Thu. Jul 7th, 2022

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China has reaffirmed its partnership with Russia and said it wanted to push bilateral relations “to a higher level”, as Moscow faced international sanctions and widespread criticism over its invasion of Ukraine.

In the first meeting between the countries since Russia started the war a month ago, Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister, told Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, that “the two sides’ will to develop bilateral ties is even firmer, our confidence in advancing co-operation in various areas even stronger ”, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement.

Lavrov, who is visiting Beijing for multilateral talks on Afghanistan, is due to travel on Thursday to India, another key partner of Russia that has refused to criticize the attack on Ukraine. India has abstained in UN votes condemning the invasion.

The Chinese readout of the Lavrov-Wang meeting also repeated support for the Russian security concerns which Moscow claims drove it to attack Ukraine. After 30 years of Russia aiding China’s rise as a military power with the supply of missiles, helicopters and advanced fighter jets, the tide is now turning.

More on the war in Ukraine:

Thanks to all our readers who participated in yesterday’s poll. Just over half agreed with Gideon that NATO should not directly intervene in the Ukraine war. Here’s the rest of today’s news – Emily

Japan must hit inflation target, Kishida aide insists The country must hit its 2 per cent inflation target and do so via higher domestic demand, not surging commodity prices, according to one of the most powerful aides to Fumio Kishida, prime minister. The commitment to the inflation target may add to downward pressure on the yen if Japan keeps interest rates low while they rise in the US.

2. US regulators target Spac reforms The US securities regulator has proposed sweeping reforms of special purpose acquisition companies, including stripping them of legal safeguards that have allowed sponsors to present rosy forecasts to potential investors.

3. Citigroup to sell Indian retail business to Axis Bank for $ 1.6bn The cash deal includes Citi’s credit cards, retail banking, wealth management and consumer loans in the country and will see 3,600 staff in India taken on by Axis, in a bet on a crowded sector already abandoned by a number of international lenders.

Two senior UK judges resign from Hong Kong’s top court Lord Robert Reed, President of the Supreme Court, and Lord Patrick Hodge, who also sits in the UK’s top court, cited Beijing’s tough national security law in their decision to resign from the top court – a blow for the city’s reputation as a legal hub.

5. Intel’s stock award to lure Gelsinger as chief was worth $ 169.5mn An initial stock award that Intel handed to Pat Gelsinger, its new chief executive, last year was worth $ 169.5mnfar more than the company initially calculated, vaulting the head of the struggling US chipmaker into the ranks of the country’s highest-paid executives.

Coronavirus digest

  • Life has been disrupted across Shanghai as the city is split in two by alternating Covid-19 lockdowns, leaving bankers sleeping in their offices and delivery services struggling with demand.

  • As UK Covid-19 infections reach a record high, health experts warn that the government’s plans to scale back free tests within days may be premature.

  • Britons are bracing for a tough month ahead. Darren Dodd explains why in Disrupted Timesour newsletter on changes in business and the economy between Covid and conflict.

A worker delivers supplies to a neighborhood under lockdown in Shanghai's Jing'an district

A worker delivers supplies to a neighborhood under lockdown in the Jing’an district of Shanghai © AFP via Getty Images

The day ahead

NATO annual report Jens Stoltenberg, secretary-general, presents the military alliance’s annual report in Brussels. (NATO)

Fifa Congress Leaders will meet in Qatar, where the final draw will be made for the World Cup in the country this year. The prospect of a biennial World Cup, however, has fallen off the agenda. (Jakarta Post)

Join us on Thursday May 5 in person or online for a discussion on the power of the individual investor with Merryn Somerset Webb and the FT’s Claer Barrett. Register here.

What else we’re reading and listening to

The true cost of the west’s attention deficit disorder Ukraine may be in the spotlight, but aid is also needed elsewhere. “Do we take food from the children that are hungry to give to the starving? That’s not fair. Do not ask us to take food from the children of Ethiopia to feed the children of Ukraine, ”said David Beasley, head of the World Food Program.

Why are women voters moving to the left? For most of the 20th century, women were more likely than men to back parties of the right across the democratic world. Today, however, it is the other way round: female voters have moved, in the words of Beyoncé, to the left, to the left. Stephen Bush explores what is driving the switch.

‘We’re braced for the impact of Russian cyber attacks’ In the second of our new Tech Exchange series, Kevin Mandia, founder of cyber security company Mandiant, talks to Hannah Murphy, tech correspondent. Mandia’s company has spent years tracking cyber campaigns orchestrated by state actors and was recently bought by Google.

Should you bring your dog to the office? This week’s edition of the Working It podcast delves into perhaps the most divisive issue in the workplace. Presenter Isabel (a cat person) talks to Lindsay Bumps (a dog person) from ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry’s that has allowed pooches at work since the 1970s.

El Salvador courts crypto ‘whales’ The appetite of crypto enthusiasts and investors with large digital currency holdings is likely to be crucial to El Salvador’s plans for a $ 1bn bitcoin-backed bond after institutional investors shunned the fundraising.

Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador, wants to tap into enthusiasm for alternate financing with his bitcoin bond

Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador, wants to tap into enthusiasm for alternate financing with his bitcoin bond © FT montage / Getty Images

Health and wellness

Tired, unfocused brain in need of a boost? The traditional recourse – coffee – is, it turns out, very pre-pandemic. Nowadays, that is not good enough. Enter the latest nootropics – cognitive enhancers that will take users up and up, and could support brain function and health in the long term.

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