Geopolitics: The Final Frontier

August 25, 2022 | Nic Solecki, CBDA, Associate Research Analyst

Map of the Asia-Pacific region with several current geopolitical events highlighted. Map subtitle: Geopolitical events across the Asia-Pacific region have global implications for investors. Map visual description: Background of graphic is light grey. Countries are solid white and outlined in grey. Map fills the left part of the rectangle, with southernmost countries cut off at bottom. Right part of graphic holds numbered legend in colors corresponding to highlighted regions and markers on the map. Map legend and description: 1 on map is dotted line in two vertical arcs, highlighting 1st Island Chain. 2 on map is shaded light green oval in the South China Sea. Within shaded area, a dark green circle marker marks the Artificial Spratly Islands and a triangle marks the Expanded Paracel Islands. 3 on the map is Taiwan and Taiwan Straight; the country is solid blue and Straight is marked with square-dotted line. 4 on map is shaded light green oval in the East China Sea, with a dark triangle marking Sino-Japanese Senkaku Islands Dispute. 5 is a purple triangle marker on Hong Kong & Shenzhen. 6 is a slate triangle marker on Shanghai. 7 is a shaded orange oval over the Xinjiang Province in China for the Uyghur Humanitarian Crisis. 8 is two separate shaded light blue rectangles over the Sino-Indian Border Disputes. 9 is the country of Myanmar in light purple for the Myanmar Civil War. 10 is the country of Sri Lanka in dark teal for the Sri Lankan Exonomic Crisis. Sources: Council on Foreign Relations – Foreign Affairs; The FP Group – Foreign Policy; NPR; Reuters; Caixin Global; South China Morning Post. End description.

Geopolitical risk has shifted center stage as evolving international dynamics have driven asset allocators to reassess risk exposures and market opportunities. While the Russia-Ukraine conflict has dominated headlines, a number of recent events in the Asia-Pacific region have also led to heightened volatility, directly impacting global markets.

China-Taiwan: Tensions have escalated following House Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, with the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis now in its fourth week. Taiwan seems to be at the center of a series of ongoing territorial disputes within the first island chain. China’s growing influence and military footprint within the first island chain could create considerable headwinds for investors as trade relations and global supply chains are forced to adapt.

Xinjiang: The situation in Xinjiang continues to draw western criticism, with the U.S., Canada, U.K., and E.U. imposing sanctions on Chinese officials — further stressing diplomatic and economic relations in the wake of the recent Sino-American trade war.

China-India: At the same time, the Sino-Indian border disputes have been ongoing since May 2020, and violent flare-ups persist as one of the most apparent obstacles for Indian and Chinese markets and the BRICS alliance. Developments in Sino-Indian relations could be significant as an increase in trade between China and India would likely generate tailwinds for emerging markets.

Myanmar and Sri Lanka: The conflicts in Myanmar and Sri Lanka may also have broad implications for emerging markets. Myanmar’s internal conflict presents economic and humanitarian issues for neighboring states. China recently announced the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) Plus initiative. While improved stability and infrastructure could bolster global investment, parallels may be drawn to Sri Lanka, where economic conditions deteriorated due to unproductive and unsustainable sovereign debt — approximately 10% of which was Chinese-owned infrastructure loans. Facing default, Sri Lanka relinquished control of Hambantota International Port and 15,000 acres of adjacent land in a 99-year lease to China Merchants Port, a Chinese state-owned enterprise. On August 19th, a Chinese surveillance vessel docked in Sri Lanka reigniting western concerns that Chinese-owned emerging market debt could be leveraged to expand its military footprint.

Taken together, China’s relations with Taiwan, India, and Myanmar and the situation in Xinjiang are additional macro factors that allocators should understand and consider as they evaluate different investment opportunities and risks.

Print PDF > Geopolitics: The Final Frontier


The opinions expressed herein are those of Marquette Associates, Inc. (“Marquette”), and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to purchase or sell any product. Marquette reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Nic Solecki, CBDA
Associate Research Analyst

Get to Know Nic

Related Content

This chart description is for illustrative purposes only and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Please see full disclosures at end of PDF document in the web post. General description: Table describing categories and criteria of MSCI indices. Chart subtitle: Despite its rapid ascendancy in recent decades, China is categorized as an emerging country by MSCI due to the market classification framework utilized by the index provider. Chart source: Source: MSCI as of June 30, 2023. ATVR: Annualized Traded Value Ratio, which is a liquidity measure used to assess liquidity of securities in the MSCI Global Investable Market Indices. The ATVR corresponds to the Annualized Traded Value of a security relative to its Free Float‐Adjusted Market Capitalization. Chart description: First column is Criteria, second is Frontier, third is Emerging, and fourth is Developed. First row section is Economic Development, detailed with “Sustainability of economic development.” Frontier: No requirement. Emerging: No requirement. Developed: Country GNI per capita 25% above the World Bank high income threshold for 3 consecutive years. Second section is Size and Liability Requirements, with four sub-rows. First: Number of companies meeting the following Standard Index criteria: Frontier: 2 Emerging: 3. Developed: 5. Second: Company size (full market cap, USD): Frontier: $1,033M. Emerging: $2,066M. Developed: $4,133M. Third: Security size (float market cap, USD): Frontier: $73M. Emerging: $1,033M. Developed: $2,066M. Fourth: Security liquidity: Frontier: 2.5% ATVR. Emerging: 15% ATVR. Developed: 20% ATVR. Third section is Market Accessibility, with five sub-rows. First: Openness to foreign ownership: Frontier: At least some. Emerging: Significant. Developed: Very high. Second: Ease of capital inflows / outflows: Frontier: At least partial. Emerging: Significant. Developed: Very high. Third: Efficiency of operational framework: Frontier: Modest. Emerging: Good and tested. Developed: Very high. Fourth: Availability of investment instruments: Frontier: High. Emerging: High. Developed: Unrestricted. Fifth: Stability of the institutional framework: Frontier: Modest. Emerging: Modest. Developed: Very high. End chart description. See disclosures at end of document.


Is China Guilty of Category Fraud?

With movie awards season around the corner, some entertainment pundits may use the term “category fraud” to describe races in…

This chart description is for illustrative purposes only and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Please see full disclosures at end of PDF document in the web post. General description: Combination column and line chart comparing recent holiday spending by U.S. consumers. Chart subtitle: Spending is on track to reach record levels this holiday season, despite mounting economic pressures faced by American consumers. Chart source: Adobe Analytics and CNN Business as of October 31, 2023. Chart description: Left Y-axis is labeled “Spending” and ranges from $0B to $250B. Right Y-axis is labeled “YoY Growth” and ranges from 0% to 50%. X-axis labels each column: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 (Projected). Holiday Spending by U.S. Consumers is plotted in dark teal columns. Holiday Spending Growth is plotted with light purple line and markers. 2019 saw $143B in spending and 13.1% YoY growth; 2020 $188B, 32.1%; 2021 $205B, 8.7%; 2022 $212B, 3.5%, and 2023 is projected at $222B and 4.8%. End chart description. See disclosures at end of document.


‘Tis the Season to Spend!

The holiday spending frenzy is well underway as some of the biggest shopping days of the year, including Black Friday…


The Taming of the VIX

October proved tumultuous for investors as all major U.S. equity indices were negative and the CBOE VIX Index, which serves…

This chart description is for illustrative purposes only and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Please see full disclosures at end of PDF document in the web post. General description: Combination stacked column and line chart comparing unrealized gains/losses with effective federal funds rate. Chart subtitle: Unrealized losses across depository institutions have increased in recent quarters thanks to higher interest rates. Chart source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis as of June 30, 2023. Chart description: Left Y-axis is labeled “Unrealized Gains/Losses” and ranges from -$800B to +$800B, corresponding to stacked columns. Right Y-axis is labeled “Rate” and ranges from -6% to +6%, corresponding to line. X-axis ranges from 1Q08 to 2Q23; labels are at 3-quarter increments to fit so last label is for 1Q23. Available-For-Sale Securities are plotted in dark green base of stacked columns; Held-To-Maturity Securities are plotted in lighter green as second half of column. Effect Federal Funds Rate line is plotted in light blue. Unrealized losses are at significant levels for chart losses; since the fed funds rate has increased since 1Q22, losses have totaled over $300B. Most recent datapoints, as of 2Q23 are as follows: Available-For-Sale Securities at -$248.9B, Held-To-Maturity Securities at -$309.6B, and Effective Federal Funds Rate at 5.3%. Please contact us for the full dataset. End chart description. See disclosures at end of document.


Realizing the Impact of Unrealized Losses

Earlier this year, the regional banking crisis and eventual collapses of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, First Republic Bank, and…

This chart description is for illustrative purposes only and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Please see full disclosures at end of PDF document in the web post. General description: Three-line chart showing cumulative return for various U.S. equity indices. Chart subtitle: Domestic stock indices enter correction territory after recent slide. Chart source: Bloomberg as of October 31, 2023. Chart description: Y-axis is labeled “Cumulative Return” and ranges from -15% to +10%. X-axis is labeled in monthly increments, from Jun-23 to Oct-23. Data ranges 6/30/23 through 10/31/23. S&P 500 Index is plotted in orange line, Nasdaq-100 Index in light tan line, and Russell 2000 Index in dark purple line. Most recent data points, respectively, -5.31%, -4.84%, -11.61%. Please contact us for the full dataset. End chart description. See disclosures at end of document.


The Chart for Red October

U.S. equities declined for the third consecutive month in October amid an environment of higher yields and underwhelming earnings reports…


3Q 2023 Market Insights Video

This video is a recording of a live webinar held on October 26 by Marquette’s research team, featuring in-depth analysis…

More articles

Subscribe to Research Email Alerts

Research Email Alert Subscription

Research alerts keep you updated on our latest research publications. Simply enter your contact information, choose the research alerts you would like to receive and click Subscribe. Alerts will be sent as research is published.

We respect your privacy. We will never share or sell your information.

Thank You

We appreciate your interest in Marquette Associates.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact us directly and we will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.

Contact Us >