With the deadline for arranging a meeting between the two world leaders coming down to the wire, Beijing would apparently like to make it clear to Washington that, if Trump wants a meeting with Xi in Osaka, he's going to need to work a little bit harder.
On an already busy Tuesday morning, Global Times editor Hu Xijin brushed off what he described as a feeble attempt by Washington to ease tensions with China in a tweet, threatening to revive trade fears as markets continue their MTD rebound.
Is this a signal of the US to ease tensions? If so, it is too weak. Chinese people are now very distrustful of Washington, whose every move seems to be either a trick or bargaining chip. Beijing believes Washington tends to bully and be greedy, therefore it has toughened up. pic.twitter.com/8vxHRcDj0D— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) June 18, 2019
Of course, he was referring to a Bloomberg story about how Mike Pence delayed a speech set for the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre earlier this month in an attempt to curry favor with Beijing. The speech was reportedly going to be critical of China, attacking everything from BRI to its trade abuses.
But Trump reportedly delayed the speech to avoid upsetting Beijing ahead of a possible meeting in Osaka, according to Bloomberg. Though, to be fair, this isn't exactly a shock. When news that the speech had been cancelled crossed the wire, most traders probably assumed Trump was hoping to soften Xi up.
Hu's latest tweet follows a flurry of nationalistic editorials in the Chinese state press, the likes of which haven't been seen in weeks. Hu described this as a sign that Beijing is no longer playing games.