Donald Trump stated that he believes China's handling of the coronavirus pandemic is proof that Beijing "will do anything they can" to make him lose his re-election bid in November. In an interview with Reuters in the Oval Office on Wednesday, For the first time, Trump linked Beijing to his re-election chances in November.
"China will do anything they can to have me lose this race," he said, adding that he believed China wants his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, to win the race to ease the pressure on US-China trade relations.
"They're constantly using public relations to try to make it like they are innocent parties,"
Trump stated the trade deal that he concluded with Chinese president Xi Jinping aimed at reducing chronic US trade deficits with China had been upset very badly by the economic fallout from the virus.
"I don't believe the polls," Trump said. "I believe the people of this country are smart. And I don't think that they will put a man in who's incompetent."
Asked whether he was considering the use of tariffs or even debt write-offs for China, Trump would not offer specifics. "There are many things I can do," he said. "We're looking for what happened."
Spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters during a daily briefing that the Nov. 3 election was the internal affair of the United States and that Beijing hoped Americans would not try to drag China into it.
A senior Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that an informal truce in the war of words that Trump and Xi essentially agreed to in a phone call in late March now appeared to be over. The two leaders had promised their governments would do everything possible to cooperate to contain the coronavirus.