President Biden recently referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “dictator,” despite highlighting “positive steps” between the two nations during talks in San Francisco. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s immediate reaction to Biden’s comment was caught on camera.
During a press conference in California, a reporter asked Biden if he still considers President Xi a dictator. In response, Biden stated, “Look, he is. He’s a dictator in the sense that he runs a communist country with a completely different form of government than ours.”
Video footage of Blinken’s visible response to Biden’s statement has been circulating on social media, raising concerns about escalating tensions between the United States and China. Earlier this year, Blinken appeared to endorse Biden’s use of the term “dictator” to describe the Chinese leader. When asked about it in June, Blinken expressed that Biden’s statement reflects the viewpoint of the entire administration.
In June, Biden himself stated that he didn’t believe his comment had any significant consequences. However, during his press conference in California, Biden highlighted the importance of communication between countries, describing it as a crucial element in maintaining global stability and serving the American people.
In response to Biden’s characterization, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry criticized the statement as “extremely wrong and irresponsible political manipulation,” without mentioning Biden by name, according to a Reuters report. The meeting between Biden and Xi took place on the sidelines of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in San Francisco, marking their first face-to-face encounter in nearly a year. This meeting occurred against the backdrop of heightened tensions in the Indo-Pacific region.