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Most people in China would like to see their country's political system become more like America's over the next two decades. Japanese and Germans, not so much.
The big picture: Opinions of the U.S. have fallen dramatically around the world, due in large part to suspicion of the man in the Oval Office. But the Eurasia Group Foundation probed a deeper question: Do countries still see American democracy as a model? The answers were wide-ranging, and surprising.
The view from China:
Between the lines: At a time when Washington and Beijing are gearing up for a new Cold War, it's counterintuitive to find that most Chinese actually feel the U.S. political and economic systems set “a positive example for the world.”
Germans have strikingly negative views of the U.S., and while that trend is driven in part by antipathy toward Trump, it seems to go deeper.
In India, meanwhile, overwhelming majorities have favorable views of the U.S. (76%) and U.S. democracy (86%).
Japan might be the most remarkable of all. Only 2% have highly favorable views of the U.S. or U.S. democracy, and just 2% want the Japanese political system to become much more like America's.
The bottom line: Across the 8 countries, the most-cited reasons for unfavorable views of the U.S. were opposition to Trump, U.S. interventions abroad and America's economic inequality.
Trump and Shanahan (L) in a meeting with the top U.S. military brass. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Trump told acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Wednesday that he does not want his pressure campaign against Iran to escalate to war, the NY Times reports.
Between the lines: National security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been sounding the alarm about impending attacks from Iran and warning of "unrelenting force" if necessary. Trump has long been wary of military engagements in the Middle East, and this is the clearest signal yet that the standoff with Iran is no exception.
The big picture: Trump's sanctions campaign appears likely to cripple the Iranian economy, and his administration has insisted it won't ease up until the Iranian regime fundamentally changes its behavior, or collapses. There's no sign either is about to happen.
What they're saying:
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Context: The Trump administration has been adamant about the espionage risks of allowing Huawei a role in building out 5G networks around the world, and it has pushed allies to block out the Chinese firm — with mixed results.
Meanwhile, China has formally arrested 2 Canadians caught in the U.S.-China crossfire.
Go deeper: Trump's executive order creates new challenges for Huawei in the U.S., but in the meantime, the Chinese telecom giant is racing ahead under the world’s seas, Jonathan Hillman of CSIS writes for Axios Expert Voices.
1. Transition talks in Sudan have been suspended for three days as military authorities demand protestors remove barricades in the capital, Khartoum.
2. The UN envoy for Yemen says there have been both “signs of hope” and “alarming signs in recent days,” AP reports.
3. "Diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving Venezuela’s crisis accelerated on Thursday as the government and opposition sent envoys to talks in Norway, though the two sides’ mutual mistrust and differences on key issues could prevent any quick solution," per AP.
Chinese nationals arrested in Lahore, Pakistan, for allegedly selling women into fake marriages and then forcing them into prostitution. Photo: Ali Murtaza/AFP/Getty Images
Pakistani authorities have arrested more than two dozen Chinese nationals involved in allegedly selling Pakistani women into forced marriages in China, Axios' Phanindra Dahal reports.
Why it matters: Human rights groups have documented numerous cases of women sold to Chinese men struggling to find wives due in part to the gender imbalance in the country.
The latest: Around 30 Chinese nationals allegedly seeking or helping to sell brides have been arrested in raids in multiple Pakistani cities, according to law enforcement officials. Local agents accused of luring poor families into marrying their daughters to Chinese men have also been arrested.
The big picture: There are documented cases of women being trafficked to China from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, North Korea and Pakistan, says Heather Barr, acting co-director of the Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch.
The bottom line: The State Department’s anti-human trafficking watchdog has stated that Beijing has not met its minimum standards for the prevention of human trafficking.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The opposition Labor Party's lead over the ruling center-right coalition has narrowed to just 3 percentage points ahead of Saturday's general election, according to a new poll from The Guardian.
What to watch: Labor's Bill Shorten, a former union leader, is likely to be Australia's next prime minister despite being quite unpopular. He's much more dovish on China and far more concerned about climate change than Morrison.
A beekeeper in Armenia, with Mount Ararat looming in the background. Photo: Karen Minasyan/AFP/Getty Images
"I hope not."— Trump today, asked if the U.S. would go to war with Iran
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