US President Joe Biden (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping take a walk after their talks in the Filoli Estate in Woodside, south of San Francisco, California, US, 15 November 2023. EFE-EPA/XINHUA / RAO AIMIN CHINA OUT / UK AND IRELAND OUT / MANDATORY CREDIT EDITORIAL USE ONLY EDITORIAL USE ONLY

China says ‘irresponsible’ of Biden to call Xi ‘dictator’

Beijing, Nov 16 (EFE).- China Thursday lashed out at United States President Joe Biden for calling his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, a “dictator,” shortly after their San Francisco bilateral meeting to mend fraught ties.

“This statement is extremely wrong and irresponsible political manipulation. China firmly opposes it,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters at a routine briefing.

Earlier, Biden said he had not changed his opinion that Xi was a dictator after the two leaders held frank talks in the US city on the marines of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

“He is a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that is based on a form of government totally different than ours,” Biden said.

Expectedly, the Chinese foreign ministry took strong objection, saying it “opposes” the remarks, but did not name Biden.

“It should be pointed out that there will always be some people with ulterior motives who attempt to incite and damage US-China relations, they are doomed to fail,” the spokesperson said.

Biden’s words came in response to a journalist who asked the US president if he still considered Xi a “dictator.”

Earlier, Xi and Biden held a four-hour meeting, their first face-to-face in a year, at the Filoli Esate, an idyllic grand house and garden on over 650 acres of rolling green grounds near the California coast.

The two had lunch and walked together.

At a fundraiser for his re-election campaign for the 2024 presidential race in June, Biden called Xi a “dictator,” causing great a Chinese outrage.

At another fundraising event on Tuesday in San Francisco and on the eve of the long-awaited meeting, the US president stated that China has “real problems” without specifying exactly what he meant.

The two leaders will meet again this week the APEC summit, which will last until Friday in San Francisco and will also be attended by the presidents of Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Vietnam in addition to the prime ministers of Canada, Australia and Japan. EFE