Apr 5, 2019

China's Latin American charm offensive alarms U.S.

A Panama Canal worker docks the Chinese container ship Cosco. Photo: Arnulfo Franco/AP

Beijing's construction ambitions in Latin America, a region that American leaders have seen as off-limits to other powers since the 19th century, is stirring alarm in Washington, the AP reports from Panama City.

The big picture: China's focus in Central America includes Panama, where the canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans makes it one of the world's busiest trade arteries, and strategically important both to Washington and Beijing.

The other side: China has launched a charm offensive, wooing Panamanian politicians, professionals and journalists. China is the canal's second-biggest user after the U.S.

Why it matters: The U.S., Japan, Russia and India fret that Beijing's Belt and Road building initiative is yielding economic and strategic influence at their expense.

Go deeper: Competitors worry that China is using Belt and Road for political gain

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.