Trump says does not wish to talk to Xi 'right now'

2020-05-14 18:11
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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US President Donald Trump said Thursday he is no mood to speak with China's Xi Jinping, warning darkly he might cut off ties with the rival superpower over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I have a very good relationship, but I just - right now I don't want to speak to him," Trump told Fox Business.

"I'm very disappointed in China. I will tell you that right now," he said.

Asked how the United States might choose to retaliate, Trump gave no specifics but struck a threatening tone, saying: "There are many things we could do. We could do things. We could cut off the whole relationship."

"If you did, what would happen?" Trump asked. "You'd save $500 billion if you cut off the whole relationship."

Tensions have ratcheted up between the United States and China as they have traded barbs over the origin of the pandemic that has killed 300 000 people.

Trump has for weeks accused China of concealing the true scale of the outbreak, which first appeared in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, thus allowing it to spread unchecked.

Beijing strongly denies the charge, insisting it transmitted all available data as soon as possible to the World Health Organization.

Trump doubled down on his accusation in the Fox Business interview, saying: "It all came from China and they should have stopped it.

Read more on:    us  |  china  |  coronavirus
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