On Friday (May 15), China urged the United States to stick to it halfway and strengthen cooperation in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, after President Donald Trump threatened to establish serious bilateral ties.
Relations between the world's two largest economies have deteriorated in recent weeks, with both sides exchanging barbs for the origins of the virus that killed more than 300,000 people.
"Keeping the steady development of China-US relations is in the fundamental interest of the people of both countries and is conducive to world peace and stability," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a news conference.
“Today, China and the United States must continue to strengthen cooperation against the epidemic, defeat the epidemic as soon as possible, treat patients and restore the economy and production. But it does require the United States to meet halfway with China. "
The comments came after Trump further tightened his rhetoric towards China, threatening to sever ties with the rival superpower completely, as relations steadily deteriorated with the pandemic.
"There are a lot of things that we could do … We could end the whole relationship," Trump said on Thursday in an interview with Fox Business News. "You will save $ 500 billion ($ 711 billion) if you end the whole relationship."
Trump said his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping is "very good", but added: "I don't want to talk to him at the moment."
The threat came a week after a commercial link between US and Chinese trade negotiators, in which the two sides emphasized their commitment to the Phase One trade agreement reached in January.
However, compliance with the agreement seems increasingly tenuous in the face of the pandemic and an impending global economic crisis.
In the pact signed in January, China agreed to buy $ 200 billion more in American goods over two years than in 2017 – before the start of the trade war and the triggering of billions of dollars in bilateral trade .
Tensions have escalated between Washington and Beijing as they exchange barbs about the origin of the pandemic that first appeared in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which Trump called "China's plague".