US President Joe Biden reiterated his view that Chinese President Xi Jinping is a dictator, a description that could potentially strain relations, despite reported progress made during their meeting outside San Francisco.
“Well, look, he’s a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that’s based on a form of government totally different than ours,” Biden told CNN.
“Anyway, we made progress,” he said.
Biden acknowledged the ideological differences, describing Xi as a leader of a communist country.
Biden drew attention to Xi’s reaction when a Chinese spy balloon was shot down over the US, emphasizing the embarrassment faced by dictators when uninformed about such incidents.
This historical comparison, made during an off-camera campaign reception in California, sparked a swift and angry response from Beijing in June. The Chinese foreign ministry criticised Biden’s remarks, stating they contradicted facts, violated diplomatic etiquette, and infringed on China’s political dignity.
Potential impact on positive developments
The recent comment, categorising Xi as a dictator, has the potential to undermine the constructive discussions highlighted by Biden in their meeting.
Despite cultivating a warm personal relationship with Xi from their time as vice presidents, the current geopolitical landscape has strained US-China relations.
Xi’s call for mutual understanding and communication
Xi, on the other hand, has urged the United States to refrain from suppressing or containing China, emphasizing the importance of mutual understanding, peaceful coexistence, and open communication.