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May 25, 2019, Saturday

It's On! Fox News' Trish Regan vs. CGTN's Liu Xin

Liu accepts Regan's invitation to a live US/China trade debate on Fox

It's On! Fox News' Trish Regan vs. CGTN's Liu Xin
CGTN and Fox News hosts have agreed to throw down the gauntlet.

Representing their respective sides in the US vs. China trade spat, hosts Liu Xin of CGTN and Trish Regan of Fox News will participate in a live debate Wed. 8pm ET. on Fox (May 29th).

But no "mud throwing games," says Liu. (Just facts and claws!) "My research team is the best in the business," warned Regan.

The opinionated Fox anchor calls for "economic war" on China unless she mends her ways.

Liu admonished that "words have consequences" and "her economic warmongering reaches millions of Americans."

To be sure, the stakes will be high. And the optics a sight for sore eyes. Both gladiators will be boning up on economics, trade, history and the facts as they see them from their sides to score points for the home team. But what will they be wearing?

Trading Barbs

"The Chinese are launching a full-scale, information war against the United States of America and their newest target, me! Yeah, me!" cried the Fox News anchor in response to Liu's "personal attacks."

Bloomberg reported that recent exchanges between the hosts have gone viral and racked up more than 20M views on China's Weibo blogging site.

"She portrays America as a real victim here" the CGTN anchor said. "She is so sure of U.S. victimhood, so indignant, that her eyes practically spit fire. If you were an American who didn't know any better, you too would clench your fist and pound the wall. Yet, in carefully analyzing her words, it's all emotion and accusation supported with little substance."

But not so fast, the Fox News anchor seemed to say. "All the US is asking for is free, fair trade. Zero tariffs on your goods, zero tariffs on ours. And no more stealing our stuff, okay? Is it really that hard? We don't begrudge your economy the opportunity to grow."

Thucydides' Trap

Unfortunately, many would probably disagree, including anti-China Trump adviser Peter Navarro and former Trump White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Both view conflict, probably a military one, as inevitable and a direct and unavoidable result of China's growth.

"The defining question about global order in the decades ahead will be: can China and the US escape Thucydides's trap?" asked Professor Graham Allison in 2012, writing for the FT.

Allison coined the phrase, "Thucydides's trap", to describe the idea that rivalry between a rising power and established power often ends in war.

In the book, "Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?" (2017), he answered his own question, gravely concluding, "China and the US are currently on a collision course for war."

For those who subscribe to the theory, the only way to avoid war would be to keep China down. Free and fair trade aren't enough. China must stop growing. For them, the modernization of China is an intrinsic threat to America.

Thucydides' Trap


With home court advantage, the former host at Bloomberg and CNBC will have the berth to dictate the terms of battle. But as much as substance, form will also count. Regan will have to be a gracious host to avoid looking unfair. She will have to play a delicate balancing act between aggression and hospitality. But to win, she will have to make a few emphatic points that discombobulate her Chinese opponent.

Liu Xin will be entering hostile territory but her job will be to play defense more than offense. Parry accusations, sow reasonable doubt and look sympathetic. To win, she will have to make Regan look emotional, unreasonable and hostile. Bring the bully out of the American host who's never seen a war she didn't favor. Make her eyes spit fire.

We expect this to be a battle of form over substance. Words matter but not as much as how you say it. Winner: a draw. The Chinese audience will view Liu as the winner. American audiences will declare Regan the victor. The two will shake hands in the end and hug.
@thepointwithlx@trish_regancgtnfox wartrumpxi jinpingsteve bannonthucydides' trap