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Liu He delivers a speech at the annual 2018 World Economic Forum. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

Liu He, a top economic adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping, will visit the U.S. from Feb. 27 to March 3, to discuss economic and trade matters, the Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday. This will be the second top emissary to visit the U.S. in a couple months.

Why it matters: Beijing is trying to figure out how to avoid a much more contentious phase of U.S.–China relations. If China is serious about difficult financial reforms, then it needs to avoid risking its cleanup with significant economic friction with the U.S. The U.S. has leverage but so far I am hearing that the Trump administration has been unable to craft and implement a coherent strategy to use that leverage.

Timing: Liu's visit comes in the middle of the important Third Plenum meeting in Beijing, but that likely shows the Chinese Communist Party has already decided Liu's possible future roles (expected to be a Vice Premier with broad responsibility for China’s economic and financial matters).

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.

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