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Biden to Focus on COVID-19, China at First G7 Summit | News on the coronavirus pandemic




The White House confirms that the pandemic and the power of China are the main topics of discussion at the first meeting of the G7 in Bidens.

US President Joe Biden plans to focus on the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic during his next meeting with G7 world leaders, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Thursday.

The G7, short for Group of Seven, is an intergovernmental organization of which the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom are members. Russia was previously a member before its annexation of Ukraine in Crimea in 2014 prompted its withdrawal.

Friday’s meeting will be Bidens first with the group as chairman and his first major international engagement since taking office last month. The meeting will take place practically due to the pandemic.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily White House briefing in Washington, DC on February 17, 2021 [Leah Millis/Reuters]

President Bidens focuses on the global response to the COVID pandemic, including coordinating the production, distribution and supply of vaccines, as well as continued efforts to mobilize and cooperate against the threat of infectious diseases emerging, said Psaki.

Psaki stressed that Bidens had decided to re-engage with the World Health Organization and that administrations were planning to join the COVAX initiative, a global effort to produce and distribute vaccines in developing countries.

Through multilateral mechanisms, these global efforts are bolstering presidents’ progress in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic at home, including increasing the pace of vaccinations, instituting public health measures for safe travel, and providing to schools for scientific advice for safe operation, Psaki said.

Biden plans to discuss further the global economic recovery, including the importance for all industrialized countries of maintaining economic support for recovery after the pandemic subsides.

China, where the new coronavirus emerged in late 2019, will also be a topic of discussion.

Psaki said nations should consider the importance of updating global roles to address economic challenges such as those posed by China at the meeting.

China’s economic emergence and power movements in the region have preoccupied successive US administrations.

Former President Donald Trump ruled at odds with Beijing, imposing tariffs on Chinese products and blocking supplies to Chinese telecommunications companies.

Biden has targeted China for his treatment of his Uyghur minority community, which is currently being held in internment camps. Beijing has been accused of genocide for its actions.

Well, there will be repercussions for China and he knows it, Biden said of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping at a public meeting hosted by CNN on Tuesday.

On the same day as the G7 summit, Biden will join a special edition of the Munich Security Conference, a forum for world leaders that focuses on defense.

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