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First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan tour the Forbidden City. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

President Trump yesterday declared his 12-day Asia swing "historic." A David Ignatius column says that may indeed prove true, but "probably not in the way he intends... It may signal a U.S. accommodation to rising Chinese power, plus a desire to mend fences with a belligerent Russia — with few evident security gains for the United States."

Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, has a similar mega-trend interpretation — but says it was baked even before Trump's trip.

Bremmer wrote his clients, with his idiosyncratic punctuation:

  • "there have been two speeches of my lifetime that mark a change in the global order: when mikhail gorbachev announced [in 1991] the dissolution of the former soviet union, and two weeks ago when chinese president xi jinping declared that china was ready to ... become a superpower."
  • "it's the money china is spending around the region and globally; their technology strategy and the growing impact of the government and their companies together in the space; their policy pronouncements which are seen as having a lot more impact than those of other capitals; and the inevitable pushing ahead of their military in their backyard (most specifically around the south china sea)."
  • Why it matters: "asia used to be a conversation about hedging between the united states and china; now it's more about how to react and adapt to Beijing."

The Ignatius column, "Trump's extraordinary 12-day adulation tour," adds:

  • "If the 1945 Yalta summit marked U.S. acceptance of the Soviet Union's hegemony in Eastern Europe, this trip seemed to validate China's arrival as a Pacific power."
  • "As Xi put it to Trump, 'The Pacific Ocean is big enough to accommodate both China and the United States.''

P.S. Trump tweeted yesterday: "The failing @nytimes hates the fact that I have developed a great relationship with World leaders like Xi Jinping, President of China."

And this morning: "To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You're welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made ... your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!"

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Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
52 mins ago - World

Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries

Waiting, in New Delhi. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

While the 95% efficacy rates for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are great news for the U.S. and Europe, Monday's announcement from Oxford and AstraZeneca may be far more significant for the rest of the world.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca plan to distribute their vaccine at cost (around $3-4 per dose), and have already committed to providing over 1 billion doses to the developing world. The price tags are higher for the Pfizer ($20) and Moderna ($32-37) vaccines.

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Biden transition names first Cabinet nominees

Biden with John Kerry. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday unveiled his nominations for top national security positions in his administration, tapping former Secretary of State John Kerry as his climate czar and former deputy national security adviser Avril Haines as director of national intelligence.

Why it matters: Haines, if confirmed, would make history as the first woman to oversee the U.S. intelligence community. Biden also plans to nominate Alejandro Mayorkas to become the first Latino secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.