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Trade war

Absent from front pages, Xi keeps trade war at arm's length

Chinese leader avoids the spotlight -- and the blame

As the Sino-American trade conflict intensifies, Chinese President Xi Jinping seems to be staying far from the front lines.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has been conspicuously silent on the trade row with the U.S., sparking speculation that he is shielding himself from criticism in case it spirals out of control.

The Chinese leader has been missing from the front page of the People's Daily on multiple days this month, and his exposure on state television has decreased noticeably. Xi likely wants to stay out of the line of fire lest the trade war lead to significant repercussions such as job losses, which he could be blamed for.

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