11 January 2020
US President Donald Trump has made 32 false or misleading claims every day since October, according to the Washington Post. Photo: AFP
US President Donald Trump has made 32 false or misleading claims every day since October, according to the Washington Post. Photo: AFP

Chinese statistics and Trump’s lies

A lot has been said about the unreliability – if not outright doctoring –?of China’s economic statistics, particularly its GDP growth figures, which even Premier Li Keqiang has questioned. But it appears the United States hasn’t fared any better in this department.

According to a Washington Post report, US President Donald Trump has made?32 false or misleading claims every day since October?– or?more than?15,000 such claims, or 15 a day, since he came to power in 2017.

Of course, we all know that there’s no love lost between Trump and the Washington Post, which the US leader has often called a purveyor of fake news for publishing?articles that are highly critical of his administration.

But the US newspaper, in coming up with the statistics, is citing data from Fact Checker, which “analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement” Trump has uttered.

In reporting the data, the Washington Post wants to show that the US president has doubled his rate of “lies” recently amid the impeachment inquiry at the House of Representatives regarding his July 25 phone call to Ukraine’s president.

In that call, Trump was allegedly pressuring the Ukrainian leader to investigate former vice president Joe Biden – who, of course, is a potential rival in his reelection bid – in exchange for the release of US security assistance.

In America, it seems, everything boils down to politics.

The Washington Post’s owner, Jeff Bezos, has been overtaken by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as?the world’s richest man this year, after shares of his declined amid?investor jitters over his poor relationship with the Trump administration. The tech giant lost out on a US$10 billion cloud computing contract with Pentagon in October.

According to the Washington Post, Trump’s misleading claims extend to his exuberant appraisals of the US economy. However, the market apparently believes them, or at least shares his optimism: the?Dow Jones ended at another record high of 28,267 on Tuesday.

And thanks to the completion of talks for a Phase One?trade deal between the US and China, Chinese stocks are also picking up despite worries over slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

True, China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area are struggling to get on track, but at least President Xi Jinping and Premier Li are not accused of making false claims about the Chinese economy.?

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EJ Insight writer