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U.S. officials announced Wednesday they'll hold their first high-level, in-person summit next week with China — and cyberattacks, human rights and Chinese actions in Taiwan and Hong Kong are likely on the agenda.

Why it matters: China's leaders may see the current moment as a window of opportunity to persuade a new administration the United States has much to gain from supporting Beijing's global goals and much to lose if the U.S. tries to thwart them.

  • Relations between the world's two nuclear-armed superpowers are at their lowest point in decades.
  • The Biden administration has said it views China as a major strategic rival, and the National Security Council has made the Indo-Pacific region its top focus.

On the table: In Anchorage, Alaska, next week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan are likely to bring up recent cyber intrusions attributed to Chinese-backed actors, China's recent aggression toward Taiwan and the genocide that China is perpetrating against its Muslim minorities.

  • State Councilor Wang Yi and Director Yang Jiechi are likely going to demand that the U.S. cease interfering in what they perceive as issues of Chinese territorial sovereignty.
  • They are also likely to object to what they perceive as attempts at regional containment, such as the planned Quad summit involving officials from the U.S., Japan, Australia and India.
  • Both the Biden administration and Chinese officials hope the U.S.-China relationship can accommodate some degree of cooperation, so potential areas of partnership — such as on climate change and pandemic preparedness — also may come up.

My thought bubble: Yang and Wang undoubtedly hope to win a detente.

  • Biden has so far upheld most of the Trump era's tough China measures in a sort of holding pattern, as the administration conducts a comprehensive review of America's China policy.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.