For the first time ever, journalists from China and the United States took part in a televised head to head on Thursday. CGTN anchor Liu Xin and Fox Business Network host Trish Regan talked trade, tariffs and technology transfer among other hot button issues between China and the United States in a live discussion on the American business news channel.
Stakes were high and a global media buzz added to the hype in the lead-up to the talks. But how what does Liu think of the discussion now that history has been made?
“I tried my best to make myself clear, to make my sentences short, to reach out to her, to answer Trish's questions in an honest measure,” Liu told CGTN's Zou Yun.
“We need to be honest, because then that's the only way we can move forward. So I didn't go in with a confrontational mood,” she added.
She said the questions were not as sharp as she had expected, and that Trish was fair and friendly during the debate.
Liu also clarified the nature of the debate, saying it's not a conversation between two countries or two people, and not even between Fox and CGTN.
“This was a conversation between me and Trish, as journalists, as human beings, as if she wants, women,” she noted.
Liu admitted that she had put herself in a “disadvantageous situation” when she agreed to be on Trish's turf.
“I put myself in her hands,” Liu noted, explaining that she wanted to change Trish's perception of Chinese people.
“(I wanted to) change her perception of Chinese women, and possibly of Chinese people, that we are willing to talk to them, that we are not afraid, that we are not hiding away from the problems that we face,” Liu said.
She admitted that taking on the challenge put “great pressure” on her and her team especially that she let Trish call the shots about the time and place of the debate and nature of questions, which Liu said were not communicated to her prior to the show.
“For me, this was definitely the first time, and I've never had this kind of conversation on American TV. And I didn't know what she was going to ask, she (only) told me a couple of keywords. Basically, I said fine to everything.”
“But if you really truly want to engage with someone, you go there disarmed. You go there and you don't become defensive. You open your heart, and you open your mind and you talk. And that's why I had to talk from my personal perspective, because then I have greater freedom to express what I really feel. And that was exactly what I did."
Liu also explained why she kept a normal work routine despite the looming date.
“I was preparing but I did not want give people the impression that the world (only revolves around that). Life goes on. I did not want people to pay all the attention to me. That was too much to me,” she stated.