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Online Debate Over US-China Trade Negotiations Erased by Chinese Censors

It was not clear exactly why the comments were censored. Chinese officials on Monday were keen to show that Beijing had stood firm in the talks.

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Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump.

Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.

After the announcement on Sunday by US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that planned tariffs on $150 billion worth of Chinese goods would be put “on hold”, posts on the microblogging site Weibo discussing the deal were immedietly deleted, according to a research initiative studying Chinese media.

A selection of the censored comments were published by the Chinese Media Project. In one, a Weibo user, referring to US President Donald Trump, said: “The madman won.”

Another deleted post said China’s bid to get US sanctions lifted on the telecommunications equipment maker ZTE had been unsuccessful, according to a report in the Guardian.

“The other points of compromise — or kneeling, to put it more sharply — are small matters,” the user wrote, according to the project.

Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, wikimedia commons

On Saturday, Beijing and Washington released a statement saying they had come to a consensus of “effective measures” to narrow the US’ huge trade deficit with China.

It was not clear exactly why the comments were censored. Chinese officials on Monday were keen to show that Beijing had stood firm in the talks.

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A researcher for China’s Commerce Ministry said that the country had demonstrated three “bottom lines”, which were: It would not cut exports to the US in order to reduce the trade deficit, no target was set for reducing the deficit — Trump had previously pushed for a $200 billion reduction — and China upheld its right to upgrade its industry.

The White House’s threatened tariffs had targeted Beijing’s “Made in China” industrial programme.

“Despite all the pressure, China didn’t ‘fold’, as Trump observed”, the state-run China Daily said in an editorial. “Instead, it stood firm and continually expressed its willingness to talk”. (IANS)

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Executive Order by Donald Trump Can Ban Chinese Equipment-makers in US

Earlier in January, an Apple engineer of Chinese origin -- Jizhong Chen -- was found to have been attempting to leak confidential intellectual information about the company's secret autonomous vehicle programme to a China-based autonomous vehicle company where he had applied for a job as well

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USA, Corruption
U.S. President Donald Trump is seen through his transparent teleprompter as he speaks during the Missile Defense Review announcement at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., January 17, 2019. VOA

US President Donald Trump is preparing to sign an executive order next week, banning American carriers from using equipment from Chinese technology players, the media reported on Sunday.

The decision is expected to be announced ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 25, the Android Police reported.

“Both the White House and Congress have been trying to ban networking infrastructure from Chinese companies for months,” the report said.

Chinese tech giant Huawei has been in bad light after the US Justice Department last month filed a host of criminal charges, including bank fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology against the company and its detained Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou.

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President Donald Trump talks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departing for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention in New Orleans, Jan. 14, 2019, in Washington. VOA

Apart from Huawei, ZTE has also been listed to be banned from being used by network operators in the US.

The US has long suspected and often accused the Chinese government of encouraging trade secret theft as a way to build up its own industries which has reportedly prompted the US administration to take such drastic measures.

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“Government officials are mainly targeting Huawei and ZTE’s network infrastructure business, so the sale of phones and tablets to US consumers would likely not be affected,” the report said.

Earlier in January, an Apple engineer of Chinese origin — Jizhong Chen — was found to have been attempting to leak confidential intellectual information about the company’s secret autonomous vehicle programme to a China-based autonomous vehicle company where he had applied for a job as well. (IANS)