China and the US are engaged in a war of words in the past few weeks. Seeing the top two economies of the world bickering against each other, the world economy has gone into a tizzy. There seems to be no end to their squabble since recent words from President Trump signal that the US may cut ties with China. On May 15, US President Donald Trump said that he does not want to speak to Xi Jinping as of now. This shows a further deterioration of ties between the US and China over the Coronavirus pandemic. President Trump enjoyed cordial ties with President Jinping before this fallout over COVID-19.
Why the US and China may cut ties
Fox Business Network, telecast an interview where Trump expressed his displeasure at the way China handled the COVID-19 crisis. He was displeased with how China failed to contain the virus. He said that this has also soured the trade deal signed between the two countries in January. Trump clearly indicated that he has no intention of talking to Xi Jinping. He also said that the US and China may cut ties altogether.
In the interview, Trump said that he signed a good trade deal and the COVID-19 pandemic hit soon after. Hence, the trade deal doesn’t feel right to him anymore. Despite the two presidents having cordial relations, Trump said he doesn’t wish to speak to Jinping. He said that they should have stopped the pandemic from happening by containing the virus.
A senator has recommended that Chinese students wanting to study in fields affecting national security should be denied US visas. These fields generally encompass artificial intelligence or quantum computing. Trump suggested that this could be done along with a lot of other things. He said the US could take a lot of measures including cutting off ties with China completely. He said, in that case, America would save $500 Billion. This figure roughly represents the cost of goods the US annually imports from China. Trump has previously regarded this amount as lost revenue for the country. Experts, however, have suggested that cutting off the whole economy from China will have drastic effects.
The US treasury secretary stepped in to support the President’s words. Steven Mnuchin said that they are worried about the impact of the pandemic on the economy and the jobs. Hence, all options are under assessment to chart the best possible course forward. He said that they had a duty to protect America’s health, jobs, and the economy. He also highlighted that this is a complex issue and hence the president was awaiting more information. Trump has previously Chastised China for not revealing about its initial cases. The US has been the worst hit by the pandemic. China, on the other hand, maintains that they have always been transparent about COVID-19.
Cutting ties and protectionism will not make the COVID-19 pandemic go away. This is a crisis that all countries are suffering from and hence global cooperating is essential. Moreover, stopping communication will further hamper the global response against COVID-19.