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article imageOp-Ed: 'What phone call?' China has no idea what Trump is talking about

By Karen Graham     Aug 27, 2019 in Politics
n a comment that moved financial markets, President Donald Trump on Monday said serious negotiations with China will begin after the U.S. received two “very good calls” from Beijing on Sunday night. Beijing says no calls were made.
Well, isn't that a fine kettle of fish? Problem is, it seems that Trump is either more demented than we know or has totally lost what little sense he had left.
“China called last night our top trade people and said let’s get back to the table,” the president said after meeting Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. “I have great respect for it.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin even went so far as to back Trump's claim of the phone calls, although he would not say who had called who, according to Vice.com.
“I have not heard of this situation regarding the two calls that the U.S. mentioned in the weekend,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a press conference on Tuesday, according to CNBC. He had denied on Monday that the calls had taken place.
“Regretfully, the U.S. has further increased the tax rate on China’s exports to the U.S. This extreme pressure is purely harmful to both sides and not constructive at all,” Geng said, according to a CNBC translation.
According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the last high-level phone calls between Chinese and U.S. trade negotiators took place on August 13, between Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Mnuchin.
However, despite the denials of the Chinese, Trump is still in his own little world, even tweeting at 5:30 a.m. on Monday that he has "Great respect for the fact that President Xi & his Representatives want “calm resolution.” The president also cited a comment made by Liu, China’s top trade negotiator, at a technology conference on Monday as evidence of Beijing desire to make a deal.
Actually, if anyone took the time to read what Liu had to say, that is not exactly what he said. Liu was quoted by Reuters as saying, "We are willing to resolve the issue through consultations and cooperation in a calm attitude and resolutely oppose the escalation of the trade war. We believe that the escalation of the trade war is not beneficial for China, the United States, nor to the interests of the people of the world."
It all comes down to this one question - Who are we supposed to believe? Do we believe international news sites who back up their stories with quotes attributed to the people in question - or do we believe a man who has shown time and time, again that he wouldn't know the truth if it slapped him in the face?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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