China has congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden on his victory against incumbent Donald Trump, more than a week after Americans cast their ballots.
This ends speculations about when Beijing would formally acknowledge the victory.
US-China ties have grown increasingly strained in recent years under the administration of incumbent Donald Trump, and relations are as icy as at any time since formal ties were established four decades ago.
“We have been following the reaction on this U.S. presidential election from both within the United States and from the international community,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a briefing in Beijing on Friday. “We respect the American people’s choice and extend congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris.”
“We understand that the result of the U.S. presidential election will be determined following the U.S. laws and procedures,” Wang said.
China was previously among a handful of major countries including Russia and Mexico that had not congratulated the president-elect, with Beijing commenting earlier this week simply that it had “noticed Mr Biden declared he is the winner”.
“We believe it’s correct to wait for the official results of the elections to be announced,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
Since US media called the presidential race, Trump has not conceded to Biden as is traditional practice once a winner is projected.