Joe Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry refused to refer to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “dictator” during a Thursday Capitol Hill hearing.
“There’s no question at all that President Xi is the major decider of the direction and of the policies of China,” Kerry told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s oversight and responsibility subcommittee.
When Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) pressed John Kerry if Xi was “in fact, effectively a dictator,” the former Secretary of State responded by saying it wouldn’t be “useful” to say that.
“He wields enormous power as the leader of China. Absolutely,” Kerry acknowledged.
In June, Biden referred to Xi as a “dictator” who suffered a “great embarrassment” when a Chinese spy balloon traveled across the US without his knowledge,
“That’s a great embarrassment for dictators,” Biden said.
“When they didn’t know what happened. That wasn’t supposed to be going where it was,” he added.
“It was blown off course,” the 80-year-old president claimed at a fundraiser.
When asked by Issa if he wished Biden had used a different word, Kerry said that he didn’t want to get tied up in “labels and names.”
“No, I don’t even – I just, frankly, all of that is like water off the duck’s back and I don’t think we ought to get tangled up in, you know, labels and names and whatever. What we ought to do is look at the heart of what we’re trying to do,” the climate envoy argued.
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley slammed Kerry for his avoidance of calling Xi a dictator.
“In my book, wielding unchecked power, imprisoning your opposition, & committing genocide against your own citizens makes you a dictator,” Haley wrote in a tweet Thursday. “But that’s just me.”
Earlier this week, Kerry said the US needs to “cooperate with China,” which is the biggest polluter in the world, to reduce carbon emissions.
And while Beijing ignores calls to reduce carbon emissions, the United States is moving backward and making millions of Americans suffer because of rolling blackouts.