Biden called Xi a dictator after the carefully planned summit

WOODSIDE, Calif., Nov 15 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he has not changed his view that Chinese President Xi Jinping is effectively a dictator. speaks

Biden held a separate news conference after four hours of talks with Xi in suburban San Francisco. At the end of the news conference, he was asked if he still held the view that Xi was a dictator, which he said in June.

„Look, he is. He’s a dictator, he’s running a country that’s a communist country that’s based on a completely different government than ours,” Biden said.

In response, China’s foreign ministry said it „strongly opposes” the comments, without naming Biden.

„This statement is very false and irresponsible political manipulation,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning told reporters at a regular briefing on Thursday.

US President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Filoli Gardens on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Woodside, California on November 15, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque Get license rights

„It should be pointed out that there will always be some people with ulterior motives who try to provoke and damage US-China relations, and they will fail.”

Mao declined to identify the „few” in response to a follow-up question.

Last March, Xi won a third term as president when nearly 3,000 members of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress, unanimously voted for him in an election with no other candidate.

Xi is considered the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, a decade after consolidating power in policymaking and the military and stifling media freedom.

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There was no immediate reaction from the Chinese delegation, which was in the US to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. Hundreds of critics of Beijing They marched through the center of the city At noon, they chanted „Free Tibet” and „Free Hong Kong”.

When Biden made a similar authoritarian reference in June, China called the comments absurd and provocative. But that didn’t stop the two sides from holding detailed talks aimed at improving strained ties, culminating in Wednesday’s meeting.

Written by Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Larry Chen in Beijing; Editing by Heather Timmons, Stephen Coates and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Jeff Mason is a White House correspondent for Reuters. He has covered the presidencies of Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden, as well as the presidential campaigns of Biden, Trump, Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. He served as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association in 2016-2017, leading journalists in advocating for press freedom in the early days of the Trump administration. His and the WHCA’s work has been recognized by Deutsche Welle’s „Freedom of Speech Award”. Jeff has asked pointed questions of domestic and foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. He is the winner of the WHCA’s „Best in Presidential News Coverage under Deadline Pressure” award and co-winner of the Association for Business Journalists’ „Breaking News” award. Jeff began his career in Frankfurt, Germany before being posted. Brussels, Belgium, where he covers the European Union. Jeff appears regularly on television and radio and teaches political journalism at Georgetown University. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Middle School of Journalism and a former Fulbright Scholar.

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