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‘Old friends?’ For Xi and Biden, not necessarily

Published by
Reuters

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Chinese leader Xi Jinping greeted U.S. President Joe Biden as “old friend” at the start of their first video meeting, using an expression that Biden has pushed back on. In China, the expression “lao peng you” connotes fondness and shows a level of familiarity and trust, and when said by Xi, 68, reflects a shared history that dates to August 2011, when the two held hours of conversations and travelled in Sichuan province – before either had reached the highest office. Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization, said Xi’s use of the expression…

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