U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping arrive for a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People on November 9, 2017, in Beijing. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

President Trump's trip to China exemplifies what I call his "head of state" diplomacy: prioritizing personal relationships with his foreign counterparts.

Trump's style has been criticized, but it is starting to yield real results for U.S. business interests. The administration's announcement of $253 billion in trade deals marks a new record for a China trip and will make a significant dent in the trade deficit, which is running at $273 billion for the first nine months of 2017.

Yet it is market access for our most competitive industries that will ultimately restore balance to the relationship, and President Xi has started to make concessions. Restrictions on foreign investment are being phased out or lifted on banks, brokerages and asset-management companies. China also removed the requirement that foreign firms transfer their sensitive technologies before being approved for investing or partnering in China, which has been a hurdle for American companies, especially in the auto industry.

Why it matters: Over time, these policies will further integrate China into the international financial system and create greater opportunities for foreign firms to operate in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

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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.

26 mins ago - World

House report: U.S. intelligence agencies have failed to adapt to China threat

Xi Jinping and other Chinese politicians and delegates listen to the national anthem duirng the closing of the 19th Communist Party Congress in 2017. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday released a report finding that the U.S. intelligence community has failed to adapt to the growing threat from China, arguing that it will struggle to compete on the global stage for decades to come if it does not implement major changes.

The big picture: The 200-page report, based on thousands of analytic assessments and hundreds of hours of interviews with intelligence officers, determined that the intelligence community's focus on counterterrorism after 9/11 allowed China "to transform itself into a nation potentially capable of supplanting the United States as the leading power in the world."

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Tim Scott says Trump "misspoke" when he told Proud Boys to "stand by"

Photo: Bonnie Cash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that he believes President Trump "misspoke" when he told the far-right "Proud Boys" group to "stand back and stand by" in response to a question about condemning white supremacy at the first presidential debate.

Catch up quick: Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump on Tuesday, "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?" Trump asked who specifically he should condemn, and then responded, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left."