The head of American diplomacy subsequently assumed the position of the American president, declaring on CBS that China should expect frank statements.
Officially, there is no problem. The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken explained, Thursday, November 16, that China should expect frank statements, likely to displease it, after President Joe Biden described his counterpart Xi Jinping as a “dictator” moments after meeting him. However, at the time of this declaration, the cameras did not fail to spot a grimace on the face of the Secretary of State, known for his reserve and his self-control.
Blinken’s face after Joe Biden calls Chinese President Xi a “dictator” 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/XqjQU9FmZd
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) November 16, 2023
The American press then quickly seized on the sequence. “Blinken was spotted visibly grimacing at the president’s response during the press conference”details the Washington Examiner. “Blinken physically backed away and appeared to shake his head and wave his hands when Biden said Xi Jinping is a dictator”also estimates the New York Post. “Blinken, seated in the front row a few meters from the president on stage, appeared to flinch”add the Daily Mail.
“The president always speaks frankly”
In any case, Antony Blinken did not grimace in front of the cameras. “The president always speaks candidly and speaks on behalf of all of us”he explained on the CBS News channel. “It’s clear that we will continue to say things and do things that China doesn’t like, just as I suspect they will continue to do and say things that we don’t like.”
Antony Blinken visited China in June as part of a series of meetings aimed at easing tensions between the two great powers. During this trip, he notably met Xi Jinping in Beijing. The next day, Joe Biden described the Chinese leader as a dictator for the first time, during a political event in California. A statement which at the time aroused indignation in Beijing.
On Wednesday, a journalist asked the American president if he maintained this qualifier. “He is a dictator in the sense that here is a man who runs a country, a communist country, which is based on a form of government totally different from ours”, replied the American president. Statements which provoked new condemnation from Beijing.
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