BEIJING, Mar 26 (.) – China and the United States are expected to take a breather at their particular junction of coronavirus accusations and focus on the challenges of the pandemic when leaders of the G20 nations hold a video conference. on Thursday, the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper, said on Thursday.

The virus has spread worldwide, infecting more than 470,000 people and killing more than 20,000 since it emerged in central China late last year.

Leaders are expected to agree that the outbreak is a threat to humanity and to establish a mechanism to share information and experiences in the fight against the disease, the newspaper said, citing a draft to be discussed at the summit.

“As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges to health systems and the global economy, we convene this extraordinary G20 summit to join efforts toward a global response,” said King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Twitter.

The kingdom, which holds the G20 presidency this year, will receive its leaders by videoconference on Thursday, amid criticism of the delay with which the group has responded to the crisis.

The focus will be on China and the United States, which have engaged in a dialectical battle over the outbreak, with their bitter trade dispute still in the background.

In the preparatory talks for the G20 summit, the two countries agreed to set aside their differences, the newspaper said, citing a diplomatic source familiar with the talks.

The reference by United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the “Chinese virus” – a term that President Donald Trump has also repeatedly used – has greatly angered Beijing.

On the other hand, some American politicians were using the pandemic as a weapon to smear China, Beijing has said, adding that its measures, including the quarantine of millions of people, had earned the world “precious time” to prepare.

(By Ryan Woo; edited by Clarence Fernandez; translated by Andrea Ariet in the Gdansk newsroom)