In denying ‘old friend’ Xi Jinping, did US President Joe Biden prioritise politics over regard for Asian, Chinese culture?

When Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden held their first video talk last week, Xi, through an interpreter, referred to Biden as “lao peng you”, or “old friend”.Biden responded with a “thank you” but did not respond in kind. Earlier this year, asked by a reporter if he would consider Xi an “old friend”, Biden, 78, said both knew each other well but weren’t “old friends”.“It’s just pure business,” he said.The White House was keen to stress that message after the meeting…


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