Biden says truncated South Pacific trip not a ‘win’ for China

Biden says truncated South Pacific trip not a 'win' for China  at george magazine

President Joe Biden said that his decision to cut short a trip to the South Pacific due to the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations does not represent a “win” for China and that he plans to “soon” speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding escalating tension in the region.

Biden is traveling to Hiroshima, Japan on Wednesday for a G-7 leaders meeting and was originally scheduled to visit Australia for the Quad leaders summit and Papua New Guinea following the G-7. The president has spent recent weeks engaging with regional leaders regarding the growing threat presented by China, but the White House announced Tuesday that he would scrap the latter part of the trip and return to Washington, D.C., on Sunday to continue talks with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other congressional leaders on debt and spending levels.


The president briefly discussed the rationale behind the schedule change Wednesday before departing the White House.

“As it stands now, the intention is to go to the G-7, be back here on Sunday, hold a press conference. And in the meantime, I’ve spoken to the Australian leader Albanese and I have spoken to — I’ll be seeing him at the G-7. He’ll be there as well, along with the Indian prime minister and along with the Japanese as well,” he stated. “The Quad members will be there. We’ll get a chance to talk separately in the meeting, but it’s unlikely I’ll be going on to Australia.”

Following his remarks, Biden fielded a number of questions from reporters on the topic, including one on the “message” his decision should send to Papua New Guinea and Australia.

“Is this almost a win for China?” the reporter asked.

“No,” Biden responded flatly. “Because we’re still meeting. We still have four good allies.”


As he was leaving the room, Biden additionally stated that he would “soon” speak with Xi but did not say if that would take place in person or through a phone call.

You can watch Biden’s remarks in full below.

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