Jun 17, 2021 - World

After Putin summit, White House considers meeting with China's Xi Jinping

Photo of Joe Biden shaking hands with Xi Jinping with Chinese and American flags in the background

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands with then-Vice President Biden (L) inside the Great Hall of the People on Dec. 4, 2013 in Beijing, China. Photo: Lintao Zhang via Getty Images

The White House will consider talks with China's President Xi, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday.

Why it matters: Sullivan's remarks come one day after President Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. They also come as the U.S. increases pressure on the Chinese government to address its human rights issues, including the Uyghur genocide and Hong Kong, and the origins of the coronavirus.

What they're saying: "What the President said about there being no substitute for leader-level dialogue as a central part of why he held the summit with Putin yesterday also applies to China and to President Xi Jinping," Sullivan told reporters in a press briefing. "He will look for opportunities to engage with President Xi going forward." 

  • Though he said there are no particular plans at the moment, both leaders are likely to attend the G20 in October.
  • "Soon enough, we will sit down to work out the right modality for the two presidents to engage," Sullivan said. "Now, it could be a phone call; it could be a meeting on the margins of an international — another international summit; it could be something else."

The big picture: At Biden's urging, G7 leaders issued a communique on Sunday that criticized the Chinese government's human rights abuses and demanded a full and thorough investigation of the coronavirus' origins, Reuters notes.

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