U.S. President Joe Biden has called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator’’ after their just concluded meeting in South of San Francisco on Wednesday.
Biden made the pronouncement just days after making comments that he would like to improve communication channels with a direct line.
“He’s a dictator in the sense that he’s a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that’s based on a form of government totally different than ours,’’ said Biden.
He said this in a news conference held after their meeting.
Biden previously called Xi a dictator in June after the U.S. shot down a supposed Chinese surveillance balloon a few months earlier.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said the June remark was absurd and irresponsible.
The U.S, President and Xi had not seen each other in person or spoken since the G20 summit in Bali in November 2022.
Shortly before their California meeting, Biden had said he’d like to get back on a normal course, corresponding and being able to pick up the phone and talk to one another in a crisis.
Relations between the U.S. and China have long been very tense, following economic sanctions against Beijing and fears in the West that China’s army could invade Taiwan.