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China will prioritise expanding domestic demand in the world’s second-largest economy and achieving “major breakthroughs in core technologies”, the ruling Chinese Communist party said on Thursday as it wrapped up an annual planning meeting in Beijing.
After four days of deliberations, the party’s 200-member Central Committee signed off on a planning blueprint through to 2025, when President Xi Jinping is expected to be at the midpoint of an unprecedented third term in office. But details were scant and the party’s 14th five-year plan may not be fully revealed until it is rubber-stamped by China’s parliament early next year.
Having spent recent years trying to reduce domestic debt levels and weathering a trade war launched by President Donald Trump two years ago, Mr Xi’s administration is turning its attention to achieving “self-sufficiency” in range of technological sectors currently dominated by the US.
While noting that economic growth had been “better than expected” thanks to China’s successful containment of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Committee warned that “the international environment is increasingly complicated” with greater “instability and uncertainty”.
The policy meeting ended on a defiant note, as China vowed to build “fully modern army” by 2027. (FT, SCMP)
In the news
Three killed in French knife attack A man with a knife killed three people in a church in the southern French city of Nice on Thursday, in what President Emmanuel Macron called the latest Islamist terror attack to afflict the country. (FT)
US loosens Huawei curbs The US is allowing a growing number of chip companies to supply Huawei with components as long as these are not used for its 5G business, people briefed by Washington said, in a potential lifeline for the Chinese group. (FT)
HK asylum seekers rejected from US consulate The US government has warned Hong Kong activists that they cannot claim asylum at America’s overseas missions, after a pro-independence student group said four Hong Kong political dissidents attempted to enter the US consulate in the territory and claim asylum on Tuesday. (FT)
Banner day for tech earnings Google’s advertising business staged a stronger than expected rebound from its coronavirus slump in the latest quarter, and Amazon recorded another quarter of blistering profit growth. New customers boosted Shopify, eBay and Etsy sales. Meanwhile, Ant Group’s fundraising total for its initial public offering has been pushed to almost $37bn. (FT)
Extradition of Ghosn’s alleged accomplices delayed A US federal judge has temporarily halted the extradition of two US citizens accused of orchestrating Carlos Ghosn’s daring escape from Japan last year, shortly after the US government approved their removal. (FT)
Flurry of US court decisions on ballot extensions The Supreme Court has ruled to allow extended timelines for receiving and counting ballots in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, but not in Wisconsin. US media companies are preparing for an election night that may not result in a clear winner, and corporate bond markets are beginning to creak ahead of Election Day. (AP, FT)
Bank of Japan trims growth forecasts Japan’s central bank said the economy would contract by 5.5 per cent in the fiscal year to March 2021, compared with its earlier forecast of 4.7 per cent. Policymakers predicted a stronger economic rebound in 2021, as it kept monetary policy on hold. The European Central Bank has also left policy unchanged. (FT)
LVMH to buy Tiffany at a lower price The French luxury group has agreed to go ahead with its acquisition of the US jeweller at a slightly lower price, approving a $15.8bn deal and ending a bitter conflict triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic that threatened to derail the luxury sector’s biggest acquisition. (FT)
The day ahead
New Zealand cannabis and euthanasia vote Results on the country’s referendum on legalising cannabis and euthanasia will be revealed by the electoral commission on Friday. (Guardian)
Earnings round-up ExxonMobil, which has been slower than its competitors to jump on the green bandwagon and suffered a big loss after one of the biggest oil price crashes in decades, is reporting on Friday. Fellow oil major Total will issue its third-quarter updates the same day. For UK banks, NatWest closes the week with its earnings on Friday. (FT)
What else we’re reading
The next pandemic Hunting for new viruses has become more difficult during the pandemic, but it has never been more important. Like most other novel human viruses, Sars-Cov-2 is zoonotic: it crossed from animals into humans. As deforestation and climate change increase disease spread, virus-hunters race to identify — and prevent — the next pandemic. (FT)
Putting Bidenomics into action Joe Biden would embark on a programme of high spending and tax rises to shore up America’s economic recovery. But implementing it will not be simple. And a Biden win could renew a Democratic split on trade. As far as markets are concerned, history shows that equities outperform under Democrats. (FT, NYT)
Myanmar’s deluge of misinformation In Myanmar, Facebook is, basically, the internet. Saying you’re “going online”, line paw tat tal, is synonymous with “active on Facebook”. But weeks before the country’s election, fake news and vitriol has become a major online problem. (The Economist)
Another Florida 2000 election showdown? The controversial US Supreme Court ruling that stopped a ballot recount looks troublingly relevant, writes Edward Luce. That the Supreme Court will resolve next week’s election is neither trivial nor probable. It lies somewhere in between. Meanwhile, most states will allow voting without masks to prevent clashes. (FT)
Marcus Rashford’s lesson in politics The England footballer’s campaign harnesses a powerful demand for fairness, Philip Stephens writes — even for many of Boris Johnson’s own MPs, it seems blindingly obvious that, whatever the costs, poor children should not be going hungry. (FT)
QAnon’s kryptonite: K-pop fans Korean pop star fans, most notably those of the band BTS, have proven they can disrupt the online trolling dealt out by followers of the pro-Trump conspiracy group QAnon. They may not swing the election, but they’ve become a cultural force to be reckoned with. (Bloomberg)
Working with long Covid-19 Most Covid-19 patients recover within two weeks. But some with so-called “Long Covid” experience symptoms for months, presenting a challenge for both employers and staff. Emma Jacobs speaks to some of them. (FT)
Will we be able to go skiing this winter? Early snowfall in Europe’s Alps and America’s Rockies has created a buzz but the outlook remains uncertain. Lifts began running at Cervinia, one of Italy’s biggest resorts, last Saturday — but were forced to stop after just two days. (FT)
Meet our journalists: Emiliya Mychasuk
Emiliya is the FT’s inaugural climate editor in London. She works with writers across the newsroom to commission content for our new climate hub, live as of today. She was previously FT’s executive editor in New York.
What’s one climate change storyline you’re especially interested in? The return to old values or old ways of doing things that were more sustainable, as well as the new — developing tech and science that will change the world in the next decade just much as the internet has in the past decade.
What FT podcasts/newsletters would you recommend and why?
The Behind the Money podcast is unique in exploring the drama in finance, both in explaining the bigger picture as well as storytelling — plus Aimee Keane makes me want to listen.
What’s an interesting fact about you? My father was born in Ukraine and my mother in Greece, they met as non-English speaking postwar migrants in Australia, where I was born. My father would sit me on his knee as a toddler and read the newspaper aloud to me as a way for him to learn English, and to distract me.