Widespread COVID-19 sours China-US relations

By Choe Yong Nam
Pyongyang Times

Widespread COVID-19 sours China-US relations
The executive director of the WHO emergency health programme told a meeting on Mar 23 that it is time to fight against the pandemic, rather than pitting against each other, and called for working together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

His remarks referred to the increasing friction between China and the US over the spread of the epidemic.

The Feb 3 issue of American newspaper The Wall Street Journal carried an article in which it insulted China, calling it the "real sickly in Asia".

China immediately responded, strongly demanding the newspaper make an official apology and punish those responsible for it.

But it did not withdraw its own stand on the pretext of the "public opinion" and "freedom of speech".

The Chinese government took a measure to cancel the press card of the three resident journalists of the newspaper.

The state secretary and other leading US government officials sided with the newspaper and discussed retaliatory countermeasures.

Why then does the US reveal its anti-Chinese stand so rudely?

The US has put pressure on China in every field in recent years, pursuing a strategic aim to contain its growth.

The confrontation which has worsened due to the economic and trade war between the two countries is expanding to the fields of China’s core interest going beyond the political and military fields. The US anti-China policy has taken on a considerably offensive aspect as is seen in the US House of Representatives' passing of a bill on human rights in Tibet, new indictment of the Huawei Technology Company Ltd, examination of a limitation on export of US-made airplane engines to China, flights over the Taiwan Strait of its strategic bombers and others.

It seems the US regards the deadly disease as its trump card to overpower its strong rival.

As if to prove it, the US high-ranking politicians said they were very disappointed with China's response to the outbreak of the epidemic and the Communist Party of China is the most dangerous threat in the present time.

China recently imposed retaliatory measures on the resident US media outlets as the US administration has restricted the regular activities of the Chinese media and their employees in the US and steadily increased discrimination against and political repression of them.

Given the current situation, analysts estimate that bilateral relations would grow more complicated and worse.

(Pyongyang Times - April 3, 2020)
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