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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty

China is beset by a trade war, pushback against its global infrastructure plans and allegations of industrial spying. Growth in factory production appears to be at its weakest in 24 years.

Parag Khanna, a Singapore-based global strategist, says that all of this may signal that, after years of forecasts of a Chinese juggernaut, we may have reached what he calls "peak China."

  • The 5G race: The highest-profile current global technological rivalry is in 5G, the coming step change in communications and connectivity. Huawei, the Chinese giant, is ahead both technologically and logistically. But the U.S. is pushing allies hard to block Huawei's system.
  • The U.S. is also pushing against Chinese espionage: In reports and presentations around the world, NSA and military officials are warning of a grave long-term threat by Chinese hacking.
  • Abroad, too, counter-balancing is going on: The EU, Japan and India have all launched cross-regional infrastructure initiatives meant to counter China's massive Belt and Road infrastructure system.

"China is experiencing in just three years of expansionism the kind of pushback it took 300 years to muster against some European empires," Khanna, author of "The Future is Asian," tells Axios.

  • China is fighting it: At a dinner in Washington, D.C., last night, hosted by Arizona State University, Slate and New America, Chen Futao, head of the science and technology section at the Chinese Embassy, argued against decoupling the U.S. and Chinese economies, a much-discussed idea in U.S. foreign policy circles.
  • Chen especially fought accusations that some Chinese students spy for Beijing and that Chinese companies steal technology for their products. "We believe our innovation is a result of our own research, not stealing," Chen said.

Go deeper: China’s formerly white-hot tech sector is in the doldrums

Go deeper

National Guard chief says it took 3 hours for Pentagon to grant Jan. 6 request

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, will testify Wednesday that it took three hours and 19 minutes for Pentagon leadership to approve a request for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to his prepared remarks.

Why it matters: The timeline over when National Guard requests were made and granted has been a key point of contention in congressional hearings examining the security failures surrounding the Capitol riots.

38 mins ago - World

International Criminal Court opens Israel-Palestine war crimes probe

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu has strongly objected to the investigation. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday announced her intention to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the Palestinian territories since 2014.

Why it matters: The investigation is expected to consider possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the 2014 war in Gaza, as well as the construction of West Bank settlements by Israel. It could sharply increase tensions between Israel, which fiercely opposes the probe, and Palestinian leaders, who requested it.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Exxon says it's well-positioned amid investor pressure

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

ExxonMobil said Wednesday that its oil-and-gas development plans will create good returns even at modest oil prices as the company looks to win back investor confidence after several rocky years.

Driving the news: The company, just ahead of an investor presentation this morning, said its investments are designed to generate returns of over 30% and touted its spending reductions.