US-China tensions: Biden calls Xi a dictator day after Beijing talkson June 21, 2023 at 1:48 am

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The US leader makes the remark just after talks aimed at easing tensions between the countries.

US President Joe Biden called Chinese President Xi a "dictator" at a fundraiser in CaliforniaImage source, Reuters

US President Joe Biden has called Chinese President Xi Jinping a dictator at a fundraiser in California.

His remarks come a day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Mr Xi for talks in Beijing, which were aimed at easing tensions between the two superpowers.

Mr Xi said some progress had been made in Beijing, while Mr Blinken indicated both sides were open to more talks.

China is yet to respond to Mr Biden’s comments.

President Biden, at the fundraiser on Tuesday night local time, also said Mr Xi was embarrassed over the recent tensions around a Chinese spy balloon that had been blown off course over the US.

“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 in it, was he didn’t know it was there,” Mr Biden said.

“That’s a great embarrassment for dictators. When they didn’t know what happened.”

Mr Blinken’s visit to Beijing – the first by a top US diplomat in almost five years – was meant to restart high-level communications between the two countries.

But Mr Blinken made clear afterwards there remained major differences.

Washington and Beijing have long locked horns over an array of issues including trade, human rights, and Taiwan.

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