Speaking at a regular press conference Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that China “respects the choice of the American people.”
“We congratulate Mr. Biden and Mrs. Harris. At the same time, we understand that the outcome of these American elections will be confirmed in accordance with American laws and procedures,” he said.
At the time, Wang said they had “noticed” Biden’s victory. “We will deal with the issue of the statement (of congratulations) in accordance with international practices,” Wang said on Monday.
China is one of the last major countries to offer congratulations to President-elect Biden and his team on their victory. Many countries have already welcomed the new American leader, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Israel, France and Germany.
In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his congratulations to then-president-elect Trump just one day after he was declared the winner.
Chinese state-run media have so far been cautious in their handling of Biden’s victory compared to their increasingly sharp tone toward the Trump administration, amid an ongoing deterioration in bilateral ties.
While some media outlets published profiles of Biden or highlighted the iconic Beijing restaurant he visited in 2011, most Chinese media outlets focused their coverage after the US election on the alleged fraud and the turmoil that followed.
Experts suggested that Beijing may have been reluctant to do anything that would risk alienating the outgoing US administration in recent months in power.
“China is always ready to work with the United States to manage their differences. Whoever is in the White House must view the regional situation objectively,” the editorial said.
“China must become a country that the United States cannot suppress or destabilize, and make it that cooperation with China is the best option for the United States to achieve its national interests. This is the ultimate principle,” the editorial said.