President Joe Biden on Thursday admitted that it’s ‘not all kumbaya’ with China after he called President Xi Jinping a ‘dictator’ and said the U.S. would use ‘strong diplomacy’ as it moves forward.
‘Not as my generation would say back in the day, it’s not all Kumbaya, but it’s straightforward,’ Biden said in a speech to CEOs at the APEC summit.
‘We have real differences Beijing when it comes to maintaining fair and liberal economic playing field and protecting your intellectual property. We’re gonna continue to address them with smart policies and strong diplomacy,’ he added.
Biden’s strong words came after he held a nearly four-hour meeting with Xi on Wednesday on the outskirts of San Francisco, infuriating China when he called its leader a ‘dictator.’
‘Not as my generation would say back in the day, it’s not all Kumbaya, but it’s straightforward,’ President Joe Biden said
After the meeting, Biden called Xi a ‘dictator’ even as he said US-China relations were back on track with China’s agreement to crack down on fentanyl production and the resumption of military-to-military communications.
‘Well, look, he’s a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that’s based on a form of government totally different than ours,’ Biden said, asked if he stood by his own earlier assessment. ‘Anyway, we made progress,’ he added.
In response, China’s foreign ministry said it ‘strongly opposes’ the ‘wrong and irresponsible’ remarks.
Beijing’s spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters at a routine briefing Thursday: ‘This statement is extremely wrong and irresponsible political manipulation.
‘It should be pointed out that there will always be some people with ulterior motives who attempt to incite and damage U.S.-China relations, they are doomed to fail.’
Biden on Thursday addressed CEOs and other attendees as he officially opened APEC.
In his remarks, he struggled to pronounce the name of a company before giving up.
‘It’s better not to try and not mispronounce,’ he said as the CEOs laughed.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group includes 21 members but lives under the shadow of US-China relations.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden take a walk after their talks in the Filoli Estate outside of San Francisco
World leaders’ photo at the APEC summit: Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Peru’s President Dina Boluarte, U.S. President Joe Biden, Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister of Thailand, Brunei’s Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah, Chile’s President Gabriel Boric, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, President of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol, India’s Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro, New Zealand’s Trade Minister Damien O’Connor, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong Paul Chan Mo-po, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Philippines’ President Bongbong Marcos and President of Vietnam Vo Van Thuong
US President Joe Biden stands next to Peruvian counterpart Dina Boluarte as they pose for a family photo at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit
The motorcade carrying United States President Joe Biden drives past a wall of Chinese flags and demonstrators outside the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco
The summit officially opened on Thursday but began on a brighter note, after Biden and Xi had their sitdown, easing tensions that had grown over the past year.
Biden acknowledged the worries from allies and business leaders about Washington-Beijing relations.
He said he’s ‘intent on responsibly managing th competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. As we talked a little bit about yesterday, President Xi and I asked what the world expects of us and I promise you that’s what we’re doing.’
He noted they agreed to keep the lines of communication open.
‘We’ve committed to work together. We’re going to continue our commitment to diplomacy, avoid surprises, prevent misunderstandings, stable relationship between the world’s two largest economies. Not merely good for the two economies but for the world. stable relationship. It’s good for everyone,’ Biden said.
Biden and Xi agreed to restore military-to-military relations and Xi promised to crack down on production of the ingredients in China for fentanyl flooding into the United States and causing a high number of deaths.
However, the two sides remain as far apart as ever on the issue of Taiwan.
Biden said he gave Xi a blunt warning Wednesday not to interfere in Taiwan’s January elections.
‘We maintain an agreement that there is a One China policy,’ Biden said at a press conference on Tuesday. ‘I’m not going to change that. That’s not going change.’
‘That’s about the extent to which we discussed it,’ he said of the fraught topic.