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China ramps up anti-US sentiments

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Amidst the trade war fight, Chinese TV broadcasts Korean war films

BEIJING: China is digging in for a tough period of deteriorating ties with the US, fanning the flames of patriotism with Korean War films, a viral song on the trade war, and editorials lambasting Washington.

The trade spat has turned into a war of words since President Donald Trump blacklisted Huawei last week over concerns that the telecom giant's equipment could be used by Beijing for espionage.

The move, which bans US companies from providing technology Huawei needs, came as the two sides have yet to resume trade negotiations after they exchanged steep increases in tariffs.

A commentary on state-run Xinhua news agency on Friday said China now had a "deeper understanding" of US "capriciousness" and was ready to fight with its "Long March" spirit.

It echoed President Xi Jinping's tough stance when he called on cadres to brace themselves for a "new Long March" - recalling the legendary strategic retreat by Communist revolutionaries in the 1930s who regrouped and went on to triumph in 1949.

Mr Xi warned local officials of "complicated and long-term effects" of external influences.

The world's top two economies will "go through a long period of irrational conflict", said Mr Zhang Yansheng, chief researcher at the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, at a government organised briefing last week.

"And then during this process, step by step... come to understand each other, resist each other, and (finally) cooperate with each other."


Mr Trump has left the door open for reconciliation with plans to meet President Xi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Japan next month.

But Chinese state media have ramped up the rhetoric.

A Xinhua commentary called the US government "selfish and arrogant".

"The US is defying international rules, abandoning cooperation agreements and harping on America First, American privilege and American exceptionalism," it said.

Since Mr Trump raised tariffs on US$200 billion (S$275 billion) in Chinese goods in mid-May, the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily has been running a daily column tag-lined "an alarm bell", rejecting Mr Trump's arguments that China's rise was leading to American losses.

Korean War films stoking anti-US sentiments from the 1950s were broadcast for six consecutive days on state television, reminding audiences of a time when the Cold War came to China's doorstep as it fought on the North's side against US-led UN forces defending the South.

Meanwhile, a song penned by a former Chinese government official vowing to beat the US "out of its wits" on the trade war went viral this week.- AFP