May 16, 2017

China building biggest infrastructure project in history

The new globalists (AP/Lintao Zhang)

Americans and Europeans are again riveted on intelligence leaks, cyber hacking and the latest surge of inward-looking fervor. In Beijing, though, the talk the last couple of days has been of globalization on a historic scale — the construction of a more than trillion-dollar global web of roads, ports, railroads and energy projects, all of them leading back to China.

The One Belt, One Road project would connect about 65% of the world's population and a quarter of its GDP, according to McKinsey, the consultant firm. If the project is realized as envisioned, much of world trade would be linked to Chinese economic strategy.

That may turn out fine for the US and the rest of the world — or it may not, since China's aim isn't the free movement of goods, the basis of the US-run trading system of the last half-century. "It's about selling their stuff," a European official attending a two-day Beijing summit on the project told The Wall Street Journal.

Expand chart
Data: Xinhua; Map: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

One Belt, One Road spans Asia, Europe, Africa, with links to South America. Since jettisoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the Obama administration's trade treaty meant to insinuate the US at the center of Asian trade — the Trump administration has offered no answer to One Belt, One Road.

Jonathan Hillman, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told me that China may be seriously over-extending itself — it may be financing transportation projects with no economic viability. But the project envisions decades of spending and the jobs related to it, while officials in Washington can barely agree on six months of spending. "The West is kind of consumed with its own domestic issues and in some cases paralyzed and politically fragmenting," Hillman said. "While that is going on, China is trying to connect with the world."

Go deeper

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Protesters and police clash during demonstration on Wednesday over the death of George Floyd in custody outside the Third Police Precinct. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

A man died in a Minneapolis shooting during a second night of clashes between police and protesters in the city over the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody, per AP.

The latest: Police said officers were responding to reports of a stabbing just before 9:30 p.m. and found a man lying in "grave condition on the sidewalk" with a gunshot wound, CBS Minnesota reports. On man is in custody over the incident.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,695,968 — Total deaths: 355,701 — Total recoveries — 2,351,638Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,699,933 — Total deaths: 100,442 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

FEC commissioner fact-checks Trump's voter fraud claims

Federal Election Commission Ellen Weintraub during a committee hearing in the Capitol in 2017. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Federal Election Commission commissioner Ellen Weintraub posted an extensive fact-checking thread to Twitter late Wednesday refuting claims by President Trump and some Republicans that mail-in voting can lead to fraud.

Why it matters: Weintraub weighed in after Trump threatened to take action against Twitter for fact-checking him on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent, and she directly addressed Twitter's fact-checkin of the president in her post.