“Well, look, he is!” the president told reporters after he met with Xi in Woodside, California.
“I mean, he’s a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country based on a form of government totally different than ours.”
The honest assessment may have undermined the diplomatic vibe of their face-to-face chat and certainly angered Chinese officials.
“Such a remark is extremely wrong and is irresponsible political manipulation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said, according to The Associated Press. “It needs to be pointed out that there have always been people with ill intentions who try to sow discord and undermine the China-U.S. relations.”
The wire service had written that the four hours of talks between the two men is “seen as putting rocky relations back on course.” And Biden said, “We made progress.” However, the AP emphasized that none of the nations’ geopolitical conflicts were resolved.
Biden pretty much called Xi a dictator back in June also.
He said Xi’s reaction to growing tension after the Air Force shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the East Coast was “a great embarrassment for dictators.”
That also prompted an aggressive response from Mao, who said Biden’s words “go totally against facts and seriously violate diplomatic protocol, and severely infringe on China’s political dignity.”
Mao added, “It is a blatant political provocation. China expresses strong dissatisfaction and opposition. The U.S. remarks are extremely absurd and irresponsible.”