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Trump and Xi in Beijing. Photo: Kyodo News via Getty Images

Chinese state-run media and government officials in Beijing, who have largely remained quiet as the United States and China hit each other with tit-for-tat tariffs, have started to ramp up their rhetoric to slam the economic positions of Washington and President Trump.

In the world’s perception, the U.S. is overshadowed by an anxiety disorder and is very keen to show its anxiety.
— The People's Daily, a Chinese state newspaper, per Reuters

The big picture: President Trump tweeted Sunday that "Xi and I will always be friends" despite trade disputes, and that China will reel in unfair trade practices. The president's top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, told Meet the Press' Chuck Todd that he also expects China to come to the negotiating table. But the message coming out of Beijing does not indicate that China will back down in the face of a trade war.

What the Chinese are saying, via Reuters:

  • “Some people in the United States are still accustomed to being the world leader, and haven’t adapted to the change in the global situation." — Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the U.S.
  • “The United States with one hand wields the threat of sanctions, and at the same time says they are willing to talk. I’m not sure who the United States is putting on this act for." — Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang

Go deeper: This time, China can fight back against tariffs.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
9 hours ago - World

China's economy grows 6.5% in Q4 as country rebounds from coronavirus

A technician installs and checks service robots to be be used for food and medicine delivery in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday. Photo: Hu Xuejun/VCG via Getty Images

China's economy grew at a 6.5% pace in the final quarter of 2020, the national statistics bureau announced Monday local time, topping off a year in which it grew in three of four quarters and by 2.3% in total.

Why it matters: No other major economy managed positive growth in 2020. Although the COVID-19 pandemic was first detected in China, the country got the virus under control and became one of the main positive drivers of the global economy even as the rest of the world was largely under lockdown.