Joe Biden’s presidency was hailed by allies as a return of “the adults in the room,” but it appears that some world powers are having trouble taking the commander-in-chief seriously.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has rebuffed a request from President Biden to meet in person to improve relations between their rival nations, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
Biden had reportedly asked Xi to meet over the phone last week, but the Chinese dictator apparently has better plans.
“Tone and atmosphere”
In a 90-minute call last week, Biden’s first time talking to Xi in seven months, Biden proposed a summit. But Xi “did not take him up on the offer and instead insisted Washington adopt a less strident tone towards Beijing,” the Financial Times reported, according to the Post.
Biden denied that the report was true on Tuesday.
“Xi apparently intimated that the tone and atmosphere of the relationship needed to be improved first,” a source told Reuters.
Relations between America and China cooled significantly during the presidency of Donald Trump, who rose to power in 2016 in part on a platform that railed against China’s rise as a global competitor.
Washington and Beijing have remained at odds over rogue actions by Beijing that came to the fore in the Trump years, such as China’s alleged cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak and its persecution of the Uyghur minority, as the Post notes.
Who’s a dictator?
The president has often touted his relationship with Xi Jinping — saying he knows the dictator well despite denouncing his autocratic government as one of the chief threats to democracy in the world — along with Russia, whose leader, Vladimir Putin, Biden met in June at a much-touted summit that remained private.
But Biden has governed the U.S. with a strong authoritarian bent that suggests Xi may have rubbed off on him. Less than a year on the job, Biden has taken executive actions that he acknowledges are illegal, and he recently denounced millions of Americans refusing the coronavirus vaccine as virtually subhuman.
With many Americans already numb to Biden’s audaciously draconian actions, he somehow keeps finding ways to shock.
After it was reported that the nation’s top military officer, Gen. Mark Milley, may have committed treason by promising to warn China in the event of an attack and scheming to usurp military power from Donald Trump, Biden defended the general, saying he has “great confidence” in him, according to Fox News.