China Macro Reporter
1. It's Trump vs. Xi in the China trade war — and it's personal

<table class="nl_card" id="19may1501"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><img src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt"></p></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p><strong> ‘Neither </strong>Donald Trump nor Xi Jinping can afford to blink,’ <a href="" target="_blank">writes</a> CNN’s Stephen Collinson.</p><ul><li><strong> ‘The showdown </strong>is now no longer just a confrontation between China and the US.’</li><li><strong>‘It's become a test of wills</strong> between two of the world's most powerful men, each of whom has political interests that are more likely to deepen the conflict than to quickly ease it.’</li></ul><p><strong> ‘The confrontation </strong>has already revealed a truth that reflects an important geopolitical evolution: <strong>Beijing is not afraid of the United States.</strong>’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Trump spent the weekend</strong> warning China on Twitter that it would be "hurt very badly" if it didn't do a deal.’</li><li><strong>‘By Monday morning,</strong> he had his answer when Beijing announced plans to raise tariffs on $60 billion in US goods.’</li></ul><p><strong>"China feels</strong> it does not have to give in," said Max Baucus, a former US. Ambassador to China.’</p><ul><li><strong>"Add to that</strong>, saving face is a big deal in China.”</li><li><strong>“President Xi Jinping</strong> does not want to appear to have backed down.”</li><li><strong>“I don't think</strong> Americans understand that.”</li></ul><p><strong>So, ‘the Chinese leader</strong> is no keener to climb down than Trump.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Xi sees US demands</strong> as an infringement on Chinese sovereignty.’</li><li><strong>‘And has an incentive</strong> to keep globalization intact since China has profited handsomely from the status quo.’</li></ul><p><strong>Also ‘Xi</strong> is not immune to political pressures.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Although</strong> he is the most dominant Chinese leader in decades, he cannot completely ignore complicated internal Communist Party dynamics.’</li><li><strong>‘Chinese leaders</strong> are always wary of any changes to social conditions - that could be brought on by a slowing economy - that could cause public resentment and translate into political activity.’</li><li><strong>‘China is also sensitive</strong> to its own experience under colonialism and proud of its rise as a key regional power and global player.’</li></ul><p><strong> ‘So there is no circumstance</strong> under which Xi could allow himself to be seen as bowing to bullying from any Western leader, let alone an American president as combative as Trump.’</p></td></tr></tbody></table>

2. 'Reaching an agreement can only be done at the top.’

<table class="nl_card" id="19may1502"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><img src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt"></p></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p><strong>‘Once again</strong> it is impossible not to write about China,’ <a href="" target="_blank">says</a> Bill Reinsch of Center for ‘Strategic & International Studies and top trade expert.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The events</strong> of the past week and a half, where we managed to go from an agreement that was nearly finished to one that had fallen apart to one that was still hanging in there by its fingertips roiled the markets, distressed retailers and manufacturers, and left all of us confused.’</li><li><strong>‘Looking at the way</strong> it played out, I draw several conclusions.’ </li></ul><p><strong>‘First, it is apparent</strong> that we were not as close to a finished agreement as the president was tweeting.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘It seems</strong> that while the so-called structural items were not entirely resolved, neither was the package of Chinese purchases fully nailed down nor the agreement on what would happen to the existing tariffs.’</li><li><strong>‘This</strong> was not news to close observers.’</li><li><strong>‘The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)</strong> had been telling people for some time not to assume an agreement was imminent, but the president kept tweeting away anyway.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Second,</strong> for once the president's cranky tweet was not entirely gratuitous.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The Chinese</strong> clearly signaled their intent to pull back from commitments we thought were settled.’</li><li><strong>‘There has been</strong> a good bit of speculation about why they did that, but the opacity of the Chinese system makes it very difficult to say with certainty what happened.’ </li></ul><p><strong>‘Third,</strong> one clear consequence is that the two presidents have effectively declared themselves the chief negotiators.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Trump</strong> has been overruling his various representatives for some time, and it looks like Xi Jinping did the same to Liu He.’</li><li><strong>‘The result</strong> is that both negotiators know they do not have full authority, and anything they agree to risks being countermanded.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Fourth,</strong> that means reaching an agreement can only be done at the top.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘If you're going</strong> to act as the negotiator, then eventually you actually have to negotiate.’</li><li><strong>‘This is also</strong> one of those cases where each president thinks he can get the better of the other.’</li><li><strong>‘Xi probably thinks,</strong> correctly, that he will know the details better than Trump and can outwit him.’</li><li><strong>‘Trump thinks,</strong> less correctly, that he is a better negotiator and can intimidate Xi.</li><li><strong>‘Not a recipe</strong> for a successful outcome, but the two presidents have, by their own actions, made a meeting inevitable.’</li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table>

3. Sharpening the US-China trade debate

<table class="nl_card" id="19may1503"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><img src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt"></p></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p><strong>‘China trade</strong> is being argued in strings of tweets and 7-minute (if you’re lucky) TV segments,’ says AEI’s Derek Scissors in <a href="" target="_blank">‘Sharpening the US-China trade debate.’</a></p><ul><li><strong>‘As a result,</strong> no one gets it quite right, present company included.’</li><li><strong>‘Here are corrections</strong> of four important missteps in the debate.’</li></ul><table class="intable"><tr><td class="intable-border"><h5>‘1) President Trump being partly wrong: Every dollar of the trade deficit we run with China is a loss for the US.’</h5><p><strong>‘The President</strong> shouldn’t use the full trade deficit as representing losses, as the US doesn’t just hand China cash.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The store analogy</strong> is common: when buying something you want at a store, you don’t just lose the money spent.’</li><li><strong>‘You also don’t go</strong> to stores looking to only buy the same amount the store buys from you — for the equivalent of balanced trade.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘While President Trump</strong> is wrong about imports we buy, he’s right about exports we don’t sell.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Beijing’s protection</strong> of state-owned enterprises from competition depresses sales of American goods and services.’</li><li><strong>Temporarily higher purchases</strong> of farm and energy products would be lucrative but, when they end, would leave the market just as restricted as before.’</li></ul></td></tr></table><table class="intable"><tr><td class="intable-border"><h5>‘2) His critics being uselessly right: We oppose China’s unfair trade practices. But tariffs are not the right approach.</h5><p><strong>‘Most times</strong> that’s the end of a quote — there’s no alternative.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Across-the-board tariffs</strong> constitute collective punishment, not just punishment of those receiving stolen intellectual property or heavy subsidies.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘There are indeed better choices,</strong> and not suggesting any raises questions about the aims of those rejecting tariffs.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘An incomplete alternative</strong> is to insist we cooperate with allies when confronting China. How?’</li><li><strong>‘If our cooperation</strong> with our allies is just more talk, it’s worse than useless.’ </li></ul><p><strong>‘Large SOEs</strong> are the inevitable beneficiaries of illicit IP transfer, the biggest recipient of subsidies, and the key instruments for the Party’s control of the economy.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘They are</strong> the proper targets.’</li></ul></td></tr></table><table class="intable"><tr><td class="intable-border"><h5>‘3) President Trump, seeming to veer off his original goal: “These [tariffs] are partially responsible for our great economic results.”</h5><p><strong>‘The President</strong> has touted the fiscal benefits of tariffs, with tens of billions of dollars taken in.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘One problem</strong> is we still run a large budget deficit.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘More subtle</strong> is that higher tariffs make Chinese goods costlier, leading to lower imports.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘His recent tweets</strong> strangely make this sound like a bad thing, because tariff revenue would be lower.’ </li></ul><p><strong>‘In fact,</strong> revenue raised by tariffs is a trivial issue both for the budget and the Sino-American relationship.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Those attacking</strong> the President on this score are also misguided.’</li><li><strong>‘The money</strong> involved and who formally pays it doesn’t matter; what matters is if imports from China fall.’</li><li><strong>‘Falling imports</strong> will hurt the PRC; the effect on us depends on how they are replaced.’</li></ul></td></tr></table><table class="intable"><tr><td class="intable-border"><h5>‘4) His critics talking their own book, not the country’s: Higher tariffs blast American consumers and could tip us into recession.’</h5><p><strong>‘The US faces </strong>consumer inflation bordering on too low.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘That doesn’t make</strong> higher prices from tariffs a positive but it neutralizes them as a macroeconomic threat.’ </li></ul><p><strong>‘If the US places</strong> 25 percent tariffs on all Chinese imports and no substitution for those goods and services occurs, the additional cost would be $145 billion.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘That’s a bit over</strong> one percent of 2018 consumer spending.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘The cost will certainly</strong> not that be that high, because substitution will occur.’</p><p>‘And the cost will fall over time as more producers enter to replace Chinese.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The big numbers</strong> in tariff losses come from the stock market, which is supposed to match risk and return but which some investors treat as deserving government protection.’ </li></ul><p><strong>‘Wall Street whining aside,</strong> farmers and others are indeed harmed by the trade conflict. The justification?’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The dictatorship</strong> running the world’s 2nd largest economy wants permanent unbalanced market access and to take the innovations of others at will.’</li><li><strong>‘The costs</strong> of trying to change this can be exaggerated but there are no magic tariffs, magic coalitions, or magic negotiations.’</li><li><strong>‘It’s not going</strong> to change without pain.’</li></ul></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table>

4. FACE OFF: Brookings vs. American Enterprise Institute

<table class="nl_card" id="19may1504"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src=""></iframe></td></tr></tbody></table><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt"></p></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p><strong>The PBS Newshour</strong> brought together two top experts with two opposing views of the U.S.-China trade war.</p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank">Watch the match up here</a> (11m 42s video, debate starting at minute 4).</li></ul><hr/><p><strong>NICK SCHIFRIN</strong>: ‘This afternoon President Trump tweeted and called today's discussions candid and constructive and said the conversations will continue.’</p><p><strong>‘To talk this through,</strong> we get two differing views.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Ryan Hass</strong> was the director for China on the National Security Council staff during the Obama administration. He is now a Brookings Institution fellow, and’</li><li><strong>‘Derek Scissors</strong> who has written extensively about China's economy and is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.’</li></ul><br/><p>❓<strong>NICK SCHIFRIN : </strong><em>‘Many assumed last week that there would be a deal between the two sides. Was this a breakdown we saw today?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>RYAN HASS:</strong> ‘Well, it appears to have been a breakdown from expectations.'</p><ul><li><strong>‘A week ago,</strong> it looked promising that there would be a deal.’</li><li><strong>‘And then</strong>, over the weekend, President Trump and members of his team indicated that the Chinese had backed away from commitments that they thought they had already received from them.’</li><li><strong>‘And, as a consequence,</strong> we now have another step on the escalatory ladder of tariffs with China.’</li><li><strong>‘So, my concern</strong> is that we have taken another step down a dark tunnel with no end in sight.’</li></ul><br/><p>❓<strong>NICK SCHIFRIN : </strong><em> ‘Derek Scissors, is this a step down a dark tunnel with no end in sight?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>DEREK SCISSORS:</strong> ‘If you wanted the deal that was on the table, it is.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘I was not at all convinced</strong> the deal on the table was going to work.’</li><li><strong>‘In particular,</strong> I thought China's incentives to keep its promises on intellectual property were unlikely -- were low.'</li><li><strong>‘And then the Chinese</strong> backed that up by saying, we don't want to make the legal changes that even might lead us to keeping our word on intellectual property.’</li><li><strong>‘So it's certainly</strong> a step away from the deal.'</li><li><strong>‘I don't think</strong> that's necessarily a step down a dark tunnel.’</li></ul><br/><p>❓<strong>NICK SCHIFRIN : </strong><em> ‘Meaning you don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to step away from that deal?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>DEREK SCISSORS:</strong> ‘That's right.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘It's going to be very difficult</strong> to get China to change its policies on intellectual property, as well as others, such as subsidies to state-owned enterprises.’</li><li><strong>‘It shouldn't</strong> be an easy deal.’</li><li><strong>‘It certainly</strong> shouldn't be a deal that the president makes in a phone call with Xi Jinping.’</li><li><strong>‘As some have implied,</strong> we're going to have difficulties in the negotiation.'</li><li><strong>‘This is all part</strong> of the -- what the process should look like.’</li></ul><br/><p>❓<strong>NICK SCHIFRIN : </strong><em> ‘So, Ryan Hass, intellectual property, as Derek Scissors just mentioned, subsidies for state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfer, these are the things the U.S. is trying to get China to change. Can tariffs achieve that?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>RYAN HASS:</strong> ‘Well, thus far, I think that we have overestimated our ability to muscle the Chinese into accepting our will, and underestimated China's ability to punch us in places that hurt.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘And, as a result,</strong> American people are feeling the pain.’</li><li><strong>‘So if the question is,</strong> are we going to get absolute surrender from the Chinese, <strong>I'm very pessimistic</strong> that that's the case. ‘</li><li><strong>‘If we can make progress</strong> where progress is possible, I think we should do so.’</li></ul><br/><p>❓<strong>NICK SCHIFRIN : </strong><em> ‘Derek Scissors, is that enough progress, as Ryan Hass put it, rather than get the Chinese to surrender?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>DEREK SCISSORS:</strong> ‘Well, first of all, I disagree with both premises in Ryan's point.'</p><ul><li><strong>‘When he says</strong> the American people are feeling the pain, farmers are feeling the pain.’</li><li><strong>‘Aggregate U.S. economic growth</strong> is strong.’</li><li><strong>‘Consumer prices</strong> are low.’</li><li><strong>‘I don't see much pain</strong> caused by China tariffs.’</li><li><strong>‘They may be caused</strong> by bad fiscal policy, but not by our China policy.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘And then the second part,</strong> of course, it's a false dichotomy to say the idea is, we have to accept the Chinese offer or they have to surrender.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘As I said,</strong> this is going to be a long, difficult process.’</li><li><strong>‘We're not going</strong> to get everything we want.’</li><li><strong>‘But the turn</strong> - to make a deal just so that you can remove uncertainty for the stock market or the like would be a mistake that would hurt the U.S. for years to come.’</li></ul><br/><p>❓<strong>NICK SCHIFRIN : </strong><em> ‘Ryan Hass, short-term pain OK for long-term gain? What do you think?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>RYAN HASS:</strong> ‘Well, if there is long-term gain that accompanies the short-term pain, then sure.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘But right now,</strong> all we're seeing is the pain, without any accompanying gain.’</li><li><strong>‘I think the American people</strong> were supportive of President Trump shaking things up and trying a new approach to China. I think that there was merit to it.’</li><li><strong>‘But they wanted</strong> to achieve a purpose, not attack China on principle.'</li><li><strong>‘And, right now</strong>, we are in this exculpatory spiral, where neither side appears willing to take a step back from the brink.’</li><li><strong>‘I don't think</strong> that's a good place for the United States to be.’</li></ul><br/><p>❓<strong>NICK SCHIFRIN : </strong><em> ‘Derek Scissors, let me ask about leverage right now. Who has more leverage, the United States or China? And do both leaders believe right now that they can actually push the other around?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>DEREK SCISSORS: ‘</strong>I hope not, because that's -- that's -- pushing the other around, as Ryan just mentioned, for no goal is not a good strategy to get what you want.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘I do think</strong> the U.S. has more leverage. The president is right about that.’</li><li><strong>‘But the leverage</strong> has to be applied over an extended period of time.’</li><li>If the president becomes impatient, as it seems he was late last year and early this year, then we can't use that leverage.’</li><li><strong>‘The U.S. leverage advantage </strong>is a long-term leverage advantage.’</li><li>It's not about signing on tariffs and then saying a week later, are you ready to make a deal?’</li><li><strong>‘We're going</strong> to have to have some pain to get China to change its policies.’</li><li><strong>‘If we're not willing to put up</strong> with that pain, then we should just abandon this process and sign a short-term deal that does very little.’</li></ul><br/><p>❓<strong>NICK SCHIFRIN : </strong><em> ‘Ryan?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>RYAN HASS</strong>:’ I think Derek makes a great point.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘In trade negotiations,</strong> the patient party has an advantage. The disciplined party has an advantage.’</li><li><strong>‘And right now,</strong> the Chinese are trying to stake out that territory.’</li><li><strong>‘The Chinese</strong> have a view that they have leverage, because the closer that we get to our 2020 presidential election, the more desirous President Trump will be of a deal.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘The United States</strong> believes that it has leverage, because our economy is strong and China, we believe - the Trump administration believes that China's economy is brittle and that President Xi needs a deal.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘And so we find</strong> ourselves stuck in this dilemma where both sides think they have leverage over the other, and neither appears willing to make the compromises necessary to reach a deal.’</li></ul><br/><p>❓<strong>NICK SCHIFRIN : </strong><em>  ‘Derek Scissors, should the U.S. be making compromises right now?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>DEREK SCISSORS:</strong> ‘No, it should not.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Again, if you start</strong> with the premise that we have serious problems in our relationship with China, you don't try to get to a quick outcome.’</li><li><strong>‘You have to deal</strong> with uncertainty and risk and stock market losses and all the things that come in with long negotiations.’</li><li><strong>‘We should not be</strong> in a hurry to make a deal.’</li><li><strong>‘Now, Ryan may be right</strong> that the president sees the need to make a deal before the 2020 election.’</li><li><strong>‘I hope that's not true.</strong> I hope he continues to receive support, as he has, from both parties, because both parties have realized we need a change in the China relationship, and it's not going to be easy.’</li></ul><br/><p>❓<strong>NICK SCHIFRIN : </strong><em> ‘Ryan Hass, you mentioned whether -- the perspective from the Chinese that the U.S. actually has less leverage. There's a notion of the Chinese officials I talk to who say, basically, you guys can't take the heat. You guys can't take the political heat -- or the president can't take the political heat and actually make sacrifices. Is that right?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>RYAN HASS:</strong> ‘Well, Nick, I think you're right.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘I think there's a baked-in assumption</strong> that the Chinese have that the American political system is ill-equipped for pain tolerance.’</li><li><strong>‘And the Chinese</strong> see that as their advantage.’</li><li><strong>‘They see their system,</strong> their top-down Leninist system, where they have a leader that doesn't face reelection, a leader that does have control over his media and can tamp down discontent or protest, and a leader that can allocate resources where they're needed, with control of fiscal monetary levers, as distinct advantages that they have on a systemic level relative to the United States.’</li><li><strong>‘I agree with Derek.</strong> I would like for us to prove them wrong, as an American.'</li><li><strong>‘But</strong> we will see.’</li></ul><br/><p>❓<strong>NICK SCHIFRIN : </strong><em> ‘Derek Scissors, last word to you. Do you have faith that the administration is going to pursue this path in the correct way, in your opinion?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>DEREK SCISSORS:</strong> ‘No, I'm afraid not.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘I think the president's constant comments</strong> about his friendship with Xi Jinping make it difficult to have faith.’</li><li><strong>‘I think he deserves great credit</strong> for identifying this problem and being more aggressive than President Obama and President Bush.’</li><li><strong>‘We</strong> need that.’</li><li><strong>‘But I think the president</strong> is still looking for maybe a personal connection to Xi to seal a deal that will benefit the United States for a year or two, but not solve the problems we have with China.’</li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table>

5. Trade war: Is the U.S. panicking due to China’s big hedge?

<table class="nl_card" id="19may1505"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><img src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt"></p></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p><strong>Alicia García-Herrero</strong> of the Bruegel think tank in Brussels gets the U.S. wrong in <a href="" target="_blank">‘Trade war: Is the U.S. panicking due to China’s big hedge?’</a></p><p><strong>But she one big thing right:</strong> China has slow walked many U.S. demands and at the same time has been preparing to weather a long trade war.</p><p><strong>‘To the question</strong> of why the U.S. suddenly raised the stakes again at this point in time, my take is that the U.S. is in desperate need for a comprehensive victory, which it is not even close to obtaining.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘China is ready to make concessions,</strong> but not to the extent of transforming its state-led economic model into a market-based economy.’</li><li><strong>‘Trump’s abrupt change</strong> of direction in his negotiation strategy reveals despair more than strength.’</li></ul><p><strong>China</strong> has clearly learned its way, painfully but surely, out of its current impasse with the U.S.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘From a tit-for-tat approach</strong> to negotiation and hedging, China is more in control of the situation now than before.’</li><li><strong>‘In fact,</strong> China has been negotiating with the U.S. since November, aware that the U.S. also needs a deal for its consumers and investors and only a comprehensive deal revamping China’s economic model will be acceptable.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Along with the negotiation,</strong> China has also worked harder to hedge its economy against the negative effects.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘More specifically,</strong> China has not - as Trump’s negotiators have demanded - drafted a detailed foreign investment law, handed in a complete list of subsidies to SOEs, or applied a workable measure of “competitive neutrality” to Chinese corporates.'</li><li><strong>Instead, ‘</strong>China’s policymakers have focused on stimulating the economy with considerable effect.’</li><li><strong>‘And,</strong> with a longer-term perspective in mind, Beijing has been making efforts to extend friendly ties with as many countries as possible.’</li></ul><p><strong>How effective</strong> China’s measures will be remains to be seen.</p><ul><li><strong>But from Alicia’s analysis</strong> China seems to have always considered seriously the prospect of an all-out trade.</li><li><strong>And,</strong> has gotten ready as best it can.</li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table>

6. ‘The Chinese don't get this concept “earn” their way out of punitive tariffs’: Michael Pillsbury

<table class="nl_card" id="19may1506"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="//;;;_xcf=" width="100%" height="auto" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" autoplay="false"></iframe></td></tr></tbody></table><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt"></p></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p><strong>China hawk with the President’s ear,</strong> Michael Pillsbury of the Hudson Institute.</p><p><strong>Paul Gigot</strong>, WSJ editorial page editor and Pulitzer Prize winner – and very knowledgeable about China, interviews him.</p><ul><li>Watch their video '<a href="" target="_blank">President Trump raises tariffs on Chinese goods as latest round of trade talks ends without a deal</a>' (6m 25s).</li></ul><hr/><p>❓<strong>GIGOT:</strong><em> ‘Is Liu He losing the argument back in Beijing?’</em></p><p>⚡<strong>PILLSBURY:</strong> Well, we all noticed when we read the tea leaves that his main title of being a “special envoy of President Xi” was removed. So it's not that he's lost total confidence.’</p><ul><li><strong>But I suspect</strong> the hardliners in China didn't like the 150-page agreement once they got to look at it.’</li><li><strong>‘The hardliners</strong> may have said, “No we’ve got to back out of some of these things.”</li><li><strong>‘That causes Liu He</strong> to lose face, but he still seems to be in there fighting.'</li><li><strong>‘You know</strong> he's an economic reformer, so he's caught in the middle.’</li></ul><p>🔸<strong>GIGOT:</strong> ‘Well you know my sources tell me that in fact that 150-page document included very prescriptive language of the sort that said the State Council, which sets policy, will do the following on X date.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘And that Liu He,</strong> when he went back, said, “Wait a minute. I can't be that prescriptive, that would be too much to give to an American president.’</li><li><strong>President Xi</strong> would look like he's losing face. So let's make it more general.”</li><li><strong>‘And the US side</strong> said you can't make it general; we’ve got to have you make specific commitments.’</li><li><strong>‘So what do</strong> the hardliners want? No deal.’ </li></ul><p>⚡<strong>PILLSBURY</strong>: ‘Well Liu He used a phrase in Mandarin in a briefing to the Chinese press: ”balance of dignity.”</p><ul><li><strong>‘In other words</strong> if the Americans are going to intrude and draft State Council directives for us and inspect things and punish us if we don't go straight, we would like we want the same privileges in Washington D.C. ‘</li></ul><p>🔸<strong>GIGOT:</strong> ‘What can the U.S. do in negotiations if it wants these prescriptive concessions? Xi has to get something.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘My suggestion</strong> would be lift the tariffs that the president imposed. If they violate the agreement you can always go back and re-impose them.’</li></ul><p>⚡<strong>PILLSBURY:</strong> ‘That's pretty much what I say in my Wall Street Journal op-ed piece.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The Chinese</strong> need to “earn” their way out of these tariffs with good conduct.'</li><li><strong>‘These are not</strong> long- term punitive tariffs.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘The Chinese</strong> don't seem to get this concept “earn” their way out of punitive tariffs.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘I've tried to put</strong> it in Mandarin to them.’</li><li><strong>‘They still say no</strong>, this is humiliation; we will lose face you know; we can't do this.’</li><li><strong>‘But I think</strong> over a month or so ahead they're going to probably change their minds.’</li><li><strong>‘Otherwise</strong> they get everything up to 25% tariffs all their exports to our country.’</li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table>