October 5, 2022

Good morning. This article is an on-site version of our FirstFT newsletter. Subscribe to our Asia, Europe/Africa or America edition to get it straight to your inbox every weekday morning

China has escalated its threats about Nancy Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan this week and has conducted naval exercises across the region just hours before the US House Speaker was expected to arrive in East Asia.

Pelosi’s office announced that a congressional delegation led by the chairman had left for Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan on Sunday. The statement did not confirm whether or when Pelosi would carry out its plans to also visit Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing says is an inalienable part of its sovereign territory.

The purpose of the trip, which has further strained fragile ties between China and the US, is to “reaffirm America’s strong and unwavering commitment to our allies and friends in the region,” Pelosi’s office said. The six-member delegation consists of the heads of the foreign affairs and armed forces committees of the House of Representatives.

Last week, in their first video call since March, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart Joe Biden that the US was “playing with fire” by not opposing such visits by US delegations, which the Chinese government considers “interference by outside forces”. to keep. ‘ in its internal affairs.

In a Chinese social media post on Saturday, Hu Xijin, an outspoken former state media editor, said, “It’s OK [for the People’s Liberation Army] to shoot down Pelosi’s plane” as it was being escorted by US fighter jets to Taiwan.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Do you have any feedback on today’s newsletter? Share it with me [email protected]. — Emily

1. West delays efforts to restrict Russian oil trade European governments have scaled back their efforts to curb the trade in Russian oil, a plan to postpone Moscow outside the vital Lloyd’s of London marine insurance market and allow some international shipments amid fears of rising crude prices and tighter global energy supplies.

2. Pakistani officials urge release of Imran Khan’s party donation investigation Pakistani politicians called on election authorities to release an investigation into former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party this weekend after the Financial Times reported that it had allegedly received banned donations from foreign citizens and businesses.

3. China’s ‘dim sum’ bond sales are on the rise International renminbi bond sales have exploded this year as fixed-income investors, who have not had decent returns at home, are taking advantage of new market access to buy higher-yielding offshore Chinese currency bonds. The volume of dim sum bonds – renminbi-denominated debt sold in Hong Kong – is up 145 percent from a year ago to Rmb 126.8 billion ($19.3 billion).

4. Japan’s unvaccinated youth drives record Covid infections The spread of the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant has led to record daily cases of Covid in Tokyo and cities across Japan, surpassing 230,000 for the first time last week. People under the age of 30 together accounted for about half of all new cases.


5. Jack Ma plans to give up control of Ant Group The Chinese billionaire plans to relinquish control of the financial technology group he co-founded, further delaying plans for an IPO. The suspension of Ant’s IPO in November 2020 sparked a wide-ranging regulatory crackdown on Chinese tech groups, including billions in fines for Ant’s sister company Alibaba.

See also  UK energy groups call for ‘immediate’ increase in £400 bills rebate scheme

the next day

American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore meets Pelosi The group has said it will hold a personal event this afternoon with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Chinese army day Today marks 95 years since the Chinese People’s Liberation Army was established. President Xi Jinping attended an anniversary reception held by the Ministry of National Defense yesterday

S&P Global Manufacturing PMI data Purchasing managers indices for the Eurozone, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US will be released shortly.

What else do we read

Singapore speeds up executions Singapore’s persistent commitment to the death penalty has highlighted regressive policies in one of the world’s most liberal economies, critics say. The prosperous city-state has attracted wealthy expatriates, but the treatment of foreigners convicted of smuggling even small amounts of drugs exposes a darker side of Singapore, activists say.

Execution Number Column Chart Showing Singapore Speeding Up Executions After Two Years Delay

The Olympic pain barrier beckons again for Japan The city of Sapporo wants to host the 2030 Winter Games, despite the hard lessons of last year’s sports festival. Local officials claim they have solid public support, but they have neatly avoided the kind of vote that could risk finding a majority against hosting the Games, writes Leo Lewis.

The nightmare that is today’s air travel Air travel is the only form of transportation that has declined in the past 20 years, Pilita Clark writes. Trains go faster now. Buses pollute less. Cars are smarter and electric. This also applies to bicycles, ferries and trucks. Flying, on the other hand, is considerably more terrible than it used to be.

See also  Mayor gets death threats ‘from Extinction Rebellion supporters’ after council votes to KILL geese

‘It’s chaos out there now’ Last week, the low-profile Kuwait Investment Authority was thrust into the limelight after it fired the head of its London investment arm. FT reporters step inside one of the most powerful and respected sovereign wealth funds torn apart by internal conflict.

Disney after ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Since its inception, the entertainment giant has focused on the traditional nuclear family, but over the past 30 years it has also become a mecca for LGBT+ people. Disney is facing arguably the worst publicity crisis in its history due to executives’ botched response to a Florida bill that would prevent discussions about sexual orientation or gender identity in schools.

Gardens

As the threat of an insect apocalypse looms, a new wave of apps and AI wizardry is helping gardeners to encourage bees, butterflies and more. Check out these high-tech ways to welcome insects into your garden.

Harvard version of a RoboBee being developed to pollinate plants © National Science Foundation

Thanks for reading and remember you can add FirstFT to myFT. You can also choose to receive a FirstFT push notification in the app every morning. Send your recommendations and feedback to [email protected] Sign Up here.

Disturbed times — Documenting the changes in business and the economy between Covid and conflict. Sign Up here

The work — Discover the big ideas shaping today’s workplaces with a weekly newsletter from work and career editor Isabel Berwick. Sign Up here