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Davos Review: Final 48 Hours Of Vice President Joe Biden

Joe Biden
Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

In the historically neutral country of Switzerland, Vice President Joe Biden spent one of his last days as VP focusing on global economic issues at the World Economic Forum.

This morning in the main hall of the Congress Centre, Vice President Biden attended the public address by People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping at the World Economic Forum this morning.  Relations with China have become increasingly tense over the years, and President-Elect Trump has already angered China with everything from proposed tariffs to combat China’s alleged currency manipulation, to a phone call with the President of Taiwan.  Taiwan, or the Republic of China, has not been officially recognized by the US since the Nixon era in an attempt to improve relations with mainland China.

According to the Vice President’s staff, just prior to attending the Xi Jinping address where President Xi defended globalization, Biden dropped in on a roundtable hosted by FCLT (Focusing Capital on the Long Term) Global on “Short-Termism”.  The Vice President’s staff report that he stayed there for no more than five minutes before departing for the Xi Jinping plenary address.

At approximately, 1:45pm (CET) Vice President Biden held a closed press bilateral meeting with Kurdistan Region of Iraq President Masoud Barzani.  

Meeting with Serbian heads of state

At 3:30 pm, Vice President Biden began his last bilateral meeting as Vice President by meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

The Vice President’s delegation then met with Serbian President Nikolic and his team.

Those in the Vice President’s delegation for the bilateral meeting with Serbia include:

 *   Colin Kahl, National Security Advisor, Office of the Vice President
 *   Anna Makanju, Special Advisor for Europe and Eurasia, Office of the Vice President
 *   Kate Bedingfield, Director of Communications, Office of the Vice President

The press pool asked, “Mr. Vice President — Do you see a way to avoid the collision course Serbia and Kosovo are on?”

Vice President Biden responded, “Yes”. And he smiled.

The press pool followed up and asked “how?” but no response.

Kosovo was long a province of Serbia, but became an independent state in 2008, following a lengthy conflict between ethnic Albanians and the Serb led Yugoslavia, in which the US intervened several times, usually on behalf of Kosovo’s Albanian population.

It took approximately three hours and fifteen minutes for Vice President’s motorcade to reach Davos, Switzerland from the Zurich Airport, arriving at the forum at 4:45PM (CET).

Despite foggy and sometimes snowy weather conditions many helicopters were flying above, passing us on their own way up to the mountain village.

This is the second time, and clearly the last as Vice President, that Biden has attended the World Economic Forum as Vice President. Last Year Biden gave a 58-minute long speech on the problems of growing economic inequality.

Biden spoke to a packed hall of about 180 people at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in the Aspen Room of Congress Hall on the state of the “Cancer Moonshot” that President Obama asked Biden to spearhead.

Biden gave a big shout out to Elizabeth Blackburn, an Australian-American Nobel laureate who is President the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, who also attended the roundtable last year.  Biden said, “she has forgotten more about this subject than I will ever know.”

Biden also gave a shout out to Greg Simon, Executive Director of the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force, will lead the Biden Cancer Initiative, after he and Biden leave office.  Biden said he is leaving office “in about 48 hours” and added “I hope I have a ride home.”

Biden expressed optimism about our ability to combat cancer today, and how far we’ve come.

“When we announced the cancer moonshot, I knew there would be a lot of skeptics out there.  Here we go again.  Haven’t we done this before?  President Nixon when he declared war on cancer in 1971; he was earnest, and sincere, and very committed but what makes a difference between then and now is that he had no army, he had no army, he had no resources, he had no weapons, he had no strategy to win.  But after 45 years with many of you in this room doing incredible work, after decades of funding research, training scientists and physicians, treating millions of patients, we now have an army.”

The Vice President finished his speech at 5:55pm (CET) and then met a number of the researchers and experts in the room as he worked his way back to a holding room.  He then departed the Congress Centre at 6:15pm (CET).

 

Read more: The Three Most Important Takeaways From The First Press Conference Of Donald J. Trump

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