, but it’s no use blaming the Fed or China (South China Morning Post)

  • It is Donald Trump’s own policies that have helped to create the right conditions for continued greenback strength
  • With intervention a risky idea, unless those policies change, there is little to be gained from the blame game

Neal Kimberley

Tiananmen’s lesson: if Hong Kong’s protesters want a fight, Beijing will certainly give it to them (South China Morning Post)

  • The leaders of China’s Communist Party have learned from both Tiananmen and the fall of the Soviet Union not to give in
  • The mainland Chinese public also appears to have little sympathy for Hongkongers, which will free Beijing’s hand to act decisively

Josef Gregory Mahoney

Amid protest violence and dire warnings for Hong Kong’s economy, mainland property investors provide some hope (South China Morning Post)

  • Behind the – deservedly – gloomy headlines about the economy, mainlanders remain bullish on Hong Kong. This is especially true of office property around Central, and suggests the city is still crucial to China’s plans

Nicholas Spiro