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The US, UK and Australia will co-operate on developing hypersonic weapons, expanding a trilateral security pact designed to help Washington and its allies counter China’s rapid military expansion.
US president Joe Biden said in a statement with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and UK prime minister Boris Johnson that the allies would enhance co-operation in several areas, including hypersonic weapons as part of their commitment to “a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
“We also committed today to commence new trilateral co-operation on hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as to expand information-sharing and to deepen co-operation on defence innovation,” the three leaders said in a statement that was released after the Financial Times first reported the pact.
“These initiatives will add to our existing efforts to deepen co-operation on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and additional undersea capabilities,” they added.
The latest on the war in Ukraine:
Finance: The US Treasury said it would halt Russia’s ability to make debt payments in dollars through American banks, bringing Moscow a step closer to a possible default on its obligations to international investors.
Military aid: The Czech Republic has been sending tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, in a below-the-radar bid to strengthen defences against the invasion.
Misinformation: As pictures of hundreds of dead Ukrainian civilians sparked outrage worldwide, Antifake — a new show on Russia’s most-watched state TV channel that claims to “differentiate lies from truth” — told a different story.
Explainer: Learn how murky structures cloud the ownership of oligarch’s superyatchs.
Sanctions: The US is poised to announce a ban on new investment in Russia while increasing existing sanctions, sources said. Brussels is preparing a ban on Russian coal imports and transport operators.
Opinion: Vladimir Putin’s catastrophic failure in Ukraine is embarrassing to Xi Jinping, says Jonathan Haslam, emeritus professor in the history of international relations at the University of Cambridge.
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Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Here’s the rest of today’s news — Emily
Five more stories in the news
1. Twitter appoints Elon Musk to board Twitter has appointed Tesla chief executive Elon Musk to its board of directors, a day after it was revealed he had become the social media company’s biggest shareholder. The entrepreneur’s term will expire in 2024.
2. Sri Lanka’s finance minister quits on day 1 Ali Sabry has resigned less than 24 hours after being appointed to his post, in the latest blow to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government as an economic crisis tips the country into political chaos.
3. Evergrande to pay advisory fees to international bondholders The Chinese developer has agreed to pay the advisory fees of a group of international bondholders in the heavily indebted company after they warned of potential legal action.
4. Chill descends on Hong Kong equity capital markets Hong Kong equity fundraising has dropped to the slowest pace since the global financial crisis as economic and regulatory doubts compound concerns over Chinese companies that once drove a steady drumbeat of lucrative listings.
5. Kim Jong Un’s sister calls South Korean defence minister a ‘lunatic’ The North Korean leader’s sister has issued a tirade against South Korea’s defence minister, describing his comments about Seoul’s pre-emptive strike capabilities as a “fantastic daydream” and the “hysteria of a lunatic”.
The day ahead
Axiom launch Axiom (or Ax-1), the first all-private astronaut rocket mission to the International Space Station, is due to launch from Nasa’s Kennedy space centre in Florida.
Nato foreign ministers meeting Officials will gather in Brussels for a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, chaired by Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg.
UBS annual general meeting Last month the Swiss lender said its direct risk exposure to Russia was $634mn at the end of 2021, out of its total emerging market exposure of $20.9bn.
What else we’re reading
Blockchain-powered broker Sam Bankman-Fried looks more like a student who has just rolled out of bed than the boss of an international cryptocurrency exchange valued at $32bn. But the 30-year-old chief executive of FTX has a futuristic vision for finance based on new protocols being built on blockchains, the distributed ledger technology underpinning cryptocurrencies.
Why driverless car company AutoX disengaged its safety features The Chinese tech group conducted risky test drives in a push for better data and investment, according to former staff. In the effort to create workable technology and bring in fresh capital, former employees said AutoX put the public at risk.
Australia should blame itself for Solomon Islands’ shift to China Alarm over a planned security pact overshadows long-running problems in the west’s approach to the Pacific region, writes Katharin Hille. The anxieties of Australia, New Zealand, the US and Japan over losing influence across Oceania shows they are struggling to do anything about it.
Can David Solomon DJ? An investigation A CEO’s public image has demonstrable effects on corporate standing, culture and share price performance. The Goldman Sachs chief’s elevation from weekend mix-jockey to festival headliner carries with it a measurable risk of being considered too eccentric, too unserious or simply too outgoing.
It’s rare to find something unprecedented on the London dining scene. But chef Daisuke Hayashi’s Roketsu in Mayfair claims to be that — the capital’s first authentic Japanese kaiseki restaurant. It is considered the highest form of Japanese cuisine.
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