Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. 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 the Axios Closer newsletter 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!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

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 the Axios Sports newsletter. 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 the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

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 the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

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!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

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!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Trump administration has declassified a report which lays out its Indo-Pacific strategy, including “accelerating India’s rise,” blocking China from establishing “illiberal spheres of influence,” and maintaining “U.S. strategic primacy” in the region, according to a copy viewed by Axios.

Why it matters: The strategy laid out in the ten-page report, written in early 2018, has guided the U.S. approach to China, India, North Korea and other nations in the Indo-Pacific region for the past three years. Its release sheds light on the geopolitical and security challenges soon to be inherited by the Biden administration.

China is the primary state actor of concern outlined in the document, followed by North Korea. The strategy emphasizes countering China's growing influence abroad by seeking strategic alignment with allies and partners, upholding a "liberal economic order" in the region, and working to "inoculate" the U.S. and its partners against China's intelligence activities.

  • The strategy also outlines a major expansion of military, intelligence, and diplomatic support to India as the primary regional counterweight to China — an approach which is likely to raise eyebrows in Beijing and Islamabad.

What they're saying: "The declassification of the Framework today demonstrates, with transparency, America’s strategic commitments to the Indo-Pacific and to our allies and partners in the region," wrote National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien in a memo dated Jan. 5, 2021 and included with the strategy document.

Breaking it down: The Trump administration has hewed closely to several of its stated objectives regarding China over the last three years, including:

  • Building an "international consensus that China's industrial policies and unfair trading practices are damaging the global trading system"
  • Expanding U.S. counterintelligence and law enforcement to counter China's intelligence activities in the U.S., and expanding intelligence sharing with allies to help them do the same.
  • Developing military and asymmetric warfare strategies to help Taiwan in its long-standing, tense relationship with China.
  • Strengthening national security reviews of Chinese investments into sensitive U.S. sectors
  • Working with allies and partners to try to "prevent Chinese acquisition of military and strategic capabilities."

Yes, but: Some objectives faced headwinds.

  • The strategy repeatedly calls for greater U.S. engagement with countries in the region, in particular the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In some cases the U.S. actually pulled back from the region, including through Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and snubbing of ASEAN summits.
  • The goal of showcasing the benefits of American democratic values as a counterbalance to China in the region also suffered a major blow with the recent armed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Those events prompted the resignation of one of the strategy's main authors, former deputy national security Matt Pottinger.

Of note: India forms an important cornerstone of the aptly-named Indo-Pacific strategy.

  • The document states that enhanced U.S. assistance and intelligence sharing should aid India in key areas of conflict with China, including over border disputes and water rights in the Himalayas. In 2020, India and China had their deadliest military skirmish along the border since 1967.
  • But the U.S.-India relationship is complex. During the cold war, India refused to squarely place itself in the Western camp, instead opting for leadership in the non-aligned movement. The U.S., meanwhile, often tilted towards Pakistan, India's historic arch-rival in South Asia.

Background: The Trump administration ushered in a new official framework for viewing China and India as part of the same strategic region, the "Indo-Pacific," beginning with its National Security Strategy in 2017.

  • The U.S. Pacific Command was renamed the Indo-Pacific Command in 2018, in a move widely viewed as a response to China's rise.

Between the lines: Australia's experience with China strongly influenced the drafting of the 2018 Indo-Pacific strategy.

  • "In many ways they were ahead of the curve in understanding influence operations and interference in domestic systems," one senior U.S. official told me. "They were pioneers and we have to give a lot of credit to Australia."
  • The official singled out former Australian senior intelligence advisor John Garnaut for praise, and said a 2017 report on Chinese influence operations by New Zealand-based scholar Anne-Marie Brady had also influenced the U.S. strategy.

Go deeper: State Department releases blueprint for countering China.

Go deeper

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that confronting Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the threat posed by China. But as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).

Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.