President Biden has faced criticism for making a repeated and false claim during a speech in Arizona, where he asserted that he had spent more time with Chinese President Xi Jinping than any other world leader, totaling 68 hours of one-on-one time with Xi and an interpreter. This claim has been widely debunked and questioned by fact-checkers and experts.
In reality, during the Obama administration, when Biden was tasked with improving his relationship with Xi Jinping, there is no record of the two leaders traveling extensively together. They visited a high school outside Beijing in 2011, but there is no evidence of additional joint travel during their meetings. As president, Biden met with Xi Jinping once at the Group of 20 leaders summit in Indonesia, but again, there is no indication of shared travel before this meeting.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) September 29, 2023
The White House acknowledged that the president's claims were inaccurate and explained that the total travel distance included both the leaders' individual travels within their respective countries and joint international trips. According to The Washington Post's calculations, the actual travel distance for meetings between the two leaders amounted to only 3,300 miles, or 5,600 miles if return trips were included.
Despite these discrepancies, President Biden has continued to assert this false narrative, even repeating it as recently as April. This raises concerns about the president's credibility and why he persists in promoting a claim that has been debunked. Some speculate that he may view it as a way to enhance his image or present himself as more experienced on the global stage. Regardless of the motive, it underscores the importance of truth and accuracy in public discourse.