Oct 24, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 438 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: Pence calls out U.S. businesses on China

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

In a speech about America's biggest adversary, Vice President Mike Pence saved some of his sharpest words for U.S. companies, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.

  • The VP steered clear of the uber-hawkish wing of the Trump administration, saying the U.S. does not want to "decouple" with China and "does not seek open confrontation."
  • But he expressed full support for Chinese Christians and Uighurs, defended pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, and slammed the NBA and Nike for muzzling free speech to do business with China.

The big picture: Although Pence emphasized that the U.S. wants to engage with China, not fight it, he laid out a long list of examples of its bad behavior.

  • Intellectual property theft.
  • Chinese fentanyl in the American opioid crisis.
  • Chinese export of surveillance technologies.
  • The global influence operations under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Why it matters: With its massive market of consumers and leverage against the U.S. in the trade war, China is increasingly difficult for some American politicians and companies to criticize.

  • Pence said the NBA is "siding with the Chinese Communist Party and silencing free speech ... acting like a wholly owned subsidiary of the authoritarian regime."
  • “Nike promotes itself as a so-called social-justice champion, but when it comes to Hong Kong, it prefers checking its social conscience at the door,” he said.

Yes, but: In 2017, the VP walked out of an NFL game after players exercised those same rights to free expression by taking a knee during the national anthem.

Bonus: Pics du jour
Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Above: Members of the Congressional Black Caucus gather around the casket during a memorial service for Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
2. What you missed
  1. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered Parliament an extended timetable to debate his Brexit deal, provided they back a general election on Dec. 12. Go deeper.
  2. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants the U.S. to hand over Syrian Kurdish commander Mazloum Kobani Abdi, calling him a "wanted terrorist" with an Interpol red notice. Go deeper.
  3. Former President Jimmy Carter was released from the hospital after being treated for a pelvic fracture due to a fall.
  4. Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a resolution in the Senate condemning the impeachment inquiry into Trump, calling on the House to vote to open a formal inquiry and provide Trump with “fundamental constitutional protections.” Go deeper.
3. 1 🖌thing

Photo: Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images

Visitors are crowding into the Louvre museum in Paris to see a major retrospective exhibition of Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings to honor the 500th anniversary of his death, the AP reports.

  • "The exhibition ... includes infrared reflectographs that offer an insight into the master painter's techniques," the AFP reports.
  • "Nearly everything is achieved with very fine layers of paint — glazing," the Louvre's Vincent Delieuvin told AFP. "That allowed him ... to give the painting a vibration."
Mike Allen