United States President Donald Trump has again hit out at China over the coronavirus, promising Beijing will “pay a big price for what they’ve done to the world.”
“It wasn’t your fault that this happened, it was China’s fault,” Trump said in a video from the White House Wednesday, in which he touted his own recovery from the virus that has infected multiple top administration officials, and touted a supposed cure. “China’s going to pay a big price what they’ve done to this country.”
While Beijing will have been expecting this type of rhetoric following Trump’s infection, his aggressive language — reminiscent of similar threats made toward Iran earlier in his presidency — comes at a seriously volatile time between the US and China, both diplomatically and militarily.
China has been advancing its territorial claims in the South China Sea, the Himalayas, and over the self-ruled island of Taiwan, all areas where the US is already engaged militarily or could easily be dragged in by any conflict. In recent weeks, the People’s Liberation Army has released a flurry of videos touting its ability to take on the US, while state media has run propaganda warning Washington not to test Beijing, and playing up the 70th anniversary of China’s entry into the Korean War, known in Chinese as the “War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea.”
Trump’s promises to make China “pay” is more likely a reference to pushing Beijing on trade, a key focus of