As U.S. President Donald Trump said he plans to demand that China pay a "very substantial figure" as compensation for the coronavirus outbreak, tensions between the U.S. and China are rising.
“We have not determined the final amount. It's very substantial. We're talking about a lot more money than Germany's talking about,” President Trump answered to a question by a reporter about German newspaper Bild’s claim for alleged “invoice” of 149 billion euros to China for “coronavirus damage” during a White House press conference on Monday, according to Politico. “If you look at the world, I mean, this is worldwide damage. This is damage to the U.S., but this is damage to the world.”
Peter Navarro, the White House’s Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy and a well-known hardliner against China, appeared on Fox News and criticized China for exporting low-quality test kits for COVID-19 and making undue profits. He also said that more testing for the virus was vital to getting Americans currently in lockdown back to work but some Chinese test kits show incorrect results. He argued that Chinese test kits will impact the normalization of the economy.
The Trump administration is also strengthening its cooperation with Taiwan. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar talked to Taiwanese Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung over the phone on Monday to reinforce cooperation between the two countries for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Bloomberg reported that the two leaders of health talked for 30 minutes, which shows strong support of the U.S. for Taiwan.