SNS: Asia Letter, Q1 2014


Volume 16, Issue 42
Week of December 1, 2013
In This Issue
Feature: Asia Letter, Q1 2014

  • Farewell to the Ministry of TEL: Japan Loses Its Grip on Semis
  • Lessons for Boeing and Mitsubishi: Building for Quality vs. Diplomacy
  • 400 Years of Roast Beef: East India, the First Mercantilist in China
  • George and Boris Do China
  • Rendezvous at Hinkley Point
  • Who Needs Friends?
  • About Scott Foster

Publisher’s Note: In this quarter’s report, Asia Editor and SNS Ambassador Scott Foster has found some delightful nuggets that reveal planet-scale stories just under the ground. The departure of chip dominance from Japanese shores, a half-century after taking the tech from Intel and kicking it out of the business, is a mammoth event. More important to the Japanese themselves: losing this edge, in equipment and chips, has to be a blow to many future domestic business plans.

Of equally large scale is the now-obvious pivot of the UK into Chinese arms. While the US and most of the rest of the world are trying to deal with China’s new military threats around power grabs in the East China Sea, Britain’s top officials are kowtowing to China’s leaders, in return for a few checks. Scott tells us exactly what it cost to buy Britain’s love, at a time when the country seems to have run low on other plans for money. Hint: It wasn’t enough.

As Xi Jinping pointed out in an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week: “The world, as a whole, is not tranquil.” Mr. Xi is fully aware of his personal role in making it so.Tonight, at our annual Predictions Dinner, I’ll be discussing how China’s ramping up threats relates to its economic situation and national business model, and why no one – really, it seems, no one – has noticed that the new China defense zone threatens Taiwan most of all. Oh yeah, Taiwan —

I know our members will find Scott’s quarterly report as helpful as ever in understanding the increasingly fraught poli-techonomy that is Asia. – mra.

View more topics in the Economics & Finance channel.