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President Xi Jinping, center, presides over the opening ceremony of the 19th Party Congress held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo / Ng Han Guan

President Xi Jinping used the Communist Party's 19th Congress in Beijing to call for an invigorated economy at home and a stronger role for the party — of which he will now be "chairman," a title last held by Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China.

Why it matters: President Xi and his soon-to-be-announced dream team of officials will be ushering in not only a new era of ambitions for China but also a new phase in U.S.–China relations, as power shifts East.

Abroad, Xi will take a more activist approach than his predecessor, Hu Jintao, and expand efforts to build overseas military bases and engage in the Middle East and other hot spots. He'll also ramp up his signature Belt & Road initiative, which aims to solidify political and economic ties with more than 60 countries through infrastructure financing and soft power. While not an overt threat to the United States, those programs will undoubtedly advance conflicting interests, as China takes on a greater presence in regions where the U.S. has been the predominant influence.

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump tells confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
4 hours ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.

Trump gives Biden access to presidential intelligence briefings

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Trump White House on Tuesday gave President-elect Biden access to daily presidential intelligence briefings, a source familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has refused to share the briefs until now, as he continues to challenge the result of the election and declines to concede. The president's acquiescence comes as another sign that the transition to a Biden administration is taking place.

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