Jul 10, 2020 21:17 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Jul 10, 2020 21:34 Asia/Tehran]
  • Trump: US-China ties 'severely damaged' over pandemic

US President Donald Trump said Friday US-China relations have been "severely damaged" over Beijing's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, and he is not thinking about a second phase of the countries' trade deal.

Iran PressAmerica: US President Donald Trump said Friday that he isn’t currently thinking about a possible next stage of the US trade deal with China, adding that the relationship between the two nations has been “severely damaged” by the coronavirus pandemic.

“They could have stopped the plague. They could have stopped it. They didn’t stop it,” Trump said on Air Force One en route to Florida, according to reporters present on the plane.

Asked if that friction meant “Phase Two” of the US-China trade deal would no longer happen, Trump said he wasn’t even thinking about it and that he had many other things on his mind.

The status of the trade agreement between the two economic superpowers, the first phase of which was signed and went into effect earlier this year, has come under question amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The virus, which originally began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has spread around the world and taken a devastating toll on America’s health and economy. More than 3 million cases and at least 133,291 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The two countries have traded barbs and sanctions on a slew of issues since Trump took office, from trade to more recent spats over the coronavirus pandemic, a security law in Hong Kong and Chinese policies in the far western regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.

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