Xi to Trump - China's Not for Turning
If Donald Trump thought he could pressure China into changing course, he was sorely mistaken.
Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged today to push ahead with his assertive policy agenda despite calls from Trump and others to allow more competition in China’s economic system and cut support for state industries.
“No one is in the position to dictate to the Chinese people what should and should not be done,” Xi told party officials, military leaders and entrepreneurs gathered in Beijing to mark the 40th anniversary of China’s economic opening.
While the remarks came in an 80-minute speech aimed at a domestic audience, they speak to China’s deep suspicion of foreign prescriptions for its development. Xi was no more likely to accept the sweeping U.S. trade demands than reform architect Deng Xiaoping, who refused Mikhail Gorbachev’s ideas for political changes as the Iron Curtain fell.
The address provides a stark counterpoint to reports that China has offered to scale back Made in China 2025, Xi’s signature plan to dominate high-tech industries.
Xi made it clear that he believes China’s growing wealth and power validate the Communist Party’s strategy since 1978 – and he’s not going to quit before the transformation’s complete.
Meddling efforts | Joshua Green takes a closer look at similarities between Trump’s own campaign tactics and those that – according to a pair of Senate Intelligence Committee-commissioned reports released yesterday – Russian agents used to harness social media to try and suppress black votes. Russian efforts to disseminate disruptive messages were far more massive than previously known and continue as the 2020 presidential race approaches, researchers found.
Taking stock | A year after Congress enacted Trump’s sweeping tax-cut legislation, Ben Steverman, Dave Merrill and Jeremy C.F. Lin compare the many promises Republicans made for the law with their real-world results. One key takeaway: Most rich taxpayers are doing much better this year, despite claims that the wealthy would not benefit.
Shifting tide | As U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May fights to save her deal to avoid a chaotic split from the European Union, interviews with residents of the southeastern English town of Basingstoke suggest there may be a small yet palpable shift toward reversing the decision. As Jack Sidders and Lucca De Paoli report, growing frustration suggests the Remain camp in the bellwether town may win any new vote – an exercise ardent Brexit supporters strongly oppose.
New sphere | After decades of submitting to geopolitical forces, Hungary is trying to carve out its own sphere of influence in Europe’s most volatile region. Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has taken over his nation’s media and courts and flouted the European Union’s democratic values, is spreading his politics across the Balkans and gaining influence as his oligarch allies plow into everything from broadcasters to banks.
Travel upgrade | The latest security advance at U.S. airports may make your face your boarding pass, just in time for holiday travel. The Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection are working with JetBlue, Delta and others to introduce facial-recognition technology in some of the nation’s busiest airports. But lawmakers aren’t sold that the agencies will securely handle some of America’s most sensitive data, and watchdog reports have raised questions of how well the technology works.
What to Watch
- With Washington hurtling towards its latest partial government shutdown, Billy House takes a closer look at the significance of Paul Ryan ending his career as speaker by presiding over a funding lapse.
- Ahead of today’s sentencing hearing for former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, prosecutors unsealed an indictment detailing the depth of Flynn’s illicit activity and ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
And finally ... There’s bad news about the global economic gender gap. While it has improved slightly, the differences in economic opportunity, including pay between men and women, are so big that it will take more than two centuries to close the chasm. The World Economic Forum says it’s only a bit better for disparity across politics, work, health and education – that will take 108 years to reach parity. “Gender inequality is the reality around the world, and we’re seeing that in all aspects of women’s lives,” said Anna-Karin Jatfors, regional director for United Nations Women.
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