US-China tensions: Xi Jinping is a ‘dictator’ Biden said day after Beijing talks

US President Joe Biden called Chinese President Xi Jinping a dictator at a fundraising event in California. Antony Blinken US Secretary of State met with Mr. Xi for talks in Beijing, aimed at easing tensions between the two superpowers.

Mr Biden also said Mr Xi felt embarrassed after a hot air balloon believed to be a Chinese spy was shot down by the US.

China said it was “strongly opposed” to Mr. Biden’s comments.

“The reason why Xi Jinping was so upset when I shot down this hot air balloon with two trucks of spy equipment was that he didn’t know he was there,” Biden said at Tuesday’s event. “It’s a great shame for the dictators. When they don’t know what happened,” he added.

The balloon, which China said was monitoring weather conditions, drifted over the continental United States before being destroyed by a US military plane in February.

Washington later said it was part of China’s extensive intelligence-gathering program. Mr. Blinken, who was traveling to Beijing at the time, postponed his trip following the incident.

Mr Biden’s remarks is “extremely absurd and irresponsible” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning, Speaking at a regular news conference on Wednesday, she said the comments were “an overt political provocation” in violation of diplomatic protocol.

Blinken’s visit over the weekend, the first by a US secretary of state in nearly five years, resumed high-level contacts between the two countries.

Mr. Xi said progress had been made in Beijing, while Blinken said both sides were open to further negotiations. However, there are significant differences between the two countries. Relations have fractured in the wake of the Trump-era trade war, Beijing’s assertive claims towards Taiwan, and the alleged downing of the spy ball.

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