Biden Dictator Comparison Offends Xi Jinping, Straining US-China Relations

news 21-Jun-2023 World News

Joe Biden Offends Xi Jinping with Dictator Comparison

Just on Monday, the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China was intended to smooth tensions between the two countries. Now, a statement made by President Biden might have undone all those efforts.

During a fundraising event for the Democratic Party in California, US President Joe Biden equated his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, with dictators. On Tuesday, Biden remarked that Xi was upset in February when a Chinese balloon, believed by Washington to be for espionage purposes, flew over the United States before being shot down by US military jets.

"The reason Xi Jinping got very upset when I shot down that balloon full of spying equipment is that he didn't know it was there," Biden said. "It's very embarrassing for dictators when they don't know what's going on," he added. When the balloon was shot down, Xi found himself "in a very uncomfortable position, and he denied that he was there."

Biden, who is running for the presidency again at the age of 80, assured his audience not to worry about China. "China is facing real economic difficulties," he said.

Read also: Biden Causes Confusion with Inappropriate Remark About the "Queen" During Speech

The statements by the US president are likely to provoke strong objections from Beijing. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had just sought to improve the strained bilateral relations during his two-day visit to China.

On Monday, Biden commented on Blinken's visit, saying, "We're on the right track." He praised Blinken for doing an excellent job during his talks in Beijing. Following his meeting with Blinken, Xi stated that progress had been made and agreements had been reached on certain issues. He emphasized his hope that the US Secretary of State's visit would "make a positive contribution to stabilizing" the relationship.

Both sides agreed during the talks to "continue the commitments" they made in November with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Xi said. At that time, Xi and Biden had declared their intention to reduce tensions between the US and China. Tensions between China and the US over an alleged spy balloon

Blinken's trip to China was originally planned for early February. However, he canceled at the last minute after the prolonged flight of a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the US and its subsequent shooting down by US fighter jets caused a diplomatic clash between Washington and Beijing. But it's not just the alleged spy balloon that is straining relations between the two superpowers. In recent years, relations between Washington and Beijing have deteriorated significantly due to trade and human rights issues, the handling of Taiwan, and a multitude of other topics. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also emphasized the importance of improved communication between China and the US on Monday. Steinmeier received Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang at Bellevue Palace in Berlin. The President's spokesperson tweeted that Steinmeier "highlighted the special importance" of the relationship between the US and China "for global security and cooperation." According to the spokesperson, Steinmeier advocated "strengthening the communication channels between both countries."

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