News Election 2019 After days of quiet, China has formally recognised Joe Biden’s election win
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After days of quiet, China has formally recognised Joe Biden’s election win

China's foreign ministry has formally acknowledge Joe Biden's win. Photo: Getty
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China has congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden, who won the November 3 election that President Donald Trump has not conceded, nearly a week after the former vice president clinched enough states for the win.

“We respect the choice of the American people. We extend congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular daily briefing on Friday, referring to Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris.

“We understand the results of the US election will be determined according to US laws and procedures,” he added, repeating Beijing’s earlier stance.

Trump’s refusal to accept defeat has put Beijing in an awkward position, with China loath to do anything to antagonise the president, 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 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 following days of ballot counting in several swing states, numerous US allies offered congratulations, while the leaders of China and Russia were among conspicuous holdouts.

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