Joe Biden calls Xi Jinping a dictator

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The president of United States, Joe Bidenqualified this Tuesday his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinpingfor dictator, adding that Xi was greatly embarrassed when a Chinese balloon recently veered off course over US soil.

Biden made these remarks at a fundraising event in California, a day after the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken met Xi on a trip to China aimed at easing tensions between the two countries.

“The reason why Xi Jinping got so angry (was) when I shot down that balloon with two wagons full of spy material it's that he didn't know it was there,” Biden said at the fundraiser.

“That is a great shame for dictators. When they didn't know what had happened. That wasn't supposed to go where it was going. He veered off course,” Biden added.

An alleged Chinese spy balloon flew over US airspace in February. That incident and exchanges of visits by US and Taiwanese officials have recently magnified tensions between the US and China.

Blinken and Xi agreed on Monday stabilize the intense rivalry between Washington and Beijing to prevent it from escalating into conflict, but failed to make any major progress during a rare visit by the Secretary of State to China.

They did agree to continue the diplomatic engagement with more visits from US officials in the coming weeks and months.

Biden himself declared on Monday that he thought relations between the two countries were on the right track, and indicated that progress had been made during Blinken's voyage.

Biden said on Tuesday that Xi had raised concerns about the Quad Security Dialogue, a strategic security group also called the "Quad" that includes Japan, Australia, India and the United States. The American president stated that he had already told Xi that the US did not intend to encircle China with the group.

Later this week, Biden will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with China expected to be a topic of discussion between the two leaders. (rts)

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