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World

President Biden to focus on COVID-19, China, at his first G7 summit

  • In his upcoming meeting with world leaders from the G-7, President Joe Biden plans to focus on the global response to the pandemic, according to the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday.
  • The Trump Administration held a volatile relationship with China, placing tariffs on Chinese goods and blocking supplies to Chinese telecommunications companies; while Biden as repeatedly taken aim at China for its treatment of the minority Uyghur community.
Updated 19 Feb 2021

In his upcoming meeting with world leaders from the G-7, President Joe Biden plans to focus on the global response to the pandemic, according to the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday.

The G-7, which comprises of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom - with Psaki adding that "President Biden’s focus is on global response to the COVID pandemic, including coordination on vaccine production, distribution and supplies, as well as continued efforts to mobilise and cooperate against the threat of emerging infectious diseases".

Furthermore, Psaki highlighted Biden’s moves to “re-engage” with the World Health Organization and elaborated upon the administration’s plans to join the COVAX initiative, a global effort which focuses on the production and distribution of vaccines to developing nations currently struggling with the pandemic.

“Through multilateral mechanisms, these global efforts reinforce the president’s progress to address the COVID-19 pandemic at home, including increasing the pace of vaccinations instituting public health measures for safe travel and providing schools with scientific guidance for safe operation,” Psaki said.

The Biden Administration plans to further “discuss the global economic recovery, including the importance of all industrial countries maintaining economic support for the recovery” after the pandemic subsides.

China, where the novel coronavirus emerged in late 2019, will also be a topic of discussion, as the press secretary highlighted that nations must consider the importance of “updating global roles to tackle economic challenges such as those posed by China”, as the country's economic emergence and regional strategic initiatives (including the BRI) have been a cause for concern for the United States.

The Trump Administration held a volatile relationship with China, placing tariffs on Chinese goods and blocking supplies to Chinese telecommunications companies; while Biden as repeatedly taken aim at China for its treatment of the minority Uyghur community.