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LES ECHOS (France), TELEGRAPH (UK), REUTERS

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PARIS - After six straight quarters of contraction, new signs were reported Wednesday that the recession in Europe's single-currency euro zone may be set to end.

Manufacturing in the euro zone increased for the first time in well over a year, boosted by higher private sector output in Germany and France, July's PMI index showed. The data drove the euro to a one-month high against the dollar, Reuters reports.

Martin Van Vliet, an analyst at ING, told French business daily Les Echos that the European Central Bank's monetary policy to try to stimulate growth, coupled with the beginnings of recovery elsewhere in the world "have finally managed to stop the economic contraction" in the euro zone.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said the figures provided "encouraging evidence" to suggest that the eurozone could finally pull out if its recession in the third quarter, the Telegraph reports.

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Geopolitics

The Xi-Putin Alliance Is Dead, Long Live The Xi-Putin Alliance

The façade of unity between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin was lifted in Uzbekistan last week. But where exactly does the Chinese head of state stand on the Russian invasion of Ukraine? Beijing is still establishing its place in the world, and it remains in contradiction to the West

China's President Xi Jinping, Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the 22nd Summit of the SCO

Gregor Schwung

-Analysis-

Xi Jinping is not out of practice. The Chinese President's public demeanor on his first foreign trip since January 2020 was as confident as ever. When meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, he promptly removed his mask and stood inches away from the Russian president, smiling affably.

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What looked routine to the outside world was a diplomatic tightrope walk that the Chinese leader felt compelled to perform. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since February, when they proclaimed a "friendship without borders" at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Shortly thereafter, Putin launched his campaign against Ukraine – and the world wondered whether Putin had used his Olympic visit to obtain Xi's approval for his invasion.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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