November 17, 2023
In June U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was on a long desired trip to China. Just 24 hours after a somewhat positive statement of the meeting came out Biden blew it by calling Xi Jinping a ‘dictator'.
The Chinese government was not amused:
China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning called Mr Biden's remarks "extremely absurd and irresponsible". Speaking at a regularly scheduled press conference on Wednesday, she said that the comments were "an open political provocation" that violated diplomatic etiquette.
Yesterday President Xi Jinping of China met U.S. President Joe Biden near San Francisco.
The Chinese spokesperson had set out the agenda:
Hua Chunying 华春莹 @SpokespersonCHN – 11:25 UTC · Nov 16, 2023
President Xi Jinping noted that there are two options for China and the U.S. in the era of global transformations unseen in a century: One is to enhance solidarity and cooperation and join hands to meet global challenges and promote global security and prosperity; …
… and the other is to cling to the zero-sum mentality, provoke rivalry and confrontation, and drive the world toward turmoil and division. The two choices point to two different directions that will decide the future of humanity and Planet Earth.
Xi wanted to chose the first path. But shortly after their meeting Biden walked on the second.
He again blew it:
Woodside, CA – Nov 16, 2023 – White House
Q And, Mr. President, after today, would you still refer to President Xi as a "dictator"? This is a term that you used earlier this year.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, he is. I mean, he's a dictator in the sense that he — he is a guy who runs a country that — it's a communist country that is based on a form of government totally different than ours.
Anyway, we made progress.
The Chinese view certainly differs.
The Democracy Perception Index (pdf) is the world's largest annual study on how people perceive democracy. In the U.S. 76% believe that ‘democracy is important' but only 54% answer yes when asked if their country is democratic. In China the agreeing percentages for the same questions are 88% and 73%.
Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.