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FirstFT: US and UK maintain high-level talks over China menace to Taiwan

The US has held top-level talks with the UK on how the 2 nations can co-operate extra carefully to scale back the probabilities of battle with China over Taiwan. It’s the first time the international locations have explored battle contingency plans.

Kurt Campbell, the White Home Indo-Pacific co-ordinator, and Laura Rosenberger, the highest Nationwide Safety Council China official, held a gathering on Taiwan with UK representatives in early March, based on folks accustomed to the scenario. It’s mentioned to have spanned every part from how the UK might do extra diplomatically with Taipei to what function the UK would play if the US ended up in a battle with China over Taiwan.

Individuals accustomed to the stepped-up engagement mentioned the US wished to spice up co-operation with European allies, such because the UK, to boost consciousness about what the administration regards as Beijing’s more and more assertive angle in the direction of Taiwan, which it considers a part of China.

One UK official mentioned the restricted assembly was the “highest-level” and “most significant” discussion between the countries on Taiwan up to now.

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1. Pelosi visits Ukraine and Poland Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US Home of Representatives, met President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv this weekend. Pelosi, who was main a congressional delegation, grew to become the highest-ranking US official to go to the Ukrainian capital since Russia launched its invasion in February, and launched an announcement saying “America stands firmly with Ukraine”. As we speak Pelosi met Polish president Andrzej Duda to debate continued assist for the beleaguered nation.

2. EU steps up motion on Russian oil sanctions Germany has referred to as for a phased-in ban on Russian oil imports to the EU, stepping up strain on Brussels to discover a deal between divided member states forward of a crunch week for the bloc’s coverage on Russian vitality. The EU is discussing its hardest sanctions but on Moscow this week, so Berlin’s willingness to hurry up its timetable will increase the chance of a full EU oil embargo.

3. Republicans heat to local weather change Recognising their unhealthy fame on local weather change, a gaggle of US House Republicans has shaped the Conservative Climate Caucus — however the group has work to do to alter climate-conscious voters’ perceptions about their celebration, which has resisted authorities motion on world warming and opposed limits on emissions.

4. ArcelorMittal celebrates inexperienced hydrogen milestone The world’s second-largest steelmaker examined using inexperienced hydrogen to scale back iron ore at certainly one of its industrial websites in Contrecoeur in Quebec, in what it claims is a milestone for the industry. The initiative marks one other step within the world effort to enhance the inexperienced credentials of an trade that accounts for 7 to 9 per cent of all direct fossil gas emissions.

5. Beijing teeters on fringe of Covid lockdown The coronavirus pandemic is creeping nearer to the halls of energy in Beijing as authorities rush to keep away from an uncontrolled Shanghai-style Omicron outbreak in China’s capital. Beijing is tightening coronavirus restrictions after reporting 41 instances yesterday. Officers within the metropolis of 22mn closed gyms and cinemas and raised Covid-19 testing necessities in an effort to keep away from the scenario in Shanghai, the place tens of thousands and thousands have been restricted to their residences.

The day forward

Financial knowledge S&P World releases buying managers’ indices for the eurozone, Italy, France, Germany and the US, the place April preliminary knowledge confirmed financial development slowing. The US additionally has building spending figures for March and the Institute for Provide Administration points its April manufacturing exercise index.

Company earnings Italian car maker Piaggio publishes first-quarter financials. “The income pattern doesn’t appear to elucidate why the share value is down,” Simply Wall Street famous final week.

What else we’re studying

How unhealthy can the worldwide stagflation shock of 2022 get? Solely final 12 months, many economists have been anticipating 2022 to be a interval of robust financial rebound, however quick ahead just a few months and stagflation — a painful mixture of excessive costs and low development — is on the playing cards. The prospect strikes worry into policymakers as a result of there are few financial instruments to deal with it and, based on Anatole Kaletsky, economist on the funding analysis firm Gavekal, it’s the US that faces “by far [the] greatest risk of dramatic inflation and wage-price spirals”.

Musk’s Twitter deal rewards risk-taking at Morgan Stanley When Twitter’s board agreed to promote the corporate to Elon Musk final week, one Wall Road financial institution was on the centre of the deal: Morgan Stanley. Its function within the $44bn bid caps a years-long effort to domesticate ties with the world’s richest particular person. However why did Morgan Stanley lengthen monetary firepower to Musk that goes beyond anything provided to other private clients?

  • If you’re fascinated with what’s occurring with Twitter, do be a part of us on Might 4 for our subscriber-only Elon Musk Twitter Takeover Webinar. Register here for our free digital briefing on the implications of the world’s richest man buying the social media platform he describes because the “bedrock of a functioning democracy”.

Carbon credit score demand creates growth time for brokers Demand for carbon credits has exploded as company patrons look to burnish their environmental credentials. Mark Carney, UN local weather envoy, informed the COP26 summit that offset schemes might end in “$150bn going to . . . the world’s rising and creating economies”. However the opaque and unregulated market has drawn accusations of resellers cashing in on the expense of environmental causes.

Traders face volatility as demand stalls amid provide disruptions Central banks belatedly recognise the issue with markets just isn’t certainly one of weak demand however, moderately, inadequate provide, argues Mohamed El-Erian. Wanting ahead, an much more sophisticated chance is taking form: that of stalling demand within the midst of persistent provide disruptions.

Enterprise can not brush off ESG as a mere PR problem ESG — environmental, social and governance — is all over the place, notes Stefan Stern. You can’t talk about a enterprise’s operations or prospects with out the initials ESG cropping up. Sceptical (and seasoned) observers of enterprise know to be on alert when one other Three Letter Acronym (TLA) achieves widespread reputation.

Do sign up for Moral Money, our award-winning e-newsletter on ESG, which our knowledgeable staff ship out 3 times per week.

The sound of silence

Pilita Clark explains why it’s greater than OK to be quiet in meetings.

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