Online summit causes concern

WORLD POLITICS:

Concerns are emerging among senior US Government officials about the benefit of last week’s virtual meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

While carefully edited and possibly manipulated footage of the event was released by the White House, senior advisers to Mr Biden who watched the actual meeting (main picture) are understood to be questioning whether the online summit may have done more harm than good to the US-China relationship.

“We were concerned from the start when the President sat down and promptly fell asleep while waiting for Xi to come online,” a senior West Wing staffer told The Bug on condition of anonymity.

“He was woken up by the translated greetings once Xi was online.

“He did appear slightly confused which, as his staff know, is a good sign given that most of the time he appears totally confused.

“The President asked what was going on and was told it was time for Xi Jinping and replied: ‘Sounds good, I’ll have mine with a twist of lemon.’

“But then he said it was getting pretty late, being early afternoon Washington DC time, so he said he would opt instead for a hot chocolate before bed.

“At the same time he took his teeth out and put them in a glass while trying to use his mobile phone as a TV remote control to ‘change the channel’, saying the set was obviously malfunctioning because he’d never seen Benny Hill look so bad on screen.

“Eventually staffers explained the online summit idea to him and he immediately snapped into action.

“Although he does have trouble remembering names these days and greeted Xi as ‘that fella from Down Under’ before falling asleep again as the translators in Beijing went into overdrive.

“It was then both sides decided to call it quits and issue a statement saying the usual things about a productive meeting and so forth,” the source said.