Fri, May 31, 2019 - Page 10 News List

US, Chinese TV hosts face off over trade dispute

INTERNET BARRIER:The debate between Liu Xin and Trish Regan was hyped by Chinese social media, but the livestream ‘became a live blog,’ a Chinese netizen said

Reuters, BEIJING

A Chinese state TV anchor and a host from Fox Business, whose sparring over the US-China trade dispute has been avidly followed on Chinese social media, brought their discussion to the US cable network in a respectful encounter.

The showdown between Liu Xin (劉欣) of state-run English channel CGTN and Fox Business Network host Trish Regan was aired on Wednesday in the US, but was not shown live on TV in China, although it had been hyped by state and social media.

Many people in China followed the debate on state-run China Central Television’s blog and some watched via livestream, while others on social media were clamoring for the full video.

The 16-minute segment began with Liu correcting Regan to say that she was not a member of the Chinese Communist Party and was speaking for herself as a CGTN journalist. Otherwise, there was little in the way of fireworks.

Liu agreed that intellectual property (IP) theft was a problem, although not only in China, and that there was a “consensus” in China that “without the protection of IP rights, nobody, no country, no individual, can be strong and can develop itself.”

Regan asked Liu to define state capitalism, and Liu described China’s system of “socialism with Chinese characteristics, where market forces are expected to play the dominating or the deciding role in the allocation of resources.”

State-owned enterprises play “an important, but increasingly smaller role, maybe, in the economy,” Liu said, adding that the private sector accounted for 80 percent of Chinese employment.

Washington says that Huawei Technologies Co (華為), the world’s largest maker of telecom network gear, is linked to the Chinese government and therefore poses a security risk, which Huawei disputes, arguing that it is owned by employees.

Key Chinese industries such as energy, telecoms and banking are dominated by state-controlled firms, and foreign players are excluded from some sectors, or forced to form joint ventures.

Liu had said on Twitter that because of broadcasting rights issues, CGTN would not be able to show the debate live, although it would “report on it closely.”

A Fox News spokesperson said that a free livestream of the debate would be available on the Fox Business Network Web site and the entire segment would be available after the broadcast.

The Internet in China is heavily censored and many major foreign media sites are blocked.

Liu was connected by video link to the Fox studio from Beijing and delays, which Regan had warned about, meant that the two sometimes talked over each other.

Chinese Internet users generally thought Liu performed well, but the top hashtag on microblogging site Sina Weibo (微博), garnering more than 130 million views, was “CGTN host Liu Xin has been interrupted by Trish Regan three times.”

Some were annoyed that they could not watch it live.

“Before the debate, everyone was noisily promoting it any which way. Yet, the livestream wasn’t a real livestream, it became a live blog,” said user Wangyuanwai, who had been unable to watch the debate live.

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