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New Zealand's liberal prime minister disagrees with Biden labeling Xi a 'dictator': 'No'

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins pushed back against President Biden's claim this week at a fundraiser that Chinese President Xi Jinping is a "dictator."

The prime minister of New Zealand told reporters that he rejects President Biden’s characterization of Chinese President Xi Jinping as a "dictator."

"No, and the form of government that China has is a matter for the Chinese people," New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins told reporters when asked if China was indeed led by a dictator, which Biden said at a fundraising dinner in California on Tuesday.

Asked by a reporter whether the Chinese people had a say in the form of government, Hipkins said: "If they wanted to change their system of government, then that would be a matter for them."

Hipkins, a member of New Zealand’s leftist Labour Party, is scheduled to travel in a few days to China, where he will meet with its leaders, including Xi, to discuss a trade deal.

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Biden said in California that Xi was embarrassed after the U.S. Air Force shot down the Chinese spy balloon.

"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. That’s a great embarrassment for dictators when they didn’t know what happened."

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The comment drew a strong rebuke from the Chinese government.

"The U.S. remarks are extremely absurd and irresponsible," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Wednesday. "It is a blatant political provocation. China expresses strong dissatisfaction and opposition."

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital. 

Fox News Digital’s Lawrence Richard and Reuters contributed to this report.

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