FirstFT: China vows retaliation against EU sanctions

Good morning. China’s foreign minister has denounced EU proposals to impose sanctions on Chinese companies for supporting Russia’s war machine. Chen Gang, speaking in Berlin, vowed to respond “tough and resolute” in defense of Chinese companies.

The new sanctions package, seen by the Financial Times, includes eight Chinese companies accused of selling equipment that could be used to make weapons. Passage of the proposals is subject to unanimous approval by EU member states, which are expected to discuss the measures this week.

Chen said China has not delivered any weapons to crisis areas and has laws regulating the export of dual-use goods.

There is a normal exchange and cooperation between Chinese and Russian companies. . .[this]It must not be disrupted.” He said.

Here are the other things I’m watching today:

  • NATO meeting: Defense leaders will meet in Brussels.

  • Earnings: It’s a big day for Japanese companies. Today’s report on Toyota, SoftBank, Panasonic, Nippon Steel and more.

  • Inflation in the United States: April CPI inflation data is due for release.

Five other important stories

1. The arrest of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan by the country’s anti-corruption force yesterday, sparking fresh protests by his supporters in an already volatile political climate. As the protests spread, the unrest prompted the Pakistani government to impose restrictions on communications. Read the full story.

2. Donald Trump has been found responsible for the sexual assault of a journalist In a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, in a major legal rout for the former president of the United States while he makes a third bid for the White House. The jury awarded plaintiff E. Jean Carroll, a former consulting columnist and television host, a total of $5 million in damages.

3. Indonesia is officially the second largest supplier of cobalt in the world, Contributing to a sharp drop in the price of battery metal and increasing Western concerns about Beijing’s dominance across the electric vehicle supply chain. Here’s what the shift means for the global industry.

4. US politicians have rejected calls for a short-term solution to the US debt border crisis, saying there was no alternative to a deal in the coming weeks to avoid a damaging default on US bonds. The comments from Democrats and Republicans came ahead of a high-stakes meeting at the White House to discuss the financial crisis. This is what you should know about the meeting.

5. Chinese imports recorded their sharpest contraction in a year Last month, while exports expanded at a slower pace than expected, casting doubt on the pace of the country’s economic recovery after three years of pandemic restrictions. Imports fell 7.9 percent year-on-year in April, a much deeper decline than analysts expected.

Adults read

After 21 years in power, Turkey’s powerful president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, faces his biggest challenge yet: a united opposition bent on changing the nation’s course. Can his opponent, retired bureaucrat Kemal Kilicdaroglu, defeat Erdogan?

We also read and listen. . .

  • Political earthquake: As the “battle between absolutism and democracy” continues in Southeast Asia, the upcoming elections in Thailand will have far-reaching implications for the region.

  • WFH: Hybrid work seems to have improved working lives — and not just for the elite. Subscribe to Working It’s newsletter to learn more about the new world of work.

  • behind the money 🎧: ESG standards have seen some backlash lately. In this podcast, Gillian Tate explains how ESG is transforming a company’s board of directors.

planner of the day

In 1900, the UK had 3.3 million horsepower to provide traction, haulage and skull skin. Now they are outdated technology. Does the same fate await humans? Have they been replaced by machines that are not only more powerful and nimble, but smarter and more creative? asks Martin Wolf. A new study indicates that globally, 18 percent of work can be automated by AI.

Take a break from the news

In the rainforests of Central Africa, forest elephants emerge from the bush to congregate in greater numbers than anywhere else on earth. Don’t miss FT’s David Pelling on a one-of-a-kind trip to Sangha Lodge, a jungle retreat.

Additional contributions from Gordon Smith and Grace Ramos.

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