Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Xi, at Belt and Road last week. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty

At China's big Belt and Road conference last week in Beijing, local officials bandied about a new moniker for the spidery, geopolitically important system of infrastructure it is building around the world — "Six Corridors, Six Roads."

The backdrop: The name gives more description to a project that fans out from China, around the region and to most of the other continents, reflecting Beijing's ambitions, like Rome, to make all roads lead to it.

Technically speaking, the designation is not new — Chinese President Xi Jinping first made Six Corridors, Six Roads public 2 years ago. But last week's heavy emphasis shows the Chinese are doubling down on it, says Jonathan Hillman, director of the Reconnecting Asia Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

  • The six designated corridors go through Russia; northern Central Asia; southern Central Asia; Pakistan; India; and Indochina.
  • "The magnitude of China’s vision overshadows anything else currently on the world stage," says Hillman.
  • But at the same time, the Chinese have laid bare something less impressive: "With one notable exception, the corridors are still more aspirational than reality."

That is, only the Pakistani route is being fully built out. The others are more skeletal.

Over lunch today in D.C., Parag Khanna, author of "The Future is Asian," said that faulty Western reasoning is turning Chinese ambitions into fears of a new Cold War. In terms of superpower competition with the U.S., China is simply an added actor in an already multi-polar world, he said. "The answer to the question of who will be No. 1 is, 'neither.'"

  • Yet, China continues its march to lay down its Six Roads infrastructure: On Monday, Xi and Swiss President Uei Maurer signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on the project.

Go deeper: Belt and Road is full of holes

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The global future is looking dark and stormy

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

A new 20-year-forecast for the world: increasingly fragmented and turbulent.

The big picture: A major report put out this week by the National Intelligence Council reflects a present rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. How the next two decades will unfold depends largely on whether new technologies will ultimately unite us — or continue to divide us.

Rep. Gaetz declares he's "not going anywhere" amid sex trafficking probe

Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) doubled down Friday night, saying he's not "going anywhere," and vowing, "I have not yet begun to fight," amid a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations.

What he's saying: “I’m built for the battle, and I’m not going anywhere,” Gaetz, who denies the allegations, said during a Women for America First event at the Trump National Doral Miami resort.