Blinken defends Biden calling Xi Jinping 'dictator'; says US will say things China doesn't like

Blinken said the president "always speaks candidly, and he speaks for all of us"

APEC-USA/CHINA Chinese President Xi Jinping waves as he walks with U.S. President Joe Biden at Filoli estate on the sidelines of APEC summit in Woodside | Reuters

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the US will continue to say things that China doesn't like, as he defended President Joe Biden's remarks in which he called his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping a "dictator".

Biden called Xi, 70, a "dictator", just hours after they met for the first time in more than a year and held candid and productive discussions to revive bilateral ties on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco on Wednesday.

When pressed on whether Biden's comments were the position of the US government, Blinken responded that the president "speaks for all of us", CBS News reported.

"Well, it's not exactly a secret that we have two very different systems," the channel quoted Blinken as saying. "And the president always speaks candidly, and he speaks for all of us."

"We will continue to say things and continue to do things that China doesn't like, just as I assume that they will continue to do and say things that we don't like," Blinken said on Thursday.

China has raised objections to such a remark by Biden, 80, in the past.

In an interview with NBC News, Blinken said: It's no surprise that and I don't think it will be news to anyone that we have very different systems. And the President always speaks candidly and he speaks for us. But what's important is what we were able to achieve with yesterday's meeting."

The top American diplomat made a similar comment when asked about it in an interview with ABC News.

"President Biden always speaks candidly and he speaks for all of us. But the point you made a moment ago is this summit yesterday, this meeting yesterday, produced real, concrete results for the American people. We have a couple of obligations in this relationship with China, the most consequential of any relationship that we have. We've got a real competition. We want to make sure it doesn't veer into conflict, Blinken said.

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