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"Thank you, Mr. Trump. You are GREAT!"...well, not really

As the U.S.-China trade war continues, China’s biggest state broadcaster resorted to the old-fashioned airwaves in a skewering of President Trump, mocking his stance on trade, on the press, and even on himself.

Peter H. Frank
    Aug 23, 2018 2:26 PM  PT

If Twitter wasn't blocked in China, a tweetstorm might have been more appropriate. Or perhaps a video on Instagram would have gotten U.S. President Donald Trump's attention – if that platform wasn't also blocked.

Instead, China's biggest state broadcaster resorted to the old-fashioned airwaves earlier this week in a skewering of the American president, mocking his stance on trade, on the press, and even on himself.

"Thank you, Mr. Trump for the shock therapy about how far apart China and the US are and why it's imperative they get on the same page," begins the report, broadcast in Chinese but accompanied by English subtitles.

"Thank you for re-instilling in the Chinese a sense of HUMILITY," the report continued. "How can there be enough gratitude for highlighting the foibles of over-confidence and self-congratulation, never a virtue except in your case."

The film, overflowing with sarcasm and produced by China Global Television Network, left few areas untouched.

For example, the report, hosted by former CNBC reporter Cheng Lei, who now works for the country's state broadcaster CCTV, specifically thanks Trump for helping China see its own shortcomings. That, in turn, led to the landing of a newly announced Tesla plant, she said, and for bringing the world closer together after Trump slapped multiple countries with trade tariffs.

"On behalf of doctors, thank you for pointing out the need to wean off American goods like bourbon and bacon," Lei continued.

Beyond the trade aspect, the video also got a bit personal.

"Thank you for showing us a unique kind of leadership I'll call the Trump L'oeil," she said. "Our HR should emulate your strategy of hiring and firing … and firing."

Perhaps the most notable aspect of the program was that the Chinese government, which would have needed to approve its broadcast, rarely publicly lambasts foreign governments – especially ones with which it is negotiating. The U.S. and Chinese trade delegations met again today to discuss the current trade dispute, which continued to heat up as the two countries threw more tariffs at each other this week.

CGTN, set up by CCTV, transmits in more than 100 countries as part of a recent effort to expand its newscast to foreign audiences. The two-and-a-half-minute clip was posted on YouTube earlier this week, but was apparently removed. (CapitalWatch downloaded a version from a Chinese platform and then posted it on YouTube to link to this story.)

Finally, the report concluded with Lei recognizing her own tongue-in-cheek role as a journalist.

"Most of all, thank you for discrediting news media at large, so we need to be doubly sure that we're not producing fake news," concluded the faux news report. "You are GREAT!"