China finally congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for their victory in the presidential elections, ending whispers over Beijing’s silence.
“We respect the American people’s choice. We congratulate Biden and Harris,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a regular news conference, reported Washington Post.
“We understand the US election results will be confirmed based on US law and procedure,” added Wang.
China’s Foreign Ministry had previously held off issuing congratulations, saying only that it “noted” Biden’s claim of victory. Chinese foreign policy analysts had explained the stance as a precautionary one, given that President Trump had not conceded, reported Washington Post.
Biden, in his third attempt at the White House, defeated Trump in a closely contested election to become the 46th president of the United States.
The former vice president was declared the President-elect after victory in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, which took him past the electoral college threshold of 270 votes.
However, Trump refused to concede defeat, saying that the election was “far from over”, and promised legal challenges by his re-election campaign.