Biden expects to speak with Xi Jinping this week

World Tuesday 26/July/2022 05:49 AM
Biden expects to speak with Xi Jinping this week

Washington: US President Joe Biden on Monday told reporters that he anticipates having a conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week.

Asked whether the long-awaited call would take place this week, Biden told reporters, "That's my expectation, but I'll let you know when that gets set up." Biden added that he will let the media know about the conversation once it is set up.

Last week, Xi sent a message of sympathy to Biden, wishing him a prompt recovery after acquiring the novel coronavirus, media reported.
White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby confirmed that Xi sent the message to Biden.

On Thursday, Biden tested positive for novel coronavirus and is experiencing mild symptoms. The US president is currently working from his residence and will continue to do so for at least five days or until he receives a negative test, the White House said.

Biden is likely infected by highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.5.

"Our preliminary sequencing results have returned. The President's causative agent is most likely the BA5 variant. This is the SARS-CoV-2 variant which is responsible for 75-80 per cent of infections in the United States at this time," said President Biden's physician Dr Kevin O'Connor in a memo.

Speaking about fear of recession in US ahead of announcement on the nation's GDP on Thursday, Biden said that in his view the United States will not experience a recession.

"We're not going to be in a recession, in my view," said US President Joe Biden, further adding, "the unemployment rate is still one of the lowest we've had in history. It's in the 3.6 per cent area. We still find ourselves with people investing..."

"My hope is we go from this rapid growth to steady growth, so we'll see some coming down. God willing, I don't think we're going to see a recession," Biden added.

It is pertinent to note that US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday that US economic growth is slowing and she acknowledged the risk of a recession.

Moreover, US gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic health, shrank at a 1.6 per cent annual rate in the first quarter.
Traditionally, recession is defined as a slowdown or a massive contraction in economic activities.

US data last week suggested that the labour market was softening with new claims for unemployment benefits hitting their highest point in eight months.