After China visit, Blinken upholds Biden calling Xi a 'dictator'
During a televised interview with CBS News’ Face the Nation program, Blinken said that "The President always speaks candidly, he speaks directly. He speaks clearly, and he speaks for all of us”.
After US President Joe Biden called Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping a “dictator” last Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken upheld that move, despite Beijing having condemned it as "a blatant political provocation."
During a televised interview with CBS News’s Face the Nation program, Blinken said when asked about Biden's statement, "The President always speaks candidly, he speaks directly. He speaks clearly, and he speaks for all of us”.
“The main purpose [of the trip] was to bring some greater stability to the relationship. We have an obligation, and I think China has an obligation to manage that relationship responsibly, to make sure that the profound differences we have don’t veer into conflict,” Blinken added.
“But one of the things that I said to [my] Chinese counterparts during this trip was that we are going to continue to do things, and say things that you don’t like, just as you’re no doubt going to continue to do and say things that we don’t like”.
Biden’s comment followed mere days after Blinken paid a high-profile visit to China in an effort to ease tensions.
In response to Biden's earlier remarks, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning expressed during a press briefing last week the “strong dissatisfaction and opposition” towards the matter which they called a “blatant political provocation”, adding that “The US remarks are extremely absurd and irresponsible.”
Xi said he hoped Blinken could use the visit to "make positive contributions to stabilizing US-China relations" adding that "state-to-state interactions should always be based on mutual respect and sincerity."
Biden even said after the trip was concluded that the relationship between the US and China is on the "right trail" after Blinken's visit, during which he did "one hell of a job".
During a speech at a Democratic Party fundraiser in California, Biden claimed that Xi was "upset" because he was not aware that the [Chinese] balloon changed its course and flew over the US before being shot down by the Air Force.
"The reason why Xi Jinping got very upset in terms of when I shot that balloon down with two box cars full of spy equipment is he didn't know it was there," Biden said.
"I'm serious. That was the great embarrassment for dictators, when they didn't know what happened," he added.