- China's FM spokesman asked the U.S. "to meet halfway with China."
- Trump reiterated that he has got a very good relationship with Xi Jinping, “but I just — right now I don’t want to speak to him.”
- Trump accuses China of having omitted important information about the new coronavirus, which could have prevented the pandemic.
China today called for “closer” cooperation with the United States in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic after US President Donald Trump threatened to “end all relations” with Beijing. “To maintain the steady development of China-US relations is in the fundamental interests of the people in both countries, and is conducive to world peace and stability,” said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a press briefing.
“At present, China and the U.S. should continue to strengthen cooperation against the epidemic, defeat the epidemic as soon as possible, treat patients, and restore economy and production. But it requires the U.S. to meet halfway with China,” the spokesman said.
For several weeks, Trump has repeated that the heavy death toll from infection with COVID -19— more than 300,000 worldwide— could have been prevented if China had acted responsibly when the new coronavirus was first detected in the city of Wuhan, in central China, at the end of last year.
On Thursday, President Trump said that he did not want to speak, at the present moment, with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. Instead, he threatened to sever relations with Beijing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump reiterated that he has got a very good relationship with Xi Jinping, “but I just — right now I don’t want to speak to him,” Trump said during an interview with cable news channel Fox Business Network. The United States and China have had a trade war since 2018, but earlier this year, they celebrated the first phase of a new trade agreement that was seen by both parties as to the beginning of a better diplomatic relationship.
However, in recent months, tensions have escalated, and Trump has accused Chinese officials of hiding the scale of the epidemic, which emerged in late 2019 in the city of Wuhan. For its part, Beijing denies the accusations, and claims to have transmitted all information in a timely manner to the World Health Organization and other countries, including the United States.
Trump has hinted at a possible retaliation against the Beijing government, accusing it of having omitted important information about the new coronavirus, which could have prevented the pandemic of COVID -19.
“There are many things we could do. We could do things. We could cut off the whole relationship,” Trump said on Thursday. “Now, if you did, what would happen? You’d save $500 billion,” Trump said, referring to estimated U.S. annual imports from China, which he often refers to as lost money.
Globally, according to a report from AFP, the pandemic of COVID -19 has caused more than 297,000 deaths and infected more than 4.3 million people in 196 countries and territories. More than 1.5 million patients were considered cured. The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, China.