China’s Foreign Ministry said Beijing was “strongly dissatisfied” with Baerbock’s comments and “firmly opposes” them…reports Asian Lite News
China has lashed out at Germany after its foreign minister called Xi Jinping a “dictator” and summoned Berlin’s ambassador for a dressing down, in the latest flaring of tensions with a western democratic power over how the Chinese leader is described overseas, the CNN reported on Tuesday.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made the remarks in an interview with Fox News during a visit to the United States last week.
When asked about Russia’s war on Ukraine, she said: “If Putin were to win this war, what sign would that be for other dictators in the world, like Xi, like the Chinese president?”
The Chinese government on Sunday summoned Germany’s ambassador to China, Patricia Flor, to protest Baerbock’s comments, a German foreign ministry spokesperson told the CNN on Monday.
China’s Foreign Ministry said Beijing was “strongly dissatisfied” with Baerbock’s comments and “firmly opposes” them.
“The remarks made by Germany are extremely absurd, seriously infringe on China’s political dignity, and are an open political provocation,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular news briefing on Monday.
The question about Baerbock’s remarks and Mao’s response are both missing from the briefing’s official transcript posted later on the ministry’s website.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry often leaves out content it deems sensitive from the transcripts of its regular briefings.
It is not the first time China has shown sensitivity towards how foreign leaders refer to Xi – China’s most assertive leader in a generation who has heavily centralized power and is nearly a year into his norm-busting third five-year term.
In June, US President Joe Biden also referred to Xi as a “dictator,” sparking a fierce backlash from Beijing.
Biden has said his statements regarding China were “just not something I’m going to change very much.”
Biden made the remarks when asked about the statement during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House. He took another dig at the Chinese government. Biden said he believes that the ties between China and US are not in the same place as the US-India relations, adding that “is that there’s an overwhelming respect for each because we are both democracies.”