The White House attempted to downplay the relationship between China’s Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden

Early in the leaders’ virtual summit Xi appeared to contradict those reports.

Context: President Biden and Jen Psaki described the relationship with Xi as being a business one and stated that the two are not friends.

At the start of the meeting Xi stated through a translator, “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.”

Why is this important: Joe Biden’s ties to China have been called into question due to questionable business dealings between the country and his son Hunter.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated hours before the meeting that Biden, “still does not consider him an old friend.”

Biden recently claimed to have traveled “17,000 miles” with Xi during his time as vice president. According to a Washington Post fact check the only time the two traveled together was when they visited a high school in Dujiagyan.

  • The flight distance from Beijing to Chengdu: 950 miles
  • The round trip drive between Chengdu and Dujiangyan: 100 miles
  • The flight distance from Washington to Los Angeles: 2,300 miles

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