The USS John S. McCain neared the contested Spratly Islands on Tuesday. Photo: US Navy via APThe US Navy sent a destroyer near the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday to “challenge restrictions on innocent passage imposed by China, Vietnam, and Taiwan”.The operation came after the United States military warned in a document last week that it would be “more assertive” against Beijing. The document set out objectives for the US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard for 2021.
China had been counting on its biggest chipmaker to help the country eventually reduce its reliance on the likes of Intel (INTC) and Samsung (SSNLF). The United States just put those ambitions in jeopardy. Washington announced Friday that it will require US exporters to apply for a license before they can sell to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC). The US government claims that the chipmaker can use its tech to help China modernize its armed forces. SMIC (SIUIF) says it has no relationship with the Chinese military. But in a statement on Sunday, the company acknowledged that while the restrictions are unlikely to hurt its short-term operations, its loftier goals are in doubt. The new US rules will have “a material adverse effect” on its ability to develop highly advanced chips, it said.
Welcome to our final newsletter of 2020. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and interest in our work over the year. We will return in early January and in the meantime wish you an enjoyable festive break and every success in 2021.
New white paper: Digital trade in the Asia-Pacific
Deborah Elms 22 December 2020
As we move into 2021, what are the key issues facing digital trade in Asia? The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted global trade and upended many longstanding business models. Firms are rapidly shifting to develop or expand digital capabilities to manage highly altered supply and demand pressures. Despite the growing importance of digital trade, the ability of governments to tackle a range of issues of relevance to managing the online environment still lags behind the speed of innovation for firms. Effective and efficient regulatory policies can support continuing economic growth in the digital economy. Given the overwhelming importance of small firms to every country in Asia, failure to create supportive policies will impede the region’s attempt to advance sustainable and inclusive development. This new paper from the Hinrich Foundation – the first in a series of six reports on digital trade in the Asia-Pacific authored by Dr Deborah Elms, Executive Director at the Asian Trade Centre – identifies eight issues that governments and firms across the region will need to tackle to reap the full benefits of the digital opportunity.
In this short podcast our Director of Research, Dr Andrew Staples, invites Dr Deborah Elms to provide an overview of paper and to highlight the importance of the RCEP agreement for digital trade in Asia.
INTERVIEW WITH RESEARCH FELLOW Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow, Alex Capri, discusses his latest paper with Dr Staples. Released last week, Techno-nationalism and corporate governance examines how the US-China tech cold war has politicized the business environment for multinationals and the implications for corporate governance. Techno-nationalism, he observes, now requires firms to evaluate or restructure their cross-border operations to reduce risks.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT While 2020 proved to be challenging for all of us, it was also a productive year for our research fellows. Please find below a selection of our most read articles and papers on the key issues impacting global trade in 2020 including the coronavirus pandemic, geopolitical tensions and the US-China trade war, the emergence of “techno-nationalism,” the US presidential election and the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).