FirstFT: US, Taiwan to hold trade talks amid Chinese tensions

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Hello. The United States and Taiwan yesterday agreed to start formal trade and investment talks amid growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over the self-governing island China claims as its own.

Discussions stem from a joint initiative announced in June and are expected to begin in early fall. They aim to deepen economic engagement in areas such as agriculture, digital trade and climate. The Biden administration said late Wednesday that the parties had reached “consensus on the negotiating mandate.”

The announcement came after weeks of acrimony between the United States and China following a trip to Taiwan earlier this month by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The visit infuriated Beijing. After Pelosi left, China fired missiles at Taipei, jamming warplanes and simulating an assault on the island. China’s ambassador to the United States accused Washington of aggravating the current crisis in Taiwan. “Some Americans don’t recognize and correct their mistakes,” Qin Gang said at a press briefing on Tuesday. “The basic fact is that the United States has taken the first step to provoke China on the Taiwan issue. This openly undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. »

New efforts by China to further isolate the island nation were sparked this week by the visit of a second delegation of US lawmakers to Taiwan. The fallout has forced multinational companies to draw up contingency plans in the event of a US-China military conflict.

In case you missed it, FT reporters collect thoughts on US student loan debt and its impact on Americans via a short survey. Check it out if you have a spare moment, and your experience might be featured in an upcoming story. Thank you and have a nice day — Georgina

1. Liz Cheney’s fight against Trump continues Cheney plans to launch a political movement – likely to be called “The Great Task” – whose main goal will be to prevent Trump from being re-elected, as he remains the Republican Party’s favorite to become president.

2. Fed minutes signal restrictive rates must stay Federal Reserve officials discussed the need to keep interest rates at levels that constrain the U.S. economy “for some time” to contain the highest inflation in about 40 years, the lawsuit alleges. minutes from their July meeting, when US central bankers implemented a second consecutive 0.75 percentage point rate hike.

3. Quantitative funds increase bets on US stocks Quantitative funds, trying to follow the momentum of market trends, are increasing bets on US equities, fueling a rally that has added $7 billion in value since June, even as data points to a slowdown in the most largest economy in the world.

4. China’s largest real estate group warns of falling profits Profits at Chinese property developer Country Garden fell 70% in the first half of the year as the country’s largest property group by sales was dragged into a slump that raged in the heavily indebted sector.

5. Drinking advice from Japan: please drink more The “Sake Viva!” backed by the unorthodox government! The competition invites people between the ages of 20 and 39 to help revitalize an industry affected by demographic shifts, the pandemic and the long-term decline in consumption that has reduced tax revenue.

The day ahead

The rocket arrives on the launch pad NASA’s Space Launch System arrives at Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center ahead of the Artemis 1 lunar mission. The 98-meter-tall rocket is scheduled to embark on its first mission to space on August 29.

Serbia and Kosovo meet Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti will hold joint talks in Brussels with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on a roadmap to resolve tensions under threat of conflict .

  • Opinion: The EU and NATO have a crucial role to play in preventing Russia from exploiting regional rivalries, writes Misha Glenny, rector of the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna.

Economic data The EU and Canada release July inflation figures, while initial jobless claims in the US are expected to have risen slightly last week. (FT, WSJ)

Existing home sales in the United States are expected to fall for the sixth consecutive month to 4.89 million in July, from 5.12 million the previous month, amid high mortgage rates and record prices, leading to a cooling of the buyer demand.

Esther George, chair of the Kansas City branch of the Federal Reserve, is expected to comment on the economic outlook today. Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Fed, is expected to take part in a question-and-answer session at a luncheon of the Gold Twin Cities chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization.

business profits Investors will be watching for signs of the state of consumer spending as several retailers report earnings this morning. Among them are Estée Lauder and Tapestry, the luxury fashion company known for brands such as Coach, Kate Spade New York and Stuart Weitzman. BJ’s Wholesale Club and Kohl’s also show up before the bell.

What else we read

Brazil’s other deforestation: has the savannah farming boom gone too far? Deep in the country’s interior, the conversion of huge tracts of a region known as the Cerrado into pasture and arable land in recent decades has helped transform Brazil into an agrarian powerhouse. But intensive agriculture in the region threatens its wildlife and its vital role as a carbon dioxide ‘sink’.

Village wedding caught in Taliban battle for Kabul In August 2021, residents of Dost Kol – a hamlet in the hills an hour west of Kabul – prepared to celebrate the wedding of Mohammad Ullah with a bride from a nearby village. But the next 24 hours were tragic.

Central bank independence is on the decline In the United States, the United Kingdom and Turkey, politics are taking precedence over central banks, writes editor Chris Giles.

The Magnificent Rusty Giant of France The coat of paint that the Eiffel Tower will receive for the 2024 Olympics can hardly hide that it is rusty. Paris bureau chief Victor Mallet assesses the wear and tear on France’s preeminent symbol – and explains why Parisians could be waiting a decade for proper repairs.

Beware of patronizing the marginalized How would you feel if someone who knew you very little told you that because of your unchanging physical characteristics, you had to be oppressed? Treating people as victims robs them of agency, writes Jemima Kelly.

food drink

Ravinder Bhogal presents a menu with Sicilian flavors, from caponata to sardine pasta and apricot ricotta cake, all borrowed from a baptism she fell in love with this summer.

Caponata, pasta with sardines and ricotta and apricot cake

Gastronomically, Sicily is the meeting place of at least two great traditions, Arabic and southern Italian © Aaron Graubar

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