The long running trade war between the US and China has spooked global markets and provided much fodder for the broadcast media of both countries. This week, it was also the topic of a much-anticipated debate between Fox Business Network host Trish Regan and TV anchor Liu Xin of the China Global Television Network (CGTN). The discussion, which pitted the right-leaning network, a favorite of president Trump, against the international arm of China’s state-run broadcaster, CCTV, ultimately proved disappointing.
The debate was preceded by a week-long public back-and-forth between Liu and Regan. The dispute started with Liu suggesting that the Fox presenter needed “a better research team” after Regan claimed that China stole $600 billion worth of intellectual property a year from the US. Regan eventually invited Liu to debate the topic, and Liu accepted on the condition there would be no “mud throwing.” “Don’t worry—I don’t sling mud, I sling facts,” Regan responded.
Here is your guide to watching the debate:
How to watch
The debate was aired live on the Trish Regan Primetime show, on the Fox Business Network, at 8pm US eastern time on May 29—8am the following day (May 30) in Beijing.
Liu attended via satellite link from Beijing. Prior to the debate, she tweeted that CGTN couldn’t air it live due to “rights issues,” but that the outlet will follow and report on it closely, including posting updates on its Twitter account.
Viewers outside of China can watch the debate on the Fox Business website here—watching within China will likely require a VPN.
Despite the hype, the 17-minute debate ultimately proved short on drama. You can read Quartz’s recap here.
Chinese internet users generally thought Liu performed well, but the top hashtag on the Twitter-like service Weibo, garnering more than 130 million views, was “CGTN host Liu Xin has been interrupted by Trish Regan three times.”
A bit of biography
Liu joined CGTN after graduating from university and is one of the network’s most prominent correspondents. She is known as a champion of a more self-assured and assertive China (paywall), and has criticized foreign media for its coverage of the country.
Regan joined Fox Business in 2015 after stints at CBS, CNBC, and Bloomberg Television. She has railed against socialism and drew sharp criticism (paywall) last year when she compared the “bleak nation” of Denmark, a rich, developed country, to Venezuela, a country grappling with a humanitarian crisis.
What might the debate achieve?
China has invested a lot of money into expanding its media presence abroad. The debate could help raise the network’s visibility in the US, and authorities in Beijing encouraged people to follow it. “You know, in China we have a saying: The truth becomes clearer through debate,” Lu Kang, a foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters when asked about the face-off.
This story was updated after the debate aired with details of how to watch a recording. An earlier version of this article’s headline also described Trish Regan as an anchor at Fox News. She is an anchor at Fox Business Network.