Since President Trump returned to the White House after being treated for coronavirus, the president has ramped up his rhetoric towards China, blaming Beijing for the pandemic.
In a video posted to Twitter on Thursday, Trump said China “will pay a big price for what they did to the world, and to us.” Thursday’s video followed a similar one posted by the president on Wednesday, where he made the same threat, that China will “pay a big price” for the virus.
In an interview with Fox Business on Thursday, the president continued the theme. “They want to keep me happy,” Trump said, referring to the Chinese government. “Because they know that I’m a hair-trigger when it comes to them and I’m sick of them. Everything that we have — we have that Covid, the China virus — because of them. You look back at other infections that we’ve gotten because of them — this isn’t the first time.”
Vice President Mike Pence echoed Trump’s sentiment on Wednesday night during his debate with Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee. “China is to blame for the coronavirus, and President Trump is not happy about it, he’s made that very clear and made clear again today,” Pence said.
The South China Morning Post said China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to comment on Trump’s threats. The Post also pointed out that there was almost no coverage of the president’s warnings in Chinese state media. Chinese officials have taken a more diplomatic approach to the US in recent weeks in the face of hostile rhetoric from the Trump administration.
The pandemic put the administration’s hawkish China policies into hyper-drive. This year, the US has taken action against Beijing over issues in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang, and the South China Sea.