US President Joe Biden Chinese President Xi Jinping
US President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping, at Woodside, in California on Wednesday, Nov 16, 2023. Image Credit: ANI

San Francisco: Being a head of state is a busy job and family life sometimes takes a back seat. Luckily there are other heads of state on hand to remind you when you might have forgotten your wife’s birthday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping seems set to avoid a domestic black mark after Joe Biden pointed out that his life partner of more than three decades was about to celebrate her special day - on the same date as the US president celebrates his.

Peng Liyuan - a well-known soprano in China - turns 61 on November 20, the day Biden hits 81.

US officials said Biden, who was meeting Xi for a crunch summit on the outskirts of San Francisco, had asked the Chinese leader to pass on birthday wishes to Peng.

An embarrassed Xi said he had been up to his eyeballs in statesmanship and the date had passed him by, officials said.

Good job he stopped by, then.

Xi thanked Biden for reminding him and - presumably - put on his thinking cap to work out what to get for the woman he married in 1987.

The two men spent Wednesday together at what Biden said was a “productive” summit in which they agreed to restore military-to-military communications and ease tensions.

Biden told reporters after the talks that his relationship with Xi was a deep one.

“I spent more time with President Xi than any world leader,” he said, noting that the two had spent hours in each other’s company starting back when they were vice-presidents of their nations.

“So I think I know the man. I know his modus operandi.”

Well enough, apparently, to remind him that he needs to buy a birthday card.