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Donald Trump

Video mocking Donald Trump pulled by Chinese state media ... just hours before trade talks

Satirical video thanking the US president for starting a trade war has been taken down hours before latest round of talks and tariffs

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 11:33am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 11:21pm

A satirical video thanking Donald Trump for kicking off a trade war with Beijing has been taken down by China’s state-run broadcaster hours after it was published.

The move is in line with government censorship guidelines to tone down the escalating conflict and avoid personally attacking the US leader.

The nearly three-minute video from the English-language arm of China Global Television Network (CGTN), in which a host thanks Trump for making China stronger, was removed from official social media and YouTube accounts on Thursday, after its sarcastic tone spurred multiple media reports.

Its removal also came hours before Chinese and US business representatives were slated to discuss the escalating trade war in Washington, and ahead of the latest round of US$16 billion in tariffs from both sides going into effect.

Thanks, Mr Trump: Chinese state media mocks ‘great’ US president

CGTN did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the removal.

China’s tightly controlled media environment often sees articles or videos removed after they are published, if they draw the ire of propaganda authorities.

The South China Morning Post reported earlier that Chinese state media were told to refrain from using “aggressive language” to describe Trump and avoid “over-reporting” the trade war.

While the English-language state broadcaster has previously published videos criticising the US president, its latest clip took a particularly biting line.

US concern about impact of China trade war on jobs and prices growing

Alongside cartoonish animations, the video showed CGTN business anchor Cheng Lei mockingly reading out a thank-you letter to Trump for his “shock therapy” methods that helped the rest of the world “bond” and pushed forward Beijing’s economic reform policies, including ones to attract foreign investors such as Tesla.

“On behalf of doctors, thank you for pointing out the need to wean off American goods like bourbon and bacon,” she added, referencing Chinese retaliatory tariffs on US products.

In another CGTN video published on August 7, the broadcaster railed against Trump’s tariffs, calling him a septuagenarian who sits on “his toilet at five in the morning”, posting tweets “that make you question his sanity”.

The broadcaster, which airs in more than 100 countries from the United States to Kenya, was rebranded in 2016 as a news channel aiming to “tell China’s story” to a foreign audience.

It maintains accounts on Western social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube – all of which are banned in mainland China.