President Biden’s weary press conference in Vietnam was cut short on Sunday just as he began to discuss his brief meeting with China’s Premier Li Qiang at the G20 Summit, the Washington Times reported.
The president held a press conference in Hanoi where he fielded questions from reporters on a range of issues including the G20 Summit in New Delhi last weekend, according to Reuters.
Biden defended his economic record telling reporters that the US has the “strongest” economy in the world. He suggested that the slowdown of China’s economic growth is due in part to the weak global economy and China’s policies.
The president described China’s economic situation as a “crisis,” which he blamed on the country’s high youth unemployment and issues with its real estate sector. He said one of President Xi’s “major economic tenets” is currently not working since Xi “has his hands full right now.”
Biden also suggested that China’s current economic crisis makes it less likely it will try to invade Taiwan, noting that China “doesn’t have the same capacity that it had before.” He assured reporters that the United States has no intention of withdrawing from the region, describing the US as a Pacific power.
Toward the end of the press conference, the president told reporters that he was ready to go to bed, but a reporter asked him about his meeting with Premier Li Qiang.
Biden said he and Premier Li discussed “stability” in the Southwestern Hemisphere and assured reporters that their discussion “wasn’t confrontational at all.”
But just as Biden started to describe his meeting with Li, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre interrupted the president mid-sentence and brought the press conference to an end.
Biden thanked reporters and put the microphone down. The president then tried to field a question shouted by one reporter. Afterward, he started to amble off the stage as bizarre piano music played and reporters shouted questions at his back.