Nigel Jones

Biden is right: China’s Xi is a ‘dictator’

(Credit: Getty images)

Just as a stopped clock shows the correct time twice a day, so president Joe Biden, amidst the plethora of gaffes that regularly issues from his lips, occasionally utters the plain and unvarnished truth. So it was at a Democratic fundraiser in California yesterday when Biden called China’s president Xi Jinping ‘a dictator’. Explaining why he gave the order to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon that entered US airspace in February, the president said that Xi had been ‘embarrassed’ because the balloon had been blown off course and ‘he didn’t know it was there’.

US diplomats, like secretary of state Anthony Blinken (who has just inconclusively met Xi in Beijing), may have winced when they heard Biden’s unscripted candid comment. But, for the rest of us, the president’s frank remark – like the child who called out the Emperor’s lack of clothes – was a refreshingly honest observation.

The Chinese Communist party which Xi leads holds a monopoly of power over its citizens

For the Chinese leader is indeed a dictator and a particularly ruthless one at that who is bent on establishing Chinese world domination and hegemony. The Chinese Communist party (CCP) which he leads holds a monopoly of power over its citizens. It exercises this in ways that are repugnant to anyone living in western liberal democracies and enjoying freedom of thought and expression.

Ordinary Chinese people are permitted to savour the fruits of China’s state capitalism – so long as they accept the state’s control of their lives and docilely decline to question Xi’s increasingly arbitrary rule. The CCP decides on such basic freedoms as the number of children they are permitted to have (a policy which only came to an end in 2016), where they can live and what they can watch on TV or the internet.

Anyone who dares to question CCP rule risks a long spell in prison.

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