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Wednesday, June 19, 2024  
12 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Antony Blinken flinches as President Biden calls his Chinese counterpart ‘dictator’

The meeting between the two presidents was the first in-person sit-down
Screengrab via social media
Screengrab via social media

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken became the centre of attention after he was caught flinching and shaking his head as US President Joe Biden called his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping a “dictator”.

Biden’s remarks came after the two presidents’ four-hour meeting on November 15 in San Francisco in the US.

At the end of the news conference, the US president was asked whether he still held the view that his Chinese counterpart was a dictator, something he said earlier in June.

“He [Xi] is a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is communist,” Biden said as Secretary Blinken was seen wincing and breathing deeply.

In the clip doing rounds on social media, Blinken appeared worrisome as President Biden made the remark.

Biden’s remark came soon after his and Xi’s four-hour meeting in San Francisco, which was the two leaders’ first in-person sit-down.

In response, China’s foreign ministry said it “strongly opposes” the remarks, without mentioning Biden by name.

“This statement is extremely wrong and irresponsible political manipulation,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters on Thursday at a routine briefing.

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Joe Biden

Xi Jinping

Antony Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Chinese President Xi Jinping

American President Joe Biden