US election: China finally congratulates Joe Biden

Australian Associated Press
·1-min read

China has congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden, who won the November 3 election that President Donald Trump has not conceded, nearly a week after the former vice president clinched enough states for the win.

"We respect the choice of the American people. We extend congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular daily briefing on Friday, referring to Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris.

Xi Jinping, China's president, delivers a speech after arriving at Macau International Airport in Macau, China, on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. President Xi is expected to use a visit marking 20 years of Chinese rule over Macau this week to send a message to the protest-stricken financial hub some 50 kilometers (30 miles) to the east: work with us and get rich. Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
After a long silence, Chinese President Xi Jinping has congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden. Source: Getty

"We understand the results of the US election will be determined according to US laws and procedures," he added, repeating Beijing's earlier stance.

Trump's refusal to accept defeat has put Beijing in an awkward position, with China loath to do anything to antagonise the president, who has mounted court challenges to the balloting and remains in office until the January 20 inauguration.

Relations between China and the United States are at their worst in decades over disputes ranging from technology and trade to Hong Kong and the coronavirus, and the Trump administration has unleashed a barrage of sanctions against Beijing.

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - NOVEMBER 10: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden addresses the media about the Trump Administration’s lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act on November 10, 2020 at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware. Mr. Biden also answered questions about the process of the transition and how a Biden Administration would work with Republicans. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Biden took out the majority of electoral college votes to become the 46th President of the United States. Source: Getty

Shortly after Biden's win following days of ballot counting in several swing states, numerous US allies offered congratulations, while the leaders of China and Russia were among conspicuous holdouts.

In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent congratulations to Trump on November 9, a day after the election.

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