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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Boeing and researchers at the University of Arizona say their experiment with a live virus on an unoccupied airplane proves that the cleaning methods currently used by airlines are effective in destroying the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why it matters: Deep cleaning aircraft between flights is one of many tactics the airline industry is using to try to restore public confidence in flying during the pandemic. The researchers say their study proves there is virtually no risk of transmission from touching objects including armrests, tray tables, overhead bins or lavatory handles on a plane.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.

Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.