Xi Jinping referred to Joe Biden as his old friend in the virtual meeting between the two presidents on Monday. The White House officials however persisted that Biden does not think of Xi Jinping as an old friend and their relations are strictly business.
The Most Touted Virtual Meeting Between Biden and Xi
The virtual meeting on Monday was a crucial step in relaxing the tensions between the two Superpowers. The meeting didn’t result in any breakthroughs but it showed both leaders were willing to protect their country’s economy.
Biden told Xi during the opening remarks that as the leaders of America and China it was their responsibility to ensure that the competition between both the countries doesn’t result in a conflict whether that happens intentionally or not.
Xi added to Biden’s statement that he was glad to be seeing his old friend. Some analysts were surprised at Xi’s choice of endearment since the tensions between both countries have been rising. Xi urged Biden to straighten up the US’s China policies and bring them back to a rational track.
He pointed out that America and China finding the correct way to get along will be the most significant for international relations in the next 50 years.
China’s media has declared the meeting a success by surprisingly toning down its hateful rhetoric against Biden’s administration.
A senior White House official stated that Biden was very clear in the meeting about America’s stance to ensure that there are no unilateral changes in the status quo and that Taiwan Strait’s peace and stability are maintained.
He also added that Biden was very direct and voiced his concerns on Beijing’s conduct that doesn’t fall in line with the US’s peace and stability agenda.
The White House has confirmed that the meeting between the two leaders was respectful but its main motive was not to ease tensions and that’s not what happened.
They debated about several issues sometimes veering off the script and it was clear there were many points of difference between the two as they recounted and quoted each other on various accounts in the context of agreement and disagreement.
White House Asserts That Biden Doesn’t Consider Xi His Friend
The White House Deputy Press Secretary, Andrew Bates told reporters that they’ve heard from Biden that he has a longstanding relationship with Xi Jinping as they’ve spent a lot of time together.
He added that this gives them an edge enabling the flow of conversation between them to be more candid and direct which is great for both the leaders to be productive. All this in place Biden doesn’t consider President Xi as his old friend.
It seemed that Xi called Biden his old friend in an attempt to troll him because Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Biden have cleared this assumption by repeatedly denying the friendship clause between both the leaders.
Biden has also called their relationship strictly business and even asserted that the meeting is carried out more formally.
Psaki, who had clarified the dynamic between the leaders before the virtual meeting on Monday by stating that the two were by no means good friends confirmed ahead of the meeting that Biden still doesn’t consider Xi a friend so that is consistent.