Anchors from U.S. cable channel Fox Business Network and a Chinese state-run broadcaster will go head-to-head in a live televised debate about the ongoing U.S.–China trade dispute on May 29.
The decision to debate came after the Chinese host criticized her American counterpart for remarks about China’s unfair trade practices.
Trish Regan, a host on Fox Business Network, said on her show “Trish Regan Primetime” on May 14 that the United States was left with no choice but to wage a trade war with China because of the regime’s trade abuses including theft of U.S. intellectual property (IP).
In support of her argument, Regan said Chinese IP theft costs the United States $600 billion annually.
Hey #China State TV – let’s have an HONEST debate on #trade. You accuse me of being ‘emotional’ and not knowing my facts – wrong! You name the time and place, and I’ll be there! #TrishRegan pic.twitter.com/D0QMp0cIz4
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) May 24, 2019
According to a 2017 report by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Chinese IP theft costs between $225 billion and $600 billion a year. These figures are in line with a 2017 report from the Commission on the Theft of American IP.
Liu Xin, a host on China Global Television Network, the overseas arm of China’s state-run broadcaster CCTV, responded on her own primetime opinion show on May 22, saying that Regan was “so sure of U.S. victimhood, so indignant, that her eyes practically spit fire.”
“Yet, in carefully analyzing her words, it’s all emotion and accusation supported with little substance,” Liu said.
The Chinese state-media host also questioned the $600 billion figure raised by Regan, suggesting that the Fox host’s definition of theft was misguided. Liu then suggested that Regan needed a better research team.
Regan, in her program on May 23, countered Liu’s criticism by pointing to two recent prosecutions of Chinese IP theft.
In 2018, Chinese wind turbine maker Sinovel Wind Group Co. was convicted on U.S. charges that it stole trade secrets from AMSC, an American energy technologies company, that resulted in losses of over $800 million.
Also last year, the U.S. Justice Department indicted two Chinese nationals who, acting on behalf of the Chinese regime’s main intelligence agency, allegedly carried out an extensive hacking campaign to steal hundreds of gigabytes of data from military service members, government agencies, and private companies in the United States and at least a dozen other countries.
On her program, the Fox host then invited Liu to a live debate about the trade war.
“So I’ll tell you what, Liu Xin, you seem like a nice woman. And—even if you are just reading state propaganda written for you off the teleprompter by a member of the Communist Party—I would like to invite you to have an honest, live debate with me, a real discussion,” she said.
Regan reiterated the invitation in a tweet on May 24.
“Let’s have an HONEST debate on trade,” she wrote.
“You accuse me of being ’emotional’ and not knowing my facts – wrong! You name the time and place, and I’ll be there!”
Liu responded on Twitter, which is banned in China, accepting Regan’s invitation—as long as there was no “mud throwing,” she wrote. Regan then replied in a tweet, “Don’t worry—I don’t sling mud, I sling FACTS.”
“This is a meaningful debate to have,” Regan added.
Don’t worry—I don’t sling mud, I sling FACTS.
So, let’s find a date.
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) May 24, 2019
The debate has been set for May 29 at 8 p.m., New York time, to be aired on Fox Business.
The fiery exchange between the two anchors comes as U.S.–China trade talks broke down earlier this month. The United States accused the Chinese regime of backtracking on key commitments negotiated over months of discussions. In response, the U.S. administration raised tariffs to 25 percent, from 10 percent, on $200 billion of Chinese goods, and have started the process of raising tariffs to 25 percent on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports.
While news of the planned debate has been covered in Chinese state media outlets, including the Global Times, People’s Daily, and CCTV, it’s unclear if the debate will be broadcast live in China, given the regime’s tight censorship of news and current events.
Since the recent deterioration of trade talks, Chinese state media has ramped up its anti-U.S. propaganda, depicting the United States as a bully and blaming it for the lack of progress in trade discussions.
CCTV also recently aired three anti-American movies for three days in a row. The films, made in the 1950s and ’60s, were originally produced as anti-U.S. propaganda, in reaction to the Korean War.