United States: During the sidelines of the APEC Summit, President Biden didn’t mince words when discussing Chinese President Xi Jinping, labeling him as a ‘dictator.’ The meeting between the two leaders marked discussions and promises for future military talks.
In Washington, President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping held discussions during Xi’s official visit for the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in San Francisco, the United States.
In response to a question about his view on Xi Jinping, President Biden openly referred to him as a ‘dictator’ following their hours-long meeting. Biden clarified, “He is a dictator in the sense that he leads a communist country,” emphasizing the fundamental differences between governance in China and the United States.
The meeting, held away from the APEC 2023 venue in San Francisco, concluded with both leaders pledging to manage their differences and maintain stable relations. A senior administration official described the discussions between Biden and Xi as candid and direct, with both leaders expressing their concerns openly.
The talks covered a wide array of topics, including bilateral relations, global issues such as Iran, the Middle East, Ukraine, Taiwan, the Indo-Pacific, economics, artificial intelligence, drugs, and climate change.
Post-meeting, President Xi pledged to crack down on companies involved in illegal drug trade in the United States, as disclosed by an unnamed senior administration official. Additionally, both leaders agreed to continue military-to-military talks, involving Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart.
The senior official also highlighted that the PACIFIC Commander would engage at the operational level with the Chinese counterpart. Moreover, the leaders committed to initiating telephonic conversations in the future, aiming for more direct communication.
Following the discussions, Biden emphasized the importance of direct communication, stating, “We should be willing to pick up the phone and have conversations. That’s a significant step forward.”