Trump Slams Accusations He “Folded” On ZTE As China Trade Talks Begin

Original post

Shortly after Chinese Vice Premier and President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, Liu He, arrived in Washington on Tuesday afternoon for ongoing economic and trade consultations, less than two weeks after a similar US delegation visited Beijing but achieved nothing in the ongoing trade talks, president Trump took a hard line stance ahead of today’s negotiations, and following allegations that he had “folded” by urging the commerce department to re-engage China’s telecom giant ZTW, Trump blasted a series of tweets, stating that “nothing has happened with ZTE outside of larger trade talks.”

Here is the full Trump tweet-trio-storm:

The Washington Post and CNN have typically written false stories about our trade negotiations with China. Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal. Our country has been losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year with China… We have not seen China’s demands yet, which should be few in that previous U.S. Administrations have done so poorly in negotiating. China has seen our demands. There has been no folding as the media would love people to believe, the meetings haven’t even started yet! The U.S. has very little to give, because it has given so much over the years. China has much to give!

With Chinese talks stalled, and North Korea suddenly threatening to pull out of denuclearization talks, with Nafta discussions similarly making no progress, it may explain why Trump remains on edge ahead of the next two days of talks, especially if he sees the public narrative as shifting against him over the ZTE fiasco.

Meanwhile, the Chinese delegation visiting DC today – like that headed by Steven Mnuchin weeks ago – is substantial: Liu, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue, leads a delegation whose members include Governor of the People’s Bank of China Yi Gang, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Ning Jizhe, Deputy Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs Liao Min, Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology Luo Wen, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Jun, as well as Vice Minister of Commerce and Deputy International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen.

Since there is little optimism for a deal breakthrough in the coming days, it is unclear how the negotiations will continue after the Chinese delegation departs.

Meanwhile, the one tweet that everyone is expecting – Trump’s response to North Korea’s threat to cancel the high level summit – is still missing.