President Joe Biden made a phone call to Chinese President Xi Jinping late Thursday night, shortly after announcing to U.S. citizens his latest plan — the most draconian to date — to combat COVID-19.
A senior Biden administration official, speaking to reporters under the condition of anonymity because he was “not authorized to comment publicly,” recounted the gist of the 90-minute phone conversation that took place in the Treaty Room of the White House.
According to The Associated Press, the official said that the two reminisced about their time spent together years ago while they were both vice presidents. Very few specifics were discussed about the many “thorny issues” causing increasing tension between the two nations.
Biden completely avoided the COVID-19 issue despite his earlier address to Americans on Thursday.
The 24-minute speech detailed his six-pronged aggressive attack on the “anti-vaccination movement” issued through two executive orders that, according to Reuters, will affect about 80 million people and two-thirds of all U.S. employees.
This prompted Donald Trump, Jr. to tweet out the thought on many people’s minds: “Anyone still believe that Trump was the ‘dictator’?”
Anyone still believe that Trump was the “dictator”?
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 10, 2021
The conversation on Thursday night was only the second between the two presidents since Biden took office and the first since U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines submitted an intelligence review to Biden in August, which found the origins of COVID-19 inconclusive.
According to the White House readout of the conversation, the two leaders engaged in an open and straightforward “strategic discussion in which they discussed areas where our interests converge, and areas where our interests, values, and perspectives diverge.”
The readout went on to say that Biden “underscored the United States’ enduring interest in peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world” and that Biden made it clear it was both nations’ responsibility to “ensure competition does not veer into conflict.”
Politico reported the aforementioned senior Biden administration official told reporters that Biden initiated the conversation with Xi over his frustration that “lower-level talks between U.S. and Chinese officials were failing to achieve breakthroughs on key issues.”
The official was referring to the deterioration of U.S. relations with the Chinese Communist Party after several tense talks between various U.S. officials and their CCP counterparts earlier this year ended poorly.
Tensions between the two nations escalated during meetings like the two-day summit back in March in Alaska where, as NBC News detailed, CCP Foreign Affairs Chief Yang Jiechi gave National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken a humiliating 17-minute lecture criticizing the U.S.
The situation further deteriorated in July when Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with CCP counterparts in Tianjin. The Heritage Foundation reported that she left with two lists of “Chinese grievances and demands.”
And the AP reported that during a video meeting on Sept. 1, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry that declining U.S.-China relations could lead to poor cooperation between the nations on climate change issues, and called for the U.S. to take action to improve the relationship.
The anonymous Biden administration official told reporters that these talks appear to be for the media’s benefit to push propaganda rather than seek substantive discussions.
“We don’t believe that is how responsible nations act,” the official said, according to Politico.
The official also said that Biden’s phone call was a test to see if such high-level conversations would be more productive, CBS News reported.
“I probably spent more time with Xi Jinping, I’m told, than any world leader has, because I had 24, 25 hours of private meetings with him when I was vice president,” Biden said.
“Traveled 17,000 miles with him. I know him pretty well.”
But various establishment media fact-checkers found that this boast was a lie.
CNN said that Biden “has not traveled anywhere close to 17,000 miles ‘with’ Xi” and the only way “to get Biden’s mileage past 17,000” was to “add the length of his flights between Washington and Beijing, during which, obviously, Xi was not with him.”
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