China on Wednesday sharply reacted to U.S. President Joe Biden's reference to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a dictator, saying his remarks are "extremely absurd and irresponsible" and expressed its "strong dissatisfaction and opposition."
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a press conference in Beijing that Biden's comments Tuesday at a fundraising event in California were "against diplomatic protocols" and seriously violated China's political dignity.
Biden's remarks came as the United States and China agreed to stabilize their relationship, strained over Taiwan and other issues during a two-day visit through Monday to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The U.S. president said Xi was upset over tensions surrounding a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had been shot down by a U.S. fighter jet in February. "That's a great embarrassment for dictators. When they didn't know what happened," Biden said, according to reports.