White House staffers traveling with President Joe Biden in Indonesia on Monday defended a media member after Chinese officials took exception to shouted questions about human rights issues.
AFP White House reporter Sebastian Smith described the incident, which followed a joint appearance by Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a press pool report update.
"Right at the end as we were being ushered out, the pool TV producer called out to President Biden, asking whether he would raise human rights during the talks. Instantly, a man from the Chinese side (he was wearing a white Covid mask with a Chinese flag on it) yanked the producer backwards by the backpack. She lost balance without falling and was pushed toward the door. Two White House staff members intervened saying the producer should be left alone," Smith's update read.
Biden and Xi appeared before bilateral meetings this week in Bali, Indonesia.
In video of the presidents' remarks, assembled leaders and dignitaries are seen being distracted by events that are happening off camera.
"Are you going to raise human rights issues?" can be heard near the end of the video.
In an earlier press poll update, Smith said: "Pool was sent out after the two leaders spoke. We were in the room for about 12 minutes and they spoke approximately three minutes each.
"The tone was relaxed, as illustrated by the way both leaders opened by noting how there is no substitute for meeting in person.
"In terms of body language there was a lot of smiling and no hesitation as they initially approached for their handshake."
Xi and Biden greeted each other with a handshake at a luxury resort hotel in Indonesia, where they are attending the Group of 20 summit of large economies, before they sat down for what was expected to be a conversation lasting several hours.
"As the leaders of our two nations, we share responsibility, in my view, to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict, and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation," Biden said to open the meeting.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.