After the White House claimed multiple times that Joe Biden doesn’t consider Chinese President Xi an “old friend,” Xi went on to call Biden “old friend” during Monday’s virtual meeting.
Speaking through a translator at the meeting, President Xi said, “It’s the first time for us to meet virtually. Although it’s not as good as a face-to-face meeting, I’m very happy to see my old friend.”
In the past, Biden has claimed that he has spent a lot of time with President Xi over the years. And during a June Press conference, Biden was asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy if Biden would consider Xi an old friend, Biden said “Let’s get something straight: we know each other well, we’re not old friends. It’s just pure business.”
Even hours before the meeting between the world leaders was to take place, Jen Psaki told reporters that Joe “still does not consider him an old friend.”
The use of the phrase “old friend” by the Chinese President contradicts how the White House has been characterizing their relationship. However, Biden has viewed the relationship he has with China to be one that could move diplomatic ties between US and China in more-positive directions.