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Donald Trump testing positive for COVID-19, a warning sign for Beijing

News Agencies | Updated on: 4 October 2020, 16:13 IST

Beijing has good reason to be nervous about US President Donald Trump's diagnosis of testing positive for COVID-19 as his attacks on China regarding the pandemic would harden than ever before.

Even at the First Presidential Debate, Trump said that it "was China's fault" adding that "it never should have happened".

According to CNN, Trump has "constantly played up" the initial failures by China in controlling the pandemic to blame China and "particularly the catastrophic effects the virus has had in the United States, where it has killed more than 200,000 people and infected upwards of 7.3 million, including the President himself".

"Trump's rhetoric has angered Beijing, which has in turn highlighted Washington's own mishandling of the virus through state media and in official comments. Many countries closer to China and exposed to the virus earlier have nevertheless handled it far better than the US, and most experts are critical of how Trump has responded to the pandemic," CNN wrote.

Global Times' Editor in Chief Hu Xijin said that Trump and First Lady Melania Trump who tested positive for COVID-19 "have paid the price for his gamble to play down COVID-19". However, he soon deleted the tweet but it remains "unclear whether that was a personal decision or a direction from above".

CNN wrote, "Beijing has good reason to be nervous about Trump's diagnosis. Chinese media and top officials have long complained about the way the country has been, in their words, "scapegoated" for the pandemic's effects in the US, and Beijing is decidedly unhappy with being a major topic in the US election."

"Yet that seems unlikely to change. Trump could now take an even harder line on China, further leaning into the narrative he has already established that Beijing is ultimately to blame," it added.

Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler on Twitter wrote, "China lied about this virus and made the World Health Organization complicit in their cover-up. Now, this virus has affected our President and First Lady. We MUST hold China accountable for endangering millions of lives -including our Commander-in-Chief."

Blair Brandt, a Trump campaign fundraiser further attacked the Chinese Communist Party saying that it "has biologically attacked our President".

CNN further wrote that Beijing "always valued stability above all else" but added that Trump's diagnosis " threatens that stability, setting the stage for an uneasy golden week for China's top leaders."

Trump on Saturday said that he was "feeling well" after being hospitalised following his positive diagnosis of coronavirus. He also thanked the "amazing" medical staff at Walter Reed hospital for their assistance.

"Doctors, nurses and all at the great Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are amazing. Tremendous progress has been made over the last six months in fighting this plague. With their help, I am feeling well," Trump wrote on Twitter.


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First published: 4 October 2020, 16:13 IST