International Taxes

China orders media to limit criticism of Trump for fear of stoking trade war: report

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China has reportedly issued updated guidelines to its news media, ordering outlets not to attack President Trump.

Sources in Chinese state media told Reuters that Beijing is concerned that negative coverage of the president could further inflame the trade conflict between the two countries.

“When exposing and criticizing American words and actions, be careful not to link it to Trump and instead to aim it at the U.S. government,” a memo based on verbal instructions from government officials reads.

A leaked propaganda document earlier this year issued similar directives, telling media not to “attack Trump’s vulgarity; don’t make this a war of insults.” But one source at a top Chinese news site told Reuters that the new rules are “the most strict yet.”

{mosads}That source’s website was reportedly instructed not to publish its own stories about the ongoing trade battle, and not to send out news alerts to its app’s users about the topic. Instead, the outlet was told to only share trade stories from Xinhua, the state news agency.

Sources at other state-run news agencies told Reuters that they were instructed not to report on whether the trade war is negatively affecting Chinese businesses.

According to Reuters, there has still been some critical coverage of the U.S. as the two nations exchange massive tariffs, but the criticism has largely not been directed at Trump the individual.

On Tuesday, Trump hit China with an additional round of tariffs valued at roughly $200 billion, on top of the $34 billion in products that were targeted just days ago.

China accused Trump last week of starting “the biggest trade war in economic history.”

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