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Donald Trump demands China ‘pay $10 trillion’ for its handling of covid

While Joe Biden has slapped a bunch of sanctions on China today, Donald Trump is making it clear he’d be going a whole lot further.

While Joe Biden has slapped a bunch of sanctions on China today, former president Donald Trump is making it clear he’d be going a whole lot further if he was in charge.

In a statement issued overnight, Mr Trump said he is demanding that China pays ten trillion dollars for its role in the coronavirus pandemic.

He also claimed he saved hundreds of thousands of lives by resisting Anthony Fauci’s guidance on everything from closing borders, developing vaccines and wearing masks.

The 74-year-old’s statement came in reaction to Dr Fauci’s leaked emails being published, that showed the then head of his coronavirus Task Force was told the virus may have been engineered at the start of the pandemic, but publicly downplayed it.

Dr Fauci has since backtracked on his original claim.

“The correspondence between Dr. Fauci and China speaks too loudly for anyone to ignore,” Mr Trump said in a statement.

“China should pay $10 trillion to America, and the World, for the death and destruction they have caused! There are a lot of questions that must be answered by Dr Fauci.

“Now everyone, even the so-called ‘enemy,’ are beginning to say that President Trump was right about the China Virus coming from the Wuhan Lab.”

Mr Trump complained that “the Democrats and the Fake News Media even called me a ‘xenophobe’” for closing US borders amid the initial outbreak.

“In the end, we saw this was a lifesaving decision, and likewise with closing our borders to Europe, specifically to certain heavily infected countries,” he said.

Dr Fauci has been a target of conservatives throughout the pandemic, attracting fire for his support for social distancing and mask wearing.

They have accused him of flip-flopping for the way he initially resisted closing borders and wearing masks before endorsing both.

But his role in the early days of the crisis is under fresh scrutiny after news organisations obtained his emails under a Freedom of Information request.

In particular, Republicans claim the communications show Dr Fauci knew the Wuhan Institute of Virology – at the center of the lab leak hypothesis for the origins of the COVID-19 crisis – was carrying out experiments with genetically engineered coronaviruses.

They also show he was warned of the possibility of a lab leak at a time when he was publicly insisting the pandemic emerged naturally by jumping from an animal host to human.

Biden slaps sanctions on China

US President Joe Biden on Thursday expanded a blacklist of Chinese firms that are off-limits to American investors over their links to Beijing’s “military-industrial complex,” in a sign of Washington’s continued pressure campaign against China.

Former president Donald Trump had prohibited Americans from buying stakes in 31 Chinese companies that were deemed to be supplying or supporting China’s military and security apparatus, and Biden’s move expands the blacklist to 59.

The latest batch of sanctions target companies involved in Chinese surveillance technology used to “facilitate repression or serious human rights abuses,” which “undermine the security or democratic values of the United States and our allies,” according to a White House statement.

The initial list published under Trump included major telecoms, construction and technology firms such as China Mobile, China Telecom, video surveillance firm Hikvision, and China Railway Construction Corp.

It was among a series of measures by the White House aimed at the Asian giant, which have left ties between the two countries severely strained.

RELATED: What we know about major coronavirus origin theories

Before the US order was released, Beijing repeated its outrage at the Trump-era blacklist Thursday and vowed to protect Chinese companies’ rights, claiming the blacklist was “politically motivated” and “ignores the facts and actual situation” of the firms involved.

The ban “severely undermines normal market rules and order” and “damages … the interests of global investors, including US investors,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a routine briefing.

Previously, the sanctions and choice of targets were tied to a congressionally mandated Defence Department report.

While the Biden administration has pledged to take a more diplomatic line with China following the upheaval of his predecessor, he has said he will keep to a strict line on several issues including defence and technology.

A tough line on China has rare cross-party support in Congress, with politicians determined to keep a lid on its growing global clout.

Republican senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio, alongside Democrats Gary Peters and Mark Kelly, published a bipartisan letter earlier this week urging the administration to publish a new list.

“The US government must continue to act boldly in blocking the Chinese Communist Party’s economic predation against our industrial base,” they said.

– with AFP

Read related topics:Donald TrumpJoe Biden

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