Surprise, trepidation, and, above all, nervousness This is the reaction of the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, after the president of America, Joe Biden, called his Chinese counterpart a “dictator”, Xi Jinping, after a long meeting where both agreed to rebuild relations.
Blinken himself tried to downplay the significance of Thursday’s extraordinary scene that unfolded on Wednesday during Biden’s press conference after the much-anticipated bilateral meeting, but his faces took more than 10 seconds to speak for themselves, and they have spread like wildfire on social networks.
“It’s no secret that we have two very different systems. The president speaks frankly, and for all of us (…), it’s clear that we will continue to say and do things that people don’t like. In the same way, I think they will continue to do and say things that we don’t like,” said the Secretary of State in an interview this Thursday on the CBS network.
On Wednesday, a reporter asked Biden if he maintained that Xi was a “dictator,” as he called him in June.
“Mire, it is. “He’s a dictator in the sense that he’s running a communist country based on a form of government that’s completely different from ours,” Biden said earlier, as Blinken, sitting in the front row of the room, went from disbelief to the discomfort of the object in seconds.
And the representative of American diplomacy chained a series of very figurative movements: he started by biting his lip a little—as if declaring that Biden should not have said that—he changed the position of what he was holding hands and moved them forcefully to finish. disgustedly turned his head as a sign of denial.
The response from the Chinese side came from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, That’s Ning, who “strongly” condemned the statements, although without mentioning their issuer, Joe Biden.
“This statement is extremely wrong and represents irresponsible political manipulation,” Ning said at a press briefing on Thursday.
He added, “It should be noted that there are always some people with ulterior motives who will try to provoke and damage relations between the United States and China.”
Biden and Xi met on Wednesday in San Francisco Bay after communications between the two powers remained cut off for more than a year, and they faced the possibility that their tensions would flow into an open conflict.
The meeting, which took place on the side of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC, in English), ended up rebuilding relations between the United States and China, which also agreed to continue intercommunication between their Armed Forces.
Another major development in the meeting is the agreement that was reached so that the Asian country agreed to control the flow of chemical precursors from which fentanyl is manufactured, the drug that costs the lives of almost 200 Americans every day.
However, what was a press conference in which they wanted to convey better harmony between the two countries ended with a strong message from Biden to Xi that, at least because of the gestures, Blinken was not so good.