Biden and Jinping
US President Joe Biden (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after a meeting last week. AFP / Brendan Smialowski

In a media interaction on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden said that Chinese President Xi Jinping is a dictator.

The remarks come shortly after the two leaders met at a summit outside San Francisco. The president was speaking to reporters from CNN when he was asked if he would still use the term to describe Xi.

To which Biden responded by saying: "Well look he is, I mean he's a dictator in the sense that he's a guy who's running a country, a Communist country, that's based on a form of government totally different than ours."

The comments are not going to go down well with China as this is not the first time Biden has called Xi Jinping a dictator.

In June of this year, he also called the Chinese president a dictator. He made the remarks at a fundraiser in California a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Xi.

"The reason why Xi Jinping got very upset in terms of when I shot that balloon down with two box cars full of spy equipment in it was he didn't know it was there," said Biden.

"That's a great embarrassment for dictators. When they didn't know what happened. That wasn't supposed to be going where it was. It was blown off course," Biden added.

Earlier this year, a US fighter jet shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina. The incident has intensified tensions between the two countries.

Beijing did not take the comment too well and described Biden's remarks as a serious infringement on "China's political dignity".

Tensions have been running high between the two countries since Donald Trump won the US presidential election in 2017. During his campaign days, Trump threatened to brand China as a currency manipulator.

He had also angered China by speaking to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen even before he took charge of the White House. China considers Taiwan its wayward province and does not approve of the island nation holding separate diplomatic relations with major countries.

The relationship between the two countries has not gotten any better since Joe Biden took over the presidency. Wednesday's meeting between the two world leaders was expected to give a new direction to the strained equation, but Biden's latest remarks could derail that.

During a news conference after the summit, Biden gave a glimpse into his approach towards China and said: "Trust but verify, as the old saying goes. That's where I am."

However, he also described the discussion with Xi as "some of the most constructive and productive discussions we've had". Now it remains to be seen how China responds to Biden's remarks.