1. China has warned Russia against threatening to use nuclear weapons in the conflict in Ukraine, in a rare departure from its usual tacit support for Moscow’s positions. The warning came during talks on Friday between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Beijing, according to Mr. Scholz and the Chinese state news agency Xinhua. Messrs. Xi and Scholz agreed to oppose the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, according to Mr. Scholz and a report by Xinhua, which normally echoes Beijing’s official positions. (Source: wsj.com)
2. Edward Stringer:
Few are aware just how dependent we are on a limited number of fibre-optic cables that form the internet’s spine and electronically link our continents and islands. Currently 95 per cent of international internet traffic is transmitted by undersea cables; satellites, in comparison, convey very little. There are still only about 200 cables around the world, each the size of a large hosepipe and capable of data transfers at about 200 terabytes per second. These cables — which carry an estimated $10 trillion worth of financial transactions every day — come together at 10 or so international chokepoints, which are particularly vulnerable.
As the Ukraine invasion is reminding us, all wars are economic. Our adversaries have realised that being able to threaten the sanctity of our information and financial systems is a huge strategic advantage. And as Vladimir Putin has long known, the single, physical point of failure in the system that can be overtly threatened is undersea cables. Holding these at risk is a guaranteed way of driving a wedge between Kyiv and the west. (Source: ft.com)