China's President Xi Jinping (L) and US President Donald Trump
China's President Xi Jinping (L) and US President Donald Trump

New Delhi/Washington: The Donald Trump administration on has accused the Xi Jinping government of stealing Covid-19-related research from the US, indicating further deterioration in their bilateral relationship between the US and China.

In a scathing attack on Beijing, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late on Thursday tweeted that China, "the country where the virus originated and the pandemic was allowed to spread," has refused to share information to help the world combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Instead PRC-affiliated actors are trying to steal COVID-related research from the United States," he tweeted while warning the People's Republic of China "to cease this malicious activity."

Adding further salt to China's injury, Pompeo said that the US welcomes Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC) "intention to invest $12B in the most advanced 5-nanometer semiconductor fabrication foundry in the world".

This deal, he tweeted, "bolsters U.S. national security at a time when China is trying to dominate cutting-edge tech and control critical industries".

Meanwhile, the US has been continually building up military pressure on China. In the last few weeks, US Navy ships and Air Force B-1 bombers have undertaken missions to the region as a response to China's attempts to flex its muscle in the South China Sea.

The US Navy Pacific Fleet on Wednesday announced that all its submarines in the region are at sea conducting operations "in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region amidst the pandemic caused by the coronavirus".

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