FirstFT: US launches security pact to challenge China

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The US has launched a new trilateral security partnership with the UK and Australia that will allow Canberra to build a fleet of nuclear submarines, a move that will strengthen the allies’ ability to counter China.

President Joe Biden announced in a virtual event yesterday with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison efforts to strengthen alliances amid mounting tensions with Beijing over disputes from the South China Sea to Taiwan.

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

Morrison said it was “an everlasting partnership. . . between the oldest and most trustworthy friends ”. The pact, also known as AUSUK, “represents a significant leap in the capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy,” said the Australian government. Read more about how the agreement enables Australia to project electricity across the Western Pacific.

The Chinese embassy in Washington condemned the move. “They should shake off their Cold War mentality and ideological prejudices,” said embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu.

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

“The establishment of AUKUS closes the most important gap in the safety net of the entire Western Pacific,” said a Taiwanese official.

Taro Kono, former Japanese foreign and defense minister and leading candidate to succeed Yoshihide Suga as prime minister, said: “We are very pleased that Britain is turning its eyes to the Pacific again.”

As part of the pact, Australia will abolish a program signed in 2016 to purchase 12 conventional submarines from France. Instead, it will procure at least eight nuclear submarines that can operate faster, quieter and over longer ranges.

France reacted angrily to Canberra’s decision to cancel the $ 90 billion deal with Paris. “This decision goes against the word and spirit of the cooperation between France and Australia,” said Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Foreign Minister and Defense Minister 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 is the rest of today’s news – Gordon

Five more stories on the news

1. Goldman buys GreenSky specialty lender Wall Street investment bank has agreed to buy online lender GreenSky for $ 2.2 billion to further expand its presence in the consumer lending business. It is Goldman’s second multi-billion dollar acquisition in less than a month and underscores CEO David Solomon’s intention to transform the investment bank into a more consumer-centric financial institution.

2. The price proposal for drugs supported by Biden hits the hurdle Joe Biden’s hopes for legislation that would allow the US government to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors was dashed yesterday. Three moderate members of the President’s Party on the House of Representatives Energy and Trade Committee voted against the move, nullifying the law and giving pharmaceutical companies a major victory.

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

4. US envoy: Ghani’s escape failed because of the last Taliban deal Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s decision to flee the country last month undermined a last-minute deal with the Taliban that was supposed to keep Kabul away from the Islamists and negotiate a political transition, the Taliban said Taliban competent US diplomat.

5. Macau casino stocks lost $ 20 billion The Macau government yesterday opened a 45-day public consultation to review its gambling law that wiped more than $ 20 billion in the market value of listed gambling operators. The news had an impact on the stocks of many of the group’s US parent companies, including MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands.

Coronavirus digestion

  • Pfizer and Modern said protection from their vaccines could wane over time as the US drug regulatory agency considers approving a booster program.

  • Los Angeles The district will expand its proof of compulsory Covid-19 vaccination for indoor events such as bars and nightclubs and outdoor mega-events such as concerts and sports games.

  • China The economic slowdown deepened in August as the breakouts exposed persistent weakness in consumer spending.

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

The day ahead

data Retail sales data is expected to be released for August and is expected to decline to 0.8 percent from July. The initial applications for state unemployment benefits for the week ending September 11th are also to be approved.

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

Dinner at the Macron-Merkel-Elysée Palace French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet today to discuss EU politics and Afghanistan.

Annual Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Foreign ministers from China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan will meet in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe. Virtual participants discussing how to deal with the new Taliban leadership in Kabul include Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. (Blümberg)

What else we read and hear

Elections in Russia: Persecution and Money Spending The outcome of the Duma elections on Sunday may be a matter of course: “United Russia” is expected to retain its constitutional majority. But while rising food prices and falling real incomes are causing approval rates to drop to record lows, Vladimir Putin is pulling out all the stops to tackle dissent.

Vladimir Putin in a montage with demonstrators and a Russian calendar for September 19

The unprecedented crackdown on dissent has underscored how the Kremlin views foreign threats as a critical barrier to its continued survival © FT montage; AP, Getty Images

The rise in sports betting increases the demand for data gatekeepers The legalization of US sports betting is creating a new demand for statistics on players, games, teams, and performance. Two sports data companies have installed themselves as gatekeepers to this source of information: the Sportradar Group and Genius Sports. For more sports shop news, log in to the scoreboard email.

China’s crackdown on financial bloggers Beijing has taken crackdown on financial blogs and social media, a move that could exacerbate a chronic problem facing the world’s second largest economy: a lack of reliable data.

Is Canada facing major political change? Canadians will vote on Monday. The early election will be a judgment on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Before the vote, Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist, will speak about the election on this week’s Rachman Review podcast along with Darrell Bricker, author of several books on Canadian politics.

Call to Find America’s Fastest Growing Businesses in 2022 The FT, in collaboration with Statista, is looking to identify the 500 companies in America with the strongest sales growth between 2017 and 2020. To apply for a spot in the third annual FT ranking of companies in North, Central and South America, register here, and to explore the latest rankings, go here.

travel

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

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