In the aftermath of a pivotal meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, US President Joe Biden didn’t mince words as he referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “dictator.” This characterization came to light during a post-summit discussion between the two leaders, shedding light on the complexities of the US-China relationship.
Affirming the administration’s commitment to expressing views that may not align with China’s preferences, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stood by President Biden’s characterization.
In response to queries about the official stance of the US government, Blinken emphasized that the President’s words resonated with the collective voice of the administration.
Speaking candidly to CBS news, Blinken acknowledged the fundamental differences between the two nations’ systems.
“It’s not exactly a secret that we have two very different systems,” he stated. “The president always speaks candidly, and he speaks for all of us,” Blinken added.
Undeterred by potential tensions, Blinken asserted that the United States would continue to express opinions and take actions that may not align with China’s preferences, anticipating reciprocity from the other side.
“We will continue to say things and continue to do things that China doesn’t like, just as I assume that they will continue to do and say things that we don’t like,” Blinken stated.
During an earlier interview with ABC News, Blinken emphasized the significance of the US-China relationship, deeming it “the most consequential among international relations.”
Despite the strong stance, he highlighted the achievements of the recent meeting between the two leaders, emphasizing the importance of diplomatic progress.
However, a noteworthy video clip captured Blinken’s subtle gestures—fidgeting with his fingers and deep breaths—when questioned about President Biden’s use of the term “dictator” to describe Xi Jinping. This moment adds a nuanced layer to the dynamics surrounding the diplomatic exchange.
China, no stranger to such remarks, has previously voiced objections to similar characterizations by President Biden. As the dialogue between these two global powers unfolds, the intricacies of their relationship remain at the forefront of international affairs.