US President Joe Biden risks himself a backlash for calling Chinese leader Xi Jinping a dictator just after their sideline meeting of APEC summit in San Francisco ended.
Biden said that “We’re back to direct, open, clear direct communication on a direct basis,” agreeing for both leaders to have high-level military communications.
However, the statement could be “too” direct as he told reporters that he had not changed his view on Xi and called him a dictator.
“He’s a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country,” Biden said.
The meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping was to discuss issues that have strained US and Chinese relations after several incidents that raised tension between two of the world’s economic giants. This marked the first face-to-face meeting in a year for the two leaders.
A suspected Chinese surveillance balloon transited the United States and was shot down by a U.S. fighter jet in February. Later, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid a visit to Taiwan, which angered China to the point that it imposed sanctions on the House Speaker and her immediate family. Beijing claimed that her action was an egregious provocation.