President Trump announced Friday that he and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have pledged to cooperate in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.
“Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the CoronaVirus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet,” Trump said on Twitter early Friday.
“China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!” added Trump, who notably refrained from referring to COVID-19 as the “China virus,” days after he told Fox News that he would stop using the term.
Meanwhile, Xi told Trump that relations between Beijing and Washington were at a “critical moment” and vowed to cooperate to defeat the coronavirus, according China’s official Xinhua News Agency.
“Both sides will benefit if we cooperate, both will lose if we fight each other,” Xi said, according to Xinhua.
“Cooperation is the only correct choice. I hope the U.S side could take real actions. The two sides should work together to enhance cooperation fighting the virus and develop non-confrontational” relations, he added.
Xi told Trump that China “understands the United States’ current predicament over the COVID-19 outbreak and stands ready to provide support within its capacity.”
He also urged Washington to “take substantive action in improving bilateral relations.”
And Xi “suggested that the two sides work together to boost cooperation in epidemic control and other fields, and develop a relationship of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” Xinhua reported.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, both countries were in the midst of a trade war and in stark conflicts over intellectual property, human rights, Taiwan and Beijing’s policies in Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
Beijing has been particularly irked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s repeated references to the outbreak as the “Wuhan Flu,” after the Chinese city where it was first detected, saying it politicized the issue and promoted bias.
With Post Wires