Dec 18, 2017

Fear and loathing on China’s border with North Korea

The Friendship Bridge connects Dandong, China, and Sinuiju, North Korea. Photo: Andy Wong / AP

Along China's side of the 900-mile border it shares with North Korea, tension and resentment of the neighboring regime are slowly building.

The economy in China's underdeveloped Northeast, which lags far behind the prosperous urban centers, has taken a huge hit due to sanctions. Where do locals place the blame? While they fear military action by President Trump, their anger is directed squarely at Kim Jong-un, whom they hold responsible for heightened friction.

In the border city of Dandong, where shop signs are in Korean and local vendors sell North Korean cigarettes and beer, traffic and trade have dwindled, though the Friendship Bridge across the Yalu River is not quite closed, despite claims by central authorities in Beijing. Ambitious development projects begun in partnership with Kim Jong-un's China-friendly uncle, Jang Song-taek, were shelved after Jang was executed for "counter-revolutionary" activities.

Meanwhile, fears of basic security still loom over these communities. A local newspaper recently published a primer for residents on how to deal with radioactive fallout from an accident or airstrike against North Korean nuclear sites.

Why it matters: As China's old alliance with North Korea erodes and its fear of nuclear fallout grows, there is an opportunity for meaningful U.S.–China cooperation to stop the threat from Kim Jong-un.

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Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.

How art can help us understand AI

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Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.

Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.

The Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight is the rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

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