- Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his 2020 victory, weeks after other world leaders.
- “Promoting the healthy and stable development of China-US relations is not only in the fundamental interests of both peoples, but also meets the common expectation of the international community,” Xi said in a message on Wednesday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
- A handful of world leaders — from Russia, Brazil, and Mexico — have still not congratulated Biden.
- The contentious dynamic between the United States and China is poised to be Biden’s biggest challenge in terms of foreign policy.
- “Xi Jinping has evinced no signs of affording himself the kind of diplomatic flexibility that could help re-stabilize the relationship,” a top China expert told Insider.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Chinese President Xi Jinping extended his congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday, more than two weeks after he was widely declared the projected winner of the 2020 US presidential election.
“Promoting the healthy and stable development of China-US relations is not only in the fundamental interests of both peoples, but also meets the common expectation of the international community,” Xi said in a message to Biden, per state-run news agency Xinhua.
“I hope to see both sides uphold the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, and focus on cooperation while managing and controlling disputes,” he added, according to Xinhua.
The Chinese foreign ministry congratulated Biden on his win on November 13, but Xi continued to remain silent on the outcome of the 2020 presidential race. Xi’s statement on Wednesday, which came nearly two weeks after the Chinese foreign ministry acknowledged the results, makes Beijing’s recognition of Biden’s win more official.
The leader of the Chinese Communist Party joins a long list of world leaders who had already congratulated Biden after major networks called the race for him on November 7. Still, a handful have not offered their wishes, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
Tensions between the US and China have reached historic heights under President Donald Trump, with top experts warning that the two global powers are on the brink of a new Cold War.
On top of launching a controversial trade war with China, Trump took aim at the Chinese tech industry. He also blamed Beijing for the spread of COVID-19, which was originally detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan. China has responded with increasingly anti-US rhetoric as both sides have engaged in an escalating diplomatic tit-for-tat.
Addressing the contentious dynamic between Washington, DC and Beijing is likely to be Biden’s top foreign policy priority, and it will not be an easy task.
Orville Schell, director of the Asia Society’s Center on US-China Relations, on Monday told Insider that the ball is in China’s court in this regard. Schell said he does not see the relationship between the two countries changing in a meaningful way unless Beijing drastically changes its behavior and moves way from its “wolf-warrior diplomacy.”
“[China’s] recognition of Biden as president-elect is a pretty low bar,” Schell said. “Xi Jinping has evinced no signs of affording himself the kind of diplomatic flexibility that could help re-stabilize the relationship.”
Source: China’s Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on 2020 election win
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