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President Joe Biden speaks during the opening plenary session of the Summit of the Americas, June 9, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci, File)

As a candidate for president, Joe Biden was not shy about calling out dictators and authoritarian leaders as he anchored his foreign policy in the idea that the world is in a battle between democracy and autocracy. But Biden’s governing approach as president has been far less black and white as he tries to balance such high-minded principles with the tug toward pragmatism.

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A worker in protectively overalls and carrying disinfecting equipment walks outside the Wuhan Central Hospital, China on Feb. 6, 2021. (AP Photo / Ng Han Guan, File)

That stance marks a sharp reversal of the U.N. health agency’s initial assessment of the pandemic’s origins. WHO concluded last year that it was “extremely unlikely” COVID-19 might have spilled into humans from a lab.

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President Joe Biden meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, on Nov. 15, 2021. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, File)

Key figures for a war half a world away, President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping spoke for nearly two hours on Friday as the White House looked to deter Beijing from providing military or economic assistance for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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The wilder action was in oil and Asian stock markets, where tightened anti-COVID measures in China are raising worries about demand for energy and about disruptions to manufacturing and global trade. Oil prices tumbled more than 8%, taking some pressure off the world’s high inflation, and a barrel of U.S. crude fell below $95 after starting the week above $109. 

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A visitor to the Shougang Park walks past a sculpture for the Beijing Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (AP Photo / Ng Han Guan)

China dismissed the decision by Canada and the United Kingdom to join Washington’s diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games as a “farce.” 

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President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron visit during a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit, Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Carbis Bay, England. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

Leaders of the world’s largest economies unveiled an infrastructure plan Saturday for the developing world to compete with China’s global initiatives, but they were searching for a consensus on how to forcefully to call out Beijing over human rights abuses.

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In this May 13, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden on Wednesday asked U.S. intelligence officials to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any possibility the trail might lead to a Chinese lab.

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(Credit: Weizhi Ji / Kunming University of Science and Technology)

For the first time, an international team of scientists has been able to successfully grow monkey embryos containing human cells, sparking fears of human-monkey hybrids. We go behind the headlines to understand the science.

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Chinese figure skater Xu Jingyu performs her women’s single skating short program during a test event for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo / Andy Wong)

The State Department said Tuesday the Biden administration is consulting with allies about a joint approach to China and its human rights record, including how to handle the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics. 

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A nurse wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walks by people lining up for a coronavirus test at a hospital in Beijing, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (AP Photo / Andy Wong)

The coronavirus was found on ice cream produced in eastern China, prompting a recall of cartons from the same batch, according to the government.

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A visitor to an Apple store wears a T-shirt promoting TikTok in Beijing on Friday, July 17, 2020. (AP Photo / Ng Han Guan)

President Donald Trump has ordered sweeping but vague ban on dealings with the Chinese owners of popular apps TikTok and WeChat, saying they are a threat to U.S. national security, foreign policy and the economy.

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President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump announced Friday he would withdraw funding from the World Health Organization, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government.

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Jeff Axelrod with is students in Zhangjiagang, China. (Courtesy Jeff Axelrod)

While Illinois residents have been following a stay-at-home order since Saturday, people in China have been dealing with restricted living conditions for months. We speak with a Chicago native who now teaches high school in the Chinese city of Zhangjiagang.

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Installation view of “The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China” at Wrightwood 659, featuring works by Shi Hui and Zhan Wang.

Spectacular artwork from China fills not one, but two Chicago museums. We visit the Smart Museum of Art and Wrightwood 659 for a look at “The Allure of Matter.”

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A woman puts on a mask near a notice board that reads “Bans on wild animals trading following the coronavirus outbreak” at a cafe in Beijing, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo / Andy Wong)

China reported a rise in new virus cases Monday, denting optimism that disease control measures including isolating major cities might be working, while the operator of a cruise ship in Japan reported dozens of new cases.

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A traffic policeman adjusts his mask on a street in Beijing, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. (AP Photo / Andy Wong)

China’s virus death toll rose by 89 on Sunday to 811, passing the number of fatalities in the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, but fewer new cases were reported in a possible sign its spread may be slowing.