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The EU has rejected an Italian demand to reimpose travel restrictions on arrivals from China, as capitals across the world take divergent approaches to surging numbers of coronavirus infections in the country.
EU officials at a meeting yesterday did not endorse a call from Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s prime minister, for the bloc to collectively follow Rome’s move to test all air arrivals from China in response to Beijing’s abrupt decision to lift its zero-Covid policies.
Meloni warned Brussels that Italy’s mandatory testing, announced on Wednesday, would be “ineffective if it is not followed at a European level”.
She added: “We wish Europe would move in this direction.” France, Germany and other EU states have instead argued that the situation does not warrant a change in their national coronavirus policies.
The British government said it was reviewing whether to carry out Covid checks on arrivals from China, as pressure mounted on prime minister Rishi Sunak to act.
Three more stories in the news
1. Ukraine rocked by massive Russian missile barrage Scores of Russian missiles were fired at Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities yesterday in what officials described as one of the largest daily barrages of a months-long campaign targeting the country’s energy infrastructure.
2. Tencent shares extend rally Tencent shares extended a three-month rally after Chinese regulators granted new licences for games made by the technology group, marking the latest sign that Beijing was easing its crackdown on the sector. Shares of the world’s largest video game developer, which has a market value of more than $400bn, closed 2.8 per cent higher yesterday, extending a three-month rally of more than 50 per cent.
3. South Korean chip production slumps South Korea’s chip production fell last month by the most since the global financial crisis, reflecting the deepening industry downturn as chipmakers struggle to clear large inventories and inflation saps demand for electronics.
How well did you keep up with the news this year? Take our FirstFT 2022 quiz to find out.
What else we’re reading
Behind the women billionaires: China recedes on gender equality The world’s most populous nation was once known for having the most advanced blueprint for women’s rights. But as decades of state-sponsored feminism led to women’s empowerment, and the communist state grew to accommodate capitalism, a decline in the birth rate has given rise to policies that are pushing China in the opposite direction.
War, inflation and tumbling markets: the year in 11 charts It has been a year dominated by unforeseeable events with stark consequences and few precedents in recent history. Over the past tumultuous 12 months, the FT’s visual and data journalism has brought readers a deeper understanding of the news stories that dominated 2022. Take a look at the highlights.
China begins to reopen after three years of isolation While China is being hit by an unprecedented wave of Covid-19 cases, the world’s second-largest economy is starting to show signs of coming back to life, and an outgoing tourism boom is predicted. However, the prospect of an influx of Chinese travellers potentially carrying the virus — as well as possible future variants — has already led countries including the US, Japan, Taiwan, Italy and India to require a negative Covid test for Chinese arrivals.
Most popular FT Weekend story: Inside Putin’s circle — the real Russian elite
As the year reaches its close, we are sharing some of our most-read stories across different sections of the FT. Today we highlight our most-read Weekend story.
As the west focuses on oligarchs, a far smaller group has its grip on true power in Moscow. These men are known in Russia as the “siloviki” — “men of force”, or perhaps even, in the Irish phrase, “hard men”. Who are the siloviki — and what motivates them?
Take a break from the news
From the historian Serhii Plokhy on the war in Ukraine to a fresh take on the Cultural Revolution and the latest novels by Paul Auster and Salman Rushdie, peruse a preview of next year’s titles.
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