A window of opportunity for Western companies to quit Xinjiang

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter. When Volkswagen decided more than a decade ago to build a plant in China’s Xinjiang region with Chinese partner, SAIC, the aim was not primarily to sell cars to the local market. It was also to appease Chinese authorities who demanded the joint €170mn investment in return for approving VW’s plans to expand in Guangdong, as someone acquainted with the discussions over the plant recently told me. Now the German…

Japan’s stock market is back after 34 years but the country is deeply changed

In late 1989, no person better symbolised Japan’s postwar rise to economic superpower than Akio Morita, Sony’s co-founder, who stunned the world with a $3bn acquisition of Columbia Pictures. That same year, an unauthorised English translation of an explosive essay he co-authored, titled “The Japan That Can Say No”, went viral among America’s elite. Citing what he saw as the short-termism of US businesses, Morita warned: “You may never be able to compete with us.” It was a display of arrogance he later regretted, but it brilliantly captured the mood…

Delegation Led by Mike Gallagher Says U.S. Support for Taiwan Is Firm

Visiting U.S. lawmakers sought to assure Taiwan on Thursday that the United States would stand by it in the face of pressure from China, though a bill that includes support for the island has stalled in Congress, and divisions over aid for Ukraine have fanned wider questions about Washington’s commitment to its partners. “Today we’ve come as Democrats and Republicans to show bipartisan support for this partnership,” Representative Mike Gallagher, the Wisconsin Republican who is leading the congressional delegation to Taiwan, told President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei, the capital. Journalists…

Alleged Japanese Crime Boss Accused of Trafficking Nuclear Material

new york —  A leader of a Japan-based crime syndicate conspired to traffic uranium and plutonium from Myanmar in the belief that Iran would use it to make nuclear weapons, U.S. prosecutors alleged Wednesday. Takeshi Ebisawa, 60, and his confederates showed samples of nuclear materials that had been transported from Myanmar to Thailand to an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent posing as a narcotics and weapons trafficker who had access to an Iranian general, according to federal officials. The nuclear material was seized, and samples were later found to contain…

Japan’s stock market passes record closing level after 34 years

Stay informed with free updates Simply sign up to the Japanese business & finance myFT Digest — delivered directly to your inbox. Japan’s stock market has climbed past its all-time closing high, exceeding the record level struck during the country’s late-1980s asset bubble after a 34-year wait. The Nikkei 225 index of the biggest Japanese companies briefly passed its 38,915-point record close during intraday trading on Thursday, capping a powerful rally during 2024, driven by rises in chip-related stocks such as Screen, Tokyo Electron and Advantest. Takeo Kamai, head of…

Why Japan may have outgrown ‘go for it’

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter. Go for it! Just a few more steps! Breathe in a bit, the suit still fits! The reason the Japanese word “gambatte!” (and the very slightly more brusque “gambare!”) is so tricky to translate lies partly in its ubiquity and partly in its versatility.  And, perhaps now, in its inappropriateness. In both progress and setback, the word has reigned as Japan’s supreme motivator: a nuanced, context-dependent call for effort, persistence,…

US Lawmaker Who Chairs China Committee Arrives in Taiwan

taipei, taiwan —  U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher, who chairs the House of Representatives select committee on China, arrived in Taiwan on Thursday with a delegation of other lawmakers and will meet senior Taiwanese leaders. Gallagher, who is being accompanied by four other lawmakers on a trip ending Saturday, has been a strong friend of Chinese-claimed Taiwan and a fierce critic of China. “The delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders and members of civil society to discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, and other significant issues of mutual…

China’s Inviting Sympathetic Foreign Media to Xinjiang Can Backfire

hong kong —  Albanian Canadian scholar Olsi Jazexhi seemed to be the perfect foreign writer for the Chinese government to invite to Xinjiang, its westernmost province and home to the ethnic Uyghur Muslim minority so mistreated by Beijing that its critics have called it cultural genocide. “My initial intention was to visit Xinjiang myself to investigate and to prove the West wrong,” Jazexhi tells VOA. During an interview for a journalist visa at the Chinese Embassy in Tirana, Albania, in 2019, he says he told the consular official, “I want…

Growth in CO2 emissions leaves China likely to miss climate targets

China is off track on all of its core 2025 climate targets, despite the fact that clean energy is now the biggest driver of the country’s economic growth, analysis has found. After years of extraordinarily rapid growth, China is now grappling with a slowdown that is causing ripples internally and internationally. The government has supercharged the growth of the renewable energy industry but it has imultaneously poured stimulus funds into construction and manufacturing, and continues to approve coal power. China’s total energy consumption increased by 5.7% in 2023, in the…

Hong Kong official slams groups’ criticism of new security law

Hong Kong security chief Chris Tang has lashed out at the London-based rights group Hong Kong Watch after it issued a statement signed by 86 groups saying that forthcoming security legislation would have “devastating consequences” for human rights in the city. The new legislation, called Article 23, criminalizes treason, insurrection, the theft of state secrets and other national security offenses. It is billed by the government as a way to close “loopholes” in the already stringent 2020 National Security Law. But Hong Kong Watch and the other groups said the…