Donald Trump warned that he could “cut the whole relationship” with China, in the latest escalation of American tensions with Beijing, as he increasingly accuses China of the global spread of the coronavirus.
“There are a lot of things we could do,” Trump said at Fox Business. Mornings with Maria Thursday. “We could end the whole relationship. Now, if that were the case, what would happen? You save $ 500 billion. “
It was not clear what this figure represented. Mr. Trump was responding to a question about whether the U.S. should deny Chinese nationals student visas for sensitive science areas.
In 2018, the White House considered banning Chinese citizens from receiving student visas, but moved away from the idea put forward by Stephen Miller, radical White House aide who is close to Trump .
The president has stepped up criticism of the Chinese government over the past few weeks over how he handled the virus’s spread, and has suggested that Beijing will be forced to pay a price.
Trump has not explained what he means by severing ties. But some officials want him to remove Chinese companies from American supply chains.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded by urging the United States to “abandon its cold war and zero sum mentality”.
“The stable development of Sino-US relations serves the fundamental interests of the two countries,” said Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the foreign ministry. “The two sides should strengthen anti-epidemic cooperation, win the war against the epidemic, deal with patents and resume economic production. But that requires the United States to meet China halfway. “
On Thursday, the president also signed a decree authorizing the US International Development Finance Corporation to grant loans to American industrial companies to support domestic manufacturing linked to the response to the pandemic.
Pressed on how he could force American companies to move their supply chains, Mr. Trump told Fox Business: “One incentive, frankly, is to charge taxes for them when they manufacture products at outside.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday called on China to end cyber espionage linked to US research on Covid-19, and urged China to be more transparent in providing information on the pandemic.
“As the United States and our allies and partners coordinate a collective and transparent response to save lives, the PRC continues to silence scientists, journalists and citizens and to spread disinformation, which has exacerbated the dangers of this health crisis, “said Pompeo.
In his interview with Fox Business, Trump said he is examining “very strongly” whether Chinese companies should be allowed to list on the US stock exchanges if they do not comply with American accounting rules. But he said he knew there was a downside to such a decision.
“What is going on is what we say,” You are going to do this and you are going to follow the rules of the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq “. What are they doing? They say, OK, we will move to London or we will go to Hong Kong. “
Earlier this week, the White House put pressure on the main retirement fund for US federal government employees to abandon an investment plan for Chinese companies, which was a great victory for the Chinese hawks in Washington.
In a letter outlining his concerns, Robert O’Brien, a national security adviser, said the Chinese government does not allow US auditors to audit the accounts of Chinese companies listed on the US stock exchanges.
The president’s latest attack is part of a campaign that many experts say will intensify in the run-up to the November elections. In his 2016 run, Trump frequently criticized China over its trade policies, but failed to significantly reduce the U.S. trade deficit with the country.
Asked about reports that China wanted to renegotiate the phase one trade agreement that was signed earlier this year to quell the trade war between countries, Trump said he had no plans to reopen the pact.
“They said somewhere. . . they want to renegotiate the agreement. We are not going to renegotiate, “said Trump.
The President added that he was not interested in talking to Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, in the near future. “I have a very good relationship [with him] But . . . right now, I don’t want to talk to her. “
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