Biden denies that Xi Jinping refused to meet

US President Joe Biden denied reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping last week turned down an offer to meet face-to-face.

Sheet Financial Times On September 14, citing multiple sources familiar with the 90-minute phone call between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping on September 9, said that Xi did not accept Biden’s request to meet. Instead, Mr. Xi stressed that Washington should take a less tough stance on Beijing.

“Xi clearly emphasized that first of all, the tone and atmosphere in the relations between the two countries need to be improved,” the source said.

However, when asked if he was disappointed that the Chinese President refused to meet, Biden denied, calling this information “untrue”. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also affirmed Financial Times giving incorrect information about the phone call.

“As we’ve stated, leaders have mentioned how important it is to be able to hold a private discussion between the two of you, and we respect that,” added Sullivan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and US President Joe Biden.  Photo: AFP.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and US President Joe Biden. Photo: AFP

Follow Financial Times, a US official source also said that although the Chinese President was not interested in the idea of ​​​​the summit, the White House attributed part of the reason to concerns about Covid-19.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington has not yet commented on the report.

Last week’s phone call was the first time that the leaders of the United States and China had talked in seven months. They discussed the need to ensure competition between the world’s two largest economies did not turn into conflict.

US-China relations have become strained in recent years due to the trade war and disagreement on Hong Kong and Xinjiang issues. Competition for technological dominance and controversy over the origins of Covid-19 further worsened the relationship.

Ngoc Anh (Follow Reuters)

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