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 told Fox Business on Thursday, adding: “We could cut off the whole relationship.”
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 exclusively to Fox Business, the President raised the impact of ending relations, saying: “Now, if you did, what would happen? You’d save $500 billion if you cut off the whole relationship.”
Trump also said “right now I don’t want to speak to” his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
“They should have never let this happen,” Trump said. “So I make a great trade deal and now I say this doesn’t feel the same to me.
“The ink was barely dry and the plague came over. And it doesn’t feel the same to me.”
Although the pandemic originated in China, the US currently accounts for the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of COVID-19 cases increased to 1,417,889 on Friday, with 85,906 deaths.