United States President Donald Trump said Friday that relations with China were “seriously damaged” by the coronavirus crisis and that he is not considering a second phase of the trade agreement signed in January with Beijing.
“Relations with China were seriously damaged. They could have stopped the plague, and they did not do it,” said the president in relation to the coronavirus pandemic that was first detected in the Chinese town of Wuhan a end of 2019.
Washington and Beijing reached a partial trade agreement in January whereby the United States promised to suspend the application of new tariffs and China promised to increase its purchases of US products by nearly 200,000 million dollars in two years, in relation to the 2017 levels.
When asked on the Air Force One presidential plane on his way to Florida about whether he intended to move toward a second phase of a trade deal, Trump replied, “Honestly, I have a lot of other things on my mind.”
Trump accuses the Chinese authorities of having been late in alerting the world to the epidemic and considers that they are responsible for the spread of the virus at a time when the United States is the country with the most deaths, with more than 133,291 deaths.
In June, a senior adviser to the Chinese government acknowledged that the pandemic will have “consequences” on the implementation of the agreement.