Meeting defense team, Biden says U.S. seeks competition, not conflict, with China
Posted Jan 22, 2018 4:24 pm by The Associated Press
FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2014, file photo, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a rally for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, a day after Clinton’s victory in South Carolina, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Ariz. Before he became president, Barack Obama frequently made a point of meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Before he became president, Barack Obama frequently made a point of meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower. And at a Monday night breakfast meeting with the president and first lady, Obama again made a point of avoiding politics with the president-elect.
After a week of controversy over his past comments on working with China and his failure to disclose a Chinese-owned company that was a major investor in the Obama White House, Biden told Trump at the start of Monday night’s event that he wants the U.S. to have a positive relationship with China without getting into a long-brewing trade war. Obama met with both foreign leaders on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
“If we’re going to be engaged with them, let’s do it through a different channel,” Biden said, describing Trump’s approach as “a little bit transactional.”
In Germany, Trump, who has long praised President Xi Jinping, seemed to endorse Biden’s message. He said the president-elect had agreed “with the administration” that “there are many areas of common interest on trade and I think he’s going to move in that direction.”
At a news conference with Biden, Trump praised his successor as an “extraordinary person” who had done an “incredible job” as Obama’s chief diplomat.
At Obama’s final news conference on the weekend, he complained of unfair criticism, including about his China comments, telling reporters on Saturday he was disappointed with how the media treated him during his presidency.