September 30, 2022

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Xi Jinping warned Joe Biden not to play with fire as Chinese and US presidents spoke for the first time since Beijing was outraged over a planned visit to Taiwan by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

In a statement posted to the Chinese Foreign Ministry website after the two leaders met on Thursday, Xi did not immediately mention Pelosi’s possible visit, but said his government would “resolutely protect China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.” “.

“Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US has a clear eye for this,” the Chinese president added.

Asked whether the US interpreted the comments as a threat, a senior government official said China has used the metaphor regularly when discussing Taiwan.

The Biden administration said the talks between the leaders were part of an effort to keep rising tensions between the two countries at bay. During the conversation, Biden and Xi instructed their teams to schedule a face-to-face meeting between them, a senior US government official said. In its own account of the call, the White House also avoided mentioning Pelosi’s possible visit.

However, it said Biden “underlined that United States policies have not changed and the United States strongly opposes unilateral attempts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. I hope you have a quiet weekend. See you next week. — Emily

1. China’s Central Bank Requests $148 Billion Real Estate Rescue Beijing is trying to mobilize up to Rmb 1 billion ($148 billion) in loans for millions of stalled real estate developments, in its most ambitious effort to revive the debt-ridden sector and prevent a backlash from home buyers.

2. US economy shrinks for second quarter in a row The US economy contracted for the second quarter in a row, meeting one of the common criteria for a technical recession and complicating the Federal Reserve’s efforts to stamp out rising inflation with a series of aggressive rate hikes.

Line chart of change in GDP, percent (year-on-year) showing US economy contracted for second consecutive quarter

3. Kim Jong Un Says Korean Peninsula Is On The Brink Of War The North Korean leader has accused the US and South Korea of ​​bringing the Korean peninsula to the “edge of war” as Seoul and Washington prepare for their first large-scale joint military exercises in four years. In comments reported Thursday, Kim threatened to “wipe out” South Korean forces with nuclear weapons in the event of a confrontation.

4. Rounding Up of US Tech Income In a busy week for tech earnings, Amazon stock rose 10 percent on Thursday after it reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and issued strong guidance for the current quarter. Apple’s revenues grew slightly thanks to iPhone sales and the services division, despite headwinds from supply chain shortages and plant closures in China. However, Intel reported a surprising drop in revenue.

5. Missfresh stops paying salaries because it’s out of money The Tiger Global-backed Chinese grocery delivery start-up, once valued at $3 billion, told hundreds of employees it was out of cash as a group of unpaid suppliers protested at its Beijing offices.

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The next few days

Japanese economic data The country’s monthly unemployment rate, June retail sales and preliminary June industrial production data are released today.

Eurostat GDP According to a Reuters poll, Eurostat’s first estimate of gross domestic product for the second quarter, released today, is expected to grow 0.1 percent from the previous quarter. That would be the weakest performance since a spate of coronavirus infections and restrictions dragged the bloc into a short recession in early 2021.

US-Japan EPCC meeting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will jointly host the first meeting of the US-Japan economic policy advisory committee in Washington on Friday.

New Cities Summit 2022 Global political, business and opinion leaders will gather in Singapore to discuss best practices for creating livable and sustainable cities. The event, organized by the new Cities Foundation, kicks off on Sunday.

What else do we read

The Cricket Match That Helped Fund Imran Khan’s Political Rise Despite laws banning foreign funding of politics in Pakistan, documents show a money trail from Oxfordshire through the UAE to Khan’s party treasury.
The funds are at the center of a years-long investigation by Pakistan’s Election Commission, an investigation that has become even more important as Khan plots a political comeback.

Imran Khan and Arif Naqvic

Imran Khan and Arif Naqvi © FT montage: Bloomberg/Reuters

Extreme heat is a wake-up call for infrastructure investors The heat wave in Europe made clear the shortcomings of the existing infrastructure in extreme weather. Trains ran slower. A runway at Luton Airport collapsed. Schools closed. In a warmer world, the infrastructure will have to adapt. All this creates opportunities for investors, Alice Ross writes.

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Musk saga hits Twitter’s advertising company Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal is leading an ever-increasing effort to keep the company running smoothly amid a legal battle to prevent Musk from pulling out of a $44 billion deal to take over Twitter. Company insiders, former executives and executives in the advertising industry say tensions between staff and management are increasing.

WFH debates should include what ‘home’ actually is From affordable housing in city centers to commuting, the question of where employees live is very important, writes Emma Jacobs. Employees’ decisions to move away from work during the pandemic are now causing tensions.

Enter the inner sanctuary of elite chess When eight chess grandmasters gathered in Madrid for an international summit earlier this month, they also played for the future of the game. Oliver Roeder takes us to the inner sanctuary of elite chess.

Food and drink

Asia harbors ideas that are still in the early stages of research, but could potentially be transformative in the coming decades by feeding more people with fewer resources. Innovations such as lab-grown meat and 3D-printed food are at the forefront of efforts to rethink how and what we can feed the region’s next billion people.

A nugget made from Eat Just's lab-grown chicken is served with a waffle at the JW Marriott Singapore.

A nugget made from Eat Just’s lab-grown chicken is served with a waffle at the JW Marriott Singapore. © Weixiang Lim

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