US President Donald Trump additionally toughened his rhetoric against China Thursday, threatening to cut off all ties with the Asian giant due to his management of the emerging Coronavirus crisis, stressing that he no longer wants to speak to its President Xi Jinping.
The US president has been insisting for several weeks now that the heavy toll of nearly 300,000 deaths worldwide could have been avoided had China acted responsibly when the virus appeared in Wuhan.
In an interview with “Fox Business” broadcast Thursday, Trump said he was “very disappointed” with Beijing’s stance and rejected the idea of talking directly to President Xi to relieve tension.
“I have a very good relationship with him but at the moment I don’t want to talk to him,” Trump said on Fox Business.
When asked about the retaliatory measures he might take, he evaded the answer but said in a threatening tone, “There are many things we can do. We can cut every relationship” with China.
And if we do that, what will happen?
Trump continued, we will save 500 billion dollars if we cut our relationship with China.
Donald Trump, who is criticized in the United States for his lack of sympathy for the victims, said: “What happened to the world and our country is very sad, all these deaths… it is very sad for many families who have suffered so much”.
“They could have stopped the virus in China from where it came from,” Trump said, who is running for a second term in the November 3 election, and who has made improving the economy a pillar of his campaign.
But that did not happen”.
The two world economic powers are locked in a rhetoric whose outcome is unknown.
Senate Republicans cautious against Beijing put forward a bill Tuesday that would give the president the power to impose sanctions on China if it does not contribute in full transparency to shed light on the origin of the disease.
Since Wednesday, Washington has accused Beijing of trying to pirate US research on a vaccine against the Coronavirus.
The FBI said that “China’s attempts to target the health and scientific research sectors pose a serious threat to our country’s efforts to address Covid-19, without providing evidence or giving examples.
In turn, China strongly condemned what it described as “defamation”.
“China expresses its deep dissatisfaction and strong rejection of this American defamation,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lejian.
“Based on its proven track record, the United States has carried out the largest online theft operations worldwide,” Zhao told a press conference.
“China is at the forefront of the ongoing research for a vaccine and treatment for Covid-19, so it has more reason than anyone to be wary of stealing information over the Internet,” Zhao said.
For weeks, the US President has accused the Chinese authorities of concealing the epidemic and thus facilitating its spread.
But Beijing denies and asserts that it has passed all information as quickly as possible to the World Health Organization and to other countries, including the United States.
When asked if he had any evidence to show that the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, Trump seemed less determined than before, and even appeared to be retracting.
“We have a lot of information… but as you know, the worst of all, whether the virus came from the laboratory or from bats, it came from China and they had to stop it,” he said.