U.S. President Joe Biden dismissed concerns about his comment referring to Chinese leader Xi Jinping as a “dictator,” saying his remarks did not undermine diplomatic efforts to mend fragile ties between the two countries.
“I don’t think it’s had any real consequence,” Biden said.
Biden labeled President Xi a dictator on Tuesday, just one day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrapped up his first official visit to Beijing. Blinken’s trip was aimed at mending ties between the two global powers that hit rock bottom after the U.S. in February shot down what it described as a surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina.
"We had an incident that caused some confusion. But Secretary Blinken had a great trip to China. I expect to be meeting with President Xi sometime in the future, in the near term," the U.S. president said.