US President Donald Trump has said that he “could cut off the whole relationship” with China, in one of his strongest comments against Beijing in the wake of the Asian giant’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the media reported.
“There are many things we could do,” Trump said in a press meeting on Thursday. “We could cut off the whole relationship,” Trump confirmed.
The Trump administration has been mulling avenues to possibly punish or seek financial compensation from China for what it sees as withholding information about the virus, which originated in the city of Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, last December.
On Monday, the administration cut investment ties between US federal retirement funds and Chinese equities. Speaking further, the President said “right now I don’t want to speak to” his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
While U.S. intelligence agencies have said the coronavirus does not appear manmade or genetically modified, rejecting a theory promoted by some Trump supporters, Trump said in his interview that China should have stopped it at its source.
“Whether it came from the lab or came from the bats, it all came from China, and they should have stopped it,” he said. “It got out of control.”