Biden to focus on COVID-19, China at G7's Friday meeting - White House

February 18, 2021 1:11 PM EST

U.S. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden will discuss the worldwide response to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to rebuild the global economy in his meeting with G7 leaders on Friday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Biden will also discuss the need to invest in collective competitiveness to tackle challenges posed by China, as well as climate change, Psaki told reporters at a new briefing on Thursday.

Friday's virtual meeting is the Democratic U.S. president's first event with other world leaders in the group that includes Britain, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Canada.

"Biden will focus on the global response to the pandemic, including vaccine production, distribution of supplies" and continued efforts to fight emerging infections, she said.

He "will also discuss the global economic recovery, including the importance of all industrial countries maintaining economic support for the recovery" and "the importance of updating global roles to tackle economic challenges such as those posed by China," Psaki added.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Doina Chiacu; writing by Susan Heavey; editing by Chris Reese and Dan Grebler)

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