Pig of a deal?; Worrying developments with the Wuhan coronavirus; Belt and Road Initiative in 2019
The phase one trade deal speculation is over, but the criticism is just beginning.
On Monday Taoran Notes, written by someone I hear travels with Liu He during his trade talks with the US, published for the first time in over two months. The post, a defense of the deal clearly targeting domestic criticism, used the phrase 里外不是人 to say that there would be complaints regardless of what is in the deal. 里外不是人 comes from the longer 猪八戒照镜子，里外不是人, or Zhu Bajie looks in the mirror, neither he or his reflection are human.
From the texts of the deal (English, 中文) the US looks to have scored some wins at the margin, and some of the language, such as the fact (thanks to an eagle-eyed subscriber) that there are 105 times of “China shall”, 60 times of “the Parties shall”, 5 times of “the United States shall”, and 27 times of “the United States affirms”, could clearly be construed in China as bowing to US pressure. In response we are seeing a very concerted PRC media effort to control the narrative a…