Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Fred Dufour - Pool via Getty Images

The Chinese government is preparing to replace its "Made in China 2025" plan — an ambitious blueprint designed to drive manufacturing growth by raising the target market share for domestic products — with a new program that would allow for more participation by foreign companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Our thought bubble, via Axios contributor Bill Bishop: This is a huge deal — if China is really serious about making substantive changes to this plan, rather than just repackaging it. Only time will tell, but given the history of failed promises of reform and better access for foreigners, people should be wary until Beijing actually delivers. If real changes are made, however, then it's definitely a win for President Trump, foreign firms, and, frankly, the Chinese economy.

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Updated 12 mins ago - World

At least 100 killed, much of Beirut destroyed in massive explosion

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion Beirut, Lebanon has killed at least 100 people and injured over 4,000, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Driving the news: Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for over six years.

Biden confidants see VP choices narrowing to Harris and Rice

Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Confidants of Joe Biden believe his choices for vice president have narrowed to Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice — and would be surprised if he picks anyone else.

The state of play: This is a snapshot of the nearly unanimous read that we get from more than a dozen people close to him.

An election like no other

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus will make the 2020 presidential election different from any in modern history: Voting that begins earlier, results that take longer, mail carriers as virtual poll workers and October Surprises that pop in September.

The big picture: Perhaps 80 million Americans will vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, tells Axios. That's going to set up more of an Election Season than an Election Day — and increase the odds of national turmoil over the vote count.