FirstFT: China’s hypersonic weapon test near “Sputnik moment”


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The senior US military officer confirmed that China recently tested an advanced hypersonic weapon, calling it a “very important” development to which Washington was paying close attention.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, said the nuclear-capable weapon test was close to a “Sputnik moment” – referring to the start of the race to l space between the United States and the Soviet Union when the first satellite was launched by Moscow in 1957.

“What we saw was a very important event in a test of a hypersonic weapon system. It’s of great concern,” Milley told Bloomberg TV.

“I don’t know if it’s a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. It is therefore a very important technological event or test that has taken place by the Chinese, and it has our full attention, ”he added.

Milley is the first official to confirm a Financial Times report that China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic weapon. On July 27, he launched a hypersonic glide vehicle – which travels at more than five times the speed of sound and can maneuver like the space shuttle – on a rocket.

Are you concerned about China’s military nuclear capabilities? Let me know what you think at [email protected] Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. – Emilie

Five other articles in the news

1. Activist fund Third Point calls for dismantling of Shell Royal Dutch Shell is under pressure to separate after activist hedge fund Third Point took a large stake and accused the oil supermajor of being bogged down by inconsistent strategy.

2. Democrats’ proposed billionaire tax hits resistance A plan by Senate Democrats to impose a tax targeting 700 billionaires to partially pay for President Joe Biden’s $ 2 billion spending plan has sparked resistance among moderate party members, casting doubts on its political viability .

3. Evergrande founder loses $ 25 billion in Xi’s crackdown The net worth of Hui Ka Yan, founder of indebted real estate group Evergrande, has shrunk by $ 25 billion in the past year, revealing the toll of President Xi Jinping’s regulatory crackdowns that are weighing on the world’s greatest personal fortunes. China. According to the annual Hurun Rich List, Hui’s net worth has fallen nearly 70% since 2020.

  • More Evergrande news: China’s economic planning agency has urged businesses in the country to repay their international debts days before another payment deadline for property developer Evergrande after narrowly avoiding a default last week.

4. Ex-Nissan legal chief says there was “no crime” at the end of the trial Greg Kelly, accused of allegedly helping to cover up the true extent of Carlos Ghosn’s salary as president, said there was “no crime” as he left court on the last day of his trial. Kelly was arrested at the end of 2018 and has since been in prison or on bail.

5. US warns of possible Islamist attack in America US intelligence agencies have warned that Islamist extremists operating in Afghanistan could attack America within six months as the country suffers what the UN has called “the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis.”

Coronavirus digest

  • Merck signed a landmark licensing agreement with the UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool to expand low-cost access to its Covid-19 antiviral pill.

  • Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine helps fill local supply gap in Vietnam and plays an increasing role in the country’s vaccination campaign.

  • Novavax has applied for approval of its Covid-19 vaccine in the UK, saying further global regulatory submissions will follow “shortly.”

  • An investigation slammed the “tearful” amounts spent on a testing and traceability service in England who “did not achieve” their objectives.

  • The forecast showed the pandemic scars left on Britainthe economy would be shallower than expected.

Thanks to those who took part in our survey yesterday. Seventy-nine percent of readers said they supported an increase in mask wear where they live.

The day to come

News from the central bank The Bank of Japan will release its economic activity and price outlook report, as well as monthly retail sales figures. The European Central Bank will also hold its monetary policy meeting today.

US economic data The United States will release the first jobless claims, real consumer spending and third quarter GDP figures today. Economists forecast GDP growth of 3.2 percent on an annualized basis in the July-September quarter, compared to a 6.7 percent expansion in the second quarter.

Facebook Developer Conference Ahead of the event, there were reports of a possible rebranding and corporate restructuring, similar to what Google has done with Alphabet.

Technological benefits continue Apple, Amazon, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony report today. Apple’s changes to its iOS operating system that make it harder to keep track of users are having a significant impact on other tech stocks.

What else do we read

What do we need the least from COP26? The promises of “net zero” in 30 years are too easy, says Martin Wolf. Rather, it is necessary to reduce emissions by almost 40% by 2030. He says the emissions curve must be bent down now.

Line graph showing the gaping gap between promised and required short-term emission reductions by showing projected global greenhouse gas emissions based on promised and current policies in GtCO2 equivalent

Crypto Will Be As Useless In The Metaverse As It Is Now The hypocritical fantasy behind crypto also lies at the heart of the metaverse, writes Jemima Kelly. It is not about building a decentralized paradise where everyone can prosper and live in harmony; it’s about enriching a small group of people.

Facebook after the whistleblower The company is in the face of criticism of its own staff that its culture of “grow at any cost” harms individuals and society. Can Mark Zuckerberg restart the social network?

Listen: Can wellness apps beat burnout? The pandemic has turbocharged the trillion dollar wellness industry. In the premiere of our new podcast, Working It, on the biggest ideas shaping today’s work, host Isabel Berwick for expert analysis Isabel talks to CEO about Grokker, a well-being application in business.

Song lyrics strike a chord with private equity Movies and commercials have long given older songs new life through licensing agreements. But the explosion of music streaming on platforms like Spotify has transformed the scale of the company and now private equity groups have joined the party.

Fleetwood Mac celebrates a 1978 Grammys victory. Band members Stevie Nicks, second from left, Lindsey Buckingham, center, and Mick Fleetwood, back, have sold the rights to their music over the past year as the sector is booming © Michael Ochs Archives / Getty


Tokyo’s most popular restaurant is the Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura, where contemporary Italian and Japanese cuisine flirts with exquisite effect – in a beautiful and glamorous setting, writes Leo Lewis in his review.

© Hiroki Kobayashi | Sgombro from Naples to Tokyo at Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura

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