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Hello, and today we begin with Nancy Pelosi’s closely watched visit to Asia.
China has stepped up its threats in recent days over the House Speaker’s trip, which begins today in Singapore.
Her itinerary also includes stops in Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. But Pelosi’s office has not confirmed whether the Democratic politician will travel to Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing says is part of its sovereign territory.
The trip has already strained fragile US-China relations. Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Joe Biden last week in their first video call since March that the United States was “playing with fire” by not preventing such visits from American delegations.
In a post on Chinese social media on Saturday, Hu Xijin, an outspoken former state media editor, said it would be “OK [for the People’s Liberation Army] shoot down Pelosi’s plane” if it was escorted to Taiwan by American fighter jets.
The former head of a tabloid published by the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship media group said over the weekend that China should “punish” Pelosi if she did not cancel her planned visit to Taiwan.
The Chinese PLA also conducted live-fire drills in Pintang, a coastal area in southeast Fujian Province, about 125 km from Taiwan, on Saturday. State media also released footage of a Chinese destroyer firing its guns into the South China Sea, which the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier group is believed to have sailed through after visiting Singapore.
Do you think Nancy Pelosi should visit Taiwan? Email me at [email protected] or click reply to this email and let me know what you think and I may publish your response in a future edition of FirstFT. Here’s the rest of today’s news—Gordon.
Five other stories in the news
1. Grain exports leave Odessa A ship carrying corn has left the Black Sea port of Odessa after weeks of negotiations brokered by Turkey and the UN. The 26,000 tonne shipment is the first to leave Ukraine since February and is expected to arrive in Istanbul tomorrow.
2. HSBC pledges to restore dividend to pre-pandemic levels Europe’s biggest bank has vowed to restore its dividend to pre-coronavirus levels ‘as soon as possible’ as it fends off its biggest shareholder, who is pushing for the bank to split its Asian and non-Asian operations .
3. Alibaba will “strive” to maintain its New York listing The Chinese technology group said today it would “work” to keep the company listed in New York after the US Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday it would ban the company if it does not. did not provide access to certain audit files. The SEC statement triggered an 11% drop in New York-listed Alibaba shares. Shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong fell 3% today.
4. Emerging markets hit by record streak of drawdowns Foreign investors have withdrawn funds from emerging markets for five consecutive months in the longest streak of withdrawals on record, underscoring how recession fears and rising interest rates are rocking developing economies. Capital outflows risk exacerbating a growing financial crisis in developing economies.
5. The 12th President of the Philippines dies Fidel Ramos, president of the Philippines between 1992 and 1998, died yesterday at the age of 94. He will likely be remembered as a leader who brought stability and economic growth to the Southeast Asian nation after decades of stagnation and autocracy.
The day ahead
Market Outlook U.S. stocks are set to start August on a soft note after ending Friday with their biggest monthly gains since 2020. The S&P 500 index rose 9.1% in July, its biggest monthly gain since November 2020 Even better: It rose 12.3% last month, the most since April 2020.
Economic data Growth in the US manufacturing sector is expected to have slowed in July due to slowing demand. The Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index is expected to fall from 53 in June to 52 in July, according to a Refinitiv poll of economists.
Company income Mosaic, the fertilizer producer, is expected to report a year-on-year doubling of second-quarter profits to $5.6 billion, due to soaring prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Video game maker Activision Blizzard, social media group Pinterest and car rental company Avis also announced their results today.
Military maneuvers: Indonesia and the United States will participate in exercise Garuda Shield 2022 from Monday to August 14, joined this year by the Australian, Japanese and Singaporean armed forces. The exercise, involving around 2,000 US and Indonesian troops, is taking place at two training areas in East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo and off Batam Island in the Singapore Strait.
Voting begins to elect the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Ballots will be sent to more than 150,000 members of the UK Conservative Party from today to allow them to begin the process of selecting a new leader. On the ballot are former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. The winner will be announced on September 5 and will become the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
What else we read
Biden’s surprise victory will bring economic and political benefits Last week’s passage of the Chips and Science Act by Congress and the shock reversal of West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin breathed new life into White House industrial policy, writes Rana Foroohar. He also, she said, achieved something almost unheard of in Washington these days — a compromise.
A flurry of corporate exits chills Chicago’s business elite Last week, Google gave Chicago’s central business district a much needed boost. But the investment comes amid several high-profile exits that have tarnished the city’s reputation as it faces a rise in gun crime and disruption to work routines caused by Covid-19.
The silent crash of venture capital Investors of all stripes have burst into the clubby world of VC, lured by the potential of tech start-ups. But there are signs that the party is over. But unlike the stock market, there are no daily stock indices to diffuse the pain, and no individual stock prices for anxious tech workers to watch as their personal wealth evaporates.
Singapore steps up pace of executions Singapore’s stubborn commitment to capital punishment has shed light on the regressive policies of one of the world’s most liberal economies. The affluent city-state has attracted wealthy expats, but its treatment of foreigners convicted of trafficking even small amounts of drugs exposes a darker side to Singapore, critics say.
The nightmare of modern air travel Air travel is the only means of transport to have declined in the last 20 years, writes Pilita Clark. The trains go faster. Buses pollute less. Cars are smarter and electric. Flying may be cheaper and safer, but it’s considerably more gruesome than before.
Generation Z: how to recruit and retain them The old rules are gone as graduates expect a conversation rather than an interview and want jobs with a broader purpose. Jonathan Black, head of careers at Oxford University, reports on how employers need to change their recruitment practices.
Record numbers of fans packed Wembley to see England beat eight-time champions Germany in the final of yesterday’s Euro 2022 final. The Lionesses’ victory is the most significant for English football since the men’s side won in extra time against Germany in the 1966 World Cup final.
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