Has the US-China cold war now begun?

WION Web Team
Delhi Published: Apr 30, 2020, 08:38 PM(IST)

File photo: US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The US President wants investigators to find out the critical information that China failed to share and how much that has cost the world.

Two years back, the US President Donald Trump began a trade war with China, it led to unavoidable frictions that have now snowballed into a full-blown diplomatic crisis. 

The coronavirus pandemic is making it worse with the US President Donald Trump openly pitting America against China. The US President has become relatively consistent, and increasingly sharp in his criticism of China.

According to reports, the US intelligence community has been given specific instructions. The Trump administration has set up task forces and it wants them to probe China and the WHO.

The US President wants investigators to find out the critical information that China failed to share and how much that has cost the world.

Three agencies are said to have received these instructions: The National Security Agency; The Defence Intelligence Agency; The Central Intelligence Agency.

The White House wants the investigators to explore every possible source of information.

On Wednesday, Trump called the WHO a pipe organ for China. "It [the investigation] is coming in and I am getting pieces already and we are not happy about it and we are by far the largest contributor to WHO,...And they misled us. I don't know. They must have known more than they knew because they came after what other people knew that weren't even involved," Trump said.

Pending an investigation, the President has stopped US aid to the WHO. "We can give this money to lots of different incredible groups. There are a lot of groups out there. It doesn't have to go to the WHO. We can give it to groups that are very worthy and get much more bang for your buck, but we're going to make a decision in the not-too-distant future," he added.

Now Donald Trump has his own reasons to go after China and the WHO. The US Presidential election is scheduled in November. And as the coronavirus death toll rises, his ratings will suffer.

Trump said he believes Beijing wants his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, to win the race to ease the pressure Trump has placed on China over trade and other issues.

Beijing should take the blame for the coronavirus spread, but so should Trump for refusing to take the pandemic seriously.

Trump is upping the ante against Beijing in more ways that one which includes cutting off funding for research in China.

And it's not just the President who is taking on China, other American lawmakers are at it too. The US Congress is mulling a "Counter-China" fund.

A Republican lawmaker is pushing a bill that will create a dedicated defence fund worth $6 billion. The aim of this fund will be to boost America's deterrence against China in the pacific.

Leaders of the US, the UK and Germany believe that the deaths and the destruction of the global economy could have been avoided, had China shared the information about the virus in its early phases.

The virus, which originated in China's Wuhan city in mid-November, has killed more than two lakh people and infected over three million globally. 

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