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World Today: Key News Highlights

US-China Relations: President Joe Biden emphasized the global expectation for improved US-China relations following discussions with President Xi Jinping. The leaders aim to showcase sustained US involvement in the Asia-Pacific region.

Philippine-China Dialogue: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines anticipates discussions with President Xi Jinping at the APEC summit in San Francisco to address tensions in the South China Sea and outline future strategies.

South Korea’s Stock Market: Mr. Kim So-young, Vice Chairman of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), considers an extension of the ban on stock short-selling beyond the initial schedule of June 2024 if ongoing stock market reforms prove inadequate.

US-China Fentanyl Deal: The Biden administration’s decision to remove Chinese entities from the sanctions list signals an agreement aimed at addressing the fentanyl crisis, signifying a willingness to ease US trade restrictions.

Starbucks Employees’ Strike: Workers United union disclosed via social media that numerous US Starbucks stores witnessed strikes on ‘Red Cup Day’ to demand enhancements in staff allocation and work schedules.

Singapore’s Digital Currency Pilot: Rawee Menon, Managing Director of Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS), announced plans to introduce Wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for inter-financial institution transfers in 2024.

Corporate Actions: IBM suspends advertising on social media platform X after reports of its ads being placed next to antisemitic content, while US aircraft manufacturer Boeing leads Airbus in orders at the Dubai Air Show, marking a potential resurgence for Boeing.

Regional Developments: Reports indicate China’s directive to restrict interbank lending rates and Vietnam’s rapid expansion of the Spratly Islands. China also broadened its visa-free transit policy, now covering citizens from 54 countries. Additionally, the Philippines experienced a 7.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Davao Occidental Province.

These developments highlight a spectrum of geopolitical, economic, and regional occurrences impacting global relations, financial markets, and regional stability.

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