Trump plays nice in call with Xi

In the last 24 hours, the U.S. has become the country with the most officially diagnosed and reported cases of COVID-19.

Donald Trump made a call to Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 last night, and afterward sent an amicable tweet:

Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the CoronaVirus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet. China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!

Trump also reiterated yesterday that he doesn’t intend to use the term “Chinese virus” again: When he was “asked about the change in language Thursday…[Trump said] that the virus did come from China, but ‘I don’t have to say it, if they feel so strongly about it,’” per NBC.

The rest of the Trump administration continues to take a less conciliatory tack toward China, judging by these stories:

Trump also signed a law supporting Taiwan, called the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act, which, among other things, “requires the Trump administration to reward third countries that have strengthened or upgraded relations with Taiwan,” per the Financial Times. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文 Cài Yīngwén) tweeted her thanks, as the Chinese Foreign Ministry threatened that the U.S. would “inevitably encounter a resolute strike back by China,” per Reuters.

More on the Trump-Xi phone call and U.S.-China relations:

—Lucas Niewenhuis