Opinion videos you may have missed in 2018… but mattered
Updated 20:14, 28-Dec-2018
CGTN's Zhao Yuanzhen
They never miss a headline on TV arguing who's the real victim of a trade war and what's next for the Brexit deadlock, bringing the hottest issues in 2018 to the discussion table; they write witty words and beautiful arguments on major news events this year, the tit-for-tat trade war, the first-ever import expo in Shanghai, and the historic Trump-Kim meeting, to name a few only.
They are our talented CGTN anchors and devoted guest commentators, and this year, they have more to offer. Together with the CGTN new media team, they proved that opinions can be compelling and fun at the same time. As 2018 draws to a close, the voices we have expressed through these high-quality opinion videos deserve a proper review.
During March, when China was holding its most important two meetings, the Two Sessions, Chinese scholar Zhang Weiwei was casting a critical eye over the governance of modern China in his 10-part CGTN Digital series, "The Chinese Way."  It touches on some ingrained suspicion and prejudices from the Western world against China, such as its human rights records, the leadership of the CPC, and China's mixed economy model. He argues that "while China's economic model is not perfect, it is performing more effectively than its Western counterparts." 
Zhang Weiwei is a Chinese professor of international relations at Fudan University.

Zhang Weiwei is a Chinese professor of international relations at Fudan University.

And then Trump came, with his tariff plan on 50 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Chinese goods, demanding that China alter a system that has been working. China did not cringe, and we have also taken this opportunity to rethink how the grudge from the U.S. against China has developed to such an extent.
CGTN anchor Zou Yue shared his sharp observations on the nature of Sino-U.S. relations when the first bullet was fired in March, and stakes on tariffs became higher. He has told China's trade story in the most vivid way. 
China started its modern trade story in 2001 when it joined the WTO, and it was “more afraid of global trade than the U.S. is right now.” Nobody had high hopes for the newcomer, but China played the game and excelled, very much like Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games trilogy who eventually changed the game. However, China is flawed as well, just like the U.S., which Zou Yue argued is like "the blind and limp" in Aesop's fable: “The U.S. is the limp, relying on cheap goods and credit from China to maintain the American way of life. And China is the blind, making products and saving money to keep its momentum of growth.”
CGTN anchor Zou Yue.

CGTN anchor Zou Yue.

They are also the scorpion and the frog – together, they can cross the “river of economic uncertainties.” But they do need to “to rein in the impulse to sting and use their brains and courage to wade through the water.”
They have no choice but to make their partnership work again, because trade war does hurt, badly, as shown in our animation videos. Victims vary from farmers of soybean and nuts, to the U.S.-made cars and airplanes, from U.S. companies like Intel, to ordinary U.S. families who may have to bear the price of a trade war, at 850 U.S. dollars per family a year to be exact. 
But the road to compromise and reconciliation has been bumpy, to say the least. As most experts have observed, the trade war is more than trade deficit, but America's long grievances about China's state subsidy and intellectual property issues. But is state subsidy a really unfair trade practice and has China been a “thief” and stealing America's technologies? Perhaps there are two sides to the story that should be heard. 
John Gong, a research fellow at Charhar Institute and professor at the University of International Business and Economics.

John Gong, a research fellow at Charhar Institute and professor at the University of International Business and Economics.

With the trade war as it is, the threats from the U.S. administration did not disturb the tight schedule of China in 2018.
It has been busy hosting the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in June, the first summit since Indian and Pakistan joined as full members. As Western countries worry that the expansion reflects China's larger geopolitical ambitions and a new “NATO” is rising from the East, CGTN anchor Liu Xin has been more than enlightening in her SCO trilogy, offering a different narrative. 
Liu explains that the world needn't worry about the SCO intending to oppose the Western order, because it only wishes to tighten their security and development cooperation, similar to the aim of China's Belt and Road Initiative of building a community of shared future, which CGTN anchor Tian Wei has called for more practical actions rather than skepticism.
And China is taking actions. It is taking more responsibilities as the world's second-largest economy and delivered its determination to further open up itself when it hosted the world's first-ever import expo, showing a much more inclusive vision of trade and development. And the timing is just right, when China is celebrating its 40 years anniversary of reform and opening-up.
It is also in that spirit that we have invited a keen China observer, Laurence Brahm, who came to China in 1981 and became an active participant in China's reform and opening-up process, to join in a dialogue with CGTN on the experiences and lessons China has learnt over the past four decades. He explains why the "the 19th century was Britain's, the 20th was America's and the 21st century is China's."
That's it for 2018, but a 10-episode Year in Review series is already on the way, looking at the major ups and downs of the past 12 months. And for more, don't forget to stay tuned with us in 2019.
(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at opinions@cgtn.com.)