Biden to speak with Pacific Rim leaders in virtual summit with Putin, Xi Junping

Leaders of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will address ending the pandemic and supporting a global economic recovery.
President Joe Biden shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden June 16, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland.
(Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

President Biden is scheduled to speak Friday at a virtual meeting of Pacific Rim leaders to discuss worldwide recovery from the pandemic.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to address the global economy related to the COVID-19 virus emergency.

Leaders from all 21 APEC member economies are expected to speak including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Junping. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden plans to "emphasize the importance he places on the region as well as his vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific."

"He will provide an update to leaders on what the U.S. is doing to serve as an arsenal of vaccines for the region and to support all those suffering from COVID-19," she also said. "He will also advance an economic agenda that promotes our shared prosperity, leverages the economic potential in the region, and builds inclusive and resilient economies."

The remarks by the Chinese president are expected to be among those most closely analyzed, considering the virus started in China, as country officials with those from the World Health Organization continue – even this week – to revise a report on how the pandemic started.