The US would announce "certain decisions" on China on Friday, President Donald Trump has said as he emphasised that Beijing should have stopped the coronavirus at the source.
Led by the US, several countries in the world have blamed China for the spread of coronavirus and its failure to provide timely information about the disease, leading to the death of over three lakh people and causing an unprecedented economic crisis.
Trump has been pressing China to agree for an inquiry into the origin of the virus, including the allegation that it emerged from a bio-lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
The disease has killed nearly 360,000 people globally, including 102,000 in America alone.
Over 5.8 million people have been infected by the COVID-19 worldwide with 1.7 million in the US alone.
"Tomorrow, we''re going to be having a press conference on China. So, we''ll be making certain decisions and we''ll be discussing them tomorrow," Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday.
"It's a very sad situation. It should have never happened. China should have stopped it at the source, but they didn''t do that," Trump said.
Trump in the last several weeks has been very critical of China's inability to control the spread of the novel coronavirus within its territory. He has so far not given any indication of the steps that he is contemplating taking against China.
Trump had on May 14 threatened to "cut off the whole relationship" with China.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on May 16 had said that President Trump will decide on the future course of action on penalising China, a day after Trump said that he does not want to talk to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping right now.
However, China has rejected all US allegations of a cover up regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, several US senators sent a letter to the United Nations permanent representatives for Estonia and France, the current and incoming president of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), in support of the US'' call for an immediate UNSC meeting on recent actions taken by the Chinese government to undermine Hong Kong''s autonomy.
"In your nations' capacities as the current and incoming president of the UNSC, we write to strongly support the USUN's call for an immediate UNSC meeting on recent actions taken by the Chinese government to undermine Hong Kong's autonomy and infringe on the rights and freedoms promised to the Hong Kong people," the senators wrote in the letter.
China last week introduced the draft of a controversial national security law in Hong Kong in its parliament to tighten Beijing's control over the former British colony, in what could be the biggest blow to the territory''s autonomy and personal freedoms since 1997 when it came under Chinese rule.
Hong Kong, an economic powerhouse, is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. It has observed a "one country, two systems" policy since Britain returned sovereignty to China on July 1, 1997, which has allowed it certain freedoms the rest of China does not have.
The US over the last few days has expressed concerns over the new Chinese law on Hong Kong and has indicated taking steps against it.