China congratulates Biden and Harris on election

Nearly a week after President-elect Joe Biden clinched the presidency over Donald Trump, China on Friday congratulated the former vice president on the win.

Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin:

"We have been following the reaction to the U.S. presidential election of both the United States and the international community. We respect the choice of American people. We extend congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris. Meanwhile we understand the results of the U.S. election will be determined according to U.S. laws and procedures."

Trump's refusal to accept defeat has put Beijing in an awkward position, with China unwilling to do anything to antagonize Trump, who has mounted court challenges to the balloting and remains in office until the Jan 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.

Shortly after Biden's win, numerous U.S. allies offered congratulations, while the leaders of China and Russia were among noticeable holdouts.

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

Video Transcript

- Nearly a week after President-elect Joe Biden clinched the presidency over Donald Trump, China on Friday congratulated the former Vice President on the win. Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

- [SPEAKING CHINESE]

- We have been following the reaction to the US presidential election of both the United States and the international community. We respect the choice of the American people. We extend congratulations to Mr Biden and Ms. Harris.

Meanwhile, we understand the results of the US election will be determined according to US laws and procedures.

- [SPEAKING CHINESE]

- Trump's refusal to accept defeat has put Beijing in an awkward position, with China unwilling to do anything to antagonize Trump, 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 its 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. Shortly after Biden's win, numerous US allies offered congratulations, while the leaders of China and Russia were among noticeable holdouts. In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent congratulations to Trump on November 9, a day after the election.