US President Joe Biden equated his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping with “dictatorial” leaders as he spoke Tuesday at a Democratic Party fundraiser in the presence of the press. The US President’s remarks came two days after A short visit – that lasted for hours – by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to China He met the Chinese president during it.
Biden told participants at the ceremony in Northern California that the US downing of a Chinese balloon in February, believed to be for espionage, angered the Chinese president.
“The reason Xi Jinping was so upset when I dropped the balloon that contained two boxes full of spying equipment was because he didn’t know it was there,” the US president added. He continued, “I’m talking seriously. This is the great embarrassment of dictators, when they don’t know what’s going on.”
Chinese President Xi Xinping and US President Joe Biden – France Press
Biden indicated that the balloon “was not supposed to go where it was (…) and he (Xi) did not know anything about it,” adding, “When it was shot down, he felt very embarrassed and denied being there.”
Biden, 80, who is running for a second term, also played down concerns about the Asian giant, telling donors that “China is facing real economic difficulties.”
These statements are likely to raise strong objections from Beijing, which US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited just days ago in an attempt to reduce tension between the two world powers.
Both the United States and China sought to create a safety net in light of the escalating rivalry between them during Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to Beijing, but the trip achieved only public promises without any breach on military talks and contentious issues.
Both President Xi Jinping, who met with Blinken last Monday at the end of the 11-hour talks in Beijing, and President Joe Biden welcomed the long-awaited trip, seeing it as a sign of progress after months of escalating tensions.
“It was clear that the relationship was in a period of instability, and both sides recognized the need to work on stabilizing it,” Blinken told reporters in Beijing.
US officials have repeatedly talked about expanding contacts to create “buffers” in the relationship to avoid misunderstandings from sliding into conflict.
But Blinken acknowledged that the United States had not fulfilled one of its most important desires to avoid miscalculations, which is to resume dialogue between the two militaries.
The two sides also failed to reach an agreement on the issue of Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that Beijing considers part of its territory and says it will re-annex it by force if necessary.
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