Biden says of China's Xi: 'We know each other well, we're not old friends'

by Reuters
Wednesday, 16 June 2021 18:09 GMT

GENEVA, June 16 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden said China was trying hard to project itself as a responsible nation in regard to the coronavirus pandemic, but questioned whether Beijing was really trying to understand the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asked if he would call Chinese President Xi Jinping as "old friend to old friend" to open up to World Health Organization investigators trying to determine where the pandemic began, Biden said: "Let's get something straight. We know each other well, we're not old friends. It's just pure business."

He said the United States would rally other countries to work on developing a physical mechanism for early detection of the next pandemic, and facilitate a rapid response.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Andrea Shalal Editing by Chris Reese)

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