British Prime Minister Harold Wilson is credited for the political aphorism “a week is a long time in politics”, but it was a former White House official who warned Donald Trump that “it is easier to negotiate nuclear weapons than it is to negotiate trade.” Last week the Post political economy team looked at the Chinese officials about to embark on a tour across the heartland farming states of Montana and Nebraska, with the promise of renewed purchases of soybeans and pork as a pre-trade talks gesture of good will from China in the states that helped Donald Trump to his electoral victory in 2016. This week Finbarr Bermingham, Zhou Xin and John Carter look at how the sudden cancelling of the trip lead to a plunge on the Dow Jones, and a very awkward moment and public scolding of US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin by US President Donald Trump. Zhou Xin looks at what was going on behind the scenes, how the senior Chinese officials responded to the events in the Chinese media, and what can be construed by what they said. With the talks now predicted to occur in Washington in the second week of October , they pick apart Donald Trump’s bellicose speech at the UN General Assembly and his renewed attacks on China’s policy on trade as another major date looms: this year October 1 marks both China’s national day as well as the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Add to that the ongoing tensions in Hong Kong and the push to involve the US Congress in finding a solution, and the words of Harold Wilson seem more prescient than ever. Listen and subscribe via iTunes , Spotify , Stitcher and Soundcloud .