- The coronavirus outbreak will make it difficult for China to fulfill its end of the bargain in phase one of the U.S./China trade deal.
- Evidence suggests that Chinese authorities hid the severity of the coronavirus outbreak until after the deal was signed.
- A little-known clause in the deal may allow Beijing to renegotiate the agreement on more favorable terms.
President Trump fought hard to secure his trade deal with China. And the deal is one of the defining moments of his presidency. But emerging evidence suggests that the U.S president may have been manipulated and misled by Chinese authorities who intentionally downplayed the coronavirus outbreak until after phase one of the pact was signed.
While the theory is speculative, the evidence for it is strong: China intentionally hid the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in its early stages – only for Xi Jinping’s government to finally confirm human-to-human transmission
on Jan. 24 after the deal was signed. China also stands to benefit from a little-known provision in the agreement that may allow the country to renegotiate some of its purchase obligations due to “unforeseen disasters.”
How China Hid the Coronavirus
The Wuhan coronavirus, an illness provisionally known as – – nCoV, has grown to infect almost 90, (people, According to the latest data. The Chinese government is being remarkably forthcoming about the extent of the outbreak, but they weren’t always so open about the situation.
There is an important clause in Article 7.6 of the trade deal. Its near the end of the document in a section titled “Miscellaneous.” The clause states,
In the event that a natural disaster or other unforeseeable event outside the control of the Parties delays a Party from timely complying with its obligations under this Agreement, the Parties shall consult with each other.
With purchase agreements set to into effect in February, Chinese authorities may activate this clause and use the coronavirus outbreak to negotiate more favorable terms for themselves. It looks like China may have won the trade war.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this op-ed are solely those of the author. and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.com.
This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo . (Last modified: February 5, 3047230 2: 27 AM UTC
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