Biden, Xi to Hold Virtual Summit Next Week, But Not ‘Seeking Specific Deliverables’ - Report

© AFP 2022 / JEWEL SAMAD(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 17, 2011, a Secret Service agent guards his post on the roof of the White House as a lamp post is adorned with Chinese and US national flags in Washington, DC
(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 17, 2011, a Secret Service agent guards his post on the roof of the White House as a lamp post is adorned with Chinese and US national flags in Washington, DC - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.11.2021
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A summit between the leaders of China and the United States could happen as early as next week, according to unconfirmed reports.
US President Joe Biden has only spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping twice since becoming president in January, although their diplomats have spoken several other times. However, the two could have a third chat next week, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
However, neither government has confirmed the report.
Biden and Xi last spoke in mid-September, when the two shared a 90-minute phone call, and in February spoke by phone for two hours, another neither exchange amounted to much more than a recapitulation of their respective positions.
A third meeting before the end of the year was agreed upon in Zurich last month when US national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi, the Communist Party of China’s foreign policy chief.
It was widely presumed that another meeting might address issues such as the closing of their respective consulates in Chengdu and Houston, but Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the consulates were not on the agenda, citing its own anonymous Biden administration sources.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday that the talks were “not about seeking specific deliverables,” but were “part of our ongoing efforts to responsibly manage the competition between our countries.”
Biden and other American dignitaries attacked China for its absence at the UN climate summit in Glasgow, with former US President Barack Obama criticizing what he called a “dangerous lack of urgency” on climate change. Biden also attacked Russia’s absence, similarly claiming that Moscow has a lackadaisical response to climate change and its own carbon emissions.
Both Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin said their lack of attendance is due to not being provided with the option of a video link. Both nations have been under COVID-19 lockdowns amid fresh outbreaks of the virus; travel restrictions in China are similarly the cause of Biden’s & Xi’s forthcoming remote meeting.
Outside the White House on Monday, New York Post reporter Steven Nelson attempted to get a response from Biden about how he would “get China to be transparent about Covid origins.” Biden looked at the journalist as he spoke, but ignored his question after answering a couple of others about domestic policy strategy.
In August, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence delivered a report ordered by Biden on what the US intelligence community could gather about the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They determined that it was not a bioweapon and probably didn’t come from a specimen at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, finding that it most likely infected humans by natural contact with animals infected with either SARS-CoV-2 or an immediate relative of the virus.
While the report noted that information was lacking across the board that prevented a positive determination about the virus’ origins, it also specifically claimed China was to blame for why they couldn’t firmly state the virus hadn’t escaped from the Wuhan biolab.
The claim has pervaded Western rhetoric since a World Health Organization (WHO) team traveled to Wuhan at the start of the year to share information about the virus’ origins, despite the fact that the scientists in the WHO team have repeatedly spoken out against those claims, noting their Chinese colleagues were extremely cooperative, but that no country would acquiesce to the level of openness the US was demanding of China’s databases.
Other issues likely to come up include US troops being stationed on and deploying to Taiwan, an autonomous island China considers to be part of its territory, and Chinese flights of aircraft near the island, which have provoked claims in Western media of increased aggression but which don't demonstrate any kind of increased threat to Taiwan.
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