Stories by Graham Allison

Expert Voices

China is pulling ahead of North America on smart cities

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China is developing 500 smart cities — almost half the worldwide total, and more than 10 times North America's figure.

Why it matters: China's smart cities signal the country's strengths not only in technology and infrastructure, but in implementation.

Expert Voices

Xi's latest leverage: U.S. imports of Chinese rare-earth elements

construction equipment behind a mound of soil
Soil containing various rare earths in Lianyungang, China. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Five days after Trump moved to cut off American components to Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, President Xi Jinping responded with a subtle threat to strangle America’s supplies of rare earths — the natural elements used in everything from computers to satellites.

The big picture: Xi’s threat demonstrates how the rivalry between a rising China and a ruling U.S. spreads from trade to technology to supply chains, touching every aspect of bilateral relations. The conflict risks massive spillover costs to the global economy.

Expert Voices

Huawei arrest marks escalation in the U.S.–China fight over 5G

A sign calling for the release of Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is seen outside at British Columbia Superior Courts following her December 1 arrest in Canada
A sign calling for the release of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou outside the British Columbia Superior Courts in Vancouver, on Dec. 10. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S.-directed arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada sounds an alarm for the increasingly contentious dynamic between China and the U.S.

Why it matters: When it comes to 5G, Huawei is the fastest horse in a thinning race, with potential to gain a monopoly in the next decade. But the U.S. has now launched a global campaign against the company without a serious domestic alternative for 5G infrastructure.