When Donald Trump tweeted on August 5th that tariffs were working "big time", American media sprang into action to test the claim.
In China, editors were more circumspect. No major Chinese-language newspaper reported his tweets.
One of his claims—that China's stock market has fallen 27% in the past four months—was an exaggeration.
But why would any self-respecting propagandist in Beijing dwell on that?
Chinese stocks have indeed fallen sharply, which officials do not wish to emphasise.
And this is just one of a series of awkward facts for China as its trade war with America deepens.
The yuan is down 8% against the dollar since April, and near its weakest in more than a year.
A shrinking trade surplus produced a current-account deficit in the first half of 2018, China's first such gap in at least two decades.
More broadly, China's growth is slowing at a time when America's economy is expanding at its fastest pace since 2014.
No wonder Mr. Trump feels that he is on the right path, and that Chinese investors are jittery.
Making matters worse for China is a whiplash effect.
Until recently officials and executives believed their own declarations of technological prowess.
Privately, advisers were confident that Mr. Trump could be placated with promises to ramp up imports from America.
Now both views look wanting. An agreement for China to buy more American natural gas and soya beans collapsed in June.
Chinese officials are keenly aware of vulnerabilities; had America maintained its sanctions on sales of semiconductors to ZTE,
the Chinese telecoms giant might well have gone out of business. Those with a conspiratorial mindset see things in a darker light.
"The Americans don't want a deal. They want to screw us," says a fund manager.