A few days ago, U.S. President Joe Biden described Chinese President Xi Jinping as a dictator and Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he agreed with the assessment.
Blinken, who recently met with Xi and other Chinese leaders in Beijing to discuss the country’s contentious relations with the United States, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” show, “The president always speaks candidly; he speaks directly. He speaks clearly, and he speaks for all of us.”
Biden called Xi a dictator at a political fundraiser last week and China was quick to respond, saying the comment was “a blatant political provocation.”
“China expresses strong dissatisfaction and opposition,” Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, said at a regular news briefing last week. “The U.S. remarks are extremely absurd and irresponsible.”
Biden’s remark came just days after Blinken returned from Beijing, where he and
Chinese officials discussed trade relations, the Chinese spy balloon that was flown over the U.S. in February before Biden ordered it shot down, maritime passage through the Taiwan Strait and other issues.
“The main purpose [of the trip] was to bring some greater stability to the relationship,” Blinken said. “We have an obligation, and I think China has an obligation to manage that relationship responsibly, to make sure that the profound differences we have don’t veer into conflict.”
“But one of the things that I said to [my] Chinese counterparts during this trip was that we are going to continue to do things, and say things that you don’t like, just as you’re no doubt going to continue to do and say things that we don’t like,” Blinken told CBS.