Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump chat at a G-20 event a day before their highly anticipated bilateral meeting.
Bernd von Jutrczenka | picture alliance | Getty Images
President Donald Trump said China is ready to come back to the negotiating table, but one Chinese insider is calling Trump’s bluff, saying, “China didn’t change its position.”
Hu Xijin is the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a tabloid under the People’s Daily, which is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China. His Twitter account has been followed by many Wall Street traders and market participants for insight on the trade war.
His comment came after Trump said at the G-7 summit in France that China expressed its desire for a deal in a recent call.
“China called last night our top trade people and said ‘let’s get back to the table’ so we will be getting back to the table and I think they want to do something. They have been hurt very badly but they understand this is the right thing to do and I have great respect for it,” Trump said.
Hu said the two sides did not hold phone talks recently, adding that Trump is exaggerating the significance of the “technical level” contacts.
“The two sides have been keeping contact at technical level, it doesn’t have significance that President Trump suggested,” he said in a tweet on Monday. “China won’t cave to U.S. pressure.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also said he was not aware that a phone call between the two sides had taken place.
Hu has been right about some recent developments in the intensifying trade war. China said Friday it will slap tariffs on $75 billion more of U.S. goods and resume auto tariffs, in retaliation of Trump’s latest tariff threat. Hours before the announcement, Hu had warned the retaliation was coming.
“Beijing will soon unveil a plan of imposing retaliatory tariffs on certain U.S. products. China has ammunition to fight back. The U.S. side will feel the pain,” he said on Friday morning.
—CNBC’s Amanda Macias contributed reporting.