Welcome to Your Week in Asia.
Taiwan will be conducting weeklong military drills at a time when the world is more worried than ever about a Chinese invasion of the democratic island.
Elsewhere, leaders from both the U.S. and France are traveling to the Pacific Island region, which has become a new battleground for influence between Beijing and Washington.
The Bank of Japan is set to review its monetary policy later in the week.
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Philippine State of the Nation Address
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his second State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives. Marcos, who entered office a year ago, is expected to tout his legislative achievements, including the upcoming Maharlika Investment Fund, the country’s first sovereign wealth fund. He is also expected to pitch to lawmakers his next legislative priorities, including bills to reform the military pension scheme and encourage investment in public-private partnership projects.
Taiwan starts military drills
Taiwan conducts its annual Han Kuang live-fire military drills from Monday through Friday. The exercises will test the Taiwanese military’s ability to preserve its forces during an invasion and to counter potential Chinese blockade attempts, according to the democratically ruled island’s Ministry of Defense. Civilian airports will participate, with Taoyuan International Airport used for the first time in an anti-takeover drill.
The annual Wanan air defense drill is also planned to be held in various Taiwanese cities from Monday to Thursday, with civilians required to shelter in place during exercises in their areas.
Western leaders visit Oceania
French President Emmanuel Macron spends the week visiting New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, while U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Tonga, New Zealand and Australia.
Also making a trip to the region this week is U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who is going to Papua New Guinea and Australia. The visit to Papua New Guinea is the first by an American defense secretary and there will be discussion on a plan to grant the U.S. military access to six sites in the country for 15 years. In Australia, the secretary joins Blinken to meet with their respective counterparts for an Australian-U.S. ministerial consultation.
Monetary policy: Indonesia
First Japan-France fighter jet drill
Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force and the French Air Force will conduct their first bilateral fighter jet training exercise, lasting for three days from Wednesday. The drill will be based in Nyutabaru Air Base in Miyazaki prefecture in southern Japan, but display flights are also scheduled for Saitama prefecture, just north of Tokyo. Two French Rafale fighter aircraft will participate, while the JASDF will use three F-15s and two F-2s. Since last year, the JASDF has been involved in drills with other countries, with fighter jets from Germany and India visiting Japan for joint training.
Earnings: Nissan Motor
70th anniversary of Korean Armistice Agreement
South Korea marks the 70th anniversary of the armistice agreement that ended combat in the Korean War, at a time when both Koreas are stepping up shows of strength. Pyongyang has in recent months carried out a slew of weapons tests, while South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has responded with displays of power, including the docking of a U.S. ballistic-missile submarine in the city of Busan.
Third time lucky for Thai PM vote?
Thailand’s parliament will again try to elect a prime minister, this time with a candidate from the Pheu Thai party as the nominee from an eight-party coalition. The Move Forward Party gave way to No. 2 partner Pheu Thai last week after leader Pita Limjaroenrat’s bid for the premiership was twice blocked by the Senate and conservative members of the lower house.
Earnings: Singapore Airlines, United Overseas Bank, Keppel
BOJ policy meeting
The Bank of Japan announces its latest monetary policy decision after a two-day meeting. All eyes are on whether Gov. Kazuo Ueda will continue the central bank’s long-standing ultraloose policy. While it is unlikely the BOJ will shift to radical monetary tightening, there is speculation it may adjust its yield curve control policy which caps long-term interest rates at around zero. That comes as the nationwide core consumer price index has remained in the 3% range, higher than the BOJ’s 2% inflation target.
Hong Kong court rules on injunction banning protest song
Hong Kong’s High Court decides on an injunction to outlaw a song associated with the 2019 democracy protests. The Hong Kong government applied for the injunction to ban anyone from “broadcasting, performing, printing, publishing, selling, offering for sale, distributing, disseminating, displaying or reproducing” the song, which has been wrongly played as Hong Kong’s national anthem at several international sporting events.
Source : Asia Nikkei