U.S. Ambassador to China Branstad Is ‘Hopeful’ U.S.-China Relations Will ‘Be Better Going Forward’
April 16, 2020 (EIRNS)—U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad told reporters in Beijing yesterday that his embassy’s “most urgent priority is to help get (personal protective equipment) and medical equipment to the United States as quickly as possible.”
Ambassador Branstad said the U.S. has concerns about how China initially handled the virus outbreak in Wuhan, but he believes that such issues should be addressed after the pandemic has been brought under control. He said, “Let’s focus now on saving lives and helping people,” AP and CGTN reported.
He reported that 21 flights on behalf of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), along with multiple private chartered flights, have brought 1.2 tons of masks and other medical supplies needed to fight COVID-19, from China into the United States, with the help of the Chinese government. There has been a slowdown in those shipments, he said, but that appears to be the result of China implementing stricter quality standards following complaints that some of the equipment sent abroad had been shoddy.
Branstad emphasized the importance of the March 27 telephone conversation between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, which he said had been “really helpful.”
Branstad pointed out that “we’re two big countries, the two biggest economies in the world. Our systems are very different and there’s always going to be certain areas of tension and conflict.” But, he said, “I am hopeful that because of the collaboration and work on fighting the virus, and also of course the phase one of the trade agreement, that there will be a better relationship going forward.”