Chinese foreign ministry stops short of congratulating Joe BidenTwo countries should improve dialogue and manage differences, ministry says
The two are pictured in Beijing in 2013. Photo: TNSChina has said it hopes to work with the next US administration even though Chinese President Xi Jinping has yet to officially congratulate Joe Biden.Many leaders around the world rushed to congratulate Biden on the weekend after major US networks declared him the winner of last week’s US presidential election.
But China’s response has so far been muted.
In Beijing’s first official response to the results, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Monday that China “has taken note of Mr Biden declaring victory, and we understand that the election results will be confirmed according to related US laws and procedures”.Xi congratulated US President Donald Trump soon after the Republican candidate’s win in 2016.
Trump has yet to concede defeat and China’s response this time has been much more cautious.
Asked on Monday when Xi would offer his congratulations, Wang did not respond directly, saying only that China would “act according to international customary practice”.
“On China-US relations, we have always advocated that both sides should enhance dialogue, manage differences on the basis of mutual respect, cooperate on the basis of mutual benefits, and to push for the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations,” Wang said.
Chinese foreign policy specialists have said that they expect tensions between Beijing and Washington to continue under a Biden presidency.
At times during the election campaign, Biden took a tough line on China, calling Xi a “thug”. His campaign has also signalled that he will call out China on its repressive policies in the far western region of Xinjiang.
Wang said China remained resolute in protecting its sovereignty and hoped the next US administration would “meet China halfway”.