Trump dismisses concerns about Chinese misinformation

President Trump continues to take a non-confrontational tack with China, since his phone call with Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 last week and amicable tweet afterwards.

Today, he “brushed aside allegations that China — as well as Russia and Iran — are spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus during a 64-minute call with ‘Fox & Friends’ on Monday, telling the hosts that ‘every country does it,’” per Axios.

China is likely to “further embrace the more subtle Russian-style approach” to disinformation about the coronavirus, senior American intelligence officials told the New York Times, even if the Chinese Foreign Ministry has backed off from its high-profile conspiracy theories.

No current Trump mood is ever a predictor of future Trump mood, but what may be keeping the American president in a non-confrontational posture is his eternal obsession with the trade deficit. Despite saying on Friday that “nobody cares about trade,” CNN reports: “behind closed doors, White House officials say, Trump continues to emphasize farm product sales to China.”

More U.S.-China relations news:

“A commercial aircraft carrying 80 tons of gloves, masks, gowns and other medical supplies from Shanghai touched down in New York on Sunday, the first of 22 scheduled flights that White House officials say will funnel much-needed goods to the United States by early April as it battles the world’s largest coronavirus outbreak,” the New York Times reports.

“American doctors and nurses sought to learn more from the field experiences of Chinese doctors,” who have arranged multiple video conferences with their counterparts across the Pacific in recent days, according to the Global Times.

Two op-eds worth reading:

—Lucas Niewenhuis