Biden equates China’s Xi with ‘dictators’

US President Joe Biden equated his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping with “dictators” on Tuesday as he addressed a Democratic Party donors reception in the presence of journalists.

Speaking at a campaign fundraiser in northern California, Biden said Xi had been angered over an incident in February when a Chinese balloon — which Washington says was used for spying — flew over the United States before being shot down by American military jets.

“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,” Biden said.

“I’m serious. That was the great embarrassment for dictators, when they didn’t know what happened.

“That wasn’t supposed to be going where it was… and he didn’t know about it,” Biden said of Xi. “When it got shot down he was very embarrassed and he denied it was even there.”

Biden, who at 80 is running for re-election, also waived off concerns about the Asian giant, telling donors that “China has real economic difficulties.”

The remarks are likely to raise strong objections from Beijing, where US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited just days earlier in an attempt to lower the temperature between the two global powers.

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