New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg has reportedly been forced to apologize to guests at a business conference in Singapore after former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a speech condemning China as a “coercive autocracy.”
The ex-mayor of New York City and failed Democrat Party presidential candidate acknowledged to the approximately 500 Asian businesspeople and diplomats at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum that some guests may have been “insulted or offended” by Johnson’s comments, The Guardian reported on Friday.
“To those of you who were upset and concerned by what the speaker said, you have my apologies,” Bloomberg said, adding that the ex-PM’s incendiary remarks were “his thoughts and his thoughts alone.”
At issue was Johnson’s after-dinner speech on Tuesday, when he harshly criticized the governments of China, Russia, and other countries. He described the two world powers as “monocultural states” and “former communist tyrannies.” Beijing and Moscow “show a candid disregard for the rule of international law,” he added, and “in the last year have demonstrated the immense limitations of their political systems by the disastrous mistakes they have made.”