- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China did not intend to "play a game of thrones on the international stage," and did not accept threats in trade negotiations.
- The "series" has already lasted three seasons, and there may be a fourth season in the future.
- "The Game of Thrones: China-US Trade Negotiations" premiered on February 27, 2018.
Before the negotiations, China and the United States spoke to each other as usual. President Donald Trump accused China of “massively” stealing trade secrets at the UN General Assembly. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi immediately retorted that China did not intend to “play a game of thrones on the international stage,” and did not accept threats in trade negotiations.
Regardless of whether Wang intentionally or unintentionally referenced the American drama, “Game of Thrones,” the China-US trade negotiations have indeed changed from a big drama to a serial drama. The series has already lasted three seasons, and there may be a fourth season in the future.
“The Game of Thrones: China-US Trade Negotiations” premiered on February 27, 2018. At that time, the United States had just increased tariffs on Chinese washing machines and photovoltaic products, and was considering tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum. Although it was only taxed on individual products, it was already raging.
Liu, a member of the Chinese politburo and leader of the China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, was absent for the first “two seasons.” Liu went to the United States to conduct the first high-level economic and trade consultation between the two countries, with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Liu was tasked with putting out the fire, on his first trip, but most people could not think the fire would burn higher later.
Since then, the two countries have talked about three rounds in May, June, and August last year. The result has become worse and worse: the two sides have increased their firepower— and tariffs— until the negotiations have grown completely stagnant. In December last year, Trump and Xi Jinping sat down in Argentina and declared a truce. The two sides sent people to start negotiations, and the curtain of the second season was opened.
On January 30 this year, after half a year of stagnation, China and the United States opened the fifth round of trade negotiations. By then, the rhythm of the negotiations was rapid. After seven rounds of talks in more than three months, the public opinion seemed to have believed that a trade agreement was imperative.
In the final moment, however, China refused to recognize the outcome of the negotiations. Suddenly it felt that the United States was going to colonize the Chinese economy and, and Beijing disagreed. Trump then accused China of reneging on the terms already reached. China and the United States then repeated the plot of the first season, left the negotiating table, and continued to impose tariffs. The negotiation was stopped for another three months.
There is still a third season in this drama. At the end of June this year, Trump and Xi Jinping sat together again during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, and the two agreed to start negotiations again. Thus, at the end of July, the two countries opened the 12th round of negotiations in Shanghai, and then the upcoming 13th round of negotiations. At this point, the third season and the beginning of the second season are no different.