Failed presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg apologized to attendees of his annual economic forum after former British prime minister Boris Johnson called the Chinese government a “coercive autocracy.” Bloomberg on Thursday said that Johnson’s remarks were “his thoughts and his thoughts alone” and were not cleared with him personally.
“Some may have been insulted or offended last night by parts of the speaker’s remarks referencing certain countries and their duly elected leaders,” the former New York City mayor told the crowd at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore. “To those of you who were upset and concerned by what the speaker said, you have my apologies.” Johnson had referred to China and Russia as “two former communist tyrannies in which power has once again been concentrated in the hands of a single ruler” in a blistering speech to an audience that included China’s vice president and Chinese business leaders.
Bloomberg claimed that “emerging technologies and innovative approaches that [the Defense Department] should adopt to ensure U.S. technological and military dominance.”
During his opening address at the forum, Bloomberg praised Chinese vice president Wang Qishan as a “troubleshooter,” “problem solver,” and “longtime friend.”
Just a reminder that Bloomberg has long defended Chinese President Xi Jinping and continually insists that he “is not a dictator.”
“The Communist Party wants to stay in power in China and they listen to the public,” Bloomberg said. “When the public says, ‘I can’t breathe the air,’ Xi Jinping is not a dictator. He has to satisfy his constituents, or he’s not going to survive.” He doubled down on the defense during presidential debates in 2020.
Bloomberg is a major pro-China Democrat but now that he has Biden’s ear as he leads the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board, his words carry more damaging weight. Xi just retained his position in office by changing the laws and term limits in China ahead of the elections—But according to Bloomberg, he is ‘not a dictator’?