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AP

Trump's going to use this week's China summit in Mar-a-Lago to propose a new "framework" for relations, senior Trump Administration officials said today on a background call with reporters. Trump and Xi are spending roughly a day together at the Florida club, with Xi arriving Thursday afternoon and leaving after a working lunch on Friday. It'll be all business, one official said:

It's safe to say there's not going to be any golf

Key points from the phone briefing:

  • A new framework: Trump's primary purpose will be to "put a framework in place" to help the two leaders work through their disagreements on everything from trade to North Korea.
  • Elevating the dialogue: The officials didn't say what that new "framework" would look like, only that the dialogue between the U.S. and China would be "streamlined" and have "clear deadlines."
  • North Korea: Its belligerence and race to fit nuclear weapons onto missiles that could hit America make it an urgent threat. "The clock has run out and all options are now on the table," an official on the call said. Expect Trump to pressure Xi to use China's economic power over North Korea as leverage to get the country to improve its behavior.
  • Trade: Trump already told the Financial Times he probably wouldn't raise the subject of tariffs with the Chinese on this first visit. But an official on the call pointedly said he couldn't rule out that tariffs would come up in the leaders' conversations. The official added, however, that he didn't anticipate resolving any issues on trade during this first meeting between the leaders.
  • Climate change: Obama used the shared threat of climate change to find a rare patch of common ground with the Chinese — culminating in the 2015 global agreement in Paris. Trump, however, has little interest in dealing with global warming, and when a reporter asked the officials about the subject they quickly pivoted to North Korea.
  • South China Sea: The officials didn't want to get into much detail here, but they wouldn't be surprised if Trump raised the issue of China's provocative building of military outposts in the South China Sea. An official on the call said it was "no secret" that Trump was "disturbed by the activities that took place under the last administration and he and his cabinet members have been on the record saying [this has] got to stop."

Our read: Trump loved dealing one-on-one during his real estate career, and we wouldn't be surprised if he elevates more of the conversations with China to the leader-to-leader level.

Go deeper

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

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The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.