Biden’s Undiplomatic Idiocy

If the American president is serious about maintaining contact with China, he should think more carefully before he speaks in the future. The fact that he accurately describes Xi as a “dictator” is beside the point.

The American president’s remarks about China’s head of state and Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping, at a campaign event wasn’t exactly a diplomatic masterpiece. Joe Biden said that it isn’t good “for dictators” not to know what is happening under their watch. He was referring to the Chinese spy balloon that caused serious tension in bilateral relations and about which Xi supposedly knew nothing.

This crisis had just abated with the U.S. secretary of state’s recent visit to Beijing. Biden’s undiplomatic comment unsettled the atmosphere just as it presumably started to thaw.

Xi Is, Of Course, a Dictator

The president did himself and his country no favors. If he is serious about keeping channels of communication open to Beijing no matter what, he should think very carefully before making random comments in the future. That Biden was quite correct about one fact is beside the point. Xi is, of course, a dictator. So, Beijing’s reaction to Biden’s comment may be understandable on one hand, but it is also artificial.

Many Europeans demonstrated how to react elegantly to the idiocy of American presidents during the Donald Trump administration. But China would not be China if it were open to learning such things from others.

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