In May 2017, Donald Trump said China had manipulated its currency, but “as soon as I got elected, they stopped.” When CBS News’ John Dickerson asked specifically, “You were the one who got China to stop manipulating their currency?” Trump replied, “I think so.”
This wasn’t even close to being true, but the Republican president nevertheless wanted to paint a specific picture: Beijing has so much support for Donald Trump, Chinese officials stopped manipulating their currency.
This week, however, Trump told Reuters, “I think China’s manipulating their currency, absolutely.” By his reasoning, that apparently means Chinese respect for his presidency has evaporated.
It wouldn’t be the only evidence. The New York Times reported yesterday:
The video released by the Chinese state media thanks President Trump for helping make China stronger. It shows him in unflattering poses, his brow furrowed and his mouth agape. Its sarcastic title: “Thanks Mr. Trump, you are GREAT!”
As a trade war between China and the United States escalates, Chinese news outlets have largely refrained from leveling personal attacks against Mr. Trump.
But a new video released this week by China Global Television Network, an English-language affiliate of the state broadcaster, took direct aim at the American leader, portraying him as a bumbling man indirectly advancing China’s interests.
It’s worth emphasizing that the video, after it gained attention, was quietly pulled without explanation, but by then it was too late.
In a Fox News interview that aired this morning, Trump said in reference to the Chinese, “They like me very much.” There’s a fair amount of evidence to the contrary.
Remember, the media in China is controlled by the Chinese government. When state-run media mocks the American president, it is, for all intents and purposes, the Chinese government mocking Trump.
And not for the first time. After a series of incidents in which the American president was forced to back down after trying to get tough with Beijing, he became the subject of ridicule in Chinese media. One headline in April 2017 read, “Trump slaps self in face, again.”
Nearly a year and a half later, the sentiment persists.