Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated that the United States will continue to say things that China does not like, while defending President Joe Biden’s statements in which he referred to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as a “dictator.”
Biden referred to Xi, 70, as a “dictator” just hours after they met for the first time in more than a year on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco on Wednesday and exchanged honest and fruitful conversations to rebuild bilateral ties.
When asked if Biden’s remarks represented the position of the US government, Blinken answered that the president “speaks for all of us,” according to CBS News.
“Well, it’s not exactly a secret that we have two very different systems,” Blinken was reported as saying by the channel. “And the president always speaks candidly, and he speaks for all of us.”
“We will continue to say things and continue to do things that China doesn’t like, just as I assume that they will continue to do and say things that we don’t like,” Blinken said in a statement on Thursday.
China has previously objected to Biden’s 80-year-old comment.
In an interview with NBC News, Blinken stated, “It’s no surprise, and I don’t think anyone will be surprised that we have very different systems.” And the President always talks frankly and on our behalf. But what matters is what we accomplished during yesterday’s meeting.”
When asked about it in an interview with ABC News, the top American ambassador made a similar remark.
“President Biden always speaks candidly for all of us.” But, as you mentioned a moment ago, this summit, this conference, provided actual, concrete results for the American people. We have a handful of obligations in our connection with China, which is the most important of any relationship we have. We’re up against some stiff competition. We want to make sure it doesn’t devolve into a conflict, added Blinken.