China has formally registered its complaint with Germany following a statement by the German foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, where she referred to President Xi Jinping as a “dictator.” The Chinese foreign ministry decried this characterization as “absurd” and denounced it as a provocative political act.
Annalena Baerbock made this remark during a live interview with Fox News, in which she was asked about Russia’s actions in Ukraine. She commented on the potential implications for other leaders like Xi Jinping if Putin were to succeed in the conflict.
Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, condemned Baerbock’s comments as “extremely absurd” and as an affront to China’s political standing. During a routine press briefing, Mao reiterated that China had formally voiced its grievances to Germany over this matter.
It’s worth noting that Baerbock has been a vocal critic of China, expressing concerns about its impact on global norms and describing certain aspects of her visit to China as “shocking.” She has also characterized Beijing as a growing systemic rival rather than just a trade partner. This incident follows a similar situation in June when U.S. President Joe Biden also referred to President Xi as a “dictator” shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to China aimed at improving bilateral relations.