The long running trade war between the US and China has spooked global markets and provided much fodder for the broadcast media of both countries. It will now be the topic of a much-anticipated debate today between Fox Business Network host Trish Regan and TV anchor Liu Xin of the China Global Television Network (CGTN). The debate pits the right-leaning network, a favorite of president Trump, against the international arm of China’s state-run broadcaster, CCTV.
Liu and Regan have been in a public back-and-forth on Twitter for about a week. The dispute started with Liu suggesting that the Fox presenter needed “a better research team” after Regan claimed that China stole $600 billion worth of intellectual property a year from the US. Regan eventually invited Liu to debate the topic, and Liu accepted on the condition there would be no “mud throwing.” “Don’t worry—I don’t sling mud, I sling facts,” Regan responded.
Here is your guide to watching the debate:
How to watch
The debate will be broadcast on the Trish Regan Primetime show, which airs on the Fox Business Network, at 8pm US eastern time tonight (May 29)—8am the following day (May 30) in Beijing. Fox Business is also providing a free livestream Liu will attend via satellite link from Beijing. She has tweeted that CGTN can’t air the debate live due to “rights issues,” but that that the outlet will follow and report on it closely, including posting updates on its Twitter account. (Update, May 30: Now that the debate has aired, you can watch the show here.)
Chinese viewers will have a trickier time watching the event. Foreign news channels are not common outside luxury hotels (paywall) catered to international visitors. They can watch a livestream of the debate on Fox News Go, but will need a VPN to do so.
A healthy number may do so, based on the intense interest in the Chinese hashtag, “[Fox] female anchor proposes debate after being accused by CCTV of being emotional.” The New York Times reports the hashtag has been seen by well over 100 million people on Chinese social platform Weibo.
A bit of biography
Liu joined CGTN after graduating from university and is one of the network’s most prominent correspondents. She is known as a champion of a more self-assured and assertive China (paywall), and has criticized foreign media for its coverage of the country.
Regan joined Fox Business in 2015 after stints at CBS, CNBC, and Bloomberg Television. She has railed against socialism and drew sharp criticism (paywall) last year when she compared the “bleak nation” of Denmark, a rich, developed country, to Venezuela, a country grappling with a humanitarian crisis.
What might the debate achieve?
China has invested a lot of money into expanding its media presence abroad. The debate could help raise the network’s visibility in the US, and authorities in Beijing have encouraged people to tune in. “You know, in China we have a saying: The truth becomes clearer through debate,” Lu Kang, a foreign ministry spokesman told reporters when asked about the face-off.
By Adam Rasmi