Biden calls Chinese president a ‘dictator’

Biden calls Chinese president a 'dictator'

KENTFIELD, Calif. — President Biden on Tuesday said that Chinese President Xi Jinping is a dictator who got upset when the Chinese spy balloon was shot down in February because he didn’t know about it.

“The reason why Xi Jinping got very upset in terms of when I shot that balloon down with two box cars full of spy equipment is he didn’t know it was there. No, I’m serious. That was the great embarrassment for dictators,  when they didn’t know what happened,” Biden told a group of 130 donors at a fundraising event in Kentsfield, Calif.

“That wasn’t supposed to be going where it was. It was blown off course up through Alaska and then down through the United States and he didn’t know about it. When it got shot down, he was very embarrassed and he denied it was even there,” the president added.

He also told the attendees that they shouldn’t worry about China.

“By the way, I promise you, don’t worry about China. Worry about China but don’t worry about China. I really mean it. China has real economic difficulties,” Biden said.

The president, at another campaign event on Tuesday, said that climate adviser John Kerry could be going to China soon.

“I think John Kerry’s going to be going back there pretty soon,” Biden told a small group of donors in San Francisco.  He was discussing how he had a conversation with Xi about their issues with energy production and methane.

Biden on Saturday said that the Chinese spy balloon situation was “more embarrassing” for Beijing than “than it was intentional.” The balloon spent several days floating over the U.S., before it was shot down off the coast of South Carolina. Beijing vowed at the time to take countermeasures.

Biden mentioned on Tuesday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken was just in China, saying he did a good job working on relations with the country. 

“We’re in a situation now where he wants to have a relationship again. Antony Blinken just went over there…did a good job and it’s going to take time,” he said.

Updated: 10:43 p.m. ET

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