FirstFT: US launches security pact to challenge China

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The United States has launched a new trilateral security partnership with the United Kingdom and Australia that will allow Canberra to build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, an initiative that will strengthen the allies’ ability to counter China.

President Joe Biden announced the effort, which aims to strengthen alliances amid mounting tensions with Beijing over disputes ranging from the South China Sea to Taiwan, at a virtual event yesterday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.

Biden said the initiative was necessary to ensure countries have the best technology to “defend against rapidly evolving threats,” in rhetoric that appeared to be aimed at Beijing.

Morrison said it was a “partnership forever. . . between the oldest and most trusted friends ”. The pact, also known as AUSUK, “represents a substantial leap in capacity for the Royal Australian Navy,” the Australian government said. Learn more about how the deal will allow Australia to bring power to the Western Pacific.

The Chinese embassy in Washington denounced the decision. “They should get rid of their Cold War mentality and ideological prejudices,” said Liu Pengyu, embassy spokesperson.

But U.S. allies in the region have welcomed the new deal. Officials in Taipei, which is at the forefront of tensions between Washington and Beijing, said the alliance would help balance China’s growing military strength and assertiveness.

“The creation of AUKUS fills the most important gap in the security network in the entire Western Pacific,” said a Taiwanese official.

Taro Kono, former Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defense and leading candidate to succeed Yoshihide Suga as Prime Minister, said: “We are very pleased that the UK is once again looking to the South African region. Peaceful. “

As part of the pact, Australia will abandon a program to buy 12 conventional submarines from France that was signed in 2016. Instead, it will buy at least eight nuclear-powered submarines, which are faster, quieter and can operate over longer ranges.

France has reacted with fury to Canberra’s decision to cancel the $ 90 billion deal with Paris. “This decision is contrary to the letter and the spirit of the cooperation which prevailed between France and Australia”, declared Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Defense Florence Parly.

What are your thoughts? Do you think China poses a military threat in the Asia-Pacific region? Email me at [email protected] Thanks for reading and here’s the rest of today’s news – Gordon

Five other articles in the news

1. Goldman acquires specialist lender GreenSky The Wall Street investment bank has agreed to buy online loan provider GreenSky for $ 2.2 billion as it continues to strengthen its presence in consumer lending. This is Goldman’s second multibillion-dollar acquisition in less than a month and highlights CEO David Solomon’s intention to transform the investment bank into a more consumer-oriented financial institution.

2. Biden-backed drug pricing proposal hits a roadblock Joe Biden’s hopes for legislation that would allow the US government to negotiate lower prices for drugs for the elderly were shaken yesterday. Three moderate members of the presidential party on the House of Commons Energy and Trade Committee voted against the measure, defeating the bill and offering a significant victory for pharmaceutical companies.

3. Dalio warns regulators could ‘kill’ bitcoin Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, said regulators would shut down bitcoin if the cryptocurrency got too efficient and dismissed predictions from Cathie Wood of Ark Invest that its price would increase tenfold in five years. Do you agree with Wood’s prediction? Vote in our poll.

4. American envoy: Ghani’s escape derailed last-minute deal with the Taliban Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s decision to flee the country last month thwarted a last-minute deal with the Taliban to keep Kabul out of Islamist hands and negotiate a political transition, the US talks diplomat said with the Taliban.

5. Macau casino stocks lose $ 20 billion The Macau government yesterday opened a 45-day public consultation on revising its gambling law, wiping out more than $ 20 billion from the market value of listed gambling operators. The news impacted the actions of many American parents in the group, including MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands.

Coronavirus digest

  • Pfizer and Moderna said protection against their vaccines may weaken over time as the U.S. drug regulator prepares to consider whether to approve a booster program.

  • Los Angeles The county is set to expand its proof of Covid-19 vaccination requirements for indoor venues such as bars and nightclubs and outdoor “mega-events” such as concerts and sports matches.

  • from China the economic slowdown worsened in August as epidemics exposed continued weakness in consumer spending.

  • Vaccinated travelers will no longer need to take a Covid-19 test before entering England, ministers will announce later this week.

The day to come

Data Retail sales data for August is expected to be released and is expected to show a decline of 0.8 percent from July. The state’s initial jobless claims for the week ended September 11 are also expected to be released.

Corporate events Ford is expected to make an electric vehicle announcement. Yesterday the autonomous start-up Argo AI revealed plans for an autonomous vehicle delivery service in Miami, Austin and Washington DC, in partnership with Ford and Walmart. (Reuters)

Macron-Merkel dinner Elysée Palace French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet today to discuss EU and Afghanistan policy.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Annual Summit The foreign ministers of China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan will meet at the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe. Virtual attendees, discussing how to deal with the new Taliban leadership in Kabul, include Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. (Bloomberg)

What else do we read and listen to

Russian elections: persecutions and distribution of money The outcome of Sunday’s Duma elections may have been decided in advance: United Russia should retain its constitutional majority. But as soaring food prices and falling real incomes have driven approval rates to record levels, Vladimir Putin is working hard to crack down on dissent.

Vladimir Putin in a montage with protesters and a Russian calendar marking September 19

The unprecedented crackdown on dissent has underscored the extent to which the Kremlin views perceived foreign threats as the crucial obstacle to its continued survival © FT montage; AP, Getty Images

Rise in sports betting fuels demand for data custodians The legalization of US sports betting is driving a new demand for statistics on players, games, teams and performances. Two sports data companies have established themselves as custodians of this wealth of information: Sportradar Group and Genius Sports. For more information on sports affairs, subscribe to the dashboard email.

The crackdown on financial bloggers in China Beijing has launched a crackdown on financial blogging and social media, a move that risks exacerbating a chronic problem plaguing the world’s second-largest economy: a dearth of reliable data.

Is Canada on the verge of a major political turn? Canadians go to the polls on Monday. The snap elections will be a verdict on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Ahead of the vote, Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist, is joined by Darrell Bricker, author of several books on Canadian politics, to discuss the elections in this week’s Rachman Review podcast.

Call to Find the Fastest Growing U.S. Companies 2022 The FT, in partnership with Statista, seeks to identify the 500 companies in the Americas with the highest revenue growth between 2017 and 2020. To apply for a place in the third annual FT ranking of companies in North America, Central and from the south here and to explore current rankings go here.

To travel

Yasuto Kamoshita, co-founder of Japanese clothing brand United Arrows, shares his insider’s guide to Tokyo. “A lot of the best stores are a mishmash of different things, both classic and street, creating a scrambled style,” he writes.

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