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Returning from what he calls an unusually frank dialogue held between China’s elite and the foreign scholars and journalists invited by Tsinghua University, of whom he was one, Martin Wolf uses his column to summarise the seven tenets of the superpower’s current worldview.

Perhaps the most reassuring proposition is that China has no ambition to run the world, while the most depressing one is that western models are discredited. Beijing wants to co-operate to solve global problems, the top Chinese officials, academics and business people explained, but find its main interlocutor, the US, incomprehensible under the current leadership.

It will be “a testing year” as one participant remarked: signs of hope appeared in the Korean peace talks, and signs of increased discord, even enmity, persist in the trade disputes.

Two-tier workforce
Sarah O’Connor examines the imminent job losses at Jaguar Land Rover and finds that managers’ preference for using agency workers creates a category of people who can be laid off more easily. Those for the chop tend to be young, too.

Austerity cuts through
Polling analyst Matt Singh offers some fresh insights into how British voters feel about nearly eight years of public spending cuts: the nation is “fed up”, he writes. Supporters of every party, both sexes and Leave and Remain voters alike feel the cuts have gone too far.

Tehran’s tightening grip
David Gardner argues that Trump and Netanyahu are missing the real threats posed by Iran. Forget the melodramatic rhetoric about the nuclear accord, he writes: the real increase in Tehran’s influence in the Middle East will come after elections in Iraq and Lebanon.

Bins and Brexit
On London doorsteps, Fred Studemann finds rival opposition parties trying to woo EU nationals to vote against the Conservatives in this Thursday’s local government elections. The issues straddle neighbourhood niggles and the huge continental controversy of the UK’s Leave vote.

Best of the rest

The truth is coming for Trump — David Leonhardt in the New York Times

Five ways Theresa May could have played things differently — James Kirkup for Unherd

Rescuing Europe’s illiberal democracies — Danuta Hubner for Project Syndicate

Can Barbie really have it all? — Sophie Gilbert in The Atlantic

What you’ve been saying

Risks must be measured in the opaque non-bank sector — letter from Bachu Biswas

If there is one important lesson from the financial crisis it is that just because the risk has moved out of the banking sector does not mean it has disappeared…the regulators of the transparent banking industry in the US should urgently find out who in the opaque non-bank sector are picking up pennies.

Comment from Hamlet on The strange isolation of Emmanuel Macron

By far the most significant step Macron is taking toward providing leadership within the EU is to get his own house in order by reforming an economy that has lost two if not three decades compared with its northern neighbours.

Time for Brexit negotiators to find solution for banks — letter from Miles Celic

More than half the EU’s investment banking takes place in the UK. All of Europe’s 10 biggest law firms are based here. It is the centre for EU FX and derivatives trading. Moreover, there is huge mutual advantage to keeping open the deep and wide financial flows between the UK and the EU — flows which benefit customers across Europe….The real risk in failing to reach a pragmatic Brexit deal is a diminishing of wider European competitiveness, increased costs and poorer access to services for European consumers and businesses.

Today’s opinion

FT View: A win for prosecutors, if not Hewlett-Packard
Trials are a more focused deterrent to corporate crime than fines

Brexit invades London’s local politics
Thursday’s council elections are being pitched to anxious Europeans as a last chance

FT View: Dealing with Trump and his self-destructive tariffs
The EU should not agree to indefinite distortions for temporary gain

Trump and Netanyahu miss the real threats posed by Iran
Elections in Iraq and Lebanon will cement Tehran’s influence in the Middle East

How the Beijing elite sees the world
The charms of democracy and free markets have withered for China’s leaders

US inflation is not a cause for alarm just yet
Take a deep breath — the economic recovery is not in immediate danger

Jaguar Land Rover lay-offs highlight the plight of UK’s temporary workers
Use of agency staff shifts the downturn risk on to newer, younger employees

FT Alphaville: Further reading

FT View

FT View: A win for prosecutors, if not Hewlett-Packard
Trials are a more focused deterrent to corporate crime than fines

FT View: Dealing with Trump and his self-destructive tariffs
The EU should not agree to indefinite distortions for temporary gain

The Big Read

The Big Read: The AI arms race: China and US compete to dominate big data
Beijing plans to be the world leader in the technology by 2030. The contest will come down to who can better manipulate the data

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