Far-left American President Joe Biden reportedly referred to genocidal communist dictator Xi Jinping of China as a “dictator” during a fundraiser on Tuesday, a far cry from Biden’s regular boasting of having traveled alongside Xi more “than any other world leader.”
Biden made the remark as addressing the embarrassing situation involving a Chinese surveillance vessel, later identified as a balloon, that traversed the continental United States in January, reportedly collecting information from critical American military sites before Biden gave the military an order to shoot it down in the Atlantic Ocean.
At the event on Tuesday, Biden claimed the balloon was carrying “two box cars full of spy equipment,” reportedly failing to address why he did not order the vessel shot down sooner if that was the case.
Biden’s comment follows the return of Secretary of State Antony Blinken from Beijing, where he met with Xi and several other senior leaders. Blinken had described the balloon incident as “closed” in an interview on Monday.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry reportedly condemned Biden’s remarks at the fundraiser as “absurd and irresponsible,” though that response did not appear in Wednesday’s transcript of the Foreign Ministry’s regular press conference.
According to NBC News, Biden was speaking at a campaign fundraiser in California on Tuesday alongside the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom. The president presented the spy balloon incident as an “embarrassment” for Xi – not for himself – because, he claimed, Xi did not expect Biden to order the vessel shot down.
The Biden administration’s first encounter with Chinese diplomats in Alaska was an utter debacle. https://t.co/fyAGH0Neuj
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 22, 2021
“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 was quoted as saying. “That’s a great embarrassment for dictators, when they didn’t know what happened.”
Biden went on to encourage the small crowd of 125 people to not “worry” about America’s most formidable geopolitical enemy.
“Don’t worry about China. I mean, worry about China but don’t worry about China,” he reportedly said, eliciting laughs.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning as condemning the remarks on Wednesday during her daily briefing.
“It is a blatant political provocation. China expresses strong dissatisfaction and opposition,” Mao reportedly asserted, adding that Biden’s words “go totally against facts and seriously violate diplomatic protocol, and severely infringe on China’s political dignity.”
The Chinese government publishes a daily transcript of Foreign Ministry briefings; Wednesday’s did not include anything about Biden calling Xi a “dictator.”
Xi Jinping has held the titles of chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, “president” of China, commander in chief of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and over ten others since taking the helm of the country in 2012. None of his positions are elected and, following his reforms to Communist Party protocol, Xi is positioned to rule China for life.
Under Xi, China has significantly increased the violent repression of political dissidents, people of faith generally, and ethnic minorities that the Han supremacist Communist Party frowns upon. In occupied East Turkistan, Xi has spearheaded a genocide to “break the lineages” of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic ethnic minorities since at least 2017. Xi’s regime has built over 1,000 concentration camps housing as many as 3 million people to erase the indigenous cultures of the region and has engaged in an ongoing campaign to erase Uyghur historical sites such as mosques and cemeteries.
During a CNN town hall in 2021, Biden justified the genocide as a result of “different norms in each country.”
“If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been the time China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home. It’s vastly overstated, but the center of principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China,” Biden claimed. “And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”
“I point out to him no American president can be sustained as a president if he doesn’t reflect the values of the United States,” he continued at the time. “So, the idea that I’m not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uyghurs in Western Mountains of China, and Taiwan, trying to end the one-China policy by making it forceful. I said, and he gets it, culturally there are different norms in each country, and their leaders are expected to follow.”
Biden’s reference to Xi as a “dictator” deviated significantly from his usual tone regarding Xi. Biden has repeatedly alleged to have traveled 17,000 miles with Xi while the two both served as vice presidents, a dubious claim that received three out of four possible “Pinocchios” from the Washington Post in 2021.
“I traveled 17,000 miles with him, the president of China… we traveled around the world together, in the United States and China,” he said on the campaign trail in January 2020. A year later, he similarly claimed, “I had 24-25 hours of private meetings with him when I was vice president, traveled 17,000 miles with him. I know him pretty well.”
“I’ve spent more time with him, I believe, than any other world leader has,” Biden said of Xi in October 2021.
In late 2021, while meeting NBA champions the Milwaukee Bucks, Biden boasted to the athletes that he played basketball with Xi.
“When I first went to Beijing to meet with Xi Jinping, he put me on a basketball court. I’m not like these guys – I can play a little bit – but he put me on a basketball court,” Biden claimed. “And I’m thinking to myself, ‘everywhere in the world I go, as I travel the world: basketball.”
Biden appeared to be referencing a 2011 visit to China that featured an exhibition match between Georgetown’s college basketball team and the PLA’s Bayi Military Rockets that ended in a brawl.
Biden did not refer to Xi as a “dictator” during his meeting with the Chinese leader in November, instead emphasizing a hope for cooperation with communist China on “climate changes.”
“I’m really glad to be able to see you again in person. We spent a lot of time together and — back in the days when we were both vice presidents, and it’s just great to see you,” Biden told Xi at the time, “And you and I have had a number of candid and useful conversations over the years and since I became President as well. You were kind enough to call me to congratulate me, and I congratulate you as well.”