FirstFT: China suffers a setback on its regional security plan

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China has suffered its first setback in an escalating tussle with Western powers for dominance in the Pacific islands after failing to win support from regional countries for a comprehensive security-focused partnership.

In a virtual meeting yesterday with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, leaders of eight Pacific island countries agreed to cooperate in five areas, including health, disaster management and agriculture. But Wang said more discussion was needed on the joint China-Pacific island nation development vision that Beijing had proposed.

The blow to China came after the United States and Australia strongly pushed back against Beijing’s efforts to lure more small, mostly poor Pacific island nations into its embrace.

The Chinese Embassy in Fiji said Beijing would outline its plans for the region in a “position paper” in response to questions Pacific leaders raised at the meeting. They had agreed to discuss the draft statement prepared by Beijing “until we have an agreement”, said Qian Bo, Chinese ambassador to Fiji.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Here’s the rest of today’s news. – Emily

1. Oil surges above $120 a barrel as gasoline and diesel prices soar Oil rose more than $120 a barrel on Monday on rising fuel prices, such as gasoline and diesel, combined with lingering concerns over supplies from Russia to propel crude to its peak. highest level in two months.

  • Related reading: EU leaders at a summit are struggling to agree an oil embargo on Russia that exempts a key supply route – a concession aimed at appease Hungary, which has been blocking sanctions for nearly a year. month.

2. The United States will not send weapons to Ukraine that can hit Russia Joe Biden said the United States would not send long-range rocket systems to Ukraine that could be used to attack Russian territory, dealing a blow to Kyiv, which has repeatedly requested such weapons.

3. France apologize for chaos in Champions League final France have apologized for the sloppy security that marred the Champions League final in Paris on Saturday, but sharp differences over who was to blame risked turning into a diplomatic row after Downing Street called the scenes ” deeply moving and disturbing”.

4. Tether held reserves at the Bank of the Bahamas The stablecoin issuer held some of its reserves in a small Bahamian bank called Capital Union, people familiar with the matter said, shedding more light on how the group manages the $73 billion in stablecoins that underpin tend the crypto market. Tether has generally refused to reveal where exactly it holds the assets that back its namesake token.

5. SoftBank cuts senior executive pay SoftBank cut salaries for its top executives after its Vision Fund posted a historic 3.5 trillion yen ($27.6 billion) loss caused by a rout in tech stocks, rising interest rates and a regulatory crackdown in China.

The day ahead

India’s GDP figures Economists expect Tuesday gross domestic product report will show that India slowed in the fourth quarter. (economic time)

Japan Economic Data April’s unemployment rate, retail spending numbers and industrial production flash data are due out today.

The World Trade Organization meeting The group’s dispute resolution body will hold its monthly meeting.

Eurozone inflation Eurozone inflation is expected to hit a new high of 7.7% when May figures are released on Tuesday, nearly four times the European Central Bank’s 2% target.

Join the FT for The Global Boardroom June 7-9, featuring US Secretary of State Gina Raimondo, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and more. Join for free today.

What else we read

The Bank of Victor Orbán The Hungarian Prime Minister has long sought economic influence to match his political power. Now his plan to merge three of the country’s largest banks into a single institution is coming to life, realizing the hopes of to serve political purposes as well as its customers.

Private Equity Can’t Avoid Markets Accounts Both the real economy and the financial system have entered an uncertain and destabilizing phase. This creates problems for private and public investors, writing Mohamed El-Erian.

Talk of doing good rings hollow among the global elite After the World Economic Forum in Davos, FT’s Rana Foroohar writes that she came away feeling the 0.1% were more out of touch with the state of the world than they have ever been in the past 20 or so years she attended the conference.

Harsh lessons from the crypto crash Subbaiah, 29, a computer scientist in Bangalore, has done enough crypto trading that he started dreaming of quitting his day job and trading full time. He transferred his entire $7,000 wallet into Luna – only to see it reduced to $150 when the coin’s value crashed this month. FT’s Claer Barrett explores if anything can challenge the belief that investing in digital assets is a guaranteed path to wealth.

How tech companies are banking on the metaverse The $180 billion gaming industry, twice the size of the film industry, already attracts hundreds of millions of gamers. But as tech leaders vie to create the next iteration of the internet, gaming has become a battleground. The FT explores how gaming has become so important and whether it can truly be the gateway to this new world.

Video: Game on: how tech companies are betting on the metaverse | FT Movie

Food

Our Summer Food & Drink special includes a definitive guide to cooking and preparing sardines, three strawberry desserts from Ravinder Bhogal and a fantastic dinner by London-based Ukrainian chef Olia Hercules.

photo of a sardine

Fresh, frozen or canned, sardines are the perfect match for a sunny evening © Carmen Palma

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