After what appeared a productive assembly between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese language President Xi Jinping in San Francisco on Wednesday, an offhand comment by Biden may set again the connection that the 2 leaders have been working to fix.
“After right now, would you continue to check with President Xi as a dictator?” a CNN reporter requested Biden on the finish of a post-summit briefing, referring to the President’s earlier labeling of the Chinese language chief that has incensed Beijing earlier than.
“Nicely, look, he’s. I imply he’s a dictator within the sense that right here’s a man who runs a rustic that could be a communist nation primarily based on a type of authorities completely completely different than ours,” Biden responded.
“After right now, would you continue to check with President Xi as a dictator?” asks a reporter.
“Look, he’s. He is a dictator within the sense that he is a man who runs a rustic that could be a communist nation that is primarily based on a type of authorities completely completely different than ours,” says Pres. Biden. pic.twitter.com/JjZeGBNcU2
— Final Name (@LastCallCNBC) November 16, 2023
Biden’s feedback got here simply after he had praised the progress made throughout his talks with Xi, describing them as “among the most constructive and productive discussions we’ve had.”
The 2 leaders, who met face-to-face for the primary time in a 12 months in a bid to restore the deteriorating relationship between their international locations, agreed to revive navy communications, cooperate on addressing synthetic intelligence dangers, and curb the circulation of fentanyl from China to the U.S., although they didn’t attain any decision on different points, together with the way forward for Taiwan, ongoing tariffs and sanctions, and the discharge of U.S. residents detained in China.
Learn Extra: Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden Search to Flip Again the Clock at San Francisco Summit
However Biden’s “dictator” remark may overshadow efforts made to chill tensions. Beijing has not but formally responded to the comment, and Xi made no point out of it when addressing U.S. enterprise leaders at a dinner occasion later Wednesday evening.
In an announcement launched after the assembly, China’s overseas ministry emphasised that “so long as the 2 international locations respect one another, coexist in peace and pursue win-win cooperation, they are going to be absolutely able to rising above variations and discover the fitting means for the 2 main international locations to get together with one another.” The assertion additionally mentioned: “It’s important that they recognize one another’s ideas and crimson strains, and chorus from flip-flopping, being provocative, and crossing the strains.”
It’s not the primary time Biden has referred to his Chinese language counterpart as a dictator. In January final 12 months, he mentioned China and Russia have been betting that the U.S. would “change into extra like them,” as in, he clarified, “a spot for the autocrat, the dictator, the strongman.” Then, in April 2022, he listed China amongst international locations which are “primarily dictatorships” throughout a speech at a Democratic fundraiser.
In November final 12 months, Xi advised Biden when the 2 met in Bali on the sidelines of the G20 summit that the “so-called ‘democracy versus authoritarianism’ narrative isn’t the defining function of right now’s world,” and that “China has Chinese language-style democracy,” Chinese language state media reported on the time.
However, in June this 12 months, Biden as soon as once more referred to as Xi a dictator, explaining at a fundraiser in California that the explanation why Xi was upset after the U.S. shot down a suspected Chinese language spy balloon in U.S. airspace in February was as a result of the Chinese language President was caught off guard by the complete incident.
“That’s what’s a fantastic embarrassment for dictators, after they didn’t know what occurred,” Biden mentioned.
In response, the Chinese language overseas ministry referred to as Biden’s remarks “extraordinarily absurd and irresponsible” and “blatant political provocation,” saying that they “go completely in opposition to information and significantly violate diplomatic protocol, and severely infringe on China’s political dignity.”
“With the newest irresponsible remarks about China’s political system and its high chief, individuals can’t assist however query the sincerity of the U.S. aspect,” China’s embassy in Washington mentioned in an announcement on the time.
However Biden doubled down on his description of Xi and insisted it will not have a detrimental influence on U.S.-China relations. “I anticipate to be assembly with President Xi someday sooner or later, near-term. And I don’t suppose it’s had any actual consequence,” he mentioned.
After Wednesday’s post-summit briefing, the White Home has not provided any remark or clarification on Biden’s newest “dictator” remarks.