Biden Reaffirms Stance on Xi as a Dictator

Is the Tension Between China and the U.S. Rising?
Joe Biden Campaign

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Is the Tension Between China and the U.S. Increasing?

Following four hours of straightforward summit talks on the outskirts of San Francisco, U.S. President Joe Biden reiterated his view that Chinese President Xi Jinping is effectively a dictator during a solo news conference on Wednesday.

Addressing reporters, President Biden stated, “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,” reaffirming a similar comment made in June.

The comments are expected to elicit a strong response from Beijing, particularly in light of the carefully planned summit that aimed to address strained relations between the two nations. China’s foreign ministry promptly expressed its disapproval, with spokesperson Mao Ning stating, “This statement is extremely wrong and irresponsible political manipulation.”

In response to a follow-up question, Mao declined to specify the identity of “some people” with ulterior motives who might attempt to damage U.S.-China relations. The tension between the two nations is further underscored by the fact that President Xi, widely regarded as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, secured a third term last March through a unanimous vote in China’s National People’s Congress.

Despite the ongoing diplomatic discord, both delegations engaged in extensive talks during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. The summit also witnessed a notable public demonstration, with hundreds of critics of Beijing marching through the city’s downtown, chanting slogans such as “free Tibet” and “free Hong Kong.”

The latest exchange of words between President Biden and the Chinese government echoes a similar incident in June, where China dismissed the remarks as absurd and provocative. However, the tensions did not derail the subsequent talks, culminating in the recent summit.

The Biden administration remains committed to addressing the complex issues in U.S.-China relations, even as public rhetoric highlights the significant ideological and political differences between the two nations.