Interview with VP Joe Biden, ‘NBC Nightly News’

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden defended his visit to China during an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, but told him he would be “just as likely” to attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, as he was in Beijing this week.

Though it would seem that the differences over issues like global warming and human rights could delay the decision to go ahead with the Games, Mr. Biden said that there was a “vigorous debate” about the venue.

Read the full interview here.

On China’s detention of “bare minimum” amounts of political dissidents:

“When the Trump administration takes issue with Chinese arrests of people protesting against persecution by the regime and other countries, they do not protest.”

The Vice President went on to say that he shared Sen. Marco Rubio’s view that the Olympic Games should be relocated to another country. He added, “I suspect …that one of the first things Xi Jinping will do when he walks into the White House for our first meeting is to raise it with me.”

Read more here.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping of China shake hands during a welcoming ceremony following Mr. Biden’s arrival in Beijing on Thursday. (Liu Jin/Xinhua News Agency/AP)

On why it is a “mistake” to align the world’s economic, financial and political systems with the United States:

“We made an assumption for the past 50 years that the big developed economies were going to control the financial systems, the economic systems, the financial systems, the trade systems, the alliances and the military systems, that the smaller countries would be satisfied at a certain level of influence with an open economy and exchange of goods and services. What we’ve discovered is that the other countries are much more sophisticated, much more sophisticated in the use of financial technologies than we were. That has opened up an opportunity for the smaller countries to enter.”

The Vice President stated that the United States, which has seen its own share of financial and other hiccups, should be open to this new trend. “It’s too important to ignore the opportunities that this creates for other countries to become more economically independent and be able to be much more effective with our financial systems. But the ability to use these new technologies to engage in new kind of financial services and reduce the importance of the international financial system is going to require greater cooperation among countries and financial institutions and the policies of countries.”

He added that the United States and China had a “fair amount of disagreements” on issues such as cyber security and intellectual property, but said that these should not derail cooperation on international issues such as climate change and safety of nuclear materials.

Read more here.

Read the transcript of Vice President Biden’s interview here.

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