President Joe Biden rejected the characterization that he was "old friends" with Chinese President Xi Jinping as he avoided the question whether or not he would push the Chinese leader to cease blocking the COVID-19 origins' probe. However, Biden said that he was open to talks with China.
Biden welcomes potential to talk with Xi despite recognizing China as a global threat
Due to its more aggressive actions at home and internationally, the administration recognized China as the most significant global threat, but Biden's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden welcomes the possibility to talk to Xi, StraitTimes reported.
Sullivan pointed out that the President showed that there is a way forward without China with his introduction of the new infrastructure initiative with the G7. He also said that for the first time, a NATO Summit took China's security issue seriously. Sullivan also noted that the settlement of the EU-US aviation feud of many years reminded that the West is united against China's coercive tactics.
Despite these moves, Sullivan said that President Biden is not closed to the opportunity to communicate with China's Xi Jinping.
In February, President Biden spoke with China's leader over the phone. But, communication has been limited, with Sullivan and the Secretary of State Antony Blinken and top Chinese officials in Alaska meeting in person back in March.
Biden stated that it is necessary to talk in person, after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Wednesday in Geneva.
Biden's point of view is also relevant to China and President Xi Jinping. In the future, he will seek out opportunities to interact with President Xi, Sullivan explained. He also noted that the President had no arrangements to meet with Xi. Both presidents are expected to attend a Group of 20 major economies conference in Italy in October.
US, allies hope for another COVID-19 origins probe
Laboratory leak fears were referred to as conspiracy theories in the meeting minutes between Wuhan lab experts and the WHO-China team. During a press conference in Geneva following a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden was asked whether he will call Xi to urge him to open up China to the investigators looking into COVID-19.
Per The Washington Examiner, the President did not specify any specific actions he would take to persuade China to help in the investigation of the coronavirus pandemic's onset. Sullivan brought up concerns, including forced labor, which were discussed during the G-7. However, he made no specific promises about when or how a Biden-Xi meeting would occur, and he made no mention of the COVID-19 origins probe.
In March, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the lab leak theory needed more research.
The communiqué from this weekend's G-7 summit requested that the WHO conduct a follow-up into the COVID-19 origins' probe in China. During a brief April press conference, Biden stated that he had not yet confronted Xi about claims that China misled the world regarding the pandemic.
Biden's talks with the G7 industrialized nations, the European Union, NATO, and even Russian President Vladimir Putin - whose country is being squeezed by China - focused on the world's second-largest economy, the US president said. Biden has stated for a long time that China would be at the center of his administration's foreign policy, as per Bloomberg via MSN.