On Wednesday, Nov. 15, President Joe Biden met with Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China, for their first face-to-face meeting in a year to discuss bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and China.
During a news conference after the meeting, Biden was asked by a reporter if he still believes Xi is a “dictator,” having labeled him that before. Biden responded: “Well, look, he is. He is a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country based on a form of government that is totally different from ours.”
A fresh camera angle shows Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was sitting in the front row of the conference, visibly grimacing as Biden says the words “well, look, he is.”
Many viewers on X have found the incident at the conference to be amusing. “Literally a comedy skit at this point (may this meme live forever),” one social media user remarked.
Blinken's face after Joe Biden calls Chinese President Xi a "dictator" 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/XqjQU9FmZd
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) November 16, 2023
Blinken visited the People’s Republic of China in June. He has been similarly critical of China’s human rights record in the past, but has stressed the importance of the U.S. and China maintaining bilateral ties when it comes to meeting mutual goals.
“This is one of the most consequential relationships we have. One of the most consequential relationships between any two countries in the world, and we have an obligation to try to responsibly manage that relationship,” Blinken told CBS Evening News on Thursday, Nov. 16.
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