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good morning. Today we begin with rising tensions between China and the United States regarding the planned trip by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.
The 82-year-old Democrat is expected to land in Taipei tonight and before her arrival, Chinese fighter jets escalated their operations near the line dividing the Taiwan Strait.
Military units in the People’s Liberation Army’s Southern Theater Command, which is responsible for the South China Sea and some tasks related to Taiwan, are on high alert, according to military officials in two neighboring countries.
China also announced another series of war games in the South China Sea that are scheduled to continue from this morning until Saturday evening, after various exercises last week.
Beijing issued a strong warning to Washington ahead of Pelosi’s visit to Asia that a stopover in Taiwan, which China considers a sovereign region, could provoke a military response.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urged China yesterday to act responsibly and “not engage in any escalation” if the visit continues.
The US military is preparing to protect Pelosi, who is flying on a US Air Force plane.
The escalation of tension sent stock markets across the region lower today. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 3.2 percent while China’s CSI 300 Index of shares listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell by 2.8 percent.
Pelosi, who has long been critical of China, especially over human rights abuses, is expected to meet Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen tomorrow. She will be the largest US politician to visit Taiwan since then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich went in 1997.
instant vision: Beijing could have dismissed Pelosi as the lame House Speaker and ally of an unpopular president in a poor business. Instead, the Chinese president’s administration has given the visit more importance than it deserves, writes Tom Mitchell.
Thanks for all your responses to my question yesterday. I’ll show excerpts from some of them in tomorrow’s edition of FirstFT Americas. In the meantime, here’s the rest of the day’s news – Gordon.
Five more stories in the news
1. Exclusive: Head over to Instagram to move to London Adam Mosseri’s move to the British capital signals a strategic shift for the social networking app that is fighting a fierce battle with viral video platform TikTok to attract and retain younger audiences. Mosseri, who developed the Facebook News Feed, will focus on expanding an Instagram product team dedicated to retaining the influencer community.
2. The United States says it killed the al-Qaeda leader US intelligence officials say Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike over the weekend in Afghanistan. President Joe Biden authorized the operation to target Osama bin Laden at a safe house in Kabul in the first known counterterrorism operation in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban nearly a year ago.
3. Ukraine warns that it will take ‘months’ for grain exports to reach pre-war levels Ukraine’s infrastructure minister has warned that it will take months before grain exports from Odessa and nearby ports reach pre-war levels and ease the global food crisis despite the easing of Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea.
4. BP reports highest quarterly profit in 14 years BP has become the latest oil giant to benefit from the turmoil in commodity markets following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The UK-based group reported a threefold increase in profits compared to the same period last year. ExxonMobil and Chevron last week reported record earnings, while Shell broke its earnings record for the second consecutive quarter.
5. The Securities and Exchange Commission Charges 11 in a “Massive” Crypto Ponzi Scheme The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Forsage’s operators, as the plan was known, of raising $300 million as of January 2020 through an unregistered securities offering. The fee comes just weeks after the regulator accused a former employee of crypto exchange Coinbase of insider trading related to coin listings.
Company profits Uber is reporting earnings today with higher fuel prices and higher labor costs. Investors will be interested to see if the rosy growth forecast for the passenger carrier presented three months ago still holds. Coffee chain Starbucks, industrial pioneer Caterpillar, airline JetBlue and private equity firm KKR are among others to announce this morning. After market close, PayPal, Airbnb and Match Group report.
Fedspeak: Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will host a breakfast talk to discuss the US economy and monetary policy with members of the media this morning. Louis Federal Reserve Chairman Charles Bullard will speak to New York University’s money market to discuss monetary policy, recent economic trends and the future outlook for the US economy.
Kansas Voting for Abortion The first vote on abortion access since the Supreme Court stripped federal protection for the procedure is taking place in Kansas today. Democrats and Republicans in Kansas are also choosing their candidates for congressional elections in November. There are also primaries in Missouri, Michigan, Arizona, and Washington.
What else are we reading
A crisis looms in the dispute between China and the United States over delistings Alibaba is one of about 200 companies to be delisted from New York stock exchanges in 2024. The ban would end a two-decade bridge that ensured a steady flow of capital between the world’s two biggest superpowers. Escalating preparations for this market turmoil are a bill currently under consideration in Washington that would accelerate the one-year timeline.
A new media project semaphore takes shape as the economic background darkens When Justin Smith and Ben Smith, two of the most famous figures in the American press, announced in January that they were quitting their prestigious job to launch a new media project, the couple were met with curiosity and some skepticism. Seven months later, the outlines of their new project are beginning to emerge ahead of a planned launch in October.
England’s victory is a commercial achievement for women’s football When an event elicits a public response from the Queen, the Prime Minister and the Spice Girls, questions about its relevance are quickly dispelled. While the game’s main challenges remain – generating commercial income, attracting spectators and giving more women and girls the opportunity to play – there are reasons to be hopeful.
Madagascar famine is a wake-up call for the planet The United Nations described it as the world’s first famine caused by climate change. Some experts believe that it is the result of poverty and mismanagement. For people in southern Madagascar, unaware of the international uproar and desperate to survive, it is known as less – Hunger.
Ifeoma Ozoma: Tech workers should be silenced, nothing more After being discriminated against on the basis of gender and race, the former employee at Google, Facebook and Pinterest turned whistleblower is on a mission to end the abuse of non-disclosure agreements.
The first images of the new Saudi city of Neom were released last week. It is intended to house 9 million residents along a 170 km canal that cuts through the Tabuk desert. Architectural critic Edwin Heathcote writes, the parallels with a 1969 plan for a continuous city traversing the Arizona desert are irresistible.
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