US President Joe Biden is planning to discuss the origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during their upcoming virtual summit, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday.
“That is going to be a part of it,” Blinken said at the DealBook Online Summit in response to a question whether the US president was planning to discuss the origins of the novel coronavirus with Xi.
Blinken noted that some people in China mistakenly think the US investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus is a tool to hammer Beijing.
“But it is not at all the point. This is not about pointing the finger and putting blame. It is about understanding what happened so that we are in a better place to prevent it from happening again,” he said.
Blinken noted that the two presidents had a couple of extended conversations on all topics in the past since Biden assumed office in January.
“Multiple hours on the phone, but now we have an opportunity for them to get together at least face-to-face virtually, and hopefully at some point in person,” he said.
In August, US intelligence provided Biden with a report on the origins of the novel coronavirus, but was unable to conclude whether the virus was transmitted from an animal to a human during a natural process, or originated in a Chinese laboratory.