US-China relations updates
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Joe Biden suggested he hold an in-person summit with China’s president Xi Jinping during a 90-minute call last week but failed to secure an agreement from his counterpart, leading some US officials to conclude that Beijing is continuing to play hardball with Washington.
The US president proposed to Xi that the leaders hold the summit in an effort to break an impasse in US-China relations, but multiple people briefed on the call said China’s leader did not take him up on the offer and instead insisted Washington adopt a less strident tone towards Beijing.
The White House had portrayed the call — which took place at Biden’s request seven months after their first telephone conversation — as a chance to test if Xi was willing to engage seriously after several diplomatic meetings between US and Chinese officials garnered little progress.
Five people briefed on the call said that while Xi had used less abrasive language than his top diplomats had done this year, his overall message to Biden was that the US must tone down its rhetoric.
Have feedback on the newsletter? Let me know at email@example.com. Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia — Emily
Six more stories in the news
1. Fresh signs US inflation is levelling off US government bonds rallied while bank shares weighed on major stock markets yesterday, as moderating US inflation warmed investors to the view that the Federal Reserve would have more time to remove crisis-era stimulus.
2. Apple introduces four iPhones in product event Apple launched four new 5G-enabled iPhones and unveiled an array of refreshes to some of its most popular devices, including the iPad and Watch, as the world’s most valuable company attempted to refocus the public’s attention after months of antitrust scrutiny.
3. China uses app to monitor overseas financial news site access Chinese police are using a new anti-fraud app installed on more than 200m mobile phones to identify and question people who have viewed overseas financial news sites, according to individuals summoned by the authorities. Police said the app was needed to combat a surge in fraud.
4. Hedge funds riding crypto wave post bumper returns Cryptocurrency hedge funds gained nearly 24 per cent in August as large price swings in digital asset prices helped them outperform investors in sleepy equities and currencies markets.
5. Investment banks accelerate efforts to automate ‘grunt work’ Wall Street banks are stepping up efforts to automate “grunt work” foisted on younger investment bankers, portraying the changes as an attempt to reduce workloads and stop young talent from leaving the industry.
6. China’s Evergrande faces investor protests China’s most indebted property developer has hired restructuring advisers and warned its liquidity is under “tremendous pressure” from collapsing sales as the group faces protests by home buyers and retail investors.
The day ahead
China retail sales and industrial production figures Monthly data for August will be released today. Last month, factory output and retail sales growth missed expectations. (Reuters)
Ursula von der Leyen’ State of the EU speech European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will address the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France today. For the latest news from the continent — and for the news you need to know ahead of Germany’s upcoming, pivotal election, sign up for our Europe Express newsletter.
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