Great Britain

Joe Biden latest: President & G7 leaders slam China & demand ‘transparent’ probe into origins of coronavirus

PRESIDENT Joe Biden and the leaders of the G7 summit have denounced China and demanded a "transparent" investigation into the origins of coronavirus.

On the final day of the G7 summit, the leaders collectively urged for a probe into COVID.

"We will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law," the leaders said, according to a communique.

They added: "We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions." 

The push for a probe comes after the director of the World Health Organization, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told the press Saturday night that while talk of vaccine sharing among leaders at the G7 summit is encouraging, "we need more, and we need them faster."

He said: "The challenge, I said to the G-7 leaders, was that to truly end the pandemic, our goal must be to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the world’s population by the time the G-7 meets again in Germany next year."

Read our Biden live blog below for the very latest news and updates... 

  • BIDEN TO CONFRONT CHINA'S "ECONOMIC ABUSES"

    A draft copy of the G7 summit communique seen by Reuters, revealed the G7 leaders are urging China to respect human rights.

    Additionally, they are pushing for a probe into the origin of COVID and President Joe Biden promised to confront China's "economic abuses," Reuters reported.

    "We will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration," the leaders said in the communique.

  • BIDEN SAYS US AND GERMAN TIES ARE “STRONGER THAN EVER”

    President Joe Biden took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to reveal his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel was “great.”

    “The ties between our two nations are stronger than ever — and I’m excited to welcome her to the White House next month to continue our work,” Biden’s tweet read.

  • SAND ART CALLS ON WORLD LEADERS

    A giant piece of sand art — commissioned by sustainable footwear brand Allbirds — calls on world leaders to cut carbon emissions at the G7 Summit this week in Cornwall.

    Two giant footprints, which were drawn into the sand opposite Carbis Bay, urges leaders to "walk the walk" on their promises.

    The 100% carbon neutral art installation could be viewed by locals and the G7 leaders.

  • DID BIDEN MAKE ANY GAFFES AT THE G7 SUMMIT?

    Biden and Dr Jill arrived in the UK on Wednesday, with the president making a speech at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk moments later.

    The Democrat joked with army personnel that he kept “forgetting” he was president.

    After running on stage, Biden began his speech by proclaiming “When I was 14…” before he became distracted by the standing crowd.

    Biden then mistakenly referred to the RAF as the RFA in another gaffe.

    He said: “These partnerships have hardened and have been hardened in the fire of war and generations of Americans and service members who fought them. Like those RFA pilots.”

  • QUEEN MAKES LEADERS LAUGH AT G7 SUMMIT

    As the Queen posed for a socially distanced group photo with the world leaders, the 95-year-old monarch asked the question possibly on all their minds.

    She said: “Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself?”

    The presidents and prime ministers alongside her could not help bursting into laughter, as Boris Johnson replied emphatically: “Yes!”

  • KATE MIDDLETON AND JILL BIDEN MEET FOR FIRST TIME

    Kate, 39, and Dr Biden, 70, met for the first time today as the pair visited a school to discuss child development at the G7 summit.

    The women were pictured at Connor Downs Academy in Hayle, Cornwall to highlight the issue of early years development in children - and what a picture they were in matching pink ensembles.

    The royal mum-of-three stunned in a £1,125 fuschia dress by Alexander McQueen accessorising with a £225 L.K Bennett handbag.

    Meanwhile the First Lady was elegant in an ivory fitted sundress which she paired with a hot pink blazer by California based brand L’Agence.

  • MACRON SAYS BIDEN IS 'PART OF THE CLUB'

    The gleeful politicians were meeting for the first time at the Summit which is taking place this weekend at the picturesque Carbis Bay in the South West of England.

    They were pictured laughing and smiling together as they enjoyed some light-hearted conversation.

    'What you demonstrate is that leadership is partnership”, Macron began as Biden sat beside him, smiling and nodding.

  • WHERE IS BIDEN STAYING?

    While the G7 summit is being held at the Carbis Bay Hotel the world leaders attending, including Biden and Johnson, will stay at the Tregenna Castle Resort.

    The castle was built in 1774 and became a hotel in 1871 and is now a Grade-II listed building.

    It sits in 72-acres and contains an 18-hole golf course.

    It was eventually bought by the Bolitho family.

  • THATCHER POLITICAN CALLS BIDEN 'ARROGANT'

    Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for the Freedom and Heritage in DC, wrote in the Telegraph that the formal warning was Biden's "back of the queue" moment.

    It was a reference to Barack Obama's jibe in 2016 when he warned Brits that the UK would be at "the back of the queue" for a future trade deal if the country voted to leave the EU.

    Mr. Gardiner said: "The arrogance of the Biden administration ahead of the G7 meeting in Cornwall has been nothing short of breathtaking. This is no way to treat America's closest friend and ally."

  • WHY IS THE SUMMIT IN CORNWALL?

    The summit is being held in the UK because it currently holds the presidency of the group.

    The G7 summit is being held in the Cornwall village of Carbis Bay with the summit hosted at the Carbis Bay Hotel.

    The Government says that Cornwall will “reap the benefits of hosting the G7” and will “provide the best of Cornish hospitality for leaders, delegates and the world’s media”.

    The region is also described as a “powerhouse for green innovation”.

  • BORIS JOHNSON ADDRESSES NORTHERN IRELAND WITH BIDEN

    Boris spoke of the renewal of the Atlantic Charter of 1941 between Churchill and Roosevelt, saying it was a "massive, massive strategic importance" for both firms.

    Boris said the pair discussed several issues they wanted to work together on, from security to climate change, and their chats covered a "huge range of subjects".

    He was asked if the US leader had "made his alarm clear" about the Northern Ireland protocal - but he replied: "No, he didn't".

    However, he said that the US, UK and EU all wanted to uphold the Good Friday agreement and "keep the balance of peace process going", adding: "I'm optimistic that we can do that."

  • DANGER OF TRADE WAR ON SEA BORDER

    This morning EU chief Ursula von der Leyen tried to cool the threat of a trade war by promising to show more "flexibility" on the sea border.

    The Commission boss said she's "deeply convinced" a fix can be found but it will require the UK to start properly implementing checks.

    But a deal could be endangered by the increasing involvement of hardline Member States "expressing more and more worries" about a lack of controls.

  • TORY MP CALLS BIDEN 'SENILE'

    The President was branded "senile" by the Brexiteer parliamentarian in an extraordinary personal attack on the eve of the G7 summit.

    And furious DUP leader Edwin Poots accused him of trying to "drive a coach and horses" through the peace process by siding with Brussels.

    The pair reacted furiously after it emerged the White House issued an unprecedented dressing down to No 10 over the Northern Ireland crisis.

  • WHAT DID BIDEN AND JOHNSON DISCUSS?

    Mr Biden said Mr Johnson had led a “strong campaign to get people vaccinated across the UK”.

    Meanwhile, despite fears of a row over Brexit, Mr Johnson last night insisted there was “absolutely common ground” over Northern Ireland.

    The US President’s concerns over the way the UK Government is treating the terms of the deal with the EU threatened to overshadow the first meeting between the leaders.

    But following the talks, Mr Johnson said he was “optimistic” the peace process would be kept going.

  • Biden said of his chat with Boris: “We affirmed the special relationship — that is not said lightly — the special relationship between our ­people and renewed our commitment to defending the enduring democratic values that both our nations share.”

    Boris said “the talks were great” and “went on for a long time” as Britain stole the march on the rest of the world to be the first to meet Mr Biden in person since he took office in January.

  • BIDEN AND JOHNSON TRADE GAGS AT G7

    Although tensions over Northern Ireland have risen in the run-up to the meeting, the pair were all smiles and kicked off with light banter.

    Speaking to reporters at the Carbis Bay hotel, President Biden joked: "I told the PM we have something in common, we both married way above our station."

    Mr Johnson - who wed his fiancee Carrie in secret two weeks ago - replied: "I'm not going to disagree with the president there... Or indeed on anything else."

    The couples greeted with Covid-friendly elbow bump this afternoon, with President Biden telling the PM to "wait a minute" so he could approach Carrie first.

  • WHERE WILL BIDEN AND PUTIN MEET?

    Biden and Putin will meet at Villa La Grange along Lake Geneva on June 16, their first face-to-face since Biden took office for what promises to feature heated talks on issues including cyber hacks and nuclear arms.

    The Swiss government declared on Friday a temporary restriction on Geneva air space from June 15 to 17.

    Local authorities, who have put barricades and barbed wire around the park, said they would shut down the lakefront city center.

  • G7 LEADERS TO SIGN NEW DECLARATION

    The leaders, whose three-day summit is scheduled to end on Sunday, are expected to commit to a new plan, called the Carbis Bay Declaration, to quash future pandemics within the first 100 days.

    The G7 nations are the UK, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan.

    The British government said the guest nations were invited to take part in the summit as part of Mr Johnson's Global Britain agenda.

    The expanded group can help the G7 intensify cooperation between the world's democratic and technologically advanced nations, it added.

  • BORIS JOHNSON BROUGHT YOUNG SON TO G7

    Boris Johnson's son showed off his head of bright blonde curls as the PM’s wife Carrie introduced him to the group and their partners at the event in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.

    The 33-year-old beamed as the toddler walked towards her, much to the delight of America's First Lady Jill Biden.

    She was pictured cooing over Wilfred, who was dressed for the occasion in blue shorts and a white shirt.

    The PM's tousle-haired son - who shares his father's thick locks - appeared to be the main attraction at the festivities.

  • Mr Biden said: "First I would like to express our condolences on behalf of Jill and I to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the entire royal family and the people of the United Kingdom.

    "Today would have been Prince Philip's 100th birthday. I know there are a lot of people feeling his absence today."

  • G7 LEADERS ARE JOINED BY EXPERTS

    The G7 leaders will be joined virtually by experts, including Sir Patrick Vallance, Melinda French Gates and Sir David Attenborough.

    Leaders of Australia, South Africa, South Korea and India will join — in person or remotely — for discussions on health and climate change.

    It will be the first G7 where all members will have committed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 ahead of November’s UK-hosted COP26 Summit.

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