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Marsh Harbour on the Abaco Islands, Bahamas. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Bahamas soon will seek billions in foreign aid after Hurricane Dorian, and the Trump administration is considering the national security implications if China rushes to help.

Why it matters: China has projected power around the globe through its infrastructure spending, and this will create an opening for massive investments just off U.S. waters.

Sources tell Axios that the U.S. is working with Bahamian officials to help them navigate the bureaucracy to pursue avenues of assistance.

  • Administration sources say it's too soon for detailed conversations on how the China rivalry could play out in the hurricane's aftermath.
  • But officials involved in diplomacy, national security and foreign assistance understand that will be part of the equation after the initial response. 

The big picture: The official Bahamas tourism site has a whole page on "Our Proximity to the United States," with one island "[j]ust 50 miles off the coast of Florida" and Nassau, the capital, a "45-minute plane ride from Miami."

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative intertwines his nation with countries throughout Asia, Europe and Africa by investing in ports, railways, power grids, gas pipelines, oil pipelines and other massive infrastructure developments.

President Trump's approach to the Bahamas could be shaped by a foreign policy that includes supporting regime change in Venezuela; interest in buying Greenland from Denmark; trying to limit the reach of Chinese telecom giant Huawei into the U.S. and allies; and the trade war with Beijing.

  • Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis was among the Caribbean leaders who visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago in March after agreeing to stand with the U.S. in supporting Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
  • In exchange, Trump promised enhanced U.S. lending and investment. The White House previewed the summit by saying Trump is "working with countries in the region to strengthen our security cooperation and counter China’s predatory economic practices."

Between the lines: Huawei has already spent years investing in telecom infrastructure and hardware in Caribbean nations, including the Bahamas. Large swaths of the Bahamas' wiring has been wiped out and must be restored.

Go deeper: China's road to global dominance

Go deeper

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.

Updated 13 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.