It doesn't help when the Trump administration demands
Huang Jiyuan

Editor's note: Huang Jiyuan is an opinion editor with CGTN Digital. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

On August 28, U.S. President Donald Trump went on Twitter and blasted Fox News for holding discussions with staffers and officials of the Democratic Party and giving "zero pushback". He proclaimed that "Fox isn’t working for us anymore" and that "we have to start looking for a new News Outlet."

It is quite uncommon for Trump to criticize Fox. After all, Fox News has always been the main conduit for Trump administration's message and the backbone of his popularity. From candidate Trump to president Trump, Fox News has delivered his political ideologies to the conservatives in the United States and aroused a group of religiously-loyal supporters.

But, it is not uncommon for the Trump administration to use rhetoric to bully people and the public into submitting to its view. It seems like a natural behavior for the administration to be blasting something or someone just because things don't turn out or officials didn't act in the way it wanted. Trump himself has "hereby ordered" American companies to leave China despite the lack of authority to do so. His Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened to "oppose (China) at every turn."

With the outbursts on Fox's coverage, it is clear that finding a news outlet that works for the Trump administration is the most important issue. Absorbing and evaluating different information doesn't matter. The administration just wants to project its own opinions onto the world. Consent isn't earned, it's demanded. And for Trump to be willing to turn on a staunch ally in such an extreme fashion is not conducive to politics, domestic or international.

Trump administration has no shortage of hard-line anti-China officials, such as (L-R) National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Vice President Mike Pence. /VCG Photo

Trump administration has no shortage of hard-line anti-China officials, such as (L-R) National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Vice President Mike Pence. /VCG Photo

As China and the U.S. are heading into another round of negotiations with escalating tension and an economic confrontation that now has officially engulfed the entire U.S. import of Chinese goods, it is more important now than ever for both sides to be sure that everyone is truly negotiating, not demanding.

Trump administration's record has no shortage of trying to bully and demand a trade deal from China. For starter, the administration has demonstrated that it is willing to exert extreme pressure on China despite the talks being constructive. The U.S. could completely ignore its previous commitment to remain outside of Hong Kong affairs by using it as a pressure point in the trade talks. The White House has titled China as an enemy and tried to impose the idea of China as the arch-rival of the U.S. onto the American public, even though that couldn't be further away from the truth.

What can we expect? Can people still expect the U.S. to be willing to negotiate? I don't think anyone can be certain. It has always been clear that the Trump administration doesn't abide by the normal rules nor mince its words. But, to treat Fox News in such a dramatic way just because it has invited members from the opposition onto the show has set a new bar for the administration's impromptu decision-making. 

If the Trump administration did this to its ally, what can it do to a country that its currently in a trade war with? And if demanding and commandeering are all it does, how can negotiators expect a fair treatment?

"We don't work for you. I don't work for you," Fox News host Neil Cavuto shouted back at Trump after his twitter storm. "My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just cover you – call balls and strikes."

And the Chinese's job is to protect China's interest, not appease you or fight you, just protect China's interest – come hell or high water.

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