Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the podium during the unveiling of the Communist Party's new Politburo Standing Committee in October 2017. Photo: Lintao Zhang / Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping started 2018 as he ended 2017, demonstrating to all 80+ million Chinese Communist Party members that he is demanding absolute loyalty.

Why it matters: Politics are still very much in command in the Xi era, and the focus on Party loyalty and political correctness is about ensuring regime security and improving the implementation of central government policies through all levels of the bureaucracy. If Xi succeeds, we may see a much higher functioning PRC government that is able to execute on many of its ambitions goals.

What's happening:

  • On January 5, he opened a three day study workshop for newly-elected members and alternate members of the CPC Central Committee and provincial and ministerial-level officials. His important "January 5 speech" is now the subject of a growing nationwide study campaign.
  • On January 11, Xi kicked off the Second Plenary session of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the Communist Party body whose mission is not only fighting corruption but also enforcing ideological, political and policy discipline among officials.

Xi's message: In his speech, reported by Xinhua:

  • Xi emphasized that party officials should "always be reliable, align themselves to the Party's central leadership in thinking and deeds, follow the Party's instructions and fulfill their responsibilities."
  • He stressed the importance of the party's political work in realizing "the absolute upholding of the authority of the CPC Central Committee and its centralized, unified leadership."
  • "We cannot indulge ourselves in empty talk without working for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and national rejuvenation. We can neither afford to lose the grand vision because realizing Communism is a long process," he said.

What's next: On January 18–19, the Communist Party Central Committee will hold the second Plenum of the 19th Party Congress. The biggest expected outcome of that meeting is a proposal to revise the Constitution to incorporate the planned National Supervisory Commission that will enhance the scope and powers of anti-corruption efforts.

The big question: It has long been assumed in Western business and policy circles that the Chinese leaders are not really Marxists and this talk of Communism is empty. What if Xi actually believes in it?

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

7 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!