What trends can be identified in an evolving analysis of the Chinese agenda in the trade war with the US? The investigation analyses the two official documents on the subject of the Government of the People’s Republic of China (September 2018 and June 2019), from a theoretical framework focused on Chinese policy rationality and agenda studies, and with tools specific to automatical text analysis. It concludes that Chinese political discourse upholds — as a central axis — the intention to expand the trade debate to other economic meanings, remains critical of protectionism and defends its position on intellectual property in China. However, in 2019 Chinese political discourse became more central to the cooperative values and principles typical of Chinese political rhetoric. This is highlighted by the Chinese stategia of deconstructing the Western discourse on the trade conflict, which is predominant, with abundant particularisation, in 2018.