The big picture

Zurich meeting brings rare sign of U.S.-China thaw
Zurich meeting brings rare sign of U.S.-China thaw

The meeting may have done more to defrost the relationship than anything since President Biden took office.

Oct 7, 2021 - World
Biden's muddled China policy

The latest plan sends a strong signal about the U.S. commitment to countering China's naval activities.

Sep 16, 2021 - World
Former Google CEO and others call for U.S.-China tech "bifurcation"

Decoupling has growing bipartisan and industry support.

Jan 26, 2021 - World
Hong Kong's worst case scenario is happening

There's been a slew of arrests under the national security law imposed by Beijing.

Dec 15, 2020 - World
Exclusive: Suspected Chinese spy targeted California politicians

Christine Fang built connections with up-and-coming California politicians including Eric Swalwell and Ro Khanna.

Updated Dec 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy
As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Military conflict between the two could also embroil the U.S.

Oct 13, 2020 - World

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2 hours ago - Sports

Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics

A Winter Olympics display in Tian'anmen Square, Beijing, China, on Thursday. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

All of the roughly 240 American athletes going to next month's Beijing Winter Olympic Games have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Team USA's top doctor told AP on Thursday.

The big picture: There was no vaccine requirement for American Olympians at last year's Summer Games in Tokyo, and about 100 of the 613 Team USA athletes competing in the event were unvaccinated.

17 hours ago - World

Feds move to drop fraud charges against MIT professor

The U.S. Department of Justice seal on a podium in Washington, D.C. Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Federal prosecutors on Thursday moved to drop a case against a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who was accused of hiding research he did for the Chinese government.

Driving the news: "Having assessed the evidence as a whole ... the government can no longer meet its burden of proof at trial," prosecutors wrote in a motion to dismiss on Thursday.

Scoop: Lawmakers warn of states using risky Chinese tech

Rep. John Katko. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Two lawmakers are urging the federal government to ensure state governments are not procuring telecommunications equipment from Chinese companies deemed a security risk, according to a letter viewed by Axios.

The big picture: Governments around the world are struggling to determine which Chinese tech companies may pose security risks, and how to extricate those products and services from sensitive telecommunications infrastructure.

Jan 18, 2022 - World

A Hong Kong exile's manifesto for freedom

Photo: The Experiment

In a new book, former Hong Kong lawmaker Nathan Law connects his experiences as a pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong with China's attempts to curb freedoms around the world.

Why it matters: "It’s really important that we see Hong Kong as part of the puzzle in a bigger picture of democratic recession, so we can equip ourselves more as China expands its authoritarianism around the world," Law told Axios in an interview.

China builds its own movie empire

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Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Jan 12, 2022 - World

China hosts string of Gulf officials in sign of growing influence

Wang Yi (right) greets Faisal bin Farhan on Jan. 10. Photo: Ji Chunpeng/Xinhua via Getty

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain and the secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council are all visiting China this week for talks on boosting trade and security cooperation.

Why it matters: The flurry of visits by Gulf officials is part of China’s push for deeper involvement in the Middle East. For Beijing, the Gulf in particular is key to its energy supply and increasingly to its geopolitical influence.

Jan 12, 2022 - World

Lawmakers ask IOC to prove Chinese companies making uniforms are not using forced labor

The stage for awarding ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Photo: Han Haidan/China News Service via Getty Images

A bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter Wednesday to International Olympic Committee president President Thomas Bach asking him to justify the IOC's ties with two Chinese companies that use cotton produced in Xinjiang.

Why it matters: The letter from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) notes that "there is a worrisome possibility that IOC personnel or others attending the 2022 Olympic Games will be wearing clothing contaminated by forced labor.”

Jan 11, 2022 - World

Exclusive: U.S. voters concerned about solar panel forced labor

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Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A majority of U.S. voters are concerned about forced labor in China's solar panel industry, a new survey of registered voters conducted by Morning Consult finds.

Why it matters: China produces about three-quarters of the world's solar panels, which many view as vital to reducing carbon emissions.

China makes a show of opening up the internet for the Olympics

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The Chinese government has promised Olympic athletes free access to social media platforms and other websites in the Olympic Village in Beijing, but internet use may still be fraught with restrictions and risks.

Why it matters: China's aim in temporarily opening its "great firewall" is simply to boost its global reputation ahead of the Games, not to champion an open internet, experts say. And they expect heavy surveillance of online activity to continue, even for visitors who are allowed to access sites that would otherwise be blocked.

Jan 10, 2022 - Sports

U.S. skater Timothy LeDuc calls human rights abuses in China "horrifying"

Timothy LeDuc and Ashley Cain-Gribble at the Championship Pairs Free Skate in January.

U.S. Olympic pairs skater Timothy LeDuc called Chinese human rights abuses toward Uyghur Muslims "horrifying," USA Today reports.

Why it matters: A number of countries, including the U.S., have announced diplomatic boycotts of next month's Beijing Winter Games. Many athletes however, have "tiptoed around" commenting on the human rights abuses committed by China's government, USA Today notes.

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