Trump says China wants him to lose election after repeated attacks over coronavirus

Trump says China wants him to lose election after repeated attacks over coronavirus


Trump says China wants him to lose election after repeated attacks over coronavirus

Trump says China wants him to lose election after repeated attacks over coronavirus

Trump says China wants him to lose election after repeated attacks over coronavirus 1

Donald Trump has claimed that China‘s handling of the coronavirus is proof that Beijing “will do anything they can” to make him lose his re-election bid in November.

In an interview with Reuters in the Oval Office, Trump appeared to caution China that there were consequences for the pandemic, saying “I can do a lot”, without going into detail.

Despite much criticism of his own management of the US coronavirus outbreak, Trump has increasingly blamed China for the crisis that has now killed at least 60,000 Americans, according to a Reuters tally.


He repeated the claim on Wednesday that China should have warned the world sooner about the virus, and appearing to speculate about retaliation, said: “There are many things I can do,” Trump said. “We’re looking for what happened.”

The president, who has waged a trade war with China during his presidency, also said that China was directly interfering with his re-election bid.

“China will do anything they can to have me lose this race,” said Trump, adding that he believes China wants his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, to win the November election race to ease the pressure on US-China relations.

Commenting on Biden’s election chances, the president told Reuters that his Democratic opponent would not win. “I don’t believe the polls,” said Trump. “I believe the people of this country are smart. And I don’t think that they will put a man in who’s incompetent.”

The president’s comments come amid widespread criticism of his management of the crisis in the US, with less than half of Americans approving of the presidents’s actions on the coronavirus.

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll on 27-28 April, carried out days after the president’s discredited comments on injecting disinfectant, 43 per cent of Americans said they approved of Trump’s handing of the pandemic.

“We were rocking before this happened. We had the greatest economy in history,” said Trump on Wednesday, as the economic damage caused by Covid-19 appeared to weaken his re-election pitch to Americans.

Trump added that the US-China trade deal he concluded with Chinese President Xi Jinping aimed at reducing chronic US trade deficits with China had been “upset very badly” by the economic fallout from the virus.

“They’re constantly using public relations to try to make it like they’re innocent parties,” said Trump of Chinese officials.

The two leaders had promised that their governments would do everything possible to cooperate to contain the coronavirus. In recent days, Washington and Beijing have traded increasingly bitter exchanges over the origin of the virus and the response to it.

However, Trump and his top aides, while stepping up their anti-China rhetoric, have stopped short of directly criticising Xi, who the US president has repeatedly called his friend. ​

Additional reporting by Reuters


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