Asian Journalist Live Tweets Bannon’s Hong Kong Speech the Media Was Barred From

On Tuesday, Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon spoke at the CLSA investor forum in Hong Kong. The event was closed to the media. It’s not uncommon for U.S. political figures to hold “closed-door sessions,” at the CLSA investor forum, as was the case with former Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, in 2009. 

Despite the media being barred from the event, ChannelNewsAsia correspondent Wei Du tweeted Bannon’s speech. The “not so anti-China” speech, as Du sarcastically put it, covered a wide variety of subjects; tax policy, Breitbart’s international expansion, regulation of tech giants as utilities and of course, U.S-China relations. Bannon even called China’s management of its economy “quite brilliant.”

Business Insider reports:


The speech, at an investment conference hosted by Chinese government-backed CLSA, focused heavily on economic issues facing the US but also addressed other political issues facing parts of the Asian-Pacific region.

According to Wei Du, an reporter at Singapore-based Channel New Asia, Bannon said the US was in an “economic war” with other countries — including Japan, China, and South Korea. But Bannon did praise the Chinese economic system and spoke about the “affinity” between the US and the Chinese dating back to World War II.

Bannon is generally considered to be more protectionist and drove anti-trade efforts, particularly against China, during his time in the White House, making his tone Tuesday a bit unexpected.

Bannon said China’s “way of running their economic system is quite brilliant,” according to Du, and that “there isn’t a world leader” Trump respects more than Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Chinese economic system blends a mix of a capitalist structure with strong state-control over many of the largest businesses including the financial system.

“Steve Bannon, speaking in HK, says @realDonaldTrump will visit China in November,” tweets Du.

“Trump already confirmed to visit Philippines and Vietnam,” Du says

Du tweets, “Steve Bannon, speaking in HK at Chinese-owned broker event, delivers not so anti-China speech. Tweet storm coming.”

“Bannon: I was leading the effort within WH to turn @Google and @facebook into public utilities,” reveals Du.

“Bannon: I don’t think tax reform is gonna happen in next couple months, might take longer,” tweeted Du.

Du reveals, “Bannon: Paul Ryan’s border tax adjustment tax would be fantastic, but it has ZERO chance of passing.”

“Trump admin’s clampdown on illegal immigrants led to mass self-deportation, raising wages for blacks/Hispanics in agri/construction.”

“big misunderstanding of America First is it means American isolationism. America will engage on bilat basis, remain Pacific power.”

“TPP/Paris Accord epitomize the sort of deals US will never be in again – one player among many, bound by other countries.”

“”In “anti-China” speech, Bannon tells audience “there isn’t a world leader he(@realDonaldTrump ) respects more than the Pres of China,”” tweets Du.

“Bannon on pressing Xi for mkt access: Xi extraordinary, man of wisdom. Downside of US/China at odds so huge, he gets it has to be worked out”

“We can avoid trade war, but we have to deal with the economic war against US. Naming Japan/Korea/China as mercantilist states.”

“Northwest Pacific closest to Balkans in 1914 I’ve ever seen. Says Asia biggest growth opportunity but also biggest risk of war.”

“In a bizzare twist, Bannon praised “. “special alliance and affinity of these two people (US/China) dating back to WWII.””

“Bannon asked abt @realDonaldTrump working with dems on debt ceiling: My recommendation would be “don’t do that,” but he’s smarter than me.”

“Chinese way of running their economic system is quite brilliant. I tip my hat to them.”

“Bannon also wants to expand @BreitbartNews globally, names India and Eygpt as places where he sees similar nationalistic sentiments,” tweets Du.

“Audience, mixed crowd of Western and Asian investors, can no longer suppress light chuckle.”

“this rule-based postwar order, I happen to think it’s a fetish”


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