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President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Artyom Ivanov\Tass via Getty Images.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday that the U.S. should stop its "wishful thinking" of trying to change China, accusing the Trump administration of taking actions that are pushing the two nations toward a "new Cold War," Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: U.S.-China relations have grown increasingly sour during the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump and many of his Republican allies directly blame the Communist Party's cover-up in the early days of the Wuhan outbreak for allowing the virus to spread throughout the world.

  • Tensions could further spiral if China moves forward with a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong that could dramatically constrain the city's autonomy.
  • White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that the U.S. government will likely impose economic sanctions if Beijing follows through.

What they're saying: Wang said that "some U.S. political forces are taking hostage of China-U.S. relations" and that "this is dangerous and will endanger global peace."

  • "China has no intention to change the U.S., nor to replace the U.S. It is also wishful thinking for the U.S. to change China," Wang argued.

Wang also warned U.S. officials "not to challenge China’s red line" on Taiwan, after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took the rare step of congratulating Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on her second-term inauguration.

  • China considers the island of Taiwan a province, and Beijing threatened action against the U.S. last week for Pompeo's alleged "interference" in domestic affairs.
  • "Reunification between the two sides of the Strait is an inevitable trend of history, no one and no force can stop it," Wang said.

The big picture: It's unlikely that the Trump administration will ease up on its hawkish rhetoric against China, whose authoritarian turn has caused Americans' views of the country to darken dramatically.

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo opened a press conference last week by saying, "The media’s focus on the current pandemic risks missing the bigger picture of the challenge that’s presented by the Chinese Communist Party.”

Go deeper: The "new Cold War" started in Beijing

Go deeper

House committee launches contempt proceedings against Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Mike Segar/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The House Foreign Affairs Committee announced Friday that it will launch contempt proceedings against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over his refusal to comply with a subpoena for records related to the State Department's involvement in attempts to link Joe Biden to corruption in Ukraine.

Why it matters: Democrats on the committee say that Pompeo gave similar documents to Senate Republicans, alleging he has undertaken a "transparently political misuse of Department resources" and shown "an unprecedented record of obstruction and defiance of the House’s constitutional oversight authority."

Updated 8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

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