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The Trumps and the Xis during a tour of Beijing's Forbidden City Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese workers and businesses are bracing for impact in the escalating trade war with the U.S., but they don’t tend to blame President Trump, according to David Rennie, the Economist’s Beijing bureau chief.

The bottom line: “Partly because they get their information from very, very strictly controlled Chinese state media, there isn’t a kind of anti-Trump wave that you see in so many other countries," Rennie explains on the Money Talks podcast. "The idea that an election in a place like America could change everything — that an insurgent outsider who kind of speaks to the interests of one part of the country, or one class of voter, could overthrow everything, could be a kind of revolutionary figure — that is very alien to the way that China likes to present politics.”

  • “This is probably the only country that is having a trade fight with Donald Trump which isn’t ascribing it, at the moment, in terms of a kind of America First populism.”
  • “The other thing is, taking on America and whipping up anti-American sentiment, that is a really quite high-risk maneuver for the Chinese government. So, for the moment, while the state media is criticizing Trump sharply and saying China will not be humiliated, that China will retaliate, there’s still a kind of more in sorrow than in anger tone to this.”

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bolton lauds Barr for standing up to Trump

John Bolton. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

John Bolton says Attorney General Bill Barr has done more to undercut President Trump's baseless assertions about Democrats stealing the election than most Senate Republicans by saying publicly that the Justice Department has yet to see widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

What he's saying: “He stood up and did the right thing," Bolton said in a Wednesday phone interview.