President Xi Jinping on Wednesday congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden on winning the presidential election, expressing hope that the two countries will uphold the spirit of non-confrontation and advance the healthy and stable development of bilateral ties, official media reported.
President Xi sent a message to Biden to congratulate him on his election as US president, becoming one of the last major leaders to congratulate the Democratic presidential candidate.
Promoting healthy and stable development of China-US relations not only serves the fundamental interests of the people in both countries, but also meets the common expectation of the international community, Xi said in his message, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.
Xi said he hopes that the two sides will uphold the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, focus on cooperation, manage differences, advance the healthy and stable development of China-US ties, and join hands with other countries and the international community to promote the noble cause of world peace and development.
On the same day, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan sent a message to Kamala Harris to congratulate her on election as US vice president-elect.
The Chinese president’s message came as US President Donald Trump’s government authorised President-elect Biden to begin a formal transition process. However, Trump has not yet conceded, and vowed to persist with efforts to change the vote, which have so far proved fruitless.
China initially hesitated to congratulate Biden after Republican incumbent President Trump refused to concede.
However, China on November 13 shed its hesitation and congratulated Biden and his running mate Harris for their victory, saying that it respects the choice of the American people. “We have been following reactions on the US elections from both within the US and the international community,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here on November 13.
“We respect the American people’s choice and we extend congratulations to Biden and Harris and we understand that the result of the US presidential elections will be determined following the US laws and procedures,” Wang said.
Trump’s four years in power were the worst phase in China-US relations as the ruling Communist Party of China headed by President Xi struggled to deal with what Chinese officials say is the most elusive and unpredictable American leader ever since former US President Richard Nixon in 1972 established ties with the Communist nation.
During his tenure, Trump pushed aggressively on all aspects of US-China ties, including with his relentless trade war, challenging China’s military hold on the disputed South China Sea, its constant threats to Taiwan and branding coronavirus as “China virus” after it emerged from Wuhan in December last year.
Chinese strategic experts said Biden entering the White House may provide an opportunity for breakthroughs in resuming high-level communication and rebuilding mutual strategic trust between the two major countries.