FirstFT: China’s ‘constructive’ participation at Jeddah talks boosts Ukraine allies

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Good morning. China has signalled that it’s keen to attend additional worldwide talks on resolving the battle in Ukraine, in keeping with European officers who hailed its “constructive” participation in a Saudi Arabian discussion board that excluded Moscow.

The weekend talks in Jeddah, which have been attended by dozens of nations and targeted on a 10-point peace plan proposed by Kyiv, have been anticipated to conclude on Sunday with out concrete developments. However the presence of Beijing, which weeks earlier declined to attend comparable talks in Copenhagen, was seen as a coup for Kyiv and have become the main focus of the occasion amongst contributors.

China unveiled a “no limits” partnership with Russia earlier than Moscow’s February 2022 full-scale invasion of its neighbour — which Beijing has not condemned — and its launch of a peace plan earlier this yr had overlapped with the Kremlin’s speaking factors.

However on the discussion board, China “appeared constructive” and “eager to indicate that [it] shouldn’t be Russia”, mentioned one European diplomat. The “mere presence of China exhibits Russia is increasingly more remoted”, the particular person mentioned, including that China had indicated it might attend the subsequent such assembly. Learn the total story.

  • Associated: Europe’s largest firms have suffered not less than €100bn in direct losses from their operations in Russia since President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine final yr, in keeping with evaluation by the FT.

  • The Massive Learn: Kyiv’s need for EU membership has raised profound questions concerning the bloc’s capability to simply accept new members — and the way forward for the European undertaking.

Right here’s what else I’m protecting tabs on in the present day:

  • Financial knowledge: Germany publishes June industrial manufacturing figures, and the Halifax Home Worth Index is due within the UK.

  • Pakistan: Over the weekend, standard opposition chief Imran Khan was taken into custody following an Islamabad excessive courtroom’s choice to condemn him to a few years in jail on corruption fees. In the meantime, Pakistani officers authorized a plan to redraw the nation’s electoral boundaries, in all probability delaying this yr’s election by a number of months and additional fuelling political tensions.

  • Girls’s World Cup: The match is up for grabs, with back-to-back defending champion US now eradicated. England and Nigeria face off in the present day, adopted by host nation Australia vs Denmark.

5 extra prime tales

1. US authorities scientists have achieved internet power acquire in a fusion response for the second time, a outcome that’s set to gasoline optimism that progress is being made in the direction of the dream of limitless, zero-carbon energy. Researchers at a federal laboratory in California repeated the fusion ignition breakthrough in an experiment that produced the next power output than final yr’s landmark take a look at. Learn extra concerning the achievement.

2. The Philippines and the US have accused China of illegally focusing on two Philippine provide ships within the South China Sea with water cannon, in an additional escalation of Beijing’s stress marketing campaign round a Philippine-occupied shoal within the disputed waters. Right here’s extra on the stand-off on the Second Thomas Shoal sandbank.

3. Rising gasoline costs are triggering alarm in Washington simply as President Joe Biden steps up his bid for re-election by touting decrease inflation and the energy of the US economic system. “The White Home is in full-blown panic mode,” mentioned Bob McNally, head of Washington-based consultancy Rapidan Power Group. Learn extra on the petrol worth surge.

  • Extra US information: Donald Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election have been merely “aspirational” requests and guarded “free speech”, one in all his attorneys mentioned on Sunday.

4. An influential South Korean legislator has strongly criticised Washington’s interventions within the international semiconductor business, warning that different nations “may type an alliance towards the US” if it continued with its “America First” and anti-China insurance policies. Yang Hyang-ja’s feedback have been an indication of the disquiet in Seoul over US efforts to corral Asian allies into its financial safety agenda. Learn the total interview.

5. Italy is permitting the unnamed proprietor of an impounded $700mn superyacht linked to Vladimir Putin to pay not only for its workers and upkeep, but additionally for it to be refitted. The 140 metre-long Scheherazade is being refurbished by the Milan-listed Italian Sea Group, which confirmed {that a} “refit” of the ship had continued after the asset was frozen by authorities. Learn the total story.

Information in-depth

© Andrea Verdelli/Bloomberg

Chinese language authorities are placing stress on outstanding native economists to keep away from discussing adverse traits comparable to deflation, as considerations mount about Beijing’s means to spice up its flagging financial restoration. Seven well-regarded economists advised the FT that their employers had advised them some subjects have been off-limits for public dialogue. Right here’s what they mentioned in personal.

We’re additionally studying . . . 

  • Cyber crime: Russian-speaking hackers maintain international companies to ransom and appear to behave with impunity — however behind them lies a tangled geopolitical internet.

  • Devaluing the rupee: Indian elites bemoan each infinitesimal decline within the rupee’s worth as a nationwide humiliation, to the detriment of the nation.

  • Defending Japan’s aged: Categorising over-65s as incompetent as a way to cease ATM fraud is a recipe for catastrophe, writes Leo Lewis.

Chart of the day

Asian power firms are flocking to London in response to the surge in demand in Europe for liquefied pure gasoline after Russia slashed the area’s gasoline provides. Japanese, South Korean and Chinese language firms are actually eyeing the UK capital due to its place as a number one gasoline buying and selling hub.

Take a break from the information

Speaking Heads frontman David Byrne is again within the highlight with a disco musical about Imelda Marcos, the previous first woman of the Philippines. How did he give you that?

And take heed to Byrne speak about how he makes inventive decisions on the FT Weekend podcast.

David Byrne
© Jack Davison

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