According to President Joe Biden, President Xi Jinping expects that autocratic systems of government will eventually supplant representative Western-style governments.
The President warned that a “battle” is underway to determine which approach wins.
“He doesn’t have a bit of a democratic – with a small letter – spirit, but he’s a smart guy,” Biden told reporters.
“He’s the kind who, like Putin, thinks that autocracy is a trend of the future, that democracy cannot function in an increasingly complex world,” Biden added.
The worldview of Putin and Xi Jinping reflects a shared belief in autocracy, which Biden called the cause of the existential struggle between philosophies of government.
“I predict to you that your children or grandchildren will defend doctoral dissertations on the question of who has succeeded: autocracy or democracy? Because that’s what is at stake right now, and not just in relation to China, Biden said. “This is a battle between the expediency of democracies in the 21st century and autocracies.”
“We have to prove that democracy works,” Biden said.
He also pledged not to allow China to become a world leader.
“They have a goal of becoming the leading country in the world, the richest country in the world and the most powerful country in the world,” Biden said of China. “It won’t happen in my presence because the United States will continue to grow and expand.”
Biden said the US will continue to criticize China for its crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and the crackdown on the Uyghurs, which the State Department has called “genocide.”
“When the president moves away from this topic, as my predecessor did, we begin to lose our legitimacy around the world,” Biden warned.