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Xi welcomes Trump to Beijing in 2017. Photo: Thomas Peter/Pool/Getty Images

Kevin Rudd — the former Australian prime minister, who's now president of the Asia Society Policy Institute — warns that President Trump's freewheeling diplomatic style won't work with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

What's happening: Rudd tells Axios that Trump's preferred approach — meeting Xi at Mar-a-Lago to hash out a final deal — isn't a realistic way to get there. "The deep Chinese learning from the Hanoi outcome is that we Chinese would never allow that to happen to our leader," Rudd says.

  • Rudd, a fluent Mandarin speaker who has as deep relationships at the highest levels in Beijing as anyone in the West, sees an end to the trade war between the U.S. and China — probably within the next month or so.
  • "Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are driven by similar, underlying interests — stronger growth to their respective economies — in trying to put this one to bed as quickly as possible," Rudd says.

Rudd, who's in the rare position of being able to channel both Washington and Beijing, elaborates in an Asia Society Policy Institute post:

  • "Trump, as we have seen throughout his business career and most recently in Hanoi, wants to do a large part of it himself in a final round of brinksmanship with his opposite number."
  • "Unfortunately for the Donald, the Chinese just don’t do it that way with their leaders."

The bottom line, per Rudd: "Whenever the Mar-a-Lago Summit is held between Trump and Xi, ... however it is dressed up, for it to work it will need to be signed off in full in both capitals beforehand by Vice Premier Liu He and his American counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer."

  • "That’s where the art of this particular deal will have to lie, whether President Trump likes it or not."

Go deeper: Grading the impact of Trump's China tariffs

Go deeper

The E-commerce shopping spree

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Retailers have gotten really good at selling stuff online. So much so, investors want them to separate from the business units that do just that.

Why it matters: Spinning off these crown jewels may jeopardize both the physical and e-commerce sides of the companies in the long run by breaking the benefits of hybrid operations, analysts say.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. envoy to visit Sudan as "most dangerous" crisis intensifies

The sit-in in Khartoum. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty

U.S. envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will visit Khartoum this week amid what Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has called the “worst and most dangerous" crisis of Sudan’s transition to democracy, two sources with direct knowledge tell Axios.

Driving the news: Roughly 2,000-3,000 people had joined a sit-in in Khartoum as of this afternoon, per Reuters, after protesters massed over the weekend to call on the military to bring down the government. The protests came just four weeks after a failed military coup.

Trump sues National Archives, Jan. 6 committee to block records request

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the National Archives from releasing White House records to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing executive privilege.

Why it matters: It's the latest escalation in Trump's campaign to disrupt the committee's sweeping probe into the circumstances surrounding Jan. 6, including his actions and communications leading up to the Capitol attack.