Remarks by President Biden in Press Conference
JANUARY 19, 2022
Q Well, President Biden, on the coronavirus, we’re tragically approaching nearly 1 million Americans who died. And I’d like to ask you why it is during your three-and-a-half-hour virtual summit in November with the Chinese President you didn’t press for transparency and also whether that has anything to do with your son’s involvement in an investment firm controlled by Chinese state-owned entities.
THE PRESIDENT: The answer is that we did — I did raise the question of transparency. I spent a lot of time with him. And he — the fact is that they’re just not — they’re just not being transparent.
Q You raised this: transparency on the coronavirus origins?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Q And — you did, during the virtual summit?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
Q Is there a reason your press staff was unaware of that? And what did you say to the Chinese President?
THE PRESIDENT: Well — and they weren’t with me the entire time. Look, I made it clear that I thought that China had an obligation to be more forthcoming on exactly what the source of the virus was and where it came from.
Readout of President Biden’s Virtual Meeting with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China
NOVEMBER 16, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met virtually on November 15 with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The two leaders discussed the complex nature of relations between our two countries and the importance of managing competition responsibly. As in previous discussions, the two leaders covered areas where our interests align, and areas where our interests, values, and perspectives diverge. President Biden welcomed the opportunity to speak candidly and straightforwardly to President Xi about our intentions and priorities across a range of issues.
President Biden underscored that the United States will continue to stand up for its interests and values and, together with our allies and partners, ensure the rules of the road for the 21st century advance an international system that is free, open, and fair. He emphasized the priority he places on far-reaching investments at home while we align with allies and partners abroad to take on the challenges of our time.
President Biden raised concerns about the PRC’s practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, as well as human rights more broadly. He was clear about the need to protect American workers and industries from the PRC’s unfair trade and economic practices. He also discussed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and communicated the continued determination of the United States to uphold our commitments in the region. President Biden reiterated the importance of freedom of navigation and safe overflight to the region’s prosperity. On Taiwan, President Biden underscored that the United States remains committed to the “one China” policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances, and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
President Biden also underscored the importance of managing strategic risks. He noted the need for common-sense guardrails to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict and to keep lines of communication open. He raised specific transnational challenges where our interests intersect, such as health security. In particular, the two leaders discussed the existential nature of the climate crisis to the world and the important role that the United States and the PRC play. They also discussed the importance of taking measures to address global energy supplies. The two leaders also exchanged views on key regional challenges, including DPRK, Afghanistan, and Iran. Finally, they discussed ways for the two sides to continue discussions on a number of areas, with President Biden underscoring the importance of substantive and concrete conversations.