FirstFT: China ratchets up military drills around Taiwan
Good morning. China yesterday announced another round of military maneuvers around Taiwan in response to the visit of a US congressional delegation, a move that is boosting Beijing’s efforts to isolate the island nation.
The announcement came after Democratic Senator Ed Markey and four members of the U.S. House of Representatives from both sides of the aisle landed in Taiwan on Sunday night and met President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday morning.
The Chinese Defense Ministry said the visit was a flagrant violation of previous agreements and China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“[It] sends the wrong message to separatist forces of ‘Taiwan independence’ and shows the true face of the US as a disruptor and destroyer of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” the ministry said.
Beijing’s fierce response to the latest US delegation is raising concerns in Taiwan and elsewhere that Chinese leaders are trying to impose a new status quo, discouraging foreign politicians and officials from engaging with the island’s government.
The new “joint patrols and exercises for multiple services of the People’s Liberation Army” come just five days after it completed the week-long exercises following the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. China said last week that those exercises had succeeded in “destroying” the median line in the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial buffer zone, and that the PLA would patrol the island regularly from now on.
Since then, PLA planes and warships have conducted daily maneuvers around Taiwan in numbers far greater than before Pelosi’s visit and in areas near Taiwan where they were infrequent before the current crisis.
According to Taiwan’s defense ministry, there were 96 Chinese military aircraft operating around the island between Thursday and Sunday — after Beijing said the exercises were over but it would keep a close eye on Taiwan and the US and conduct frequent patrols. in the area.
Happy Tuesday and thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. —Ethan
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the next day
Economic data The minutes of the August policy meeting of the Reserve Bank of Australia will be released. The UK releases preliminary productivity estimates for the second quarter as the country’s productivity decline comes under scrutiny. The US will release industrial production figures.
Apologies for misnaming the Japanese Prime Minister in yesterday’s day-ahead. He is, of course, Fumio Kishida, not Yoshihide Suga.
What else do we read
At age 75, India is finally ready to join the global party The country is on track to surpass the UK, Germany and Japan to become the third largest economy by 2032. His entrepreneurial spirit and an increasingly efficient welfare state could give India an edge in a slowing world, writes Ruchir Sharma.
Why the Fed may already be ‘neutral’ on monetary policy Fed Chairman Jay Powell has been dragged through his critics for claiming Federal Funds rates were now “neutral” during his July 27 press conference. But there’s one conceivable way Powell could be right, Edward Yardeni says.
Arctic warming four times faster than the rest of the planet: study Scientists have long known that the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the planet, but have not agreed on a rate. The long-term warming effect and the decline in sea ice are considered two important indicators of climate change.
Crypto Presents Serious Challenges to Regulators Even if the crypto industry craves the legitimacy that regulation provides, it will also try to minimize oversight, Eswar Prasad says. To guard against that, regulators need to answer a few basic questions.
Business book of the year The annual price of the FT has been reduced to 15 titles. While topics range from interest rates to technology, the common theme that emerges is the many challenges facing the global economy.
Work & leisure
August is the traditional month to make yourself scarce at the office. Why are so many people still working in August, Pilita Clark asks:
At first I thought I was the only one with an unexpectedly active office. But others in town have the same problem. A friend who had hoped for a quiet, productive August crushed by office rush blames the rise of hybrid work.
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