Following their direct summit meetings, US President Joe Biden declared on Wednesday that he had not changed his opinion that Chinese President Xi Jinping was essentially a dictator. Beijing is sure to take offence at this statement.
After four hours of negotiations with Xi on the outskirts of San Francisco, Biden had a solitary press conference. He was questioned about if he still believed that Xi was a dictator after the press conference, what he told in June.
China’s veiled attack
“Look, he is. He’s a dictator in the sense that he’s a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that’s based on a form of government totally different than ours,” Biden said. China’s foreign ministry responded to this statement. It said that it “strongly opposes” the remarks, but did not mention Biden. Mao Ning, foreign ministry spokesperson, said at a briefing, “This statement is extremely wrong and irresponsible political manipulation. It should be pointed out that there will always be some people with ulterior motives who attempt to incite and damage US-China relations, they are doomed to fail.”
China branded Biden’s June remarks as ludicrous and provocative when he made a similar allusion to a dictator. However, the altercation did not stop the two parties from having lengthy discussions meant to mend strained relations, which resulted in the meeting on Wednesday.
After strengthening his position in the military and policy-making over the course of ten years, as well as restricting media freedoms, Xi is regarded as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong.