Joe Biden

Pool Reports of November 15, 2021

November 15, 2021

Pool Reports by Seung Min Kim, The Washington Post

Sent: Reports:
November 15, 2021

In-town pool report #1 — gathering for tribal summit

Good morning from your pooler at a busy day at the White House. We are gathering at 11:13 a.m. for the Tribal Nations Summit, which will be held in the South Court Auditorium. Both POTUS and FLOTUS will attend.

November 15, 2021

In-town pool report #2 — Tribal Nations summit attendees

Pool is waiting for POTUS in the South Court Auditorium (where the cell service is not terrific, so apologies in advance for any delay in pool report distribution).

As we wait, the White House sends out a list of summit attendees —

Secretary Xavier Becerra, Department of Health and Human Services
Attorney General Merrick Garland
Secretary Deb Haaland, Department of the Interior
Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Homeland Security

November 15, 2021

In-town pool report #2a — speakers

List of speakers at Tribal Nations Summit, per WH —

President Fawn Sharp, National Congress of American Indians
Chairman Tehassi Hill, Oneida Nation (WI)
President Shannon Holsey, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians
Secretary Deb Haaland, Department of the Interior
The President

November 15, 2021

In town pool report #3 — POTUS participated in Tribal Nations Summit

POTUS entered the South Court Auditorium at 11:50 a.m. The speakers at the summit who preceded POTUS, with the exception of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, delivered remarks virtually.

The event streamed live on the White House website, but some highlights:

After POTUS entered the room, he turned around to face the virtual participants on the large screen behind him — 196 individual screens, by your pooler's count — and told them, "next time in Washington, ok? … I hope, I hope. That's my hope."

POTUS, saying "this is a big day," started by speaking fondly of former Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye: "Danny Inouye is looking down and going, finally. Finally."

POTUS said his American Rescue Plan included $31 billion for Tribal nations, the "most significant investment in the history of Indian country." He also noted that the bipartisan infrastructure bill he will sign later today includes more than $13 billion in direct investments to Indian country and benefits such as clean drinking water and high-speed Internet.

POTUS outlined five new initiatives from his administration: protecting tribal treaty rights, increasing tribal participation in management of federal lands, incorporating tribal ecological knowledge into the federal government's scientific approach, taking action to protect the greater Chaco Canyon area in New Mexico from further oil and gas leasing, and signing a new executive order addressing violence against Native Americans.

"We have to continue to stand up for the dignity and the sovereignty of tribal nations," POTUS said.

Then FLOTUS, as well as the Cabinet members outlined in the previous report, entered the auditorium as POTUS was preparing to sign the EO. POTUS said this executive order was "long overdue" and handed a separate pen to each Cabinet member after using it to sign the order. (FLOTUS did not appear to get one).

He answered one shouted question about his confidence in passing his Build Back Better agenda in Congress. "I've been confident since the day I've stepped in office," he said. POTUS did not answer other shouted Qs on his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping tonight.

POTUS left the South Court auditorium at noon.

November 15, 2021

in-town pool report #4 - briefing slightly delayed

The White House advises that the daily briefing with press secretary Jen Psaki will now begin at 1:45 p.m.

November 15, 2021

in-town pool report #5 - program for infrastructure signing ceremony

From the White House --

Program for the signing ceremony of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal:

Donneta Williams, President, USW Local 1025 (Corning plant in Wilmington, NC)
Mayor Acquanetta Warren (Fontana, CA)
Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)
Senator Rob Portman (OH)
Leader Chuck Schumer (NY)
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12)
The Vice President
HeatherKurtenbach, Business Agent, Organizer & Political Director, Iron Workers Local 86 (Seattle, WA)
The President

November 15, 2021

in-town pool report #6 - two min warning for briefing

[APP Note: No additional text was included in this report.]

November 15, 2021

in-town pool report #7 - briefing begins

The daily briefing with Jen Psaki began at 1:51 p.m.

November 15, 2021

in-town pool report #8 - briefing ends

The press briefing wrapped at 2:34 p.m.

November 15, 2021

In-town pool report #9 — pre-ceremony color

Pool and pre-credentialed media were escorted into the South Lawn at 2:45 p.m. Easily hundreds here so far.

Some spotteds — former Sens. Doug Jones, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly (nominee to be ambassador to the Vatican), Max Baucus

Current Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, Ed Markey, Catherine Cortez Masto, Chris Coons, Chris Murphy, Jon Ossoff, Shelley Moore Capito

Reps Josh Gottheimer, Tom Reed, Jim Himes, Judy Chu, Grace Meng, Ruben Gallego, Karen Bass.

(This is all your pooler has so far from her perch on the lawn.)

November 15, 2021

In town pool report #10 — ceremony underway

At 3:20 p.m., FLOTUS and SGOTUS came out on the South Lawn to a standing ovation and cheers.

Reminder that this ceremony is being streamed live.

November 15, 2021

In town pool report #11 — about 800 guests here

Per the WH —

In attendance for the bipartisan signing ceremony are approximately 800 guests including members of Congress, governors, mayors, state and local elected officials, labor leaders, business leaders, and other stakeholders.

November 15, 2021

In-town pool report #12 — background on VPOTUS remarks and engagement

Background from a White House Official:

During her remarks at the President's bill signing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal today, the Vice President will acknowledge four Americans she met this year while traveling the country to promote key provisions of the legislation. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal represents a once-in-a-generation investment in our infrastructure and our competitiveness. Working with the President to help secure passage, the Vice President has done more than two dozen public events nationwide to tout the benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and the Build Back Better Agenda, and she has done over 150 engagements with Members of Congress.

On Friday November 19th, the Vice President will travel to Columbus, Ohio to discuss how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will create good-paying jobs and strengthen communities across Ohio.

In her remarks today, the Vice President will acknowledge:

  • Jeff Bird, New Hampshire - Jeff Bird is an IBEW Lineman for the New Hampshire Electric Co-Op and has helped the co-op provide broadband to the rural town of Lempster, New Hampshire. Prior to becoming a lineman, Bird served as a New Hampshire State Trooper. The Vice President met with Jeff during her trip to New Hampshire Electric Co-Op to discuss the need for historic investments in our nation's high speed internet, particular for rural communities and the good paying jobs it will produce.
    • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal includes $65B to provide affordable and accessible broadband.
  • Leslie Kilgore, North Carolina - Leslie Kilgore is the Vice President of Engineering and Technology at Thomas Built Buses in High Point, North Carolina, where she leads the team overseeing the company's work building electric school buses. The Vice President met with Kilgore during her trip to Thomas Built Buses in High Point, to discuss the jobs building electric school buses, and the benefits transitioning to electric school buses would have for students and communities.
    • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal includes $5B for clean school buses.
  • Walter Coty, California – Walter Coty is a member of AFSCME and a construction inspector at the East Bay Municipal Utility District. He joined the District in 2008 as a plumber, and participated in the District's Pipeline Training Academy, which trains staff in pipeline installations, safety practices, construction standards, and other practices. The Vice President met with Coty during her trip to the Upper San Leandro Water Treatment Plant in Oakland, California to discuss the need for historic investments in our nation's water infrastructure.
    • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal includes $55B for water infrastructure and over $8B for western water infrastructure.
  • Jovan Johnson, Nevada – Jovan Johnson is union member who serves as a business representative with the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. Johnson met with the Vice President and joined her tour of the Carpenters International Training Center in Nevada – where Jovan had previously completed a 4-year apprenticeship. Today, Jovan builds roads, schools, hospitals, and more.
    • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal reauthorizes the surface transportation programs for five years and invests $110 billion in additional funding to repair our roads and bridges and supports major, transformational projects.
November 15, 2021

In-town pool report #13 -- POTUS signs infrastructure bill, ceremony color, POTUS-Leahy convo

You all saw the ceremony (which was also open press) on the livestream. But some more color from the signing event –

*POTUS came out onto the South Lawn at 3:50 p.m., accompanied by VPOTUS and Heather Kurtenbach of Iron Workers Local 86. He began speaking at 4:01 p.m. and finished his remarks around 4:20 p.m., at which point he walked to his right, sat down at the signing table, and signed the legislation, flanked by Republican and Democratic lawmakers and Cabinet officials.

*It was a very celebratory atmosphere on the South Lawn with lots of hugging, selfie-taking and cheering. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) was posting on his Instagram stories before the event. Gallego, seated in front of your pooler, also very enthusiastically applauded for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) as she began delivering her remarks. (Gallego has not ruled out a primary challenge to Sinema in 2024).

*Some audience color when Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) spoke: Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) yelled "Go Josh!" when Portman mentioned the work of Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who was seated next to Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), his fellow co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus. When Portman talked about his disagreement with POTUS and the Democrats on the reconciliation legislation, one congresswoman in the audience said loudly, "Is this the time for that?" to other members.

*The loudest applause lines were when Pelosi and Schumer talked about their determination to pass the Build Back Better legislation. When Schumer mentioned the Gateway project in New York, a few members of the NY delegation screamed "Yeah Gateway!!!"

*Most members of the audience were not masked during the outdoor ceremony, but a few were. Among them: Reps. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore., also wearing a cowboy hat).

*When POTUS made the "second husband" joke, VPOTUS laughed and appeared to put a hand over her heart as she looked toward SGOTUS.

*Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) vigorously pumped his fist in the air when POTUS praised unions.

*When the ceremony concluded, several people were spotted near the heat lamps placed on the edges of the seating area, warming up their hands. Also spotted after the conclusion of the ceremony was Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, hugging Jen Psaki.

*Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who announced his retirement earlier today, told your pooler that he spoke with POTUS over the weekend. "He was kind enough to call me at home," Leahy said, declining to disclose details of the "private conversation." He added that "he and I have been friends for nearly 50 years, so we talk a lot."

November 15, 2021

in-town pool report #14 - dinner lid

The White House has called a dinner lid until 7 p.m.

November 15, 2021

in-town pool report #15 - notable attendees at signing ceremony

The White House passes along –

Notable attendees for today's bipartisan bill signing ceremony:


  • Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen
  • Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland
  • Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh
  • Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
  • Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm

Members of Congress:

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA-12)
  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05)
  • House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (SC-06)
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY)
  • Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (IL)
  • Senator Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
  • Senator Tom Carper (DE)
  • Senator Rob Portman (OH)
  • Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)
  • Congressman Don Young (AK-AL)

State and Local Elected Officials:

  • Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM)
  • United States Conference of Mayors President & Dayton, OH Mayor Nan Whaley
  • National League of Cities President & Lexington, SC Councilwoman Kathy Maness
  • National Association of Counties President & DeKalb County, GA Commissioner Larry Johnson

Labor Union Leaders:

  • Eric Dean, General President, Ironworkers
  • Lonnie Stephenson, International President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
  • Terry O'Sullivan, General President, Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA)
  • Tom Conway, International President, United Steelworkers (USW)
  • Doug McCarron, General President, United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC)
  • Jimmy Hoffa, General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
  • Joe Sellers, General President, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART)
  • Ray Curry, President, United Auto Workers (UAW)
  • Lee Saunders, President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Rural Leaders:

  • Rob Larew, President, National Farmers Union
  • Shirley Bloomfield, CEO, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association

Business Leaders:

  • David Gitlin, CEO, Carrier
  • Michael Lamach, CEO, Trane
  • Barbara Humpton, CEO, Siemens USA
  • Bill Flynn, CEO, Amtrak
  • Dennis Arriola, CEO of AVANGRID and Chairman of the California Latino Economic Institute
November 15, 2021

in-town pool report #15a - clarification from WH

The White House sends a clarification on the notable attendees at the signing ceremony – that should have specified that these were guests on stage with the President and the Vice President for the bill signing.

November 15, 2021

In-town pool report #16 — gathering for virtual bilat

As of 7:40 p.m., your in-house pool is gathering for the virtual summit with POTUS and Xi.

November 15, 2021

In-town pool report #17 — Xi virtual bilat spray

The in-house pool was ushered into the Roosevelt Room at 7:46 p.m. POTUS is seated at the head of the table, with top officials (the manifest below) seated around the table. There are two televisions set up in the room, where we can see Xi. The two men waved to each other through the screens once they saw one another.

POTUS spoke first. Please check all quotes against transcript. He opened by noting that the two men have "spent an awful lot of time talking to each other" over the years, and "maybe I should start more formally even though you and I have never been that formal."

POTUS said he was looking forward to a "candid and forthright discussion" with Xi, which he said will include how to ensure "simple, straightforward competition" between the two countries.

"We need to establish some common-sense guardrails," he said. POTUS emphasized collaboration "especially on vital global issues like climate change."

"We have a responsibility to the world as well as to our people," POTUS said.

On POTUS agenda for the meeting include human rights, economics, ensuring a free and fair Indo-Pacific, he said.

POTUS said the two men have "always communicated with one another very honestly and candidly." He added: "We never walk away wondering what the other man is thinking."

POTUS also thanked Xi for his congratulatory call after POTUS won the 2020 presidential election, a call he said was "very gracious."

At 7:53 p.m., POTUS concluded his introductory remarks, and Xi began speaking in Chinese. Through an interpreter, Xi said he was "very happy to see my old friend."

"Humanity lives in a global village, and we face multiple challenges together," Xi told POTUS.

"China and the U.S. need to increase communication and cooperation."

The pool was ushered out at 7:57 p.m., when Xi concluded his remarks.

From the WH —

In attendance for the President's virtual meeting with His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China:

U.S. Manifest
The President
T.H. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State
T.H. Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury
T.H. Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor
Dr. Kurt Campbell, Deputy Assistant to the President & Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, NSC
Ms. Laura Rosenberger, Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for China, NSC
Mr. Jon Czin, Director for China, NSC

China Manifest
H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China
H.E. Ding Xuexiang, Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee
H.E. Liu He, Vice Premier of the State Council
H.E. Yang Jiechi, Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the CPC Central Committee
H.E. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister
H.E. Xie Feng, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs

November 15, 2021

in-town pool report #17a - fuller POTUS quotes from Xi spray

Here are fuller quotes from POTUS to Xi, in his introductory remarks --

"Good to see you, Mr. President … next time, I hope we get to do it face to face like we used to, when we traveled through China."

"We've spent an awful lot of time talking to one another, I hope that we could have a candid conversation tonight as well."

"Maybe I should start more formal … you and I have never been that formal."

"Good evening to everyone here in the United States and good morning to you, Mr. President in Beijing."

"I'm happy to have found time to meet, and I look forward to a candid and forthright discussion like all of the discussions we've had thus far."

"As I said before, it seems to be our responsibility - as leaders of China and the United States – to ensure that the competition between our countries does not veer into conflict, whether intended or unintended. Just simple, straightforward competition."

"It seems to me we need to establish a common sense guardrail, to be clear and honest where we disagree and work together where our interests intersect, especially on vital global issues like climate change."

"None of this is a favor to either of our countries, what we do for one another, but it's just responsible world leadership and you're a major world leader. So is the United States."

The U.S.-China bilateral relationship "seems to me to have a profound impact not only in our countries, but quite frankly the rest of the world … We have a responsibility for the world as well as for our people."

"That's why we believe – and you and I have talked about this – all countries have to play by the same rules of the road, why the United States is always going to stand up for our interests and values, and those of our allies and partners."

"If past is prologue, I am sure that today we'll be discussing those areas where we have concerns – on human rights, on economics, to ensuring a free and open Indo Pacific."

"I think it's very important, as I've told other world leaders when they ask about our relationship, is that we've always communicated with one another very honestly and candidly and never walked away wondering what the other man was thinking. And I think that's an important ingredient in this relationship."

"I think it's important we communicate honestly and directly to one another about our priorities and our intentions. I look forward to getting down to business and the extensive and the substantive agenda we have ahead of us."

"And thank you for our congratulatory call when I won the election. It was very gracious."

November 15, 2021

In-town pool report #17b - Xi calls Potus an "old friend"

?Here is the quote, from Xi to POTUS via interpreter—

"Good to see you, Mr. President and your colleagues. It's the first time for us to meet virtually, although it's not as good as a face to face meeting, I'm very happy to see my old friend."

November 15, 2021

in-town pool report #18 - lid

The White House called a travel/photo lid at 8:04 p.m. Pleasure being your pooler today (and a couple more post-lid reports TK).

November 15, 2021

In-town pool report #19 — background memo for NH trip

The White House sends the below policy memo ahead of POTUS trip to Woodstock on the impact of the new bipartisan infrastructure law in New Hampshire—


TO: Out-of-Town Travel Pool

FROM: White House Press Office

DATE: November 15, 2021

RE: Background on BID for the President's Visit to Woodstock, New Hampshire

Impact of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (BID) on New Hampshire

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will make a generational investment in New Hampshire infrastructure and resilience.

Roads and Bridges:

  • In New Hampshire there are 215 bridges and over 698 miles of highway in poor condition.
  • Based on formula funding alone, New Hampshire will receive $1.1 billion for federal-aid highways and $225 million for bridges.

Public Transportation:

  • Residents of New Hampshire who take public transportation spend an extra 114% of their time commuting. 32% of transit vehicles in New Hampshire are past useful life.
  • Based on formula funding alone, New Hampshire will receive $125 million to improve public transportation options across the state.

Electric Vehicle Charging:

  • New Hampshire will receive at least $17 million to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging across the state.

High-Speed Internet:

  • 10% of New Hampshire households do not have an internet subscription.
  • New Hampshire will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 42,000 New Hampshire residents who currently lack it.
  • 15% of New Hampshire residents will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which helps low-income families afford internet.


  • Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water across the country.
  • New Hampshire would expect to receive$418 million to improve water infrastructure in the state.


  • From 2010 to 2020, New Hampshire experienced 5 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $500 million in damages.
  • The bill includes a $50 billion national investment in resilience to bolster our country's infrastructure for the impacts of climate change.

The NH 175 bridge over the Pemigewasset River

The NH 175 bridge over the Pemigewasset River, first opened in 1939, is one of only two bridges of its kind in the state. This bridge has been on the state's "red list" of bridges in poor condition since 2013. The bridge is currently rated as "structurally deficient," considered in very poor condition and is load posted, which means vehicles greater than 20 tons may not cross the bridge.

The state has made multiple patchwork fixes over the years in order to keep the bridge from deteriorating further, which would result in a closure or further weight limits with significant impacts on the surrounding community. The bridge currently serves about 60 commercial and logging trucks each day and is of critical importance to a local propane company, as well as Woodstock's wastewater treatment plant, and a sand and gravel company. In addition, the Woodstock Fire Station is located near the bridge, and with an additional weight restriction, the fire department would need to make a 10-mile detour. Snow plows would also be unable to cross if additional weight restrictions were required. A recent inspection indicated that another section of the bridge deck is failing. The state will place a steel plate on the bridge deck, otherwise it would not be safe for continued operation. New Hampshire DOT will begin these temporary repairs later this month, causing disruption to the community.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation will use funds provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal to fully rehabilitate the historic structure at a cost of approximately $4.5 million. The additional funding provided by the Deal will help New Hampshire accelerate the construction of the bridge by at least one year and allow New Hampshire to use state resources to address other transportation needs.

Bridge Investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal includes a total of $40 billion in funding for bridge investments. This includes $12.5 billion for a competitive grant program to replace the most economically significant bridges in the country—like the Brent-Spence Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky and the I-5 Columbia River Crossing connecting Washington and Oregon. The Deal also includes $27.5 billion in bridge formula funding for states to replace, repair, and rehabilitate smaller bridges in "poor" or "fair" condition.

Across the country, over 45,000 bridges are in poor condition, and more than two-thirds of these are off the interstate highway system. Historically, these "off-system" bridges on local roads have not received as much attention or funding as their larger counterparts on the interstate, but are critical connections for communities, particularly in rural America. TheBipartisan Infrastructure Deal dedicates more than $4 billion to off-system bridge repair, rehabilitation, and replacement.Recognizing that these bridges are often the responsibility of counties or towns with limited revenue, these funds are provided at a 100% federal cost share.


Pool Reports below by Ching-Yi Chang, Shanghai Media Group

Sent: Reports:
November 15, 2021

Foreign Pool Report Prior to US-China Virtual Meeting

Nin Hao! (a more polite greeting than Ni Hao)

It's a pleasure again to serve as your foreign pooler. Your foriegn pooler has pooled multiple bilateral meetings between the U.S. and China for the past decade, and this is the very first virtual one. Following two phone calls between President Xi and President Biden on Feb. 10th and Sept. 9th respectively, the two leaders are having their first virtual meeting at 7:45 PM EST today (or 8:45 AM Beijing Time on Tuesday).

As foreign poolers, we strive to provide helpful background information, and reach out to foreign embassies for additional information. Here is some information that you might find helpful, courtesy of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China:

"China-U.S. relations have come to a crossroads. Taking place against this background, the virtual meeting between President Xi and President Biden will have great significance not only for bilateral relations but also for international relations. The Chinese and American people and indeed the international community all want to see positive outcomes from this meeting to serve the two countries and the whole world.

As agreed by the two sides, President Xi will have a candid, in-depth and full exchange of views with President Biden on strategic issues shaping the future of China-U.S. relations and on important issues of mutual interest and mutual concern. China hopes that the U.S. side will work with China to explore how our two major countries get along in the new era based on mutual respect and peaceful coexistence, increase dialogue and cooperation, effectively manage differences and properly handle sensitive issues, in a bid to steer the bilateral ties back on the right track of sound and steady development."

As of now, no attendee information has been provided from either side.

To understand the most pressing issues concerning the two sides, you may want to refer to the last high level engagement between the two countries - the phone call between U.S. State Secretary Anthony Blinken and China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (Wang is his surname, and Yi is his given name) which took place this past Saturday (Nov. 12th). Here are the readouts from the two sides:

The Biden administration has emphasized the word "competition" (ranging from "extreme competition" to "manageable competition" to now "intense competition"). After high-ranking Chinese politician and diplomat Yang Jiechi met with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Zurich, Mr. Yang specifically said, "China objects to the U.S. using the term 'competition' to define the bilateral relations."

On multiple occasions, President Biden has talked about his personal rapport with President Xi. Your foreign pooler actually pooled one of their very first encounters in the U.S. in 2012, when then-Vice President Xi visited the U.S. and then-Vice President Biden (along with then-State Secretary Hillary Clinton) hosted him to a luncheon at the State Department on Valentine's Day. The two men met at least 8 times until Mr. Xi became President in 2013. Mr. Biden traveled to China in 2011 and 2013, and they met each other both times.

On Feb. 7, the newly inaugurated President Biden said, "I had 24-25 hours of private meetings with him when I was Vice President, traveled 17,000 miles with him. I know him pretty well."

As you may notice that the White House keeps emphasizing that President Biden is coming into this meeting from a position of strength because of signing the infrastructure bill, President Xi is actually coming from a very strong position after China's Sixth Plenary Session concluded last Thursday (11th), which established President Xi's core position in the Communist Party.

Your foreign pooler will send a follow up foreign pool report after the pool spray. Thank you!

November 15, 2021

Foreign Pool Report on US-China Meeting: Old Friend. Thank you.

President Xi said in the very beginning of his remark, "Although we can't see each other face to face, this is not bad, either. I feel very happy to see my old friend." (lao peng you, which has a very special meaning in China's diplomacy)

Biden nodded and said, "Thank you".


The pool was ushered into the Roosevelt Room at 7:45 PM. And the event started promptly at 7:46 PM.

Other than President Biden and 6 U.S. officials as well as 1 interpreter (Ms. Lam, who interpreted in the Alaska meeting as well) plus two dozens of journalists and cameramen, your foreign pooler saw 2 TV screens set up in this less than 1000 square foot room.

President Biden wore a red tie, which is China's favorite color, and President Xi wore a blue tie, which is Democrats' favorite.

President Biden talked first for roughly 8 minutes with interpretation, then President Xi talked for roughly 4 minutes with interpretation. He sat in front of a traditional Chinese background with a Chinese tea cup at his right hand side and a coffee cup at his left hand side. There was no other Chinese official seen on the TV screen. But according to the White House, the attendees were:

U.S. Manifest
The President
T.H. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State
T.H. Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury
T.H. Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor
Dr. Kurt Campbell, Deputy Assistant to the President & Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, NSC
Ms. Laura Rosenberger, Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for China, NSC
Mr. Jon Czin, Director for China, NSC

China Manifest
H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China
H.E. Ding Xuexiang, Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee
H.E. Liu He, Vice Premier of the State Council
H.E. Yang Jiechi, Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the CPC Central Committee
H.E. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister
H.E. Xie Feng, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs

President Xi's remark was basically calling for increasing communication and cooperation. He said China and the U.S. face multiple challenges.

The rough remarks of President Xi are as following: (Please check against the transcript)
"Good to see you Mr. President and your colleagues in the first time for us to meet virtually. Although we can't see each other face to face, this is not bad, either. I feel very happy to see my old friend.

Right now both China and the United States are at critical stages of development. And when we face multiple challenges together as the world's two largest economies and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China and the United States, we need to increase communication and cooperation. We should each focus on domestic affairs while at the same time should share a large share of international responsibilities and work together to advance the cause of world peace and development. This is a shared desire of the people of our two countries and around the world and the transmission of Chinese and American leaders.
A sound China-US relationship is required for balancing our two countries' respective departments and for safeguarding a peaceful and stable international environment, including finding effective responses to global challenges, such as climate change, which are referenced, and the COVID pandemic. China and the United States should respect each other, coexist in peace. I stand ready to work with you to find consensus, take active steps on China-US relations forward in a positive direction, advance the interests of our two peoples and meet the expectations of the international community."

Your foreign pooler noticed that, while President Xi was talking, Secretary Blinken and Dr. Campbell took notes diligently, and National Security Advisor Sullivan only put down certain keywords, while Secretary Yellen was listening carefully.

That's all for tonight. Fei Chang Gan Xie (Thank you very much)!

November 15, 2021

Foreign Pool Report on US-China Meeting: Meeting are Two Parts

Your foreign pooler thinks that it's worth noting. According to multiple Chinese media:

The first half of the virtual meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden has concluded. The two sides will take a break.

After seeing the news, you foreign pooler went out to check and didn't see the Marine sentry standing outside of the West Wing. Yet, your foreign pooler did see one Marine sentry stood outside around 9:15 PM.

Joseph R. Biden, Pool Reports of November 15, 2021 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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