• Patrick I. Burks

COVID-19: End of China-US Relations

President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019.

Photographer: Susan Walsh/AP

It's no secret that historically, US-China relations have not been the best. But the relationship between the U.S. and China seems to be confronting its most daunting challenge in the 41 years since the two countries established diplomatic ties. This issue is undoubtedly the global pandemic of COVID-19. Granted the extreme duress that the relationship is currently experiencing can't solely be attributed to COVID-19, this relationship has been fraying for quite sometime now. Both sides bear responsibility for this pervasive deterioration, but at present the United States under President Donald Trump is unquestionably contributing most publicly to it, primarily through its ill-considered rhetorical and other overreactions to perceived Chinese misbehavior. Though none of this deteriorating relationship seems to be inevitable, still the direct implications and potential result of either side seemingly playing with fire could spell a global catastrophe un-fathomed by any human experience.

With COVID-19 running the global economy into a death spiral, the diplomatic ties between the U.S and China could soon follow suit. Globally, many leaders and desperate citizens seek answers as to how we let coronavirus fly under the radar up until this point. The Trump Administration has publicly declared a war on the coronavirus outbreak here at home and have become dedicated to limiting its economic implications as much as possible. But as they wage a war with the coronavirus on U.S soil, on the world stage, his administration is engaged in another battle as the U.S and China fight to shape the narrative about the pandemic's origins. U.S health officials have since day one pointed to the Chinese province of Wuhan as the origin of coronavirus, but China seems to be pushing another narrative.

Earlier this month, China's Ambassador in Washington was summoned to the State Department over a tweet from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lijian Zhoa amplifying a growing conspiracy theory that the coronavirus did not originate China and may have been concocted and brought there by the U.S Army to spread in China.

Tensions have been brewing for weeks between Washington and Beijing over who is to blame for the outbreak. China continues to deny that the virus originated there while top U.S officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have pointed the finger directly at Beijing. With the CDC, The W.H.O and other hired U.S Intelligence officials prying further into China and of the origins of coronavirus, it is very likely that we witness a further diminishing of diplomatic ties between the U.S and China. The question remains, "Will this be straw that broke the camels back?"

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