President Joe Biden called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator in a sense,” during a press conference Wednesday following a meeting between the two leaders.
Biden held a solo press conference discussing his meeting with Xi and the agreements the U.S. has made with China. As Biden walked away from the podium, reporters could be heard yelling questions at the president, with Biden shouting back. (RELATED: Biden To Lift Sanctions On Chinese Human Rights Abuser In Exchange For Xi’s Latest Promise To Combat Fentanyl: REPORT)
After the group quieted down, a reporter could be heard asking a question regarding the Israel-Hamas war followed by someone asking Biden if he still refers “to President Xi as a dictator” noting it was a term that Biden had “used earlier in the year.”
“Well, look, he is. I mean he’s a dictator in a sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that is based on a form of government totally different than ours,” Biden responded before walking off stage.
Biden abruptly ends his “press conference,” shouts at the press, mumbles a few things, and shuffles away pic.twitter.com/jpWIZj51JH
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Biden met with Xi face-to-face on Wednesday for the first time in a year amid rising tensions between the two countries. The world leaders met last year in November at the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. (RELATED: Biden, Xi Reach Agreement On Illicit Fentanyl And Military Communication After First Meeting In A Year)
Following the meeting with Xi, the president announced that the two countries had reached agreements regarding the flow of fentanyl from China to the U.S. as well as military-to-military communications.
“Our meetings have always been candid and straightforward. We haven’t always agreed, but they’ve been straightforward,” Biden stated, according to NPR. Biden added that the two leaders also discussed topics such as artificial intelligence, highlighting that they are now back on “direct, open, clear” communications” after Wednesday’s meeting.
Following former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in 2022, Beijing declared they were cutting off dialogue with the U.S. on issues like climate change and military relations. Since the cut off, U.S. lawmakers have been trying to smooth over tensions with Democrats like California Gov. Gavin Newsom notably visiting the country.