US President Donald Trump has shifted his tone. He said he would stop using the term “Chinese virus” and decided “we shouldn’t make any more of a big deal out of it” in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday. This change is of positive significance. We hope Trump could urge other US senior officials to follow suit and not use slurs such as “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus”, that are widely considered racist, anymore.
China and the US have been engaged in a war of words recently and the US is to blame. If Trump’s altered tone can lead other US officials to reduce their verbal attacks on China, it’s believed Chinese officials would respond positively.
TheNovel Coronavirus pandemic is spreading out of control globally. The world is keen to see China and the US shelve disputes and join hands to fight the virus. If the two big powers can turn to cooperation from discord, that will surely inspire the international community and also benefit the two countries.
But we are worried that Trump’s adjustment may be a temporary tactic. It is well known that his repeated use of the “Chinese virus” has backfired in the US. Not only the Democrats, but also US mainstream public opinion, have poured a tonne of criticism on their president. Asian Americans in the US are particularly irritated as the slur Trump used would fuel xenophobia and worsen their situation.
These public reactions have exerted substantial pressure on Trump’s re-election bid. Meanwhile, the US now risks becoming the new epicentre of the Coronavirus pandemic with its domestic situation worsening day by day. Intensifying conflicts with China at this time would do more harm to the US. The US is in dire need of medical materials such as facial masks and ventilators and China is a major supplier. This has also increased pressure on Washington. Therefore, concerns that Trump’s change is out of expediency are not unwarranted.
Nonetheless, it’s a positive move made by Washington amid the current China-US stalemate. We welcome any change by the US side that could help alleviate China-US frictions and hope Washington could make more efforts to reduce bilateral tensions. China and the US working together to fight the pandemic is more in the interest of US citizens. The Novel Coronavirus is a common enemy that people haven’t fully known. No country can win the virus fight alone. China-US cooperation will undoubtedly be mutually beneficial and in line with the interests of all people. Its gains will be dwarfed by its losses if Washington resorts to conflicting China to fight the epidemic. China has brought the situation under control while the US is becoming the new epicentre. Defeating Coronavirus is the common expectation of all mankind.