‘Irresponsible political manipulation’: China fumes as Biden doubles down on ‘dictator’ tag for Xi Jinping

US President Joe Biden referred to his Chinese counterpart XI Jinping as a ‘dictator’ yet again this week, prompting a sharp rebuttal. The assertion came mere hours after the two leaders held lengthy talks in California amid a surge in US-China tensions. Beijing has since registered ‘strong opposition’ to the remark and dubbed it ‘irresponsible political manipulation’. 

“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,” Biden told reporters. 

The POTUS had previously called Xi a dictator in June this year. 

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson slammed the “extremely wrong” comment without naming Biden. 

“This statement is extremely wrong and irresponsible political manipulation. It should be pointed out that there will always be some people with ulterior motives who attempt to incite and drive a wedge between China-US relations. They are doomed to fail,” Mao Ning told a press briefing.

Meanwhile Xi appeared to brush off the comment, telling an audience hours later that growing US-China ties were vital to both countries.

“I believe that once the door to China-US relations is opened, it will not be closed again. China is ready to be a partner and friend of the United States,” he said.

The US and China agreed to resume high-level military-to-military communication and counter-narcotics cooperation during Wednesday’s meeting. They exchanged views on key regional and global challenges, and the the two leaders also affirmed the need to address the risks of advanced artificial intelligence systems and improve AI safety through government talks.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 16 Nov 2023, 05:29 PM IST

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