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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien will lambast China's leadership in a speech tomorrow in Arizona, one day after President Trump visits the crucial battleground state to promote his border wall.

What we're hearing: O'Brien's speech "will focus on the challenge presented by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to American values and the values of democratic societies around the world," a senior administration official familiar with his prepared remarks tells Axios.

  • The speech will outline how the Trump administration "has adopted a clear-eyed view of China's long-term intentions to change the way the international system operates, and what this means for Americans," the official added.
  • Gov. Doug Ducey is hosting the event at the Arizona Commerce Authority.

National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot confirmed O'Brien is "giving a major address tomorrow on China in Phoenix."

Don't forget: Trump's political operation is worried about the president's standing in Arizona, as he's been bleeding support from suburbanites. And Trump's entire team — from his national security aides to his political operation — view China as one of the central issues of 2020.

  • Trump's position on China has drawn acute scrutiny in the past few days with the release of a tell-all memoir by his former national security adviser John Bolton.
  • In "The Room Where It Happened," Bolton claims Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to buy farm products to help him get re-elected and that Trump gave Xi a green light to build concentration camps in Xinjiang.
  • Trump has denied both allegations, but he told Axios on Friday that he held off on sanctioning Chinese officials over the Xinjiang camps because doing so would interfere with his trade negotiations with Beijing.
  • Trump won Arizona in 2016, but Joe Biden leads Trump by four percentage points in the latest polling average compiled by Real Clear Politics.

Go deeper

Sep 29, 2020 - World

The risks and rewards from China's imperial dreams

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

By undertaking massive infrastructure projects around the world, China under President Xi Jinping is following in the footsteps of previous empires.

Why it matters: Like previous imperial projects in history, Xi's Belt and Road Initiative presents both benefits and risks for China.

Trump's business dealings raise security concerns, too

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Even before the recent New York Times bombshell on Trump's taxes, the president's financial entanglements raised the specter of foreign influence.

The big picture: Although Trump has said he turned over day-to-day management of the Trump Organization to his two sons, he hasn't divested from any of his businesses. Revelations from the Times report add to concerns that this state of affairs is shaping elements of Trump's foreign policy.

The national security risks hiding in Trump's debts

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The blockbuster New York Times report on President Trump’s taxes reveals that the president is $421 million in debt, with more than $300 million coming due during Trump’s potential second term — and the identities of the president’s creditors remain unknown.

Why it matters: If some, or all, of this debt is held by foreign actors, it raises serious national security implications.