Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Vice President Joe Biden welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping in Washington, D.C., Sept. 24, 2015. Photo: Xinhua/Huang Jingwen via Getty Images.

China's leaders see President-elect Joe Biden as a more predictable, but not necessarily less formidable, U.S. leader.

Why it matters: Relations aren't likely to be chummy, but Beijing is hoping diplomacy between the two superpowers can be restored.

  • Leaders in Beijing know Biden may be easier to deal with in some respects and more difficult in others.
  • The Biden administration isn't likely to confront China quite as directly as Trump has, but it is also more likely to bring allies, making U.S. moves harder for China to counter in the long run.

Background: Judging by the relative restraint China's leaders have shown amid the Trump administration's full-court press against the country in recent months, Beijing seems hopeful the U.S.-China relationship can improve under Biden.

  • The Chinese Communist Party has met the Trump administration's boldest moves, such as the closure of the Houston consulate, with equal tit-for-tat responses.
  • But leaders in Beijing in other cases haven't responded in kind, seemingly hoping to prevent irreparable damage to the U.S.-China relationship should a new president take over in 2021.

What to watch: China still hasn't acknowledged Biden's win — though that doesn't necessarily mean they are unhappy with it.

  • "Beijing recognizes Trump will be president for two more months. Beijing has incentive to try to avoid being in Trump's political crosshairs," Ryan Hass, who worked on China at the National Security Council under Obama, tweeted.
  • "Beijing likely sees more risk than gain in getting ahead of Trump in acknowledging the outcome of the election," wrote Hass.

Go deeper: Trump leaves Biden tough choices for his own China playbook

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Dec 1, 2020 - Science

China successfully lands historic robotic mission on the Moon

Photo: NASA Goddard

China has landed its robotic Chang'e-5 mission on the lunar surface, according to state-run news service Xinhua.

Why it matters: The spacecraft is expected to collect samples from the Moon that will then be returned to Earth for scientific analysis, marking China's most ambitious Moon mission yet.

3 hours ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.