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U.S. and China’s TV anchors hold proxy war of words

Posted May. 27, 2019 08:08,   

Updated May. 27, 2019 08:08


“China has gotten away with stealing 600 billion U.S. dollars in intellectual property from us every year,” said Trish Regan, an anchor for Fox Business, on May 14 (local time).

“Dear Trish, perhaps you need a better research team,” said Liu Xin, a host for China’s state-run channel China Global Television Network (CGTN), last Thursday.

Amid an intensifying trade spat between the United States and China, TV anchors of the two countries have exchanged barbs about the trade war during their respective programs. Fox Business’ Trish Regan and CGTN’s Liu Xin, after even taking to Twitter to quarrel with each other, have decided to hold a live debate next week.

What triggered the proxy war between the anchors was Liu Xin’s criticism of Regan’s remarks made on May 14. Back then, Regan heavily slammed China, saying, “We’ve allowed China to prosper at our expense.” Condemning China for stealing billions of dollars from the United States, she stressed that the United States does not “have a choice but to wage this war.”

In response to the attack, Liu Xin said on Thursday that Regan’s comments are “all emotion and accusation, supported with little substance.” She pointed out that the report upon which Regan based her argument about China’s alleged intellectual property theft in fact “is not referring to China, but the whole world.”

On Friday, Regan counterattacked yet again by saying that “The Chinese are launching a full-scale information war against the United States of America and their newest target, me.” While refuting Liu Xin’s arguments for 11 minutes, Regan emphasized that “any emotion you see is quite real. It’s quite real and it comes from substance.”

The two continued their verbal battle on Twitter, and agreed to hold a live debate. The debate is expected to be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday (9 a.m. Thursday Korea time).

With the heated discussion anticipated, the Chinese netizens have shown an outpouring of support for Liu Xin. This has drawn mixed reactions in the United States, however. Several supporters for the Democratic Party said that the anchor of Trump-friendly channel Fox News referring to Liu Xin as “China State TV” is nothing but an irony.

Ga-In Koo comedy9@donga.com