Coronavirus LIVE: China and US set for furious row as deadly virus sparks trade stand-off

Senior Chinese economists have said Beijing should request that the purchase agreement element of a phase one trade deal with the US should be put on hold. This is due to the current strain on the country’s economy as a result of the covid-19 outbreak. Xu Quiyuan, a researcher at the China Finance 40 Forum, said the $200 billon purchases China agreed to make “may be affected as the outbreak has weighed on the economy”.

There is currently a degree of uncertainty in the Chinese and global economies as the virus has thrown previous plans up in the air.

Xu Quiyuan added: “If possible, China should bring forward the request to postpone the implementation of purchase plan in an appropriate manner.”

There have also been logistical issues recorded throughout the country.

Internal and foreign trade have been severely hampered as a result of the virus, and it is not yet clear how these issues will be resolved.

A report by shipping company DHL said that at the world’s busiest container port in Shanghai, only 50 percent of stevedores – those employed at docks to load and unload ships – are on duty.

This could impact China’s ability to purchase US materials and parts.


1.35pm update: World Health Organisation delegates arrive in Bejing

Delegates from the World Health Organisation have arrived in Bejing in the latest response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Officials will also visit the provinces of Guandong and Sichuan in an investigation into the causes of the virus, and the search to find a cure.

A small advance team of three, including mission leader Dr. Bruce Aylward of the WHO, arrived a week ago.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said that the mission began its work on Sunday, with “an in-depth workshop and data review with the principal ministries” leading or
contributing to the outbreak response.

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