The Chinese President Xi Jinping has declined President Joe Biden’s proposal of a summit in a call last week, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper quoted many people who were briefed on last Thursday’s call between the presidents saying that XI did not welcome the proposal of meeting and instead insisted the US should adopt a soft tone towards China.
“Xi apparently intimated that the tone and atmosphere of the relationship needed to be improved first,” the source said.
The White House did not comment on the report but an informed source who was among the officials briefed about the call confirmed the report to be authentic.
China’s embassy in Washington did not immediately respond when asked to comment.
The newspaper quoted one of its sources that Biden had floated the summit as one of the many possibilities for follow-on engagement with Xi, and he had not expected an immediate response.
A US official cited by the newspaper said that Xi did not engage with the idea of a summit because of the concerns of Covid-19.