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Politics White House won’t say if Biden pressed Xi Jinping on COVID-19’s origins

08:30  18 november  2021
08:30  18 november  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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The White House won’t say whether President Joe Biden pressed Chinese leader Xi Jinping on COVID-19’s origins during their three-hour virtual conversation on Monday night — despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying more than 760,000 Americans have died during the pandemic and even as the Chinese government stonewalls inquiries into how it started.

  White House won’t say if Biden pressed Xi Jinping on COVID-19’s origins © Provided by Washington Examiner

The Washington Examiner sent the White House a series of questions, including whether Biden raised the issue of COVID-19’s origins with Xi, and if not, then why not, and if so, what specifically Biden called upon Xi to do, such as asking China to be more open, to share all the data it has, to open the Wuhan labs for real investigations, and to allow the World Health Organization’s second inquiry to move ahead in China. The Biden administration provided only a vague statement in response.

A complicated relationship: Biden and Xi prepare for meeting

  A complicated relationship: Biden and Xi prepare for meeting WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden and China's Xi Jinping have slurped noodles together in Beijing. They've shared deep thoughts about the meaning of America during an exchange on the Tibetan plateau. They've gushed to U.S. business leaders about developing a sincere respect for each other. The American president has held up his relationship with Xi as evidence of his heartfelt belief that good foreign policy starts with building strong personal relationships. But as the two leaders prepare to hold their first presidential meeting on Monday, the troubled U.S.

“The two leaders did talk about both COVID and broader health security issues in terms [of] bringing to an end the current pandemic and the importance of donating vaccines,” a senior administration official told the Washington Examiner. “President Biden also talked about the importance of preventing future pandemics and the important role that transparency plays in addressing global health issues.”

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The readout from the White House about the Monday call did not mention COVID-19 nor its origins, but it said Biden “raised specific transnational challenges where our interests intersect, such as health security.”

The readout from the Chinese side was much longer, but it also made no mention of COVID-19’s origins, although China said Xi told Biden: “Response to any major disease must be based on science. Politicizing diseases does no good but only harm.”

Taiwan: Xi Jinping asks Joe Biden not to "play with fire"

 Taiwan: Xi Jinping asks Joe Biden not to © AFP / Archives - Nicolas ASFOURI, Nicholas Kamm Joe Biden and Xi Jinping have not settled their disputes The conversation between Joe Biden and XI Jinping has not settled the litigation between China and the United States, especially on Taiwan Joe Biden's flammable subject and Xi Jinping spoke at length on Monday to Tuesday without paying anything from their disputes, Especially concerning Taiwan, Chinese president exhorting his American counterpart not to "play with fire" on this issue.

China has repeatedly condemned the U.S. search for COVID-19’s origins in China as “politicized” — even as China has baselessly claimed the virus may have started with the U.S. military.

Biden did not discuss COVID-19 in his opening remarks on Monday evening, and he thanked Xi after the Chinese leader told him that he is “very happy to see my old friend.”

National security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday about the Biden-Xi call, saying, “When it comes to COVID-19, there are still very real questions about transparency and issues associated with the origins of COVID-19, but we also have to beat this pandemic in the months ahead.” He did not say whether Biden raised COVID-19’s origins with Xi.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an assessment this summer stating that one U.S. intelligence agency assessed with “moderate confidence” that COVID-19 most likely emerged from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan, while four U.S. spy agencies and the National Intelligence Council believe with “low confidence” that COVID-19 most likely has a natural origin.

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  China Dodges Genocide Reports as Xi Jinping and Joe Biden Disagree on Human Rights The Biden administration has upheld the determination that China's treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang amounts to "genocide."The White House said Biden spoke "candidly and straightforwardly" to Xi, raising concerns about China's "practices in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, as well as human rights more broadly." Rights groups, researchers and the State Department have determined that "genocide" and "crimes against humanity" are ongoing against Muslim ethnic groups living in northwestern China.

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Numerous former Trump administration officials, along with House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans, have said a lab leak is COVID-19’s most likely origin. Dr. Anthony Fauci insisted it is “much more likely” that COVID-19 originated in nature rather than from the Wuhan lab.

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Tags: News, China, Joe Biden, Xi Jinping, Coronavirus

Original Author: Jerry Dunleavy

Original Location: White House won’t say if Biden pressed Xi Jinping on COVID-19’s origins

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