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China, US must ‘unite to fight coronavirus’, Xi tells Trump

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By Sylvanus Okpe

China and the United States should “unite to fight” the deadly coronavirus pandemic, President Xi Jinping of China, appealed during a call with Donald Trump on Friday, urging for improved diplomatic relations between the two leading countries of the world.

The two countries have been embroiled in a diplomatic standoff in recent weeks over the outbreak of the novel Coronaviru, and Chinese state media said Xi told Trump he hoped the “US will take substantive actions to improve Sino-US relations.”

He also called for the two countries to work together to tackle the virus and said Beijing “wishes to continue sharing all information and experience with the US”, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Trump responded in a positive tone, tweeting that he had a “very good conversation” with Xi, and that both leaders discussed the pandemic “in great detail”.

“China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the virus. We are working closely together. Much respect,” he wrote.

Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo angered Beijing this month by repeatedly referring to “the Chinese virus” when discussing the COVID-19 outbreak first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Trump has since dropped the term amid accusations of racism, in another small sign of easing tensions between the two world powers.

Earlier this month a foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing also suggested in a tweet that the US military brought the virus to Wuhan.

This made Trump to accuse China of spreading misinformation, and the US president repeatedly attacked China’s lack of transparency and the slowness of its initial response to the outbreak.

Xi said Sino-US relations were at a “critical juncture”, CCTV reported, adding that cooperation was mutually beneficial and “the only right choice.”

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