Trump Threatens to Sue China for 'Substantial' Economic Damages
President reveals plan to claim compensation from Chinese for losses amid pandemic
President Donald Trump has revealed that the United States is looking into suing China for compensation to cover the economic damage caused to America during the coronavirus pandemic.
China has been widely criticized by countries around the world for mishandling and covering-up the beginning of the outbreak.
The UK Government has also insisted that the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) has instituted a campaign of misinformation over the virus.
This week, Trump has further ramped up the pressure on China by indicating Beijing could suffer serious financial consequences when the world emerges from the global pandemic.
“Germany's looking at things, and we're looking at things, and we're talking about a lot more money than Germany's talking about," Trump told reporters.
"We haven't determined the final amount yet."
"It's very substantial," the president said in regards to the amount of compensation his administration would be seeking.
"This is worldwide damage.
"This is damage to the US, but this is damage to the world."
Missouri is the first state to sue the Chinese government over its handling of the coronavirus crisis.
The US state has alleged China did little to stop the spread of the virus at the onset.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has said residents in the state have suffered potentially billions of dollars in economic damages.
"In Missouri, the impact of the virus is very real," a statement from the state said.
"Thousands have been infected and many have died, families have been separated from dying loved ones, small businesses are shuttering their doors, and those living paycheck to paycheck are struggling to put food on their table.
"The Chinese government lied to the world about the danger and contagious nature of COVID-19, silenced whistleblowers, and did little to stop the spread of the disease.
"They must be held accountable for their actions."
Earlier this month, a poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found that 55 percent of those asked believed the Chinese government was to blame for the outbreak which has brought the world to its knees.
Just 26 percent, of the 2,000 asked, disagreed, while only 19 percent said they weren’t sure.
British Conservative Party MP Tom Tugendhat has been a strong critic of China’s handling of the virus.
Tugendhat, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, has accused the ruling unelected Communist Party of China of undermining our own freedoms.
"The awareness of the true cost of communist tyranny is growing," he said.
"The lies and fear needed to keep the Chinese people prisoners of the regime is undermining our own freedoms and the fight against Coronavirus.
"We need to wake up to the threats we face and act."
Tory peer William Hague has also demanded a change in UK-China relations once the pandemic is over.
Speaking to Policy Exchange, Lord Hague declared that the UK must no longer be dependent on China.
"There are some immediate implications about China policy of the COVID-19 crisis," he said.
"It’s very important for the consumption and trade of wildlife to end in China and the rest of the world unless we want to see this repeated many times in the future.
"We cannot possibly be strategically dependent on China."