Taiwan will have its presidential election in early 2020. Several politicians in the two leading parties have started their election campaign, while the KMT Mayor of Kaohsiung, Han Kuo-yu and non-partisan Mayor of Taipei, Ko Wen-je are also expected to run for the seat.
Many had expected some form of peace deal to be inked at the end of the second Trump-Kim summit, but were disappointed when both leaders left without having lunch, sparking off worries that the breakdown was less than amicable.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made deliberate attempts to reach out to China at the November 2014’s APEC Summit in Beijing. This was known as the ice-thawing mission from the Abe administration to the Xi administration.
The second Trump-Kim summit is likely the last window of opportunity for real progress in the North Korea denuclearization drama and also in establishing the basis for an incremental normalization of relations between Washington and Pyongyang.
Given the first Trump-Kim summit’s lack of details on the denuclearization process, special attention should be given to the possible compromise between two sides such as the reciprocal responses from the US if North Korea is willing to close its nuclear facilities.
The announcement of Vietnam’s capital city Hanoi as the site of the second Trump-Kim summit has truly marked the Southeast Asian nation’s coming of age. It shows that Vietnam has truly come into prominence on the global stage.
The international media has been playing up difficulties between Tokyo and Seoul over a number of issues. Seoul is canceling the foundation set up by both countries in 2016 that promotes reconciliation and healing over the comfort women issue.
Taiwan’s economy strongly relies on exporting intermediate goods to China for final assembly. In the milieu of the escalating China-US trade war, if the US extends its tariff retaliation to ICT products, this could weigh down Taiwan’s export performance.
Ahead of the second Trump-Kim summit, North Korea leader Kim Jong-un made a visit to Beijing between January 8-9, 2019. The North Koreans may be using this visit to pursue what Kim calls an “alternative path” in his New Year speech.