BEIJING, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Coverage of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's remarks before bilateral meetings with Chinese Vice President Xi Jingping was cut short by Chinese officials.
On Biden's first full day in China, Xi spoke first, calling Biden's visit a "major event" in U.S.-China relationships and expressing his desire to work with Washington "to promote development of relations between our great nations," the Los Angeles Times reported.
Biden spoke of "openness and candor," and stated his belief that foreign policy "is more than just formal visit" and about "establishing relationships and trust."
As the two largest economies navigating uneasy economic times, Biden said the United States and China "hold the key together to not only our own prosperity, but to generating growth and jobs worldwide."
"That's the overwhelming reason I've come: to talk about jobs and growth, and as was phrased this morning, the reordering of our economies -- yours and ours," Biden concluded.
Minutes into Biden's remarks, Chinese officials began directing reporters toward the exits, the Times said. Most reporters and the vice president's staff objected, saying it was important to cover all of Biden's opening statement, as officials had agreed to beforehand.
A Chinese press aide said Biden spoke too long for their liking. However, the Times said Biden spoke for only a few minutes longer than Xi.
Hours later, Biden met with the chair of the National People's Congress, Wu Bangguo, and Chinese officials also tried to force reporters from the room as Biden was speaking, the Times said.