Washington, June 20 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden referred to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, as a “dictator” at a fundraising event for his re-election campaign in Kentfield, California, on Tuesday.
Biden spoke about the suspected Chinese spy balloon that Washington ordered to be shot down in February after it was detected flying over US territory.
He said that Xi felt embarrassed by the episode since “he didn’t know it was there.”
“That’s a great embarrassment for dictators. When they didn’t know what happened,” he added.
Washington had already suggested in February that the Chinese president was not aware of the mission to send the balloon, CNN reported at the time, citing sources familiar with the situation.
According to Biden, the balloon “was blown off course” as it flew over Alaska and Xi did not know about it until it was shot down by the US.
Despite his remarks, the president said that Beijing wanted to restore its relationship with Washington and congratulated US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on his recent trip to China, where he met Xi and other senior government officials.
Blinken traveled to Beijing over the weekend to try to reestablish channels of communication after the balloon incident led to the cancellation of his long-awaited trip to China in February, raising tensions between the countries. EFE