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VP Mike Pence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence will lay out the Trump administration's case that China is "meddling in America’s democracy" in a speech this morning, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks.

What to watch: Axios' Jonathan Swan reported recently that the Trump administration was planning an "administration-wide" anti-China campaign. This is part of that ongoing effort.

Why it matters: President Trump raised eyebrows by declaring last week, without offering evidence, that China was meddling in the midterms.

  • Pence is attempting to put meat on those bones, while laying out a broader case that Beijing is a threat to U.S. interests and a destabilizing force around the world.
  • He'll also make an explicit comparison to Russian interference, saying: "What the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what [China] is doing across this country."

Between the lines: This speech comes on a headline-packed day when it comes to Russian and Chinese hacking and intelligence activities.

The big picture: Pence's speech matches warnings from intelligence officials and other experts that China is ramping up its intelligence activities and influence operations around the world.

  • On election interference, though, Pence's case is less clear cut. He cites as an example of election interference the fact that China targeted tariffs at key midterm election states — the European Union and others did the same thing.

Go deeper ... The view from Beijing: A coordinated propaganda attack against China

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
6 mins ago - Economy & Business

How to meme a painting

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

How can a physical artwork become an NFT? One new company has just spent $12.9 million on a Banksy in an attempt to try out a new way of converting the real into the virtual.

Why it matters: The art market globally sees volume of about $60 billion per year, almost all of which is trade in physical objects. Art-world insiders including former Christie's c0-chair Loïc Gouzer are on the lookout for ways to monetize physical paintings without necessarily giving up physical ownership of them.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.