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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

UN warns of "catastrophic" climate change failure without more emissions cuts

UN Secretary-General António Guterres at a news conference. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

A United Nations report released Friday warned that the planet will likely warm by more than 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless governments take extra steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Why it matters: The report, released just months ahead of November's UN Climate Summit, highlights the growing pressure on global leaders to crack down on emissions to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

Biden threatens new sanctions against Ethiopian officials over Tigray conflict

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden on Friday signed an executive order allowing the Treasury and State departments to impose sanctions against Ethiopian officials "responsible for, or complicit in, prolonging the conflict" in the Tigray region.

Driving the news: Hundreds of thousands of people are facing famine conditions in Tigray, but less than 10% of the needed humanitarian supplies has reached the region over the last month "due to the obstruction of aid access" by the Ethiopian government, according to Biden administration officials.

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