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Trump respects China; says virus got out of control

Trump respects China; says virus got out of control
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US President Donald Trump has said he greatly respects China and shares a 'very good' relationship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but termed ...

Washington : US President Donald Trump has said he greatly respects China and shares a "very good" relationship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but termed it "unfortunate" that the coronavirus began in the Communist nation and got out of control.

Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, Trump said he considered Xi as a friend and asserted that the Chinese President respects the US.

"I have a very good relationship with China and with President Xi. I have great respect for President Xi. I consider him to be a friend of mine. It is unfortunate that this got out of control," he said.

Trump reiterated that coronavirus originated from China. "They (coronavirus) came from China, it got out of control. Some people are upset. I know - I know President Xi. He loves China. He respects the United States and I have to say I respect China greatly and I respect President Xi," he said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the same press briefing that China's delay in sharing information about the virus had created risks to people worldwide. "We need to know immediately. The world is entitled to know.

The Chinese government was the first to know of this risk to the world, and that puts a special obligation to make sure that data gets to our scientists, our professionals," Pompeo told reporters at a White House news conference on Friday.

"When you see a delay in information flowing from the Chinese Communist Party to the technical people who we wanted to get into China immediately to assist in this, every moment of delay connected to being able to identify this risk vectors creates risk to the people all around the world," he said.

Pompeo, a known critic of China, said he was not blaming Beijing, but the Chinese government was the first to know about the risk the virus presented. "This is about moving forward to make sure that we continue to have the information we need to do our jobs," he said.

"We need to make sure that even today the data sets that are available to every country, including data sets that are available to the Chinese Communist Party, or made available to the whole world. It's an imperative to keep people safe," Pompeo said.

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