President Trump said Sunday that he doesn’t want to speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as tensions ramp up between the two nations during the pandemic.
“Look, I’m not happy with anything to do with that particular subject right now,” he said during an interview with Fox’s Maria Bartiromo.
Despite his frustrations, Mr. Trump said he still has a good relationship with the Chinese president and doesn’t plan to renegotiate the massive $250 billion trade deal they secured back in January.
However, the Trump administration continues to hit China hard as the world struggles to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The virus was first discovered in Wuhan, China late last year before it spread around the globe. There are now more than 4.5 million infections and more than 300,000 coronavirus-related deaths worldwide.
The president accused China of allowing its people to travel and spread the infection while locking down its own borders. Though he wouldn’t say that the Chinese specifically intended for it get out.
“It all came from China and they could have stopped it,” he said. “I don’t know if they made the decision, but it got out of control. I think more than likely it got out of control.”
White House trade advisor Peter Navarro went even further on Sunday, directly saying he blamed the Chinese government for taking down the U.S. economy.
“The Chinese, behind the shield of the World Health Organization for two months, hid the virus from the world, and then sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese on aircraft to Milan, New York and around the world to seed that,” he said.
On Friday, Mr. Trump moved to block shipments of superconductors to the Chinese giant Huawei Technologies from global chipmakers. Members of his administration have suggested the country owes compensation to the rest of the world for the outbreak.
• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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