good morning. This article is an on-site version of our FirstFT newsletter. Subscribe to our Asia, Europe/Africa or Americas edition to have it sent straight to your inbox every morning of the week.
China has stepped up its threats over a possible visit by Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan this week and conducted naval exercises across the region, just hours before the US House of Representatives speaker is due to arrive in East Asia.
Pelosi’s office announced that a congressional delegation headed by the Speaker of Parliament left Sunday for Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. The statement did not confirm whether or when Pelosi would pursue her plans to visit Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing claims as an integral part of its sovereign territory.
Pelosi’s office said the purpose of the trip, which further strained the fragile relations between China and the United States, was to “reaffirm America’s strong and unwavering commitment to our allies and friends in the region.” The delegation includes the six chairmen of the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees in the House of Representatives.
Last week, during 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 stopping such visits by US delegations, which the Chinese government considers “interference by external forces”. in its internal affairs.
In a Chinese social media post on Saturday, Hu Xijin, the outspoken former state media editor, said, “It’s okay [for the People’s Liberation Army] to shoot down Pelosi’s plane “if US fighter jets escorted it to Taiwan.
Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Do you have feedback on today’s newsletter? Share it with me on firstname.lastname@example.org. – Emily
Five more stories in the news
1. The West slows down efforts to restrict Russian oil trade European governments have backed away from efforts to curb trade in Russian oil, delaying a plan to shut Moscow out of the vital Lloyd’s of London marine insurance market and allow some international shipments amid fears of soaring crude prices and dwindling global energy supplies.
More war in Ukraine: President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged residents of the far eastern Donetsk region to leave the province as Russia continues its offensive to occupy the region.
2. Pakistani officials urge investigation into donations to Imran Khan’s party Pakistani politicians called on election authorities to release an investigation into former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party over the weekend after the Financial Times reported that he had received banned donations from citizens and foreign companies.
3. China’s ‘dipped’ bond sales soar International renminbi bond sales have surged this year as the country’s fixed-income investors, starved of good returns at home, take advantage of access to new markets to snap up high-yielding Chinese currency debt abroad. The volume of dim sum bond offerings – renminbi-denominated debt sold in Hong Kong – rose 145 percent from a year ago to 126.8 billion renminbi ($19.3 billion).
4. Unvaccinated youth in Japan drive record Covid infection The massive spread of the transmissible BA.5 Omicron sub-factor has led to a record number of daily cases of Covid in Tokyo and cities across Japan, exceeding 230,000 for the first time last week. People under the age of 30 together account for about half of all new cases.
5. Jack Ma plans to give up control of the ant group The Chinese billionaire plans to relinquish control of the fintech group he co-founded, delaying plans for an initial public offering. The suspension of Ant’s IPO in November 2020 triggered a massive regulatory crackdown on Chinese tech groups, including billions in fines on Ant’s sister company Alibaba.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore meets with Pelosi The group said it will hold an in-person event with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this afternoon.
Chinese Army Day Today marks the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Yesterday, President Xi Jinping attended an anniversary reception hosted by the Ministry of National Defense
S&P Global Manufacturing PMI data PMI numbers are due for the Eurozone, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
What else are we reading
Singapore speeds up executions Critics said Singapore’s strict adherence to the death penalty has highlighted the reactionary policies in one of the world’s most liberal economies. Activists said the wealthy city-state has attracted wealthy expats, but its treatment of foreigners convicted of trafficking even small amounts of narcotics reveals a darker side of Singapore.
Olympic pain barrier tempts Japan again The city of Sapporo wants to host the 2030 Winter Games despite hard lessons from last year’s sports festival. Local officials claim to have strong popular support, but have meticulously avoided the kind of vote that would risk creating a majority against hosting the Games, Leo Lewis wrote.
Today’s air travel nightmare Pelita Clark writes that air travel is the only form of transportation that has declined over the past twenty years. The trains are now going faster. Bus pollution is less. Cars are smarter and electric. So are bikes, ferries and trucks. On the other hand, flying has become more terrible than it used to be.
‘Chaos is there now’ Last week, the low-profile Kuwait Investment Authority was dragged into the spotlight following the dismissal of the head of its investment arm in London. Financial Times reporters get inside one of the most powerful and respected sovereign wealth funds riven by internal strife.
Disney after Don’t say Gay Since its founding, the entertainment giant has catered to the traditional nuclear family, but in the past 30 years it has also become a mecca for gay, bisexual and transgender people. Disney is dealing with possibly the worst publicity crisis in its history due to executives’ failed response to a Florida bill banning discussions of “sexual orientation or gender identity” in schools.
As the threat of an insect apocalypse approaches, a new wave of apps and the magic of artificial intelligence are helping gardeners encourage bees, butterflies, and more. Check out these high-tech ways to welcome insects into your garden.
Thank you for reading and remember that you can add FirstFT to myFT. You can also choose to receive a FirstFT push notification every morning on the app. Send your recommendations and feedback to email@example.com. Register here.
Recommended newsletters for you
Off times Documenting changes in business and the economy between COVID and conflict. Register here
work on it Discover the big ideas shaping workplaces today with a weekly newsletter from business and careers editor Isabel Berwick. Register here