Trade

Trump is Making Up Fake Talks With China Now

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Stocks shot up this morning after Trump claimed that China's top trade officials called their American counterparts and expressed a desire to make a deal, but it looks like that call never happened.

Chinese state-run media and the Chinese foreign ministry both denied that anything out of the ordinary took place.

From CBNC:

Hu Xijin is the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a tabloid under the People's Daily, which is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China. [...]

Hu said the two sides did not hold phone talks recently, adding that Trump is exaggerating the significance of the "technical level" contacts.

"The two sides have been keeping contact at technical level, it doesn't have significance that President Trump suggested," he said in a tweet on Monday. "China won't cave to U.S. pressure."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also said he was not aware that a phone call between the two sides had taken place.

I can think of few things more insulting and likely to backfire than trying to put words in the mouths of the Chinese government.

Trump said China placed the call because they've been "hurt very badly" and that their willingness to make a deal is a "very positive development for the world," but there is no deal. There was no call. There's no "development." There's nothing. Trump just announced higher tariffs on Chinese goods three days ago.

A lie like this is conjured when Trump wants to play all sides of the issue by appearing as both the villain and the savior; by implying that he has pressured China into submission and will be responsible for graciously saving them from themselves.

In his trade war with China, this is an escalation of Trump's long habit of lying about basic facts and empirical reality.

  • The fact that the markets rebounded demonstrates that the markets are idiots.

  • muselet

    Donald Trump isn’t used to dealing with people who have at least as much power as he does. He could bluff, bluster and bully New York building contractors; he can’t pull that nonsense with China.

    Trump is also not used to dealing with people who have access to a media megaphone. He can’t out-shout the Chinese.

    What he’s left with is his old standbys: screeching about the media and compulsively lying. If he ever realizes those don’t work in the real world, I dread to think what he might do (nuke Beijing?).

    –alopecia