China calls Biden comments calling leader Xi a dictator 'extremely absurd and irresponsible'

AFP , AP , Wednesday 21 Jun 2023

China has called reported comments by President Joe Biden describing Chinese leader Xi Jinping as a dictator “extremely absurd and irresponsible.”

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(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on June 20, 2023 shows US President Joe Biden as he delivers remarks during a political rally hosted by union members at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 2023, and Chinese President Xi Jinping as he attends a signing ceremony with Kyrgyzstan s President Sadyr Japarov ahead of the China-Central Asia Summit in Xian, in China s northern Shaanxi province on May 18, 2023. AFP


The new clash of words comes just over a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded a visit to Beijing that sought to break the ice in a relationship that has hit a historical low.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning on Wednesday said Biden’s comments at a fundraiser in California “go totally against facts and seriously violate diplomatic protocol, and severely infringe on China’s political dignity.”

“It is a blatant political provocation. China expresses strong dissatisfaction and opposition,” Mao said at a daily briefing.

“The U.S. remarks are extremely absurd and irresponsible,” Mao said.

Blinken's visit, during which he met with Xi, was aimed at easing tensions between the two superpowers but appeared not to have achieved any solid results.

Biden, at the fundraiser on Tuesday night local time, said that Xi was embarrassed over the recent tensions surrounding a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had been shot down by the Air Force over the East Coast.

“That’s a great embarrassment for dictators. When they didn’t know what happened,” Biden said.

Mao reiterated China's contention that the balloon was intended for meteorological research and had been blown off-course accidentally.

“The U.S. should have handled it in a calm and professional manner,” she said. ""However, the U.S. distorted facts and used forces to hype up the incident, fully revealing its nature of bullying and hegemony.”

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